Okay, you know how when you hurt yourself, you’re supposed to ice the injured area? Yes, of course you know that, everyone knows that. Well, I hurt myself all the time, and I never, ever ice anything. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t like cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t like having to sit still holding an ice pack somewhere. Maybe it’s because when I was a kid “icing” something meant actually putting some ice in a towel and holding it against your skin while the ice slowly melted and made your skin not only cold but damp. Modern medicine has come a long way in 30 years, but I, apparently, have not.
Recently, I temporarily dislocated my kneecap. Basically I was moving stuff and all of a sudden got a shooting pain in my knee. It was really odd and seemed to come out of nowhere. I hobbled around the rest of the day and assumed it would be better in the morning. When it wasn’t, I called my doctor and went in.
After a brief exam that turned up nothing substantial, she said that she suspected what happened is that, because I have very loose joints, my kneecap temporarily slid off then popped immediately back into place. Although the patella itself is unharmed when this happens, the tendons and ligaments that hold it in place become inflamed and cause pain. She advised me to ice it and rest.
As I have mentioned before, I am a dog walker. An injury that prevents me from walking prevents me from working, and mine is not a job where I get paid sick leave. So in spite of my general aversion to icing, I iced the hell out of my knee that afternoon, using a virtually brand new ACE Cold Wrap I found in my freezer, probably bought when someone else needed to ice something and I was being helpful.
The ACE Cold Wrap is pretty great for a number of reasons. One, it is one size fits all, and secures with velcro, which means it stays in place without having to be held there. Two, it’s flexible, unlike ice or the old fashioned ice packs that freeze into an immovable brick, unable to conform to the various rounded parts of the human anatomy. Three, it’s basically a wrap with a TruFit Ice/Heat Gel Pack insert tucked into a netted pocket inside the wrap, meaning the wrap is washable AND the pack can be replaced if it ever starts to leak. This thing is about 10 light years ahead of ice in a towel.
The best part of the ACE Cold Wrap is that the next day, my knee was essentially 95% better. I could not believe the difference. I went from being in hobbling, 7 out of 10 pain to barely noticeable, 1 out of 10 pain overnight after icing. Result? I have iced various injured parts of my body over the past two weeks without thinking twice (yes, I get hurt a lot), and it’s really helped! Who could have EVER thought the old adage about icing injuries was actually TRUE?
Medical science: 1, Kate’s stubbornness: 0. This is one battle I was happy to lose.