RA Diaries: Living with Glenn

I started having trouble with my right knee three years ago.

It started with stiffness, then muscle pain and a certain amount of weakness while climbing stairs. I had it X-rayed recently, and the good news is that, in spite of inflammation, there appears to be no discernible damage. At least, not yet!

That said, my knee has been a downright pain lately. I don’t know what’s up with it, but it’s doing fun things like swelling so much that one leg is half an inch longer than the other, and just hurting for no reason while I’m not even moving.

So, I’ve decided to name it Glenn.

Why Glenn? Well, because Glenn the knee is reminding me a lot of a certain pundit of the same name whose last name rhymes with dreck. I do not wish to name the pundit here, because a) I worry that saying his name three times will make him appear in my mirror and b) I don’t want his minions trolling my blog and leaving unsightly droppings.

But Glenn the knee and Glenn the pundit have much in common. Let me list three ways:

1) They are both swollen with self-importance. Ahem, you’re not my only RA-ridden joint, buddy!

2) They both over-romanticize the good old days when they were young. While it is true that my joints felt better when I was younger, I got RA as a very small child. Photos of a kindergarten-aged A.K. show swollen knees too.

3) They treat illogical statements as fact — why would a weight-bearing joint hurt when there is absolutely no weight on it?

Now, I realize these traits could apply to any number of pundits out there. I contemplated calling my knee Rush, but then I realized it doesn’t seem to enjoy prescription meds! (Bah dum dum — I’ll be here all week. Try the tapenade!)

Naming my troublesome knee Glenn has inspired me to name other joints. My left ankle, which has been an issue for years, is now also known as “Ann.” Yep, that would be after a certain blonde pundit whose name rhymes with bolter. The main reason I have named the ankle Ann is that it has been very quiet lately. In fact, I would say it’s been almost suspiciously quiet since Obama’s election.

That doesn’t mean Ann the ankle doesn’t act up sometimes. In fact, she was being most unhelpful the other day at the mall. But I know that is because she and Glenn are in the same union.

Not all my joints are named after conservatives I find irritating. The middle joint on the middle finger of my right hand fused together a long time ago. This makes knitting or playing the piano challenging, but there are benefits — it makes that digit ideal for making obscene gestures in traffic.

Therefore, I am naming my middle finger Gloria. As in Steinem — a badass feminist who’s been giving the finger to the patriarchy for years.

All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.



  • Hoot! LOL.
    I’m sorry you hurt, and this is funny.

  • Glad you like it! Laughing actually gets my mind off pain!

  • LMAO. I love this.

    I too am sorry you are hurt, but guess which practice I will help spread? Yes, this one.

    Hmm, maybe I can call my back/neck pain rhymes with tush: The damage was done years ago, but it still hurts; he may be gone, but he still hurts.

  • “Rhymes with tush.” BWAHAHAHAHA! You are awesome!

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