**originally posted February 24th, 2009**
It was tied, 9-9. S brought the ball up and pulled up for a long three. I went to contest the shot, jumping as high as I could and putting my hand in front of his face. I thought I landed a little awkwardly. I heard a pop, then a crunch. Not knowing what happened, I went to get up and collapsed again.
“Call a doctor!” I screamed, pretty oblivious the fact that it wasn’t the 1800’s and doctors didn’t come to you anymore. S and someone else helped me off the court. I laid back on the grass, writhing, and T unpopped the sides of my basketball pants.
Everyone let out a collective “Ohhhhh….” I rolled my torso back and forth, pretty much saying every swear word I’d ever heard. All I thought about was T at the game, doing the same thing under the basket. I did not want to tear my ACL.
“Call my mom,” I said.
“I need…pain!” I said, completely losing sense. The boys laughed, and that kinda put me at ease.
“Dude, don’t look at your knee, k?” was S’s advice. I agreed that I wouldn’t, but that if it wasn’t too much trouble is the boys could take pictures of it with their cell phones so I could see what it looked like later on.
“I don’t wanna pass out,” I gasped. “I really don’t wanna pass out.” N drove the car up to the court, and he and L loaded me into the back. It was then I first caught a glimpse of my knee and knew I should’ve listened to S. I freaked out.
The thing on the left is my kneecap.
“IS THAT MY KNEECAP?!?” I stared at the huge bump protruding from the left side of my knee. “Oh my god…oh my god….” We met my mom driving off the park, and I told them not to let her see my knee—which of course was pretty unlikely. She told us what hospital to drive to, and I spent the next ten longest minutes of my life huddled in the back seat of N’s car alternately swearing and grunting. I think N hit every pothole he could find. Of course I’m kidding, but tell that to the bone jutting out of my knee.
We arrived at the emergency room, and L and N tag-teamed to help me into the building. The first thing I heard the secretary say was “that boy is in pain.” Really, lady? You’re a secretary at an emergency room, and you comment that a person is in pain?! Hate to know what she’d say if I had a gunshot wound: “Lynette, I think that boy is uncomfortable….”
They squeezed me into a tiny wheelchair, promising not to bend my knee. I heard another lady whisper, “I dunno how to do this!” I started laughing at how I’d rather have been in Kathy Bates’ hands circa Misery. Then she tried to put an icepack on my messed up knee. I shrugged her off and asked her for water, which she said they couldn’t give me in case I needed surgery. Then they bent my knee (never believe promises from ER) and started wheeling me towards the back. On the way, I distinctly remember asking every nurse how she was doing, if her day was going better. I wasn’t being a smartass, that’s just when I realized that my knee was in their hands and I should be as nice to them as possible.
They wheeled me into a room, and spent eternity preparing the bed for me. I remember lying on the bed, with my mom and dad both with me, as the nurses came in and prepped me.
“You’re going to feel a big poke,” a nurse said, as she jabbed me with her needle to hook me up to an IV. I thought to myself ‘that’s what he said’ and then realized that I wasn’t even on any medication yet: how could I be so out of it? Over the next 5 or 10 minutes, they gave me “15” morphine (I dunno how much they gave me, 15 CCs?), and also something to counteract the fact that the morphine was going to make me want to throw up. I thought about Civil War soldiers who were loaded up with morphine before being hacked to bits by a saw, and the lady in To Kill a Mockingbird who had a morphine addiction. The morphine made me feel like I do after a game of basketball during the summer. It made me really weak, and I felt flushed all over. I couldn’t help but think it didn’t do a damn thing for my knee though. It still felt like someone had slammed an ice pick into my knee and snapped the handle off. I remember asking the nurse if there were any hot 18-year-old girls in the same wing as me. Yeah, I was pretty doped up.
The doctor came in, and explained what had to be done: my leg was to be straightened out and the kneecap popped back in. That sounded easy enough. The nurse told me to count back from 60. 60…the doctor looked at me and nodded…59…he eased my leg out of my hands and into his…58…he straightened out my leg, and I wavered counting out my next number…57…I waited for the pop…56…still waiting…55…he let my leg down and looked at me.
“All done,” he smiled. I laughed out loud. It still hurt like nothing I’d ever felt before, but I could deal with it. After a brief scare where I thought it had re-dislocated, I was in my knee immobilizer and on crutches. I thanked N and L again and again, and climbed in my mom’s car for home. Last night was not fun. I still can’t move my leg and the Vicodin doesn’t make much of a dent in the pain, but I could be worse. I’ve got my laptop, cell phone, TV remote, and a great collection of movies. So gimme a text or stop by and visit me. I’m not going anywhere.