Giving Your Knee That Perfect Smile

03Sep08

So I got a knee brace.

To be more precise, I got two knee braces.

Hmm, maybe I should back up a bit.

I went to Walgreens, gimondo super-corporation of a drugstore that it is, because I had a prescription to pick up and they carry foreign chocolate.

What? Girl’s gotta have standards. If I’m limiting my chocolate intake, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m not wasting those calories on HERSHEY.

Right, back to the knee braces. I stood for about five minutes, staring in slack-jawed amazement at the knee brace section. I had no idea what I was looking at. Why was that one $50 (marked down, shockingly, to $12)? Why was that other one $15? Did the brands matter? I couldn’t decipher the marketing-speak bull they paste over all of the packaging. I was leaning toward a one-size-fits-all thing when I decided to ask.

I had someone paged to the area, and she attempted to talk me through it, but really only succeeded in convincing me that there wasn’t really a difference in them. She measured my thigh just above my knee (something like 18.5 inches) and recommended X.

I look at the back and say “Hey, the largest one they make stops at 17 inches.”

“No, that’s the one you want, I’m sure of it.” she says.

For the record, she’s a big fat liar.

I couldn’t even get the thigh part past my knee.

So I took it back in, huffing because it was hot outside and I’d been trying to yank it on in my car in the parking lot. Attempting to yank a knee brace over my calves is not only one of the least graceful things I’ve ever done, it also nearly bummed my knee again.

I, instead, got the simpler Ace knee sleeve (I’m sure it has a real name. It’s a knee sleeve, with a porthole window. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. Ferrets and rats would LOVE this thing.

It’s Medium was about the same size as the other thing’s Large was. So I got the new large, and it fits, is comfortable, I can wear it under my jeans and my work pants without an alarming giant growth on my knee – I imagine such odd conversations. Someone would say “Wow, what happened to your knee?” and I would reply, flippantly, “Oh, it’s nothing. Doctor says I have Arboreal Xylemphitis. I should complete my transformation into an Ash tree sometime next summer.”

But, I’ve been wearing the brace since yesterday afternoon, and already the knee feels better. I wore it while I was sleeping, too – that seems to be a time when I unconsciously take out the day’s frustration on my injured limb, based on how often I wake up with it hurting.

Anyway, I said all of that so I could rant about the following :

What the ach eee double hockey-sticks is wrong with companies nowadays? Both of the knee braces I tried on were made by the SAME BRAND, and yet had wildly different sizing!

Also, and I’m sure this will ring a little bell with at least some of you – aside from the super-fit with their althlete injuries, who is most likely to have knee problems?

The overweight and obese.

Now, I’m not saying I’m some dancing fairy or anything, but I’m definitely in the “average” woman range. I’m slowly working my way out of size 14 into a size 12. I no longer have thunder thighs, and yet I found it nearly impossible to find a knee brace that would accommodate a larger frame?

You’ve got to be kidding me!

What are overweight people with knee problems supposed to do?

The knee brace isn’t a frivolous purchase. It’s not something I got so I could hang out with the cool kids. I didn’t get it in Barbie Pink.

It’s a medical apparatus. MEDICAL.

Why would you not make something MEDICAL be available to what has to be at least 50% of the people most likely to need it?

I am…not angry. Upset? A little. More, I think I’m disappointed. It’s like how I feel about places like Victoria’s Secret not really selling a complete line of bras for larger women – those who most need a very good quality bra with support.

Also, the shelf of “impulse buys” next to the checkout contained an entire row of home drug test boxes.

“I’ll just check out now…oh, a line, rats. Hmm, maybe I could use some gum, I think I’m running low. Oooh! Look at that candy bar, is that a new flavor? And oh, look at this! I’ve been meaning to test little Timmy for cocaine usage!”

Puh. Leeeze.

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6 Responses to “Giving Your Knee That Perfect Smile”

  1. What I love about your blog is how you can work cocaine and ferrets into a post about knee braces. AND you make a point, a very valid point. I think you should send the manufacturer a letter…

  2. @FBG
    Well, I knew it wasn’t because of my leet editing skills, judging from the number of typos that MIRACULOUSLY appear between me posting and you commenting.

    *grins and hugs*

  3. sorry about your knee. Im just shocked that someone at WALGREENS actually HELPED you in stead of just telling you what aisle something is in. Im lucky if i get that.

    http://www.groundedfitness.com

  4. @GroundedFitness
    Hmm, point. Although, technically, pointing me at a product that there was no way I was going to fit in it was less helpful than it was not.

  5. good G-D WOMAN YOU FUNNY.

    Im sorry about the knee whilst being horribly guilty of loving the post it triggered.

  6. great – so now we have vanity sizing to worry about…with medical gear!


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