Gary’s Big Adventure

Most of you reading this will have already heard about Gary’s mishap on his way home from LSA yesterday, but for those who haven’t gotten the story, here it is. First of all, Gary’s presentation at LSA went well, he had a great visit with his sister, and the preaching at one of our supporting churches was well received. He appreciated those folks who came and picked him up since he wasn’t able to drive himself there.

The plan was for him to take the red-eye flight back to Dallas on Sunday night and be more or less ready to go to work on Monday. The flight from Portland to Atlanta was no problem, but when he was boarding the flight from Atlanta to Dallas at around 5am, he twisted his knee and hit his knee cap on the arm rest and completely dislocated it–as in, the knee cap was now located on the side of the leg, not on the front.

This meant he was in great pain, and could not even bend his leg. The lady in the row head said she heard it move! So, boarding of the plane halted, they called the airport ambulance and eventually he got to a local hospital. The ambulance attendants could not give him any pain medication because they said his blood pressure was too low. This was when Gary first called me, 7am Dallas time, saying he was on his way to the hospital and could I hear the sirens?!?

It was over two hours before they gave him pain medications and x-rayed the knee. Then they sedated him for 5 minutes while the dr. moved the knee cap back into place.

Fortunately, he and the flight attendants had had enough presence of mind to remove his two carry-ons, thus providing him with another pair of pants to replace the ones they cut up:

They wrapped his leg up in an immobilizer, but coudln’t find any crutches, so just used a wheel chair to take him to a taxi, then someone else took him to his gate, and he actually got home to Dallas by 7pm. Rachel came with me to DFW to help with his luggage, etc. He was able to fit in the back seat with his leg up along the seat.

Turns out he had had nothing to eat all day except for the pack of graham crackers I had sent with him for snacks, and even the flight home in first class only gave him a bag of pretzels. Luckily, there were still some Christmas dinner leftovers in the freezer.

This morning he had to get right to work since someone had arrived just today to work with him, so we had to figure out how to get him out of bed, into the shower (nice we have a no-lip shower in one of our remodeled bathrooms), and into some pants–makes you realize how often you bend your knees in a day! Then there was learning how to use the crutches I got at the clinic, and finding something to prop his leg up on while sitting in meetings.

He will need to see an orthopedic doctor after two weeks and see what he needs to do next. The rule is to not bend or twist the leg for at least two weeks, but he can put some weight on it. It looks like we’re going to have to make a few adjustments around here to cope with the extra time it takes, etc.


2 Responses to “Gary’s Big Adventure”

  1. Deb Says:

    I feel your pain. If I lived closer I would come and give Gary some lessons on have to get along an crutches. Just remember when using crutches “The good go up and the bad go down”
    Lots of Love

  2. Linda Says:

    Yeah, you’ve had some knee issues over the years, haven’t you? Today I parked in the handicapped spot at work and didn’t feel a bit guilty!

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