Dislocation Part 1: The Incident

Fist off, I'd like to thank you all for your concern, well wishes, and prayers. If you have to wake up with your leg in a "knee demobilizer" as pain rockets up and down it, it makes it just that much more bearable to know that there are people out there thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery. The Incident: Well, I'd love to have some crazy story about what I was doing when I dislocated my knee, but truth be told I simply do not. This was literally one of those freak accidents that I could have never seen coming. As I'm sure you all know by now, I've been slowly but surely packing up my room in preparation for my big move (which was supposed to start earlier this evening). As such, in front of my closet there are stacks of economy storage boxes. It came time for me to begin disassembling my electronic drum set. Being the OCD person that I am, I wanted to make sure all the pieces were placed in the same area for packing. As I took the set apart, I( remembered that I had stashed one spare piece in the closet (right behind my new stack of boxes). Since I didn't really have the room to relocate the boxes just to get the piece, I arched myself over the stack and began to awkwardly fiddle about reaching for the piece. Apparently, as I extended forward trying to gain that extra inch of reach, I turned in just the right way to just ruin myself.

I heard an enormous popping sound and my leg (or half of it rather) came out from under me. When I hit the ground, I immediately grabbed my knee [area] and knew instantly that I was going to need to go to the hospital. To make matters worse, I was in my room, with the door shut, with music on, while my family and a bunch of little kids were in the backyard celebrating my little sisters birthday. Unable to turn off the music or move through the barricade of my partially packed life, my only option was to scream bloody murder and hope someone would hear me.

After about a minute or so of screaming, one of my sisters friends heard me, sent here in, and she was able to grab my parents, who dialed 911 upon viewing the remnants of should have been a knee I was clutching in my hands. Now I've broken a few bones and I'd like to think that I have a pretty high threshold for pain, but this was the single most excruciating moment of my life (that is until they reset my leg, but that comes later). For the most part I could partly manage the pain through heavy controlled breathing and long drawn out swear words, but every few minutes or so there would be a sudden rush of pain that would peak out the "1 to 10 pain scale" and send me into uncontrolled screaming and spasms. When the paramedics got there, they promptly began pumping me full of morphine, checking and rechecking my stats, and then pumping my full of even more. All in all, I arrived at the hospital with 20 cc of morphine coursing through my veins.

Unfortunately, my local hospital (the same one I was born in) was at full occupancy (I don't remember their term for it) and were no longer admitting anyone, so we had to hop on the freeway and drive to another hospital. Once there, I was placed in a room and had to wait for a doctor to become available (apparently, only a "real" doctor can reset your leg is need be). As I lay in the room alone waiting for the doctor, I experienced a few more of the excruciating waves of pain I mentioned earlier. At one point, a security guard and another member of the hospital staff came in just to see what the camotion was all about.

Finally, it came time to reset my knee. Now I watch a lot of medical shows, so I was expecting the resetting to work the way it does on any prime time drama. The doctor would grab my leg saying "ok, now on the count of three", and then when he reached "2" he'd jerk my leg and everything would be fixed and good to go. Well, I was entirely wrong. And as I mentioned earlier. the pain I was experiencing just moments before was nothing compared to what I was about to feel. First we had to straighten my leg (which I had kept bent since the injury happened to help with pain) out. They laid me down flat and then began pulling my leg into a straight position. The pain was so great that I literally almost hopped off the gurney. Once they had it straight, it was time to pop the bone back into place. The doctor grabbed the protruding bone and began to apply [what he thought was] enough pressure to pop it back in.

Long story short, it took three tries to get the bone to pop back into place, each time pushing for longer and with more force. When it did go back in place, the pain immediately subsided. With the pain gone, I got an instant rush from the 20 cc of morphine and I began hysterically laughing. I kid you not.

To Be Continued...

posted by Christopher Schnese

[next: "Dislocation Part 2: My Status"]