I've gotten a couple of requests to pass along the story of how I blew out my Achilles tendon. It's a story of love and danger. Heroism and resolve. Discovery and triumph.
Nah. Really it's about a reasonably painful injury suffered in a totally stoopid way. So it is, of course, madly funny.
It's a little long so I'll do this in 2 posts. The first is the story and the second will be some mildly gross photos. They're cool.
With no further ado, I present;
I think I have discovered proof of a secret medical language. Unh is apparently Secret Medical Speak for a shredded Achilles tendon. Let me elaborate.
I live in Monterey County California. We have a film Commission who decided to make an industry film about...well, making films in Monterey County. What a concept, but I digress. The producer of said kinda sorta film decided she needed a Heroic Police Officer for a critical scene on our commercial wharf. The Chief called me into his office and declared his total faith in my ability to handle this sensitive and important task. He said. "You can do this or get someone else. I don't care." I left his office filled with the warmth of his obvious confidence. I decided I would undertake the job myself as I couldn't convince anyone else to do it. My sanity was questioned several times, but, again, I digress.
I arrived at the scene and met with the producer. She was obviously overjoyed with the choice for Heroic Police Officer. She told me to stay out of the way and "Go wait over there until we're ready for you. "I picked a spot to wait and prepare for my pivotal role. Then I moved after someone yelled at me and questioned my intelligence for apparently parking Right In The Middle Of Everything. I settled into my new spot and waited. Three hours. Did I mention it was raining and cold? The director came over and gave me...direction. She was clearly a top notch professional, leaving nothing to chance. She carefully went over each phase of the scene, breaking it down to it's most basic elements so as to leave me no doubt of exactly what was expected of me. "Drive down there with your lights and siren thingy on. Get out; throw the blanket over the wet woman and leave. Got it?" I nodded my understanding and mentally prepared myself.
I got behind the wheel, my steely resolve showing in the set of my jaw and the intensity of my gaze. I may have questioned the director’s parentage but that was only my attempt to "Get Into Character." At the signal I activated my lights and siren thingy and sped toward my destiny. Surely this was just the beginning of my long overdue discovery as the next great Hollywood leading man. I would soon find myself on thecover of Teen Beat magazine and earn billions of dollars making blockbuster films about Heroic Characters. I arrived on my 'mark' (that's expert acting speak right there for those of you who aren't in the biz), grabbed the blanket, stepped out of my Heroic Police Vehicle and prepared to run to the rescue of the Damp Distressed Damsel. At that moment my left Achilles tendon decided to horn in on the action. It apparently decided it wasn't getting enough attention so chose that moment to do a Very Bad Thing. It tore itself in half, although I didn't know it at the moment. Why it chose that particular action I can only speculate. Perhaps it wanted to interject some drama into the proceedings. How much better if the Heroic Police Officer must rescue the Distressed Damp Damsel while dragging a no longer quite operational left foot behind? Perhaps it was just pissed at being treated as an appendage. I don't know, but I digress.
My foot felt as if it had been hit by a charging Rhino, or perhaps a medium sized Armadillo. Still, I managed a kind of hopping, shuffling, club footed sorta movement to our Leading Lady. I Heroically draped the blanket over her shoulder and murmured words of comfort to her. I think I may have mentioned that my leg was falling off or words to that effect but my intention was absolutely clear. Her well being was of paramount importance and anything else she says is just a stinking pack of lies. I made my way back to the Heroic Police Cruiser and collapsed into the seat. With Heroic Dignity of course. The director mentioned as how she'd like a "Second take if you don't mind. And how about trying to walk likea real human being instead of the Shambling Horror From Space." I spent 5 minutes explaining to her why her parents had never married and informed her I'd be happy to give her a second take when I next saw her in Hell.
I decided to call it a day and returned to the station whereupon Idiscovered I could not take my left boot off. Oh, it's not like I didn't try but every time I did I woke up on the floor, looking up at the ceiling and wondering who that was I heard screaming. Luckily for me the Fire Station, filled with Heroic Fire Persons, is attached to the Police station. I managed a one legged, hopping shuffle to the Fire Station and summoned the Heroic Fire Persons therein. Now the good thing about Fire Persons is that they are imminently Threatenable. If one tells a Fire Person, "If you cut my expensive boots off with your Evil Scissors I will shoot you" they tend to believe you. Paramedics, on the other hand are Not Threatenable At All. I learned this the hard way.
I was involved in an on duty motorcycle accident where I injured my left hip which is at the top of my legs, very near my actual waist. When Iwas loaded into the ambulance the Paramedic immediately produced a pair of Evil Scissors. I asked the purpose of said Evil Scissors and was told they were to cut my pants off. I informed the Paramedic that they weren't in fact pants but Motorcycle Breeches which we were required towear by Gubernatorial Dictate. The main difference between Pants and Breeches is that Pants cost $29.95 and Breeches cost $310.00. I told the paramedic "If you cut off my Breeches which cost $310.00 I will shoot you". He laughed. I said "Look, my injury is my hip which is at the top of my legs and very near my actual waist and if I unbutton and unzip my Breeches I can easily slide them past my injury which you can then examine to your hearts content." The Paramedic informed me that I Did Not Understand and proceeded to cut my Breeches from cuff to waist. Apparently Breeches do not actually die if only one leg is cut so He then proceeded to cut the other, non-injured leg, from cuff to waist. Paramedics are terribly Inscrutable and very non-Threatenable but I digress.
The Fire Persons managed to remove my boot, with much crying and pleading, some of it by me. It may have been the gun I had pointed at them but then again it may have been my socks. The Heroic Fire Captain took one look at my Achilles tendon and said, and this is a direct quote, "Unh." I said, "What exactly does that mean, Unh?" The Heroic Fire Captain said "Dude, you need to see a doctor right now." I asked why. He replied "You see this gap in your tendon? See how it feels like a bag of dead meat? It's not supposed to do that." I felt the area and it did indeed feel like a bag of dead meat (don't ask how I know I just do) so I decided to heed his expert medical advice and went to the ER.
While in the ER I removed my sock and waited patiently. For another three hours. When the fine ER doctor came in he took one look and said, and again this is a direct quote, "Unh." I asked the doctor if he could maybe be just a tad more specific as to the actual problem. I may have inferred a too close relationship between himself and his mother but that is totally beside the point. He did seem to take a perverse glee in informing me that I had in fact ruptured my Achilles tendon but I thought the laughter was uncalled for.
Two days later I found myself in the Orthopedic Surgeons office, confident that the ER doctor and Heroic Fire Captain were all wet and this would turn out to be much less severe than I had so far been led to believe. The good Doctor took one look and said, and I must stress this is a direct quote, "Unh." He immediately scheduled me for surgery to repair what he called "The worst blown Achilles I've ever seen."
So, what have I Learned? Unh is obviously Expert Medico Speak for Painful Ruptured Achilles Tendon followed by even more painful Surgeryand Physical Therapy by graduates of the Marquis De Sade School of Medical Torture and Massage.
Get the word out. The code has been broken.
So if you ever feel like your foot has been hit by a medium sizedArmadillo and a Medical Expert says to you "Unh" don't say you weren't warned.
And whatever you do, don't let them cut your pants off.