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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
14
2008
8:08 pm
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Warning: if bones moving under skin makes your skin crawl or creates a sense of nausea in you, you might want to skip the rest of this post.

The last 5 days of my life have been impacted by a dislocated patella.  For those of you who aren’t up on all the medical jargon, “patella” means “the knee cap”.  And dislocated means “not where I last left it.”  And also, before people shower me with cards, flowers, fake knees and letting me borrow their insurance cards, you should know it’s not MY dislocated patella.  It’s my wife’s.   And it was forcefully ejected from it’s normal home by a pair of lovable ~50lb dogs just trying to play with each other and running about bazillion miles per hour in our back yard, and performing a tackling move that a first-round draft pick would sell his soul to Satan to be able to duplicate on a weekly basis.

Generally, I keep my spouse out of the blogging limelight.  She doesn’t get on ‘teh internetz’ very much, barely does email now and again, and prefers her privacy.  I respect that.  Therefore, I don’t write about her; I don’t post photos; I hardly even refer to her unless I’m saying “the wife and I” or something generic like that.

But when the opportunity came to show off some of the bad-ass-est xrays I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes, I struggled with whether or not I should ask permission.  I mean, I understand not wanting your photo blasted across the Internet.  But these aren’t technically photos.  They’re sketchy impressions of bone.  But still, she hasn’t given her full permission (yet) so even though I scanned them in, I’ll continue to respect the wish for privacy.

You can search the web for a complete description and anatomic set of photos for the patella, it’s purpose, and common issues associated with it.  But that would be boring.  Instead, I give you an artist’s conception of what her X-rays look like.

First, here’s what a normal patella would look like, if someone drew a red ring around it with sketch chalk.

patella normal

The above is a frontal view of a typical knee.  You have the upper bone (I call it toppeleggus biggus), then the lower bone of the leg (puntus futbollus), and semi-floating above where they join is the patella.  It’s the kneecap, and you can kind of move it a little with your fingers when your leg is relaxed.  Some people are TREMENDOUSLY ticklish in this area, and its fun to just randomly try to find out who in your immediate area is ticklish.  However, if you’re not careful in your choices, you might get a dislocated jaw.

The following graphic is NOT an exaggeration.  I literally traced the actual X-Rays to show the position of the dislocated patella.

crazy patella

I mean, that thing was almost in another zip code.

Now, some people can dislocate their patella and it pops back without much fuss, and nestles in nice and cozy, pretty confident that it doesn’t feel like leaving home again any time soon, so go ahead and use your knee because its safe and glad to be back home, and for those people, walking in a day or two and resuming normal activities within a week are totally within the norm.

And then there are others whose patella gets around more than Bill Clinton, and doesn’t feel safe and secure, and really needs some assurance and help staying put, otherwise if you do too much, it’s going to pack its bags and get the heck out of Dodge again.  That’s where we are now, working with braces, sleeves, anti-inflammatories, ice and therapy so it gets the support it needs to feel comfortable enough to walk w/crutches and heal.

Without going into too much detail, we feel the ER/Hospital we went to was less than stellar.  The paramedics and ambulance crew, on the other hand were ABSOLUTELY GREAT.  I think the hospital can take some tips from those guys on how to handle the injured, and they really need to take a lesson on ICE.  They didn’t ice her knee for 4-5 hours, and we only got ice on her knee when a relative showed up who knows what they’re doing and insisted.  Sometimes I think they intentionally didn’t ice her knee because without ice, she gets admitted to the hospital.  With ice, she improves and gets discharged.  Hmm, conflict of interest, maybe?  Ice is free and the maker of ice doesn’t get any kickbacks.  The doctors don’t get Hawaii conference trips and an average of $43,000 yearly in pharmaceutical bonuses if the patient actually gets BETTER and walks away healthy.

Is the quality of traditional doctor / hospital / surgeon / physician care going down the tubes?  It seems EVERY decision is about money FIRST, convenience for the doctor SECOND and actual good care THIRD.

And lo, the people did comment thus:

11 Comments

  1. Absurdist says:

    All of the hospitals suck in austin now. Even the heart hospital.

    As for this, been there, done that. But you know that. My 120 pound 5’10” mother dislocated my knee cap when I was ten because she is a horrible human being. She refused to take me to the hospital or the doctor because she believed I was faking my injuries. No doubt she was drunk, of course. So the next day, I had to have a pint of fluid drained out of it by an 8 inch needle with no pain meds, while the Orthopedic Surgeon from Sweden, “Jan”, made fun of how fat I was. Then I had to get it set with no pain meds, while I laid down in an room with four orthos in the room with me, all of ten years old and terrified.

    Then I got a plaster cast that weighed as much as me, and I couldn’t go to school for a week because I couldn’t stay upright. Then I had a fiberglass cast for four months.

    I don’t know if she is going to end up in a cast for four months, but I hope she doesn’t. That was the worst injury I have ever sustained in my life; and of course, at the hands of the albatross, as usual. I will never forget having to crawl on my hands and knees, literally, to the car from the bathroom in the house to the car in the driveway to go to where my mother was living while they were separated because she didn’t believe that I was injured. Then, of course, have to crawl on hands and knees into her home. I will never. Ever. Ever. Forgive her for that. And to this day, she says “oh, it was an accident”. Yeah, right. That and all the other injuries I sustained.

    Anyway, all of that having been said, I feel your wif’e’s pain. I hope to god her recovery is NOTHING like what I went through. It’s horrible to have to take baths with a hefty garbage bag tied around your cast every day for four months, not be able to move without help, not be able to stand without help, get through that first two weeks with crutches and how sore your arms are, the rashes that they create, and the general pain of crutches in general. Nevermind getting in and out of cars. And I know that this is hard for her since she takes care of the kiddos (since you can’t cook 🙂 )

    I am thinking of her and wish her a speedy recovery, and hope so much that she does not sustain the damage to her knee that I sustained, or endure the longevity of recovery that I had to go through.

  2. Christine says:

    Thank you for that explanation of the knee. Awesome. Thank you for the explanation of why you NEVER talk about your wonderful wife. She is amazing. I came across some letters she wrote to me 8 years ago and I think she is amazing!!! Just my 2 cents worth!

  3. Christine says:

    How can I get a cool pic for my name?

  4. Absurdist says:

    Since Wayne is incommunicado, I will help ya out.

    Most of us use gravatar.com. Go over there, and upload a picture. It will take a little while for it to cache into our blogs, but that’s how we do it.

    Then, of course, those who use blogspot and blogger have a gravatar attached to their google account.

    Does that help?

  5. Christine says:

    Thank you, that does help. Hopefully next time you see my sign it will be ME!! thankx abs

  6. Christine says:

    I think i did it

  7. Absurdist says:

    Okay. Good. It’ll take awhile to populate, but Wayne doesn’t have caching on. So let’s give it a few hours and see what happens.

  8. Poppy says:

    Yaaay, you got to post about this!

    Um, but, gross.

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