Torn ACL or How things can change in a New York Minute. Take 2

Over two weeks ago I slipped while doing a lunge—part of my exercise program to stay strong and flexible now that I have reached my ninth decade. The following day at an Ortho Urgent Care, I found out that I had injured both my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and my Medial Cruciate Ligament (MCL). Definitive diagnosis pending.

What follows is one of the many examples of having a mobility problem as an older woman.

One morning, a week ago, I fell out of bed. Well, I just slid out of bed as I attempted to wipe up water from the floor with a bath towel. I had spilled the water out of a bottle with a spout that could be closed just in case I tipped it over from the bedside table it wouldn’t spill. (that only works if I close the spout in the first place.)

I didn’t want to slip on a wet floor and harm my already injured left knee, so I called my husband to bring me a bath towel. Of course, my husband could’ve wiped up the spill, but I am always in a rush to get a job done. While I leaned over trying to soak up all the drops under the bed, I stretched out too far. I couldn’t pull myself back onto the bed. I had no choice but to slither to the floor taking care to keep my injured knee straight. There I was on my stomach. On the floor. Parallel to the bed. Face down. After I managed to roll over, my husband bent to pull me up. No way would I allow him to do so. He might damage his back, or worse. I lay for a few moments trying to figure out how to get up from the floor. Scenarios danced in my head: 911, fire department, neighbors, grandchildren, embarrassment. Finally, I bent my good knee, crawled over to the bed, and pulled myself up. Gazing at the ceiling, I felt lucky as an 80-year-old that I had the strength to wiggle out of a tight situation without injury to me or my husband.

Thank goodness feet first

Yesterday, I had an MRI and today I will see an orthopedic physician to find out the extent of the damage and, most important, what I will need to do to heal the injury. Will the exercises I have done (thanks to Dr. Google and YouTube) show an improvement to my knee? Now I only wear the leg brace and use a cane when I am outside. More recently, I have managed to climb up and down the stairs of our 2-story townhouse.

This injury is teaching me to listen to my body, find ways to keep up my strength and flexibility as I age, and to slow down to smell the flowers.  There are probably more lessons for me to learn as I move forward.

I can hardly wait.

Alphabet Challenge: X

I’ve signed onto The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2021.

The challenge is to blog the whole alphabet in April and write at least 100 words on a topic that corresponds to the letter of the day. 

Every day, excluding Sundays, I’m blogging about Places I Have Been. The last post will be on Friday, April 30 when I finally focus on the letter Z.

X: X-Ray Department

I believe the X-Ray/Radiology Department was in the basement of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center where I was working but I’m not sure because I don’t remember going there on my own but usually following an entourage of white coats including the physician who was the head honcho studying a rare disease a couple of residents and a student or two and me the nurse practitioner taking up the rear happy to be part of this group and because I get to hear what the radiologist has to say when he points out the very subtle findings in the MRI or CAT scan or whatever x-ray the patient has had hoping

to identify if the disease being studied was causing the symptom that the patient was having so much so that he and his family came all this way from whatever state to get a diagnosis and they are upstairs in the waiting room on pins and needles hoping for clarification but I have been around this Institute long enough to know that most times there is no definitive answer and when the patient and his family hear that the diagnosis is inconclusive and look downhearted the primary investigator says that sometimes no diagnosis is better than a horrible one with no cure but that doesn’t make the patient or family feel better and I am sad for them because I know how much they wished to hear that their ailment had a name and a cure and they are disappointed to have traveled all the way to the NIH to get no answers however I still feel honored to be part of this research project although the part I play is rote but necessary in moving the research study along even if I don’t have a PhD in a research specialty nor am I one of the leading investigators in this important study I hope my nursing contribution has been helpful and I find out after I have given my notice and leave to follow my husband to another state because he has a new job that my position was filled by two nurse practitioners. 

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