Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frosty Nipple - Torn Meniscus 2010




On January 30 we headed to the Minister Creek Trail to do some backpacking on a trip that has become affectionately known as the "Operation Frosty Nipple". I should have realized that the word "operation" was the one I should have been concerned about.
On the coldest weekend of the year, ten of us adventurous souls decided we would camp and hike the trail located near the Kinzua Dam. Sounds fun right? Well you betcha it was! The biggest problem we had was remaining on the trail, as there was so much snow there was no trail to find anywhere. We decided we would do some "off-piste" hiking and found it to be a lot of fun and very adventurous. As you can see, the Minister Creek Trail has a lot to offer and we took full advantage of the small crowds and no one trying to jump in front of us in line to see the rocks and snow before us.

The Boys in the Crevice

So we were moving along slowly and enjoying every single footstep as we slipped, slid and gripped to keep from falling. We laughed at each others missteps and were having a lovely time making fun of the nine other fools we were with on this cold afternoon. There is no room for thin skin with this crowd, as whining gets you ridiculed and ostracized from the group.
We walked along the top of the mountain and made sure to hit all of the crevices and cool rock formations before deciding to descend to the bottom and follow the creek back to camp. We had been walking for about 4 hours but most of this time involved playing in the snow and Keith's son Mark explaining all the rock holes and stuff to us. He is kind of like Euell Gibbons...... I think he may have even eaten a few pieces of nature along the way... mmmmmmmmmm
Anyway, as I was coming down the mountain, I stepped with my right foot and then my left. When I went to move the right it did not come out of the ground. So imagine if you will me with my right foot stuck in the ground and my left foot in the air to take the next step going down a mountain. Have you ever had physics? Force + bad stuff = pain. Remember that formula?
My right knee hyper-extended..... or as they say in the medical field BENT BACKWARDS! OUCH!!!!!!!!! Yep, that's what I said.... especially after I got my left foot in front of me and on the ground so I could push back up to get my right knee to go the other direction - like the way it is supposed to go! A total of three POPS...... one going forward and two going back. I will never understand the math of that, but it sounded like putting your finger in your mouth, pulling your cheek, and making that popping sound.
Man I knew I did some damage right away because it hurt like a real son-of-a-gun. We were about two miles from camp so I hobbled along with my friend Keith and made sure not to say that I jacked my knee up to too many people. Remember, no sissies in this crowd.
When I returned home from the Operation Frosty Nipple, I told my wife what had happened and decided that when I woke up in the morning this would all go away. I took some Ibuprofen and went to bed. In the morning I awoke to find my knee had doubled in size. I went into work and decided to call my family doctor Howard Slemons. He got me right in and was amazed at my story. He sent me for x-rays which came back negative but he suspected I had some internal damage so he referred me to an orthopedic..... Dr. Brian Shannon who works out of Sharon Regional Health Center.
Long story short, MRI confirmed a torn Medial Meniscus, or as Dr. Shannon said a "complex tear" and possibly some MCL strain. Surgery was scheduled for March 25 at Sharon Regional. Dr. Shannon is a pretty cool guy and he took great care of me! Turns out he played football at Notre Dame and was on the 1988 National Championship team with the Rocket Ishmail. Small world huh? Got his autograph for free on a bunch of stuff.... like prescriptions, return to work slips, FMLA slips...... maybe I can sell all of this stuff on E-bay to pay for surgery?? ha ha ha That is if I don't mind disclosing all of my personal health info to the entire e-bay buying public.
So over the next several months I plan on documenting what I hope will be a great comeback to my 2010 season. You get bummed when you can't do stuff and so I am working on a "bucket list" for the upcoming year. I hope to go for my first "walk" tomorrow....... 6 days post surgical.
Here are a couple pictures of my knee post-surgical........ UGHHH!!!!!

Until next time my friends...... the road to recovery begins tomorrow!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Glad to see an update on the TRONK blog but sorry to hear about the injury! And I thought my sprained ankle photo looked bad.