Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting Older...

It's been a long time since I've posted here. Only excuse I have had is that my life has been pretty mundane for the most part. Yes, I am busy with Alpine, but I have decided to not really post things about many aspects of what I do on the team. Mostly to prevent myself from posting things about missions or this involved with missions. Its to easy to stir up a hornets nest around that kind of stuff, so I have decided to pretty much not talk about it online at all. If you have much interest in what I do on the team, I'd love to talk, but through a 2-way conversation. Not a one way dictation via this blog.

So another turn of events has occurred in my life that I felt was significant enough to actually blog about. It's easier to discuss here, and I believe, a better venue than "microblogs" like facebook. Almost 3 weeks ago now, I got out on the ski slopes for the first time this season. Turns out it will be the last time this season now too. Soon after lunch, after a morning of "getting my legs" back, I had decided to try and push my skills a little and see what kind of fun I could have one some of the slopes. Needless to say I pushed them a little too far and had a pretty significant fall. During the fall, my ski failed to release from my boot, which in turn directed the energy of the twisting and flailing ski into my leg. It would seem that the weakest chain in the link was my ACL and MCL. The fall resulted in a Grade 3 tear of my MCL, and a completely torn ACL.
Here's a couple MRI images of my knee joint. From what I understand of other MRI images of knees I was able to find online, the big mess in between the bones is what is left of ACL. They should be nice defined clear obvious lines, but instead its all "blown to smithereens." I could certainly be wrong though, as I am certainly not a doctor. Either way, I think the pictures are darn sweet. I was able to get a CD of the raw MRI data from my doctor. It came with an app for windows that let's you view it as well. Since I use a mac though, I downloaded an app called OsiriX which loaded the data from the CD perfectly. From there you can export the images as movies, jpegs, etc....

The actually incident was probably pretty unspectacular. There were some people nice enough to watch me fall, and promptly stop after they noticed I didn't get up very quickly. While I was falling, I felt and heard my knee "pop" twice. I imagine that was both ligaments failing under stress. When I came to a stop, I actually thought it was just the knee popping out then back into place. As it was a little sore, but not too bad, and a lot stiff. I decided it probably wasn't wise to try and ski down on it, so I had the bystanders go fetch the ski patrol. They arrived shortly after and assisted me with putting their splint on. Yes, they assisted me, and got a kick out of it I think. I suppose they aren't used to patients knowing how to handle injuries, let alone on themselves. They wanted to take me down on their little ski patrol sled / toboggan thing. I asked if I could just sit in it and ride down, but they insisted on doing the full packaged deal. I'm not one to argue about being cautious one it comes to injury, so I let them. I was placed in the thing, head pointing down hill, and all wrapped up burrito style in the thing. After taking the ride down to medical, I was glad I did get all wrapped up. I would have been covered in snow if not. After a little while of icing and having medical/casual conversation with the staff there, I decided my nerves have calmed down enough that I could drive home. For some reason, I find myself a bit surprised at my attitude. Usually I'm pretty upset when I do stupid things that cause me injury or puts me in a situation where I can't do what I'm used to be doing, but I think I'm pretty accepting of what happened. Maybe it's because I was having fun when it happened. Kind of morbid I suppose, but if I'm going to injure myself, I might as well have fun doing it, right?

After seeing doctors and everything, and learning how to deal with what's going on, I find myself where I am today. I'm not in much pain anymore, only when I try to bend my leg past where its willing to go, or if I put pressure on my knee that causes "stretching" of my MCL. Other than that, I'm doing pretty good. I probably have about 30 degrees of flex on a good day. My nights are long, as I wake up every time I need to move, but I'm managing. The doctor says I really should get full range of motion back in my knee before surgery, in order to have the best outcome, post-op. So I'm signed up for Physical Therapy. That will start soon.

Surprisingly, the injury has not disqualified me from "PQing"(Physically Qualifying) at work for a trip down to McMurdo base (Antarctica). So I'm still going to McMurdo too. I'll be deployed from January 1st through the 15th. That should be interesting with this knee too. Oh well. I'm scheduled for surgery around the beginning of February. I'm hoping I can move it to a little more towards the end of January just to get it done with, and onto the post-op rehab process.

I'll be sure to post more updates about this journey as I find out more. But that's where I am right now.

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