I love making it three days into the new year and ending up in the ER.

Of course, Wednesday night/Thursday morning’s visit had to do more with my knee/leg injury taking a turn for the worse, rather than my mental health (though let me tell you, excruciating pain does not do any favors for my mental health.)

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this and I’m a bit distracted (and dopey on vicodin) to look it up. Back before Thanksgiving, I was walking down the stairs at my apartment, headed to work, and missed about half a flight, and landed with all my weight on my left knee. I ended up in the ER that day because oh dear god I thought I’d broken my kneecap. I had a very severe contusion to the cartilage under my knee, and thankfully no breaks, just hellacious bruises. Over the next few weeks, I gradually developed a pocket of fluid over my kneecap, which lead to me humming the Operation game jingle a great deal whenever I poked at my “squishy knee.”

So, last Thursday, my cat was being particularly obnoxious and nipping at me in an attempt to get me to feed her dinner. I was simply trying to mind my own business in the bathroom, so when I washed my hands and she was still at it, I threw some water at her to shoo her off. I took one step out of the bathroom and wiped out, as I hadn’t realized just how much water I’d missed the cat with. I landed on that knee, and the pocket of fluid evidently exploded, as now I have bruising from mid-thigh all the way down my shin. The fluid is mostly gone over my knee, and the fall led to me spending some more quality time with my crutch. (I cannot navigate two crutches simultaneously; I instead choose to “Tiny Tim” it most of the time, if the leg can bear weight and just needs extra support.) It started to feel better over the weekend, but then took a drastic turn for the worst on Wednesday. The skin felt hot over the bruises, especially on my shin; any movement of my foot in any direction that wasn’t straight ahead was painful, and the skin felt tight and like it was about to split. No amount of ibuprofen was helping, so at four AM on Thursday I hauled myself to the ER. I didn’t know what they could do but I was pretty convinced I was dying.

One prescription for vicodin and a day spent mostly comatose later, I’m feeling a little better. I definitely need to go to the orthopedic specialist, though. The ER doc was pretty sure something’s wrong ligament-wise but it wasn’t anything he could fix, he could just give me painkillers. So now I’m icing my shin, where the pain is the most severe, and wondering what is actually wrong. I need to call my insurance to figure out where I can go, and make an appointment.

I am really, really not looking forward to this. What the heck is wrong with my leg?

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