Several nights ago, I dreamed about my real-life aching knees, brought about by chondromalacia patella, a breakdown of cartilage under the kneecap – with some arthritis thrown in there, too.
The symptoms include discomfort when walking up and down the steps, inability to squat, and any other movements that require bending of the knees. I’ve gone to physical therapy on and off for years which has helped immensely, along with gym and home exercise.
I’d like to say that this issue is due to marathon running as a teen or young adult, but…I can’t.
In my dream, I was sitting on a chair and pedaling my legs on a small piece of equipment that simulated the movement on a bike. I recognized it as something my mom had used to manage her knee pain and, in my dream, I told myself that I need to buy one of these so that I can get back to the routine I had before the pandemic, which included 15 minutes on the bike at Planet Fitness.
When I woke up, I was back to square one. I didn’t recall the dream, even though you might think my stiff knees would’ve been a reminder. As I've done most days, I started to stew about the situation. I wanted to take a walk, but at times that makes the situation worse; I contemplated doing my knee exercises, but I find them soooooooooooo boring. It’s one thing to work out at the gym where I have my pick of apparatus but, on my own with the majority of the workout centered on stretching on the floor, I tend to be so unmotivated.
Meantime, my girlfriend texted me to ask how everything is going. I mentioned my knee dilemma and how frustrated I’ve been not being able to get on the bike regularly, given that I don’t have a stationary bike at home.
She responded by sharing a scenario about another friend with a similar issue who uses a lightweight and foldable device that has resulted in a positive impact on her joints, which in turn has made her much more comfortable overall. It’s so great in fact, my friend said, that this woman not only benefits from it at home but also travels with it. She commented that I can throw it in my car when I take my next road trip to Florida, although this sounded rather far-fetched that I’m going to want to start traveling with this thing.
And then…DING DING DING…as she spoke, I began to realize that the little contraption she was describing was what I had just dreamed about, 12 hours earlier, that my mom had found so valuable as well. I cannot get over the fact that my brain solved a problem for me…at night while I slept…that my girlfriend echoed with the same solution, during our text exchange the next morning.
I immediately went online to search for a portable peddling machine and low and behold there were tons to choose from. I ordered one from Amazon for under $45 and have cycled every day since then (nearly a week) for 15-20 minutes per session, with noticeable improvement. It’s actually been fun, too.
I have another issue that needs to be resolved…better go take a nap!