The dangers of walking

I have long said that exercise is dangerous: that 100% of all those I know who are physically active injure themselves. But I never expected that just frigging walking could be so problematic and fraught with danger!

I was on my way to meet some folk for lunch (Lygon Street, Carlton, a famed Melbourne eating place), when I stepped in a slight depression on the footpath and rolled my left ankle. This happens to me a lot, since I squashed my left foot in a motorcycle accident 30+ years ago, but I usually recover quickly. This time I didn’t.

As I fell I heard, and felt, a loud “snap” in my left knee, and by the time I hit the ground I was screaming in agony (worse than the accident above), Lovely bystanders came to my aid and one asked “Should we call an ambulance?” I didn’t hesitate for even a millisecond. “Yes!” I gasped in between sobs and screams (I am nothing if not expressive when it comes to pain. If I have to be in it, others must know that I am).

So, after five hours of morphine, x-rays and solicitous ER nurses, doctors, paramedics and radiographers, I discover that I have ruptured my anterior and medial cruciate ligaments, and the meniscus (did I get those names right? I can’t look it up now, as the morphine is making me very inattentive to detail).

Short story: I am now unable to walk for at least six weeks, and probably will never walk properly again. I can look forward to three years of rehab, and possible surgery.

This is a perfect outcome to cap off the last 18 months. I expect that my flat will be hit by a falling jet engine soon, and I won’t get the five foot scary rabbit first. Thought you all should know why I am going to be very bloody grumpy over the next little while.

Update: Pix!

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On the day

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This morning (with the pressure bandage leaving ribbing marks).

47 thoughts on “The dangers of walking

  1. “So, after five hours of morphine, x-rays and solicitous ER nurses, doctors, paramedics and radiographers, I discover that I have ruptured my anterior and medial cruciate ligaments, and the meniscus (did I get those names right? I can’t look it up now, as the morphine is making me very inattentive to detail).

    Short story: I am now unable to walk for at least six weeks, and probably will never walk properly again. I can look forward to three years of rehab, and possible surgery.”

    Possible Surgery!!!!!!!!!
    I would suggest that you are up for a full knee reco mate.

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    1. agree you are up for a reconstruction. it seems to be quite common for people to be told that if they are not going to be particularly athletic they can get away without an ACL; but as someone with two reconstructed knees (and who never fully returned to the culprit basketball after the second one) i can tell you that getting the repair with leave you walking like a normal person for the foreseeable future, without your knee occasionally buckling under you and without the loose joint gradually grinding away and getting arthritic. as a melbourne resident i can also tell you i had both operations done privately (two excellent results by prahran surgeon david bracey), without insurance, for around $2000 after all the applicable rebates

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  2. Crikey John. I’m sorry to read about your recent troubles. I hope you can get about at the GAC (if you’ve gone) and that the quality of drugs you are getting for pain relief is tip-top. Get well soon, mate!

    Louis

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    1. I’m feeling much better after lunch with the wonderful Genie Scott, then drinks with PZ Myers and Aronra and various others. I no longer feel so alone. My drugs leave a lot to be desired, but that’s life. I’ll blog the GAC afterwards.

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      1. The drugs are no good? Luckily you have contacts. I shall have the Evil Atheist Conspiracy: Chemtrail and Pharmaceutical Division ship you some.

        We specialise in {ahem} recreational analgesics. I have some lovely cocaine on offer, don’t worry, it’s Fair Trade cocaine hand-made by named technicians. And we do a marvellous line in ethically sourced opiates. All guaranteed to be CIA Director to Corporate Banker grade purity. Nothing but the best in our conspiracy.

        I am glad that alcoholic analgesia is available and the excellent placebo effect of good company seems to be having some results. Take care and use your inability to get up as an excuse not to go to the bar! That’s what PZ is for. After all he’s on that massive Liberal Professor Gubmint money we all hear about from the Tea Partiers. Put the man to use, tell him I said so!

        Louis

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  3. I haven’t got round to commiserating/taking the piss yet so consider both now done.

    I think Larry M made a comment that can’t be topped so I’ll just repeat it

    But I can’t help but wonder … were you chewing gum at the time?

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  4. Bloody awful news John.

    Best wishes for a quick recovery.

    We baby boomers get no luck at all, do we!

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  5. I’m sorry that has happened to you. At least you are going to be in great company that will cheer you up. I hope your recovery is minimally unpleasant.

    “it hasn’t really bothered me much and even has helped some in the form of handicapped parking and a modicum of greater consideration from some of my fellow humans.”

    John Pieret really knows how to look at the bright side of things! :-D

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  6. Yikes! I should pay more attention to tweets, that’s the second time I’ve missed a friend doing something horrible to their legs.

    Gute Besserung as they say. Drug consultations available

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    1. Consultations? What about actual drugs? Those top sekrit neuropharmacological things we all know you guys have in the lab?

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  7. I am sorry to hear about your continuing misfortune. After the words “Curmudgeon. Punster. Fatso.” in your profile you now need to add “Disabled.”

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  8. Ouch. That hurts just lookin’ at it.

    I hope you have a full recovery.

    I also hope you have a number of pretty physical therapists.

    In which case, take your time. Its not like you’re playing football or anything.

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  9. I ripped my ACL off while playing soccer (“football” for all you folks outside of the USA and Canada) and messed up the knee cartilage a bit. It was repaired years ago and I have no regrets: I hike, play hockey, and generally get around with little impairment (though I tend to stay away from soccer and basketball now). Go for it.

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  10. Just found out about this at PT, John. I hope you’re in less pain now, and will be able to get the knee replaced.

    If it’s any consolation, I became a huge fan of yours just yesterday. I was searching for details on Williams’ “Deducing the consequences of evolution: a mathematical model” (1970), and got sidetracked reading your fantastic “tautology” series. It did so much to help me clarify my thinking. I’d regarded the Dembski-Marks treatment of fitness functions as clear-cut reification, and I’m glad to have learned, before shooting off my mouth, of legitimate efforts to render them physical. Best leave philosophy of biology to the pros.

    What got me searching was a lecture by Greg Chaitin on his “metabiology,” in which he claimed that there had been no proofs about “Darwinian” evolution. I was astonished to hear him refer to a program as information. Promiscuous use of “information” is one of the things I’m most interested in addressing (guilt is a motivation). I was extremely pleased to find that I have been thinking along the lines that you have, and, more importantly, that you can fill in some gaps for me. Then I remembered that I had a paper about “deflation of genetic information” on the disk drive of a computer that died. Oops.

    I haven’t been publishing, but may manage to turn that around. At any rate, you’re helping a computer scientist along. There’s no telling the full extent of the impact of your philosophical posts. Keep on keeping on, guy.

    P.S. – Christopher Timpson argues in his dissertation (2004) that quantum information is best regarded as an abstraction. I’d like to know what you make of his work.

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