Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Knee

I have dislocated my left kneecap four times—in four different states.

#1. California (2005): While building a sandcastle on a camping trip to Big Sur. First ambulance ride and trip to the ER.
#2. Idaho (2008): While going down the bunny hill on a snowboard. It slid right back in. No pain, just freaky. Didn't think much of it. I almost actually forgot about this one.
#3. Washington, D.C. (2011): While shopping in Urban Outfitters. Second ambulance ride and trip to the ER.
#4. Utah (2011): While going to sit down in my chair in my cubicle in the Church Office Building. Caught it with my hand, and it eventually popped itself back in.

(Which is the most embarrassing story? I'd vote for #3. It was definitely the most painful one. I know that physically I would not have been able to handle any more pain than I did that night. Dramatic? Let me know what you think next time you dislocate your knee cap. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I thought my knee was going to explode.)

The pain is excruciating. But once it's back in place, it's instant relief. Aside from the crutches, braces, bruises, scar tissue and swelling, it's left mental scars. I am terrified of it happening again. I have trouble falling asleep because I keep having flashbacks of the incidents. Throughout the whole day, I daydream about it happening again, and I start hyperventilating and freaking out. In fact, as I sit here and write this blog, I have to concentrate on my breathing.

The freak out moments get even worse when other people talk about their injuries. One of my colleagues told me that his daughter dislocated her kneecap as she was going down the stairs and she fell all the way down. Now, I am scared of going downstairs.

The anxiety eases up a bit when I wear my brace, but it's just so dang uncomfortable. I'm seeing an orthopedic surgeon in a week and a half. Even if the answer is surgery, I am so open to that idea because I can't stand walking around not knowing if and when it will happen next.


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