If it weren’t such a pain in the knee it would be down right romantic. As if Tom and I don’t have enough in common…now add this. We’ve both, at one time in our lives, been hit by a big dog and ended up on crutches. His was a l-o-n-g time ago and was much more serious than mine. He was just a nine-year-old. A skinny little kid who was running down a one way path while a full grown German Shepherd was running up the same path. BAM! The dog hit him in the leg and broke his femur. He was in one of those body type casts that came up around his waist for months. Wouldn’t that be awful? I on the other hand was hit in the knee by a boxer dog (who, in case you don’t know, have really hard heads). I only ended up with a fracture of the tibial plateau.
Although I called the most prominent orthopedic drs. in town, I was told to go through my pcp first. Okay, I rang her up next. My doctor ordered x-rays, and I dutifully went to the hospital for said pictures. I didn’t hear back about those x-rays for 10 days. After profuse apologies for the delay, I was informed I needed to see the orthopods. No surprise. A week later the orthopedic doctor (p.a. actually) didn’t like the x-rays and ordered up an MRI. An appointment for that was set up for the next week (and a half). Then a follow up to tell me the MRI results for a week after that. And, uh oh, there is a fracture of the tibial plateau. By putting weight on the leg I’m injuring it further. I need to be on crutches for 30 days.
Wait a minute, let’s count. I was injured on September 8. I’ve used my best common sense, ice the knee, keep it wrapped, keep off it as much as possible…except for normal activity including housework, yard work, nursery work, shopping trips and a visit to the zoo. But in between those hours of real life I did sit on the couch with my leg up. I was just getting good at hiding any limp, finding the right way to use my leg without too much discomfort. In fact, I just figured out how to run up stairs. Now it’s October 14th and I’m told I need to be completely off it. — That’s 5 freakin’ weeks since the injury! My knee hardly even hurts anymore. How am I supposed to faithfully use crutches at this stage of the game?
Two motivators. If I don’t, they’ll cast it. If I don’t, the damage will continue and I’ll need a knee replacement down the road.
The aggravating word there is “continue” because even a moron can figure out that if I’ve been using it as hard as I have, there’s got to be significant damage done already. It makes me shudder to think how proud I was of running up stairs.
So, I am faithfully using the stupid crutches. And now that I’ve written this all down it’s time to get over it. These things happen. Doctors don’t always call back in a timely fashion, even if you leave lots of messages. But really, once they see any sort of problem, why wouldn’t crutches have been ordered as a precaution while the injury was being diagnosed? Why? Why? (Okay, maybe I’m not over it…now I am…this is me, moving on…)
The lesson I learned is, don’t be afraid of over-reacting. You can’t be too cautious. Find a pair of crutches and lean on them while the docs are taking weeks and weeks to diagnose your troubles. Then, when they say, “you have to stay off this for 30 days.” You can say, “Done!”