Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ho... ly... SHIT.

OK, so this morning at about 9 a.m., I am on my way from the living room to my bedroom. We have a baby gate up in the living room end of the hallway to keep our beagle, Snoopy, from getting into the rest of the house. The latch tends to be a pain in the butt to get open, so, being a rather tall drink of water, I usually step over it rather than fiddle with the latch.

I did so, bringing my left leg over the gate, and then shifting my weight to my left foot to bring my right leg over. Well, never again. One of my legs weighs roughly 45 pounds, and I can get them moving pretty quick when I'm not crippled by pain (which I wasn't to start this morning). Now, picture if you will, said beefy leg bent at a roughly 60˚ angle, to tuck the calf behind the thigh and get it over the gate. Now, picture the knee of said bent leg coming squarely into contact with the metal corner bead of two perdendicular walls at high velocity. I hate to ask you to picture that, especially when had I been running a video camera, I'd have an example so you didn't need to picture it.

Needless to say, it hurt. I resisted screaming out in pain, instead taking in a huge gasp of air, and limping quickly towards my bedroom as the searing, roaring, horrific pain settled in. As I reached my room, things began to gray out. I collapsed backwards, putting a small dent in the sheetrock on the hallway with some part of my body. I spent the next minute or so in a semi-conscious state, unable to breathe correctly, feeling as if I had no control of my body beyond feebly twitching. My skin erupted in heat, and I felt like my entire body was being given a mild electric current.

Finally, I was able to focus my vision, and the tingling lessened. Eventually, I felt able to stand again, so I did. I walked back towards the living room, and checked the spot on the wall where my knee hit. Some of the spackle had cracked and fallen off, but the bead wasn't dented. Suddenly, the world began to gray out again, and I tried to get back to my room. I made it about half way down the hall, and felt the irresistable urge to sit again. I tried to, and I must have gotten close, because my ass doesn't hurt anywhere near as much as my left shoulder, neck, and head. Oddly enough, I remember only the loud thud of me hitting the carpet. I don't remember feeling it, I don't remember seeing the world swing wildly in front of my eyes, I don't remember the sensation of falling.

When I came to, I felt a cool clammy sweat on my forehead and face. I dared not rise again, lying instead on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. After a few minutes, I raised my right leg, and there was a purple spot the size of a quarter on my leg, right at the edge of the kneecap. It felt softer than the edge of a kneecap should. I lay there for a few more minutes, listening to the sounds of the TV in my room, but not really hearing them. I felt woozy, even laying down. I felt like I had been snowed upon. My entire body was heavy and cold. I heard a rising hiss, thinking it was static on the TV, and only after it nearly subsided did I realize it was the sound of the blood returning to my head echoed in my eardrums.

Eventually, I felt somewhat stable, and I rose shakily to my feet. I hobbled as quickly as I could to my room, and got to the bed before the feelings of imminent unconsciousness could take me a third time. I looked at the clock next to my bed; 9:34.

This happened to me once before; while driving an old Plymouth Fury, my toes slipped off the brakes and I ended up smacking the very bottom of my shin HARD against the edge of the pedal. Luckily, I was only doing about 10 MPH at the time, and when I woke from my semi-conscious stupor, the car was stalled on the side of the road. Both times, I was aware of something happening to me, I could feel my chest hitching for breath, I could feel myself twitching, trying to move, unable to do anything but shudder. I don't think it was a seizure (I've seen them, they are horrible), but that's the closest I can come to describing it. My reaction, resisting a scream and instead drawing in copious amounts of oxygen, must have gotten me into a hyperventilation state, and eventually led to my brain shutting down.

My knee is still aching, but nowhere near as bad as it was this morning. It's just pretty scary what the body will do when presented with an overload of pain and oxygen.

The lesson: let the dog run wild in the house.