Well the doc didn't really find anything in my knee. He yanked my leg in weird directions and scolded me repeatedly for tensing up. He said he felt "residual inflammation." He said he heard "creaking." He diagnosed me with "angry knee." He recommended the same ol' "RICE" crap ... Ice, Compression and Excessive amounts of Advil. But not Rest. He recommended Rehabilitation. He told me to get back on the bike. "Don't ride outside," he said. "There's too much resistance. Put your bike on a trainer and spin easy."
I went to the gym afterward and ran on the elliptical trainer - no incline - for an hour. That motion feels pretty much normal at this point. Then I sat on the ancient stationary bike, set the resistance to "2" and started spinning. It felt really strange. Not necessarily painful ... but if I stopped thinking about it, I would eventually become aware of other physical reactions that are typically associated with pain ... white-knuckling the handlebars, biting my lip, and pressing my head against my arm. It felt unusual. Unnatural. I lasted 10 minutes.
The doc scheduled a follow-up for two weeks from now, and recommended waiting out an MRI scan until then. He seemed really confident in my health. His reassuring head shakes gave me a boost of confidence, but also made me second-guess everything that's transpired in the past three weeks. Maybe I'm looking to the wrong doctor. Maybe what I really need is a good psychiatrist to tell me why I might have a tendency toward self-defeating hypochondria. I know medicine can't do much for you unless you have a traumatic injury ... and this is almost definitely not. I have a fair amount of experience with "waiting it out." Strange, inexplicable and incurable ailments run rampant in my family. But the bad knees seem to be exclusively mine.