Thursday, February 18, 2016

Leg Injury Anniversary

Me in the emergency room last year - in shock

Today is one year anniversary of my leg injury.

To remind new readers of this blog what happened at approximately 11:09 PM, on a very cold (5 degrees) and windy night as I left my shift at the hotel where I work.  As I was rounding the corner of the building after checking to make sure the doors were locked (something I do every night after my shift is over and on my way to my car), I stepped on frozen ice from a drainpipe on the side of the building.  

D


The corner where I fell, photo taken the next day when the ice was removed (too late) from the drain pipe)

Down I went, hitting my left knee on the edge of the drain pipe. 

I was on my knees, with the cold wind painfully whipping around my face.  I stayed in that position for about five seconds while I assessed my situation.  I felt my knee pad had moved to left of my knee.  I thought I had dislocated my knee.  Many years ago (1962) I had dislocated my right knee.  I was going to try and limp to my car but decided instead to take a few steps back into the Inn and get myself together.  That decision probably saved my life.  

I took approximately five steps to get back into the hotel and my leg just gave out.  I was on the floor, inside the hotel.  If I had decided instead to try and limp to my car, I would have fallen in that alley where the wind chill was below 0 degrees and probably have frozen to death.  They would have found me the next morning, a frozen corpse in the alleyway.  

But Fate had something else in store for me.  Interestingly my normal reaction upon falling (and I've fallen before) was to try and limp to my car.  I don't know, maybe my Guardian Angel saved me . . . . . . again.  

I collapsed on the soft rug in the hotel lobby.  As I mentioned before I thought I had dislocated my knee.  Thank goodness I had my cell phone (hear that my friend Larry who keeps his cell phone in his car glove compartment . . . off)?  

I called 911.  The rest is history.  

I was taken to the Beebe Emergency Room, only three blocks away.  Hear that my friend Jon, who lives in the mountain wilderness of Tennessee?

They assessed my situation.  Took X-rays that determined that I hadn't broken any bones.  And my knee wasn't dislocated.  

They put a splint on my leg and sent me home.  The only problem was that I couldn't make my lower left leg to work.  





The doctor at the emergency room suggested that I contact an orthopedic doctor.  The next day I did.  The earliest appointment I could get was one week hence.  

When I saw the orthopedic doctor he arranged for me to have an ultra scan (I'm not sure if that is the right term, I don't remember) of my leg.

When the results of the scan came back my orthopedic doctor informed me that I had torn my quadricep muscle of my left leg.  It would have to be reattached.  That meant surgery.

I underwent surgery.  Then I had a twelve week period of recovery, with a splint on my leg.  



I could not go to work.  

I was bed ridden.  

Thank God for Bill.  Without Bill I would have been in a rehab unit.  There was no way I could take care of myself.  I couldn't drive.  


I'm going on too long with this folks but let me just to sum things up.

I'm walking now, more or less normal.  My left leg will never be the same.  I can still feel the quadricep muscle, it is numb.  It doesn't hurt.  The only discomfort I have is the almost constant swelling of my leg but the swelling isn't near as bad as it was the twelve weeks of my recovery.


There were many nights when I had difficulty sleeping because of the swelling in my left leg.  Even now sometimes I wake up at night and the swelling has returned.  However, not near as bad as this photo shows.  Just a general numbness.

For about eight weeks (I don't remember exactly) I was on a walker.  Folks, I have a new appreciation for old folks, or even young folks, who hobble around on a walker.  My choice was a walker or just lie in bed all day. I'll take the walker (which I still have by the way).  



One way I was fortunate (I guess) was that I fell in the wintertime.  Would my leg be well enough for me to do my Spring plantings?  Well, it wasn't but I got out there with my walker and did it anyway.  That's just me folks, it takes lot to discourage me.  Stoic Ron.


Eventually I progressed from the walker to a cane (which I also still have, just in case I have it in the back seat of my car).  

Above is a photo of me in May doing my first Spring plantings.  You should have seen me trying to bend down without bending my leg.  he Great Contortion Magnifico. 




 But you know what folks? Even though I went through my own personal Hell this time last year, I am so thankful that I am here today to write about it and to look forward to many more days in good health in this, my life.



One day all this (my life) will come to an end.  I hope it's not a violent and painful and humiliating end but my life will end, that is for sure.  All of our lives will end.  Mine perhaps sooner than most of you who read this blog.  And that's because I'm an Old Fart. I have lived a long time and have had and continue to have a wonderful life.  

So today I remember this time last year when I took a "pause" in this wonderful life of mine.  Perhaps that fall was fated just to remind me of what a good life I do have.  I know this, I have a new appreciation of life.  



8 comments:

  1. Ron - what a time that was. I just remember how long it took before the leg was tended too. Those are some painful looking pictures but the last one is great!!

    Pat

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    2. Pat,
      I thought you would like that last picture.
      Ron

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  2. Holy crap - I get the chills just hearing about this, but seeing the photo of the stitches is even worse. It is a harsh reminder of how dangerous ice can be (and I know from experience). So glad you made it through that nightmare and are able to walk again.

    And I'm a lot more careful than I was last year. Ambulances don't often get to this part of Mt. Everest (*smile*).

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  3. Jon,
    I get the chills every time I found that corner. I am so spooked about falling again. Just like any accident, it happened so quickly and with such serious consequences.
    Ron

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  4. Reminds us to enjoy each day. I still have a cane in the car, and one in the office.

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  5. Ron,

    Now you and Lois have matching scars like an exclusive club I don't wish to join.

    Lar

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  6. you've come a long way baby - and without that wooden leg .

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