01 April, 2010

Bone Contusion

On Valentines day, 2008 i was at work, alone in the dark blood bank. Yep. I worked for a blood bank in Washington (state), USA. Coincidentally, that is actually where i first learned about Twilight and thought it was funny that i worked in a blood bank while reading a vampire novel set in Forks, WA.
but i digress...

Anyhow I was alone. If you know me, you know i'm afraid of the dark. My job was upstairs in the office making calls as a "Donor Scheduler". Basically, i'd call the people who had donated before and tell them that we "really need their blood type" (which was true and it wasn't. Yes, they needed all blood types, especially the rare ones - but there was hardly ever an actual urgent need for it. When the urgent need came, we would ask employees, relatives, and call the donors who had a history of donating regularly). Downstairs was where people donated blood. The refrigerators would switch on and off with a loud "thunk".
I wasn't used to this noise as i was new to the premises and went down to check it out. I looked around, took a cookie and when i saw nothing, went back upstairs. On my way, i got spooked (silly me) and decided to race up the stairs.
I tripped on something (which turned out to be my own self) and started falling. Instinctively, i tried to jump a little and hope i would make the landing as non-painfully as i could.
In the end, i landed on the corner of the stair with all the momentum of the run AND jump, plus all my weight onto my upper shin, just under the knee.
Instant pain. Instant tears pricked my eyes, and i rolled up my pant leg to see if anything was bleeding (it sure FELT like it was). Nothing. It was a little whiter than normal - imagine pressing your fingers into your skin on your arm and letting go... that light mark left behind by temporarily pushing your blood out of the way is what it looked like - but other than that it looked fine. It hurt to touch anything to it. In the end, even my trousers were too much, so i had to keep them rolled up.
After a day of intense pain, i decided to go to the doctor to have a look. It turned out that i had a "severe bone contusion" and it would heal within 6-8 weeks.
Well, alrighty.
As the weeks went by, i had to caution people not to touch it. Don't rest your foot on my leg, don't play-kick me, don't touch!!! Kids would accidentally fall into it sometimes and an instant "zing!" of pain almost brought me to my knees a couple times. I couldn't even kneel on ANY type of floor - ever.
8 weeks passed, and it still hurt just as much as it did at week 4, 5, 6, 7... and the skin over it is completely numb. Can't feel a darn thing!
6 months passed and now i could kneel, if i did it slowly - but still... please don't touch!
A year passed, and i can clearly feel the indentation left by the stair. It's like it squished away the protective flesh around the bone...
Today, two years, and almost 2 months after it happened, the skin above the contusion is still slightly numb although feeling is returning slowly and if i press hard enough with my fingers at the site, i can still feel very mild discomfort, but it's still not 100%
6-8 weeks, my butt!

I am convinced that the fall that happened over 2 years ago caused some serious nerve damage to the site of the impact. A doctor (who was on my dad's neurological team from his car accident that rendered him a quadriplegic, 3 years ago) informed me that in the case of serious nerve damage, some nerves can regenerate at a very slow rate- approximately 1-2mm per year.
Maybe this is what happened to me... maybe not.
I was just thinking about it this afternoon when i bonked my contusion site and braced for a "zing!" of pain, that didn't come.
I'm glad that my body has healed itself so well. Maybe in another year, even my skin will "feel" again!


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