On September the 8th I went to play trampoline dodgeball for my friend’s birthday party. I had been to the trampoline place before and was quite excited, but as I found out when I started bouncing, still kind of nervous about jumping. The trampoline place has a main area for “the masses” but you can also reserve a smaller area for private parties. It’s not all one big trampoline, it’s several with foam mats about a foot wide between the sections to prevent injury.
I was really scared about jumping between the sections over the foam mats. But after about 10 minutes of practice jumping I learned that I could walk to the foam mats to get across them. During warmups we were also throwing balls at each other. The balls were nerf-like only softer.
After about 15 minutes of jumping we decided to start the game.
The “ref” – a teenager with a radio available in order to call an adult onto the scene in case someone has a nose bleed or dislocates a knee – made sure we were all touching our back walls and then said “Start” (he didn’t even have a whistle). We all walked/bounced/ran to the middle of the trampoline area and grabbed some nerfs. I walked speedily back to the wall got on a trampoline and tried to turn around to start throwing balls. I heard something pop and then was on my back trying to figure out what level of pain I was in and not convinced that my scream to pain ratio was accurate. So I started screaming louder.
The kid with the radio called someone in.
The thing about trampolines is that they are bouncy. This may not be a good design in terms of getting an injured person off of one. Andrew, who has now become accustomed to my mishaps, hovered slightly off the trampoline, on the foam mat, and waited for my instructions as to whether to leave me alone completely or to leave me alone mostly – I am not really good with being babied for pain. He asked me if I was OK and I said, “At least I didn’t fall off my bike.”
It turned out that somewhere between 2 and 20 of my friends had to carry me off the trampoline and deposit me on a nearby pleather sofa. My leg rested on a stack of pillows, above my heart, with an ice pack on it. I insisted that Andrew and the gang keep playing, and I comforted the trampoline place’s manager who seemed quite anxious over my injury. We filled out a form together and I offered her some Motrin. She calmed down and gave me a free pass to return. Andrew would check on me between rounds.
Round 4 had just finished when I realized the pain really wasn’t going away and I really couldn’t straighten my knee. For those of you who know me, the next sentence may scare you so have a seat. It was then that I realized I should probably go to the emergency room in case I had actually dislocated my knee. Andrew and Scott chair carried me to my car, Jill had cleaned out the passenger seat so that I could actually sit in my car. Andrew drove me up to the VA hospital.
While at the emergency room, me, Andrew and the doctor were all pretty certain it was a meniscus tear, which would have totally messed up my sportiness long-term-like. The doctor couldn’t straighten my leg to get good X-rays, but did not see a dislocation and the knee did not look dislocated. He gave me a shot of morphine in my ass to see if he could straighten me out enough to put a brace on until I could get a follow up. He went to take care of really sick people. I stayed in bed and started wondering what I would be like in a morphine induced haze.
I had warned Andrew that I would be loopy on the morphine and his first reaction to my reaction to it was – It is not very easy to differentiate between you loopy on morphine and just you. The doctor came in to see how I was doing and told me I would have to wait because there were other patients who were more acute and I told him no other patients were more aCute than me. I was still unable to straighten my knee so the doctor suggested a cast. I was carted off to another room. Andrew loved the doctor’s and my interactions so much he wanted us to do an improv show together. I didn’t feel like I could handle that much morphine intake.
Andrew and I played 185 in the ER (classic joke 185 BLANKS walk into a bar, the bartenders says we don’t serve BLANKS, 185 BLANKS say PUNCHLINE) while waiting for the doctor and while I was on the morphine. Playing 185 while on morphine is more like playing “What was I doing?”. I was pretty spacey.
I was bored and drugged and couldn’t concentrate on anything. Me on morphine is a lot like Andrew exhausted, which he was; we were completely unable to have a conversation. I kept playing with my knee wondering when the doctor would come back. Suddenly I heard my knee pop and it went right back into place – it really hadn’t looked dislocated, but it was. I stood up and danced a jig in the ER.
Eventually I signed papers to leave and the doctor looked at me down his nose with that look of many years of education and work culminating into the knowledge that his words would be thoroughly ignored and said, “don’t run this weekend.”
I didn’t run, but at the time he told me not to, the morphine made me believe he was exaggerating. My knee is still healing. It hurts sometimes. But, I think maybe by the end of this week I will be able to try putting some exercis-y weight on it…. Andrew, stop looking at me in that tone of voice.