It’s a quarter past two on a Tuesday morning and you’re probably asking yourself why on earth I would be typing a blog entry at this time. It’s a fair question, and your curiosity will soon be sated.
My right knee has recently been locked in the straight position – I presume – as opposed to the gay position which might be crossed, I’m not sure on this. I just listen to the orthopedi-verycleverman.
I know you’re simply bursting with the next question, namely, why is an ortho-person messing with my knee? Bear with me dear reader, for you shall know all in the fullness of time.
When you see men limping about with medical attachments on their appendages and you’re brave (or rude) enough to ask what happened, you most often get very masculine replies, “I broke my leg rescuing a puppy from a burning building” or “Oh this is nothing really. I snapped the tendon while preventing an Al Qaeda representative from starting his one-man Guy Fawkes display.” You might not receive the exact same replies, but inevitably the injuries involve awfully masculine, hunter-gatherer activities, meaning that either men are braver/sportier than women or considerably clumsier – I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
I have to assert that my injury was incurred in a similarly rugged, manly way. But in the absence of a nearby rugby match, or indeed any burning buildings containing whimpering balls of cuteness, I decided to change the light bulbs in Mrs. Chips’ vehicle. A simple enough activity you might imagine. One that might carry a slight scratch or, at worst the drawing of a little blood should you be careless enough to allow the spring clasp thingy to snap shut on a finger.
To be entirely honest, it wasn’t the act of changing the bulb which brought about my catastrophe. No, it was the even more innocuous action of checking whether they were working that ended my Wednesday afternoon. You see, it happened like this:
Mrs Chips was sitting in the car and activating the various controls that cause the vehicle’s lights to do their thing. From her point of view she saw me proceed to the front of the vehicle to check the headlights, perform a brief but lively Riverdance excerpt before disappearing into the shrubbery, an act she thought quite amusing until I sank below eye level, with only expletives hanging where my head was.
My version is that I happened to stand on a stack of bricks, slip on a loose one, crack the knee on its steadfast brothers and take a dive into the nearest Delicious Monster. Suffice it to say that the aforementioned gymnastics found me lying on my side, covered in mulch and other dead leaves, clutching at my knee and doing enough gasping and heavy breathing, to start my own adult phone-in-for-a-thrill service.
With a colossal effort, and much more gasping, hopping, swearing and sweating, I managed to manoeuvre myself onto the back seats of Mrs. Chips’ car, while she locked up the house. The drive on our farm road was a challenge that I believe not even the mighty Stig of Top Gear fame would have surpassed my esteemed Mrs Chips. She raced where she could, and gently negotiated the appalling bumps where necessary – finally getting me to the nearest hospital (24kms away) in the record time of 20 minutes. With some chivvying of staff, I was wheeled into the trauma centre to await treatment.
While waiting, we learned of an American family who had been at a game farm where you could take photographs of your off-spring petting lion cubs. The almost predictable result was that while the parents were concentrating on something else, another cub bounded in to see what the new Happy Meal looked like, and a feline incisor cut the toddler’s leg. We could hear the US lawyers’ letters being written from the hospital.
After some X Rays, it was decided I had a fractured Fibula and was sent home with pills, the contact details of an orthopaedic surgeon and my leg a back-slab. For the uninitiated, a back-slab is a cunning piece of technology that replaces Plaster of Paris – the cast system evidently having been done away with due to its political incorrectness. The nurse removed what looked like a large diaper from its packaging, held it under a tap, squeezed and wrapped my leg in it. After a moment, it became warm and hardened round the leg. Most impressive.
Anyway, Friday saw yours truly at the ortho-chappie and a session with an ultra-sound machine, where I was attended to by an aging man who appeared more afraid of the machine than I was of his uncertainty. I felt it inappropriate glance at the screen and exclaim, “I see it Cap’n! Depth 200metres, bearing one niner zero”, but left him to do his own fumbling.
However, I was again sent home with a diagnosis of a ruptured ligament, chipped/split kneecap, fractured Fibula and an instruction to be back at the hospital for an operation by 8am the following morning. ‘By gum,’ I thought. ‘I’m certainly getting my money’s worth from the medical aid.’
Stay tuned for the rest