Almost two weeks ago now, I had a fall and hurt my right knee. My left knee had been giving me trouble and I had just walked around Rivercrest twice without it hurting, and was feeling pretty good. Then BAM! Two boisterous dogs hit me from behind. I fell forward hitting my right kneecap and my chin. Lying on the pavement, I felt utterly finished. Maybe there was even a little voice inside that said “See. It isn’t safe to feel good.” My friends picked me up, got me in a car, took care of my dog, took me to the clinic. Dr. Dacey felt all around the kneecap. Nothing hurt. She said nothing was broken, to ice it, exercise was important. I walked back from the clinic to my apartment, very slowly, but without discomfort. So I thought it was going to be OK.
But each day it seemed to get worse. There were sudden jabs of intense pain. I had to ask friends to help walking Mocha. The accident happened on Monday, April 5. By Thursday, a huge (hand-sized) bruise began to appear on my thigh just above the knee. A friend loaned me her second walker.
Over the weekend I had another bout with nausea and headache. They’ve been happening for a while, about every month. I used to have them a long time ago, when I was struggling with systemic yeast. I’m pretty sure they mean that my system is toxic, because of allergy, probably to food, but possibly pollen, cleaning fluid, etc. Now I wonder if they might also be due to emotional stress. I also wondered if it was related to the accident. So I stayed in bed most of Saturday and Sunday, ate very little.
Monday, a week after it happened, someone came to do a fall evaluation. The concern was that I might be at risk for more falls. Given that this one was caused by dogs, I don’t think I’m at risk. She said something about physical therapy, and I thought she would notify them. Not hearing anything, I called PT on Tuesday, and Nancy came on Wednesday. She felt all around my kneecap, which didn’t hurt, and had me do some exercises. Some of them were easy. Some hard: sitting on a chair and lifting my right leg to horizontal was impossible. I couldn’t tell if it was because of the pain, or because the muscle wasn’t working properly. Nancy gave me a compression sleeve to pull over the knee, and recommended ice and ibuprofen.
The rest of the day was really difficult. A friend was supposed to give me a ride to a medical appointment. But she said she’d meet me at her car, and I thought I’d see her on the way to her car and didn’t. It all worked out OK in the end, but I fell apart pretty badly. I felt broken to pieces, couldn’t stop crying, hid in my room. I think my PTSD had been triggered, though I’m not sure what was the specific trigger.
I did the exercises before I went to bed. I was able to sleep better because mu knee didn’t bother me so much during the night. When I got up in the morning it hardly hurt at all. That’s when I knew there was hope that it would get better. Up to that point, while I knew that theoretically it would get better — Dr. Dacey didn’t seem concerned — I didn’t know what had happened, didn’t know what to do, the sharp pain didn’t seem to coordinate with any particular movement, and the pain was worse each day. Nausea and headache over the weekend didn’t help. Despite any “knowledge” my feeling was that it was never going to get better. So it was a great relief to have something to do that clearly helped.