Sunday, September 18, 2011

Excess Excitement at the Smith Household

You know your morning just got interesting when you're downstairs and hear a huge thud from upstairs, followed by your wife screaming. When you get upstairs and she's laying on her back, still screaming, you know it just got very interesting.

The long and the short of it is that when Galena was getting dressed this morning, she went to step up onto our bathtub, so that she could get a full-length look at herself in the counter mirror. As she was stepping up, however, her kneecap dislocated again (#3!), and she crashed backwards down onto the floor (which was the thud that I'd heard). By the time I got up there, she was lying on her back, holding her knee in her hands, alternately screaming, then whimpering and then screaming again. The kids piled into the bathroom behind me, with rather wide eyes. I very briefly tried to relocate her patella, but not having the foggiest idea what I was doing, quickly gave that up, and ran to get  some ice, which was maybe a nice gesture, but almost equally pointless. After contemplating what would be required to get her to the hospital on my own, with three kids in tow, I gave up on that idea too, and just called 911.

In the meantime, Caedmon had run to get a couple pillows for Galena, so that she could rest (slightly) more comfortably. Brendan had progressed from wide-eyed to his signature line, "It's too scary! It's too scary!" Calista, thankfully, was almost entirely oblivious, and occupied herself with rolling toys down the stairs, to make sure the paramedics were appropriately welcomed.

The ambulance arrived a couple minutes later, and they made their way upstairs. The lead paramedic examined her and said, "I've never relocated a patella before, but a doctor showed me how once. You want me to give it a shot?" These weren’t perhaps the most reassuring words, but Galena nodded grimly, and after one false start (which resulted in a great deal more screaming), it slid back into place. And with that, the pain went away almost entirely. The paramedics decided to take her to the hospital anyway, just in case something worse had happened, and bundled her out the door.

That was my signal to call Karn Hanhart, who very graciously dropped everything she was doing, and rushed over. Caedmon was initially very keen on coming to the hospital with me, but then he heard me instructing Karn to let them watch as much TV as they wanted. He figured another opportunity like this wasn't going to come his way anytime soon, and decided to stay home.

At the hospital, they x-rayed her leg, concluded that nothing else was wrong, and sent her home. The whole thing finished up by 11:45 am or thereabouts. At this point, Galena's hurting a little bit, but not badly. She's lying on the couch, resting and basically letting Caedmon wait on her, which he seems pretty happy to do.

She's supposed to go visit an orthopedist later this week. Since this is the third time this has happened, they may recommend surgery, or physical therapy, or maybe nothing: but we'll wait until she's had the consult before making any decisions.

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