In that Brisbane hotel room I spent the rest of the night writing out a modus operandi to Andy, our tour manager. There was no point waking him up in the middle of the night, as he gets precious little sleep as it is.
I started writing on the hotel stationery that was an uncomfortable hobble away. This four meter journey was excruciating.
As with all unknown ailments, the worst scenarios are uppermost in the mind. What the hell was up with my knee? Surely it was cancer and it was a question of immediate amputation??
I worked my way around it by starting with the words 'full investigation needed', followed by 'consultation with experienced sports doctor'. I knew enough about such things to realise I would be ‘in the right ballpark' so to speak. It turned out that I would be spot on.
After three long hours, at 6am I made my way downstairs for breakfast. Each step was as restrictive and as laborious as the last. The idea of letting the band down was weighing heavy. On the plus side, today was a travel day to Melbourne followed by two clear days off. However, they were followed by three shows in a row: an arena show, our own theatre show and another outdoor winery.
The flight to Melbourne resulted in the pain in my knee becoming more intense, but thankfully later that evening, Andy informed me that I had an appointment to have an MRI scan the following evening.
Coincidentally, that evening was a tour party for all crew and band members. This was to be held in the private suite of rooms at the top of the Crowne Plaza overlooking the Yarra River.
Chrissie, of course, was concerned about my position and supported my need for a complete and professional assessment.
The following evening Andy and I went out to the hospital appointment so I could get the MRI scan (beforehand I had pressed my white Barbour shirt for the party that followed the visit.) The MRI scan was a long drawn out procedure that involved state of the art equipment. To keep the explanation short, they asked me endless questions and I had to fill out forms to declare that my body contained no metals (pins, supporting bones, shrapnel, pacemakers etc.)
After an hour and a half, Andy and I left the hospital and went straight to the party. The detailed info. of the state of my knee was stored with extreme precision on a DVD for us to take to Mr. Brian Devitt MD FRCS Orthopedic Surgeon in the morning.
The following morning I walked past walls adorned with pictures of sports stars and was introduced to Brian Devitt who was born in Dublin. I was not in the least concerned about the outcome of this consultation.
After thirty minutes of all tests and manipulations, we studied the MRI on his monitor.
I found it amazing to study every fibre of my right knee from front to back and top to bottom. The conclusion was quick and very positive. There was no tear in the tendon at all, and the diagnosis was Prepatellar Bursitis (also known as ‘Jumper’s Knee').
This meant that I was clear to play with no fear of further damage as long as I took the anti-inflammatory drugs for one week, and stopped jumping down off risers like a boy in his twenties!
I had learned I was no longer 25 years old, but I was good to go.