Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life Changes Fast

I had a moment in my flag football game last night that, despite happening in a matter of seconds, will affect me for at least the next 4-6 months, and possibly longer.  I was running a route, looked back to the quarterback to receive the pass, and collided knee to knee with a defender.  He was standing still, and I was at medium speed.  I immediately dropped to the ground and felt shooting pain coming from my knee.  I sat on the ground for a minute, trying to see if I could bend my leg and work it out a little bit.  It hurt like hell, but I got up and tried to continue.  I play on a co-ed team with a bunch of pretty tough folks, so I let them convince me it was just a "stinger."  As soon as I put weight on it to run, I knew something was very wrong.  I tried as hard as I could to stay in for a couple more plays, but finally I swallowed my pride and told them I needed to sit out.  Luckily another girl showed up right then, and she took my spot on the field.  I sat on the ground for the rest of the game since it hurt to put any weight on my leg.  Afterwards, I hobbled over to my car and cried once I got inside.  It was excruciating.  Since I was by myself, I had to suck it up and drive home through the pain.  Once I got home, I hopped inside and went immediately to the couch.  Laying there with my leg extended straight out, the pain was manageable.  My knee started swelling up pretty badly though, and it definitely wasn't looking right.  At one point I had to use the restroom, so I hobbled there and sat down.  Bending my knee was the worst pain I've ever felt.  Luckily it was only my doggles in earshot, because I yelled out some choice words.  I went back to the couch and started getting worried about what was really wrong. 

Once Meezy got home, we decided we'd call my doctor first thing in the morning and try to set up an appointment.  I had to use the restroom again, and this turned out to be the last straw.  I couldn't handle the pain and I yelled out in agony.  I was bawling by this point.  Meezy knew there was no way I would make it until the next morning.  It was after midnight, but we headed out to the hospital.  I had to scoot myself into the back seat with my leg extended.  The drive to the ER felt like forever!  Once I got there, the admission process was fairly quick though, and I made it back to a room before too long.  Without moving at all, there was throbbing pain, and I couldn't twist or bend my leg in any way without it being immensely worse.  They gave me a morphine shot, and I tried to wait patiently for it to kick in.  After the shot, they wheeled me into x-ray.  They took a few films and the tech told me he was pretty sure he could see the problem, but he would let the nurse or doctor give me the prognosis. 

After thirty minutes, the nurse came in and gave me the news: I had fractured my patella and it was currently in a couple of pieces.  I immediately felt sick to my stomach.  I wanted to vomit just thinking about that bone being broken.  She told me that surgery was probably necessary, and I'd have to set up an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to go over my options.  Great.  They gave me a brace to keep my knee immobilized, and sent me home with a prescription for pain medication.  It was 3:30am by the time we got home.  I set my alarm for 8:30am the next morning, when the surgeon's office opened.  Turns out I only made it to 7am before the pain became unbearable again.  I took a pain pill, but it didn't help much.  I laid in bed uncomfortably for the next hour and a half.  It sucks to have to lay on my back with my leg extended, when I'm used to being a side sleeper with my legs bent.  Bleh. 

When I got ahold of the surgeon's office, they told me they couldn't see me until Friday morning.  Bummer.  I have spent all of today (Thursday) either in bed or on the couch.  It's frustrating.  The pain medicine isn't really taking away the pain, but it is making me sleepy.  So, at least I'm avoiding the pain some of the time by just being asleep!  It's really weird that my leg feels like it weighs a hundred pounds.  When raising your leg, the power comes from your knee.  I have no ability to generate any power there right now, so it's not possible for me to move it. When I try to change positions, I have to use both of my arms to pick it up and manually move it.  Awesome.  I hope this night goes by quickly and my appointment goes well tomorrow.  I'm a little nervous about what they're going to tell me, but I'm just hoping that whatever their recommendation is, we start it immediately.  I think all the options involve some sort of cast or stint for 4-6 weeks, followed by rehab for a few months.  We'll see. 

Here's a pic I took right after I got home from the game last night.  This was before I realized the extent of the injury.  One of those knees is not like the other!  Hopefully I'll get to view the actual x-ray pics tomorrow, if my stomach can handle it!


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