Friday, October 26, 2007

Biological barometer

You know how on sit-coms, the "man of the house" usually makes some sort of joking reference to "an old football injury" when some major body joint starts aching, especially when the weather is bad? Well, I have an old babysitting injury that is giving me fits right now! Actually, I don't think it is the injury itself that is hurting, it was the accidental aftermath.

I was babysitting a very sweet 8 year old when I was about 13, and I was in the floor. I think I was about to stand up, so I was kneeling on one knee, with my right knee on the floor and my left leg bent, foot on the floor (the traditional American wedding proposal stance). She came running around the end of the couch and tackled me, just playing. I was wearing sneakers, so my left foot didn't move at all, even though the rest of my body did. As my left knee pivoted awkwardly, it dislocated. That is the only time ever in my life that I have fainted, but OMG, let me tell you, it HURT! Scared the little girl to death. I wasn't out long, only a couple of seconds really. I don't think it popped completely out, because when I straightened my leg, it realigned itself without any help. I knew her parents would be home very soon, so I just waited. My parents took me to the doctor the next day to have it checked out, and I was put in a knee imobilizer for six weeks.

They also did x-rays to make sure I hadn't done any sort of major damage to the bone or something, and when they did, they discovered a small growth on my tibia (large bone of the lower leg), just below the knee. It was totally by accident! If I hadn't dislocated that leg, there never would have been a need to x-ray it, and it never would have been discovered. It was an "osteocondroma", which per "The World Health Organization (WHO) defines osteochondroma as a cartilage-capped bony projection on the external surface of a bone. It is most commonly found around the knee and the proximal humerus; however, it can occur in any bone." The doctor said that they are usually not cancerous, but was it really worth the chance of bone cancer to leave it there? No, not really, so I had it removed sometime in early high school (how odd that I can't remember precisely when), and I have a lovely 3-inch-long and 1/4-inch-wide scar to prove it. This is also when I learned that my body does NOT react well to staples, a fact which was clearly reinforced with my c-section.

Anyway, the point of this is that every time the weather changes dramatically, particularly when a storm is involved, my "old babysitting injury" flares up and my knee aches. I don't think it is really the dislocation that hurts, it is the spot where they removed the bone growth. Actually, even on a "normal" day, if you press on it in just the right (or wrong) spot, it really hurts. The cats have the most amazing knack for stepping precisely on this exact spot when I have my feet up in the recliner. The weather changed rather abruptly this week on Tuesday afternoon from highs in the 80s to highs in the 60s. I thought my leg was going to fall off! I haven't had that spot hurt that bad in a long time. Thankfully things are settled now, so it isn't aching constantly, but it's still a little sore. As much as we need the rain around here, it sure isn't any fun for my knee.

Currently feeling: achy

1 comment:

  1. Wow - in 10 years of baby sitting rambunctious kids I never had significant injury.

    At my house, the barometer is my knee (inherited knee wussiness + track) and DH's shoulder (swimming)


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