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A Not So Serious Injury


It seemed like such a simple thing. I forget why I was outside on my patio, but it had been raining and, entering my house I was lax about wiping my feet. I made my way through my living room and into my kitchen. The still wet soles of my now treadless sneakers simply didn’t hold the floor. I fell in what I’m sure was a most undignified manner, sprawling in every possible direction, landing face first.


I didn’t hit my head, but stayed down for a few seconds to collect my thoughts and survey my body. My first concern was my right knee. It didn’t feel like I’d hit it hard, but it was hurting a bit more than the other parts of my body. I carefully got up and placed some weight on it. Though it hurt, it bore the weight reasonably well. Probably a bruise.


I was extra-careful getting into and out of the shower, finding that my knee didn’t bend easily or with much range of motion. Getting into bed was painful also. The generic Safeway Tylenol I took was trying to kick in, and I got a reasonable amount of sleep. The next morning, getting out of bed was again difficult. I never knew how much I need to bend my leg to get out of bed! But I was able to hobble through the morning, the only real problem being to put on my pants and socks. I managed and got through the day, including a short test drive just to be sure I could do it. No problem.


The next day, Sunday January 7 was more of the same, but with less improvement than I’d hoped for. About mid-afternoon, I went on line to get an appointment at Carbon Health, and was able to get one that very day! Mostly due to the swelling, I was sent to the local emergency ward to have an x-ray and a check for blood clots. Both turned up negative, and I left with a leg brace that I soon found didn’t help much. By the way, I’ve said negative things about Alta Bates recently, but this time the wait was short and everything went like I felt it should. If you need the emergency room, plan on it being on a Sunday afternoon!


I had to travel north for a few days on family business. The drive caused little problem, and I found I didn’t use my leg brace at all. A couple of Tylenol at night did the trick and I got home in better shape than when I left, though far from cured. I updated the people at Carbon Health and they recommended a follow-up visit. The knee was still swollen, but generally was not painful (except if I managed to tweak it the wrong way, when it would hurt like crazy for about a second or so) and I was referred to A Physical Therapy place fairly close by.

The Physical Shin

Last update: January 6, 2024

The John Shinnick Website

The crime scene. OUCH! (But I'll be fine.)

I had my appointment today (January 30) and it turned out far better than I expected. Apparently, my patella had been misaligned, and the swelling was keeping it from returning to its proper position. The therapy dude gave a medical-sounding name, but it’s really just a boo-boo on my knee. My treatment is just to elevate it a few times a day for about ten minutes each time, and put an ice-pack on it. He taped it in a special way to push the patella back to the center where it belongs. Oh, and I can walk through the neighborhood again, even on the steeper hills if I want. And I will.


Two weeks ago, I was thinking I’d need surgery, but now it looks like in a few of weeks I’ll be pretty well past this latest calamity. I’m especially glad because I’ve had enough to worry about lately. I did my first knee elevation after dinner this evening. The swelling went down significantly, and with it, my flexibility seems to have improved. One more before bed.


Serious rainstorms are expected over the next several days. I suggest we all be careful!

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