Monday, October 27, 2008

Puppies, injuries and miserable pain

“Emily?” I called, having shoved my feet into flip flops and quickly emerging into the chilly morning in sleepy pants and t-shirt. “What’s happened?”

A tiny, tear-stained and tortured face turned up to meet my eyes and she explained between sobs that the puppy had escaped and she had to catch the bus.

“OK,” I said, reaching to smooth her hair. “Go get your bag and wait for the bus. I’ll find Petey.” When she looked both relieved and uncertain, I promised I’d return her young, black lab and set off to do so while she went back to the house that neighbors my own.

I wandered the neighborhood, rubbing my palms briskly up and down my arms in an attempt to warm them against the nearly numbing cold. I called for the growing canine, squinting down streets and letting my gaze drift over wide, unmowed fields, looking for signs of the creature.

“Hey,” I finally said, filled with pleasure and anticipation of heading back to my warm house when I saw him. I opened my mouth to tell the erstwhile pup it was time to go home but instead emitted a short gasp of alarm when my inappropriate shoes failed to find purchase on the slick grass and I began to fall. It happened quickly enough that I didn’t have time to think about catching myself and once I landed on the ground, I was busily reminding myself not to pass out or throw up.

My knee – the left one – has an unfortunate tendency to slip out of its home. I gritted my teeth and waited for the black spots to leave my vision, swallowing hard against nausea, and gave myself a moment before assessing the damage. Tentatively, I pressed my fingertips against my thigh, then calf, then skimmed them gently over my kneecap.

“It’s back in,” I told Petey since he had wandered over, motivated by curiosity more than sympathy, I’d guess. “I think I’m OK. I just need to get us both home.”

Regaining my feet gingerly, I hissed with pain when I tried to support weight on my injured leg. Looking around for some sort of salvation, I cursed the stay-at-home moms who weren’t looking out their windows to help me. Taking another breath, I picked Petey up and wondered how I was going to carry him all the way home, calculated the distance to our destination and began to limp.

I was making tiny sounds of pure misery by the time I reached my house, earning myself puppy kisses on the neck and ear that helped not at all. Using the counter as support, I bent to place Petey on the tile floor of my kitchen and left my forehead pressed against the countertop for a moment, reaching to feel the coolness of the skin on my leg, belied by the heat of injured muscles underneath. I released a sob of intense self-pity and moved through the house, wondering how I could climb the stairs to my bandages and painkillers.

I found my bandages and placed them aside as I searched for narcotics, having made my way to the second floor. I had two Vicodin saved from my last injury and I debated only briefly before leaving one in the bottle and gulping down water to ingest the other. I remained on the bathroom floor, slumped against the side of the bathtub and with my eyes closed as I impatiently awaited the cessation of pain. Some time later, I blinked to view my surroundings again and awkwardly came to my feet, carefully wrapping my knee so everything would stay put.

Hearing the scramble of paws on the main floor, I sat down on the top step and descended, much like Little One sometimes does, on my bottom. I limped toward the phone in the kitchen, calling a neighbor on my list and asking if she’d come put Petey back in his house. She agreed, though her expression changed from cheerful to concerned when she saw me open the door and hand her the dog, Chienne’s leash clipped to his collar. I assured her I was fine, repeating the statement when she returned the leash, and told people at work I was staying home to nurse my aching knee.

“I have,” I told Chienne as she settled by my chair to take a nap, “become injured.” When she didn’t seem to care overly much, I frowned, wanting sympathy. “Stupid dog,” I muttered, unsure if I was speaking to my unfeeling canine or the fuzzy cause of this whole episode next door.

Dogs and kneecaps should stay in their homes.


Psych Post Doc said...

Oh no!! I'm glad you found the puppy but that sounds like a really nasty spill you took. Any chance you'll go to the Dr?

If you only have 2 pills, you're running out of pain meds really quickly. I hope you'll be okay.

EthidiumBromide said...

Oh dear. Does this happen frequently? Have you thought about physical therapy? I know it seems funny to think about PT for what seems like a sporadic knee problem caused by clumsiness, but they can teach you how to strengthen the muscles in the surrounding areas which can definitely help keep everything in its place. Just something to think about...

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

OW!!!! I hope the pain goes away quickly.

Anonymous said...

I hope your knee feels better soon.

Lucy said...

Oh no! I'm sorry your good deed had such a bad outcome. I hope you're feeling better soon.

Seeking Solace said...

Ouch! I know all too well about knees going out...and puppies as well.

Hope you feel better.

Amanda said...

Oh! That sounds very painful! I hope that your knee feels better soon.

repressed librarian said...

I'm sorry to hear about your injury. I know someone who has that knee problem, so I've seen how awful it is. I hope it's better soon.

rpg said...


x <- kissing it better.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, sweetie! Take it easy. Twiddling my fingers on vibes for you. - A

post-doc said...

First of all, you're all so good with sympathy! Thank you. While I continued to take business calls, knee elevated and iced, my colleagues expressed some concern, but I'm pretty sure I heard them laugh at me in the background. (Which I guess is OK since I fell down while walking around, but still! I'm injured here!)

While I would probably take Vicodin all the time if allowed to do so, Psych Post Doc, I'm coping with Advil pretty well. If I find that I'm still struggling in a few days, I'll go to the doctor.

EthBr: It went out and stayed out in college. That sucked and resulted in hours in the ER before they wiggled the kneecap from the back of my knee around to the front where it belonged. But I have thought about looking up specific exercises to try to prevent future injury. So thanks for the thought.

Dr. BH: It'll throb for a day or two, then ache for another couple and then I'll be OK.

Kindly anonymous commenter, I thank you for your hope. That's very sweet.

Lucy: Seriously! Where is karma?! Though Petey is safely home and Emily did come to thank me. But still! I'm hurt! Freaking dog.

Seeking Solace: Sucky, isn't it? (The knee thing, not puppies. I still like puppies - just not the chase them down part.)

Amanda: It is. Thank you. :)

RL: The utterly crappy thing is that I'll have to get mine replaced at some point, I'm sure. And seeing my mom suffer through the procedure, it's not a thought that brings me comfort. I keep asking the knees to stay healthy, but they're not cooperating well at all.

RPG: Oh, that a single man would say such a thing. But it's still very sweet and made me smile despite my suffering.

Anna, I love you dearly for many reasons, but the finger wiggles currently top the list. Positive energy to you too!

Brigindo said...

How horrible. Poor you. And such a good neighbor too.

Anonymous said...

sheesh, are you ok?? your poor knee...

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