Annie Dear: Where’s the ‘magic sponge’ when you need it?

The Examiner
Annie Dear

Are any of you soccer fans? My ex used to play for one of the universities in Sydney, and I remember many a very cold morning standing on the sidelines of various soccer pitches around New South Wales for many years.  

He was extremely good, and, despite being a ringer – not having attended that particularly fine institution of higher learning, and despite being older than most of the players – he could put on a spurt of speed which would leave his opponents wondering what just shot by them. 

His signature move was a slide tackle, and I can attest to the fact he’s left more DNA on soccer fields around the state that would satisfy his innocence in any forensic case for decades. His fix for his grazes was a can of Nu Skin, which would sting like a thousand hornets, but afforded him a new coating of flesh which would heal nicely until the next Sunday. 

One of the ever-present things at these games, though, was the “magic sponge,” which nestled in a bucket of cold water just in case anyone was seriously hurt. If you’ve watched any YouTube, you might have come across some extremely funny clips of professional players ostensibly injured to the point of requiring an ambulance, only to be soothed with the magic sponge, and miracle of miracles, the player would bounce back on his feet ready to resume playing. 

Well, I’m in need of the sponge. I did a number on my knee last week. I’d like to say it was caused by chasing after a mugger, or at the very least stepping in a gopher hole, but sadly I think I have to confess I might have given it a bit of a tweak getting out of the car. 

I realized medical intervention was required when I found myself fairly bound to the toot, and had to ask for Sir’s help in levering me off the commode. “That’s it,” said he, “it’s the emergency room for you, dear.” 

X-Rays and a lot of waiting later, guess what? I’ve got arthritis. No, no, no. In my head, naturally, I’m only 18, not five decades past that. Pain pills provided I was advised to call the ortho-doc. 

I have no clue how anyone could become addicted to opioids. They’re awful. They don’t really take the pain away; they just suggest to your brain that you think about it in another light. Pain pills, bah humbug. 

Sir, with his remarkable knack at urging, managed to get me into the specialist with amazing haste, and one steroid shot to the knee later, I was starting to feel a whole lot better, once the pressure of the injection stopped causing my eyes to explode. 

Naturally, I became Super Girl, and was bounding around, gazelle-like, all the while praising cortisone to the heavens, when I – again naturally – overdid it and fed the ducks. This required my hobbling up an incline to get to the specified area, and ka-pow, there went the knee again. 

I don’t recommend knee injuries at all. A crutch would not be my first choice in accessories. 

Wonder Woman, I ain’t. Pass the magic sponge please? 

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at