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I don't know what you do when you dislocate your kneecap, but I apparently try to interview everyone up until the time a good doctor taps Humpty-Dumpty back together.
I was enjoying the surprise of hammering drives straight and 210 yards when one John Daly-like weight shift too many splayed me onto Hank Swank's driving range with the lateral side of my left knee looking like a cockeyed stack of poker chips. The chatter started (right after the first shout).
Adam, a teacher at Rio Vista Middle School, was nearby and knew what he was seeing. He talked in calm, reassuring tones about football players and blown-out knees and what happens when your cleats snag the grass.
Sherry had been quietly chipping balls next to me. Now she was calling the Highway Patrol and then my wife.
Jerry, my golf instructor who somehow managed to be on site, hauled off my clubs (maybe forever) and opened the gate that led the EMS ambulance toward this Woody Allen-meets-Mel Gibson-meets-Halloween scene.
They don't just pop these things back in anymore, Joel, of American Ambulance, told me. I figured it was fear of snagging a nerve. Amid the ice, cardboard splint and grimaces, he said nice things about the trauma team at Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center, where I wasn't going.
I learned he was training to be a registered nurse and, as I was Swiffered onto a bed in the emergency department at Clovis Community Medical Center, I burrowed into my pocket for a business card. Before you take any job anywhere, I urged, gimme a call.
Krista already had a job in Clovis and was doing it well. Ice, blankets, blood pressure, dim the lights, pain medication in moderation. Her last name is French; the doctor, named John, who swept my hockey puck of a patella back into its crease, has a Scottish last name, but he claimed ignorance when I mentioned the famous 1745 Battle of Culloden. That made me kind of suspicious.
But I soon took up a conversation with my metal crutches, which smartly stayed mum. Pain meds can be such a conversation stopper.
(Epilogue: Thanks to all for many kindnesses. Therapy under way. Bad jokes aplenty that golf is not a contact sport. Am considering inventing the sport of aerobic billiards.)