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Alicia_B : Broken since 24/7/11
Diary entry posted Sun 9:33am 7 August 2011

am a 21 year old woman who lives in London. On Sunday 24th of July my boyfriend broke my knee. Although it was “an accident” I still can’t feel the same about him since. At a family party, we were on the trampoline and he kept trying to knock me over, jump into, or grab my knees mid air “for a joke”. He did it once and I fell kind of awkwardly and I said “Unless you stop playing rough I’m getting off”. Literally, 1 minute later he completely undermined that and bounced really hard right next to me, grabbing my legs at the top of my bounce. It caught me off guard and I kind of twisted my body to avoid falling on my left knee which has dislocated countless times. Falling at an angle on my right knee, time seemed to slow down and the pain was immediate and violet. I crawled on my back cradling my knee, whilst he laughed at me. “I think it’s broken, you have to carry me back to the house” I said, kind of embarrassed. Imagine my horror when he refused and I had to walk back! As I walked, it occasionally gave way, or tensed up which made me cry out involuntarily in pain, but all the while, he decided it would be funny to kick footballs at me as I limped back. I got back inside and the swelling was instantaneous. Because my family are used to me dislocating my knees (it is partly genetic and partly due to the fact that I have always walked on my tip toes) they weren’t too worried about it and told me to rest it up. Meanwhile, my boyfriend disappeared upstairs unexplainably for 2 hours leaving me alone stuck at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for assistance and an ice pack. When I did finally get carried upstairs by him, he laid me down with no real concept of just how painful any small movement was for me. He was fidgeting in bed and a few times my knee locked up and there was nothing I could do to stop the pain. Because it was my graduation the following day, all my family were down and I was hesitant to let them know the extent of my pain because I knew they’d be mad at me if I couldn’t attend or walk across the stage to collect my degree. I tried to fall asleep but I couldn’t, I was too worried of him rolling over in his sleep and hitting my leg. I tried to get out of bed to go to the bathroom twice and both times, even though I was moving very slowly and slightly, I ended up falling back onto the bed screaming with agony. I’ve never been so certain that I was going to wet myself. As it was getting worse, I decided to ask my brother to drive me to the hospital at about 6am. My boyfriend finally managed to walk me to the toilet and my brother carried me downstairs which was undoubtedly the most painful part. A and E was very deserted for a Monday morning and I got seen to quite quickly; X-rays showed no breaks or fractures, and the nurses believed that the swelling was due to me not moving it for so many hours. An orthopaedic surgeon came to examine me, and my range of movement was stuck between about 30 degrees (with me not being able to achieve a straight leg, or a complete bend) I could not lift my leg off the bed. This led the doctors to believe that I had damaged my ACL ligament because my calf and kneecap no longer seemed to be connected. As time went on and my condition deteriorated it became clear that I was not going to make my graduation. I have never seen my mother look so devastated. With regards to my boyfriend she kept joking “I’ll kill him!” Another doctor came and told me he had to drain the fluid from my leg because it was interfering with the diagnosis. At this point, I had already had a lot of morphine but that did not stop me from crying in anticipation of the procedure. I was embarrassed that it actually wasn’t anywhere near as bad as what I expected! He said if there were traces of blood in the fluid that was a bad sign, and I was upset to see the contents of my knee joint had filled 2 huge test tubes with blood. He advised me to go home and that I would be contacted in a few days. As much as I didn’t want it to be anything serious (for obvious reasons) I felt bad missing my graduation for anything less than a break!
At home, I ate and was just about to go to sleep when 20 minutes after, I got a call from the hospital that they had spotted something else on my X-ray and that I should be readmitted immediately for an operation. I was worried. Meanwhile, my nephew was also admitted to the paediatric department of A and E because he had a minor stomach bug so at least all my family were in the waiting room together to keep each other company! I was irritated that I could not use my private healthcare and had to stay overnight in this other hospital, worse still, they ran out of space in orthopaedics and so put me on the maternity and gynaecology ward! The first day, I slept for about 20 hours, I was nil by mouth and in agony … my first taste of morphine had a huge effect upon me and I was feeling sick anyway. The next day, I had an MRI and that evening the doctors came to tell me that the good news was that my ligaments were intact, however, my knee was in fact broken internally (breaks that had been distorted by the blood on the initial X-ray). I was strangely relived as this meant I did not need the operation! Also, bone injuries I understand heal better than ligament ones. My friends came to visit me that night and I was feeling better about everything. I was discharged the next day with a moveable brace (ROM 90 degrees) and told to come back to the fracture clinic.
Meanwhile, I got in touch with the private orthopaedic knee specialist who had seen me through all my previous dislocations. He sent me to have lots of physiotherapy the year before for my left knee and also recommended I have surgery to correct my walking (I never had it). 21 years of walking on my toes had meant that my tendoachilles was very tight, my ankle was not able to get beyond neutral , and there was patellar instability in both legs, the outside joint being much stronger than the inside, causing frequent collapses. This was the first example of the happening to my right knee, however. I saw him on Thursday 28th July. The doctor recommended an emergency operation and my heart sank! Having said that, I know he is one of the best knee specialists around so I did feel very safe in his hands and trusted his opinion completely. He said my injury was unusual because the damaged cartilage occurred on the opposite side to the break. I think in hindsight that, as my legs were grabbed in motion and I twisted my body so as not to fall on my (already weak) left knee, my right knee dislocated (tearing the cartilage). I landed awkwardly on the opposite side of the dislocation and broke the other side upon impact as it was already very unstable. My operation was scheduled for the following Thursday (August 4th)
In the meantime, I find it hard to forgive my boyfriend. I had worked hard to get a Summer job which was starting a few days after the accident and now I was being told I wouldn’t be able to walk for 8-10 weeks? What about my permanent job which I sacrificed a good grade in my degree to secure? That had to start in August or September and I wasn’t sure if I would be well until then. He has jeopardized my entire future with his stupidity in that sense, whilst he only sees this as a short term problem. I wasn’t really enjoying my Summer holiday up until this point and now the rest of it is doomed to be spent in this shitty brace, not being able to go anywhere really, or do anything without much assistance. I needed the money as much as I needed to get out the house…Boredom is slowly killing me. Which is why I’m so glad to have found this website!
It felt like everything had been taken away in one go. He moved in and promised to “Make it up to me”…. Well, no that hasn’t happened. He works all day and wants to spend the evenings being selfish. He doesn’t see that I would love to be able to go out, and work, and have purpose again. He occasionally fetches me drinks from downstairs or gets my laptop for me but otherwise, there has been no support. No offence but, the things he’s done to “help” are things a boyfriend should do for their girlfriend normally anyway. Its more heartbreaking having him around and him being unwilling to help than if he lived away. At first, I used to get depressed about this and he used to get angry at me and shout at me. He’d say “I can’t deal with this!!” and I’d think: “How rich!” He caused this and now he’s the one who can’t deal with the consequences. I don’t even have a choice but to deal with them. I’ve told him a thousand times that I’m not angry at him for breaking my knee, but I am angry about the way he’s reacted to it. If it was the other way round, I would be absolutely grovelling and I would feel awful. I would go out of my way to cater for him and spend time with him knowing he spent most days totally alone and stuck inside. I wouldn’t force him to do what I wanted to do as a compromise for giving him my



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 Sun 9:33am 7 August 2011
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