• Bonnie Chadwick

Massage Therapist; Injured!

Updated: Oct 2, 2018

Such a stupid accident.  I fell going UP the stairs... not a clue how I missed the step or fell, but then fell down the stairs on my KNEE CAP (patella). Talk about pain! I cried and screamed, managed to get the phone and call my fiancé (Dan). I was crying and asked him to come home immediately. I sat on the chair and tried to calm down. I then tried moving around and walking and knew my knee was injured but not enough for him to come home from his meeting. I IMMEDIATELY called Dan and told him not to come home. Oddly enough his meeting was about health insurance for both of us when he retires and after we're married. I have a very temporary and limited insurance plan right now, so I have no idea what will be covered.

I limped to my car and drove to the "express" walk in care to have it looked at. They really should just call it "walk-in care" because it took most of the day (over 2 hours). But I was injured so I wasn't going anywhere. Finally the doctor, who was super nice, came to examine my knee. I had a bad patella (kneecap) bruise and acute bursitis (swelling) under the patella. Bursitis or the bursae is the fluid filled sack under the knee to keep the joint protected and lubricated during movement. The doctor expedited an x-ray at the emergency room in the hospital to make sure the knee cap was not broken, cracked or chipped.

The x-ray tech didn’t want to wait for me to hobble all the way to x-ray room, so he put me in a wheelchair, and I was happy to oblige. And if anyone has had an x-ray on something painful, you know what that was like.

Well, the good news was that I didn't break the patella, but the swelling under the kneecap was bad. I limped home (driving was painful) and took it easy the rest of the day. I took some Tylenol PM so I could sleep at night, because getting comfortable with a bum knee is difficult. Luckily it’s summertime, so a light sheet was all I needed for cover. Not sure the weight of a blanket would have felt very good on the bruised knee.

Coming to a realization. This was the most difficult part, because I realized that I was not going to be able to give massages. For one thing, my massage room is on the second floor. Walking upstairs puts almost 3 times your body weight on the knee joint! Yikes! Not to mention the fact that I do use my legs/knees to give massage.

Massage therapists use every muscle and joint in the body while giving a massage. This is what most people don't understand about our profession. Much of our power during a massage comes from standing correctly – horse stance, warrior stance, lunging, shifting body weight – and everything requires a healthy knee joint. We are trained in proper body mechanics to avoid/lessen injury while giving massages. I knew my knee could not tolerate any side to side motion. I could barely bend it let alone give a massage.

I am going on week 2 of recovery.  I did find someone to fill in for me, but at this point I am not sure if 2 weeks will be sufficient to recover from this awful knee injury. There is still swelling and a bump on the patella and pain.

To my clients: I am so sorry about this. One small missed step and now I'm out for a while. I apologize that I cannot be there for you. But if I don't take care of this injury now, it could cause permanent damage. And if I am not at my best, I cannot give the best to you.

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9 Swan Hill Road, Okaland, Maine

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