January 21, 1998

The day started a bit too early for me, as Adam had set the 7:30am meeting time, and I decided that I might as well pack everything up and check out at the same time. Turned out that all this time the hotel had a breakfast bar kinda setup in the main lounge for morning folks. There was coffee and cereal and various kinds of baked goods, some fruit and oatmeal and things. So we had a good breakfast while the lady at the front deck tried to figure out her printer and print me out a receipt.

Afterwards, we went to Adam's room and he read while I slept for another half an hour, as it was 8am and Vantis wasn't expecting us until 9. The day went well, and Adam went through all his stuff with no problems and they didn't really need for me to be there, but I needed to be there in order to go through what was on the slides so that I can teach the same class in a few months to another set of people.

Lunch was a nicely solid chicken parmesan.

Since my flight was at 4, I wandered out at 2:30, and Richard said that he would be interested in seeing me again, possibly with the other training class that was set for late February, to go over yet more depth into the Project Navigator, as he and the ones that were working on it were finally getting a good idea of just how complex the system was.

I got to the airport before 3pm, got the car checked in and to the ticket counter and the lady told me that the 3:18 flight was less crowded than the 4:18 flight, and if I wanted to get on the early flight that would be okay. So I did, as I wanted to carry on the big back rather than checking it as it had the Yixing pot and a few other things that were somewhat fragile. I called John at the last minute before boarding and got a somewhat confusing message from him that was partially my own fault, in that I told him that it would be okay if he got there when I got there, and if he didn't, that I'd wait for him at a designated waiting spot. What I forgot was that Seatac has a massage bar, and after this last week, it would have been good to have 15 minutes under the hands of a professional.

I should have talked it out with him, but forgot. Ah well. As it was, the flight was pretty empty and so I got two seats that were empty, so I could just curl up across them and fell deeply asleep after we got to altitude. I woke up just as the drink cart got to me, and I got some things to drink as I was dehydrated and then just went back to sleep.

Meeting John at the airport was complicated just a little by my thinking that I might get a massage and wandering aimlessly in that direction until I remembered that it was behind security and that there was no way that John was going to find me there. So I went back. I'd waited at the spot for about half an hour to begin with, but then wandered off for a bit, and then came back, sat down and then John appeared, wondering if I'd just gotten there. I explained as we went back to the car.

The game wasn't until 8:30pm, and we were about 2 hours from it, so we decided to drive over to Hayawatha first, get something to nibble on while changing into soccer gear and then get some diesel and entertain ourselves until the game started. So we did. The McDonald's got a pile of field dirt from our cleats, the sixth gas station we found had diesel, and the Thriftway out by the high school was just gorgeous, filled with all kinds of equipment and I found the Boudin tea pot there, so bought it, happily. Along with a pile of real pita bread, i.e. the kind that Greek restaurant serve with their gyros, and a box of real pasta with just two ingredients, flour and egg. Wow.

So we went to the game.

We started with eight people and we knew that two more were going to show up, and then there was a substitute male that had been brought in. Only two fems to start, and then when Michelle showed up there were three. I was really, really slow because of how exhausted I was from the last week. And I knew it, and I was being beaten, right and left to the point that Michelle was coming back to help me and we did much better with both of us covering the three people that were coming in. Okay, I just read that as I wrote it, and yes, I feel slow when I can't cover two or three people by myself.

Anyway... in all the scramble, after they'd already scored way too many goals, I was following one of their girls in through the middle, she turned, I planted my right foot in order to turn with her... and my foot slid in the muddy, mushy field. My weight was already committed to it, and so my knee went in while my foot went out and there was this horrible crunching sound. No pop. Just a grinding *crunch*; and then my knee felt horribly, totally and completely *wrong*.

I screamed a lot.

It's actually kinda embarrassing now to think about it, but maybe I was raised funny or something. But screaming a lot really helped me deal with the shock and with the sheer terror of the knee doing what it was doing, but it didn't precisely *hurt*.

Later John equated pain in the body to the magic smoke in circuits. It's the pain that makes the body work, and when you let the pain out, it stops working. Screaming a lot made it so that letting the pain out was a lot more bearable. Someone wrapped a bandage and ice pack around my knee, and pinned it into place.

That was about when I noticed that Fezzik was barking his head off. John yelled back at him, "Yeah, it's Mom screaming, but she'll be okay. We're taking care of her..."

That's about when I found that I could finally breath again, because I could laugh again, and that helped. People were really good about getting me off the field comfortably and I sat while John got the car over. A player from the other side helped to pick me up as I got into the car and so I braced the knee as best as I could while John drove to the Eastside Group Health Emergency Room. That was excruciating in odd ways. The joint didn't hurt at all when it was still, but bending sideways at all hurt a lot, so any turns and bumps that joggled things hurt badly until the endorphines came down.

It was nearly a half an hour drive, so the endorphines started to lift again just as we were getting to the hospital, and by the time John got me into a wheelchair, I was shaking pretty hard. So we covered me up in coats, applied a new ice pack and waited and waited for the staff to get to me.

Eventually, with the warmth of the room and the coats and just sitting and talking and calming down for a while, I was better. Better enough to get examined by the nurse a little, and then do the funny things that had to be done to get x-rays of the knee, and then the doctor came in. He said that there was nothing wrong in the x-rays, i.e. no breaks and the major tendons were still in place. He was worried, a little, about a few of the anterior ligaments, and did a few tests to see what was upset. There were two anchoring points, one each on the sides of the knee that were pretty upset and bruised, the inside one worse than the outside one, indicating that it was likely that my foot went out while my knee had gone in.

So they gave me a knee immobilizer, some pain killers, instructions on how to find crutches and a call to a podietrist to set up an appointment after the swelling had gone down to assess the real damage and what damage had actually been done. So we'll see.

Showering was an adventure, and we set everything up so that I could sleep downstairs in my workroom. There was a moment when I put some weight on my knee when it was out of the immobilizer and it was a motion that pushed the knee in a little and the foot out and there was a very frightening crunching sound, much like what was on the field. I stopped doing that immediately and made sure I put no more weight on it. Period.

I took the pain killers with my dinner of John's lasagna and was so exhausted from the simple work of brushing my teeth that I fell asleep the moment John managed to get enough support under my leg and knee that I could be without pain. It was very, very good to know that I could sleep in in the morning.

Fezzik decided to sleep in the guest room with us, sometimes waking us up with some thumping scratching and nibbling of paws, but he was pretty good otherwise. During most of the evening he kept very close to me.

Yeesh, what a way to get home again.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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