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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Weird World of Injuries

About a month ago I smacked my knee end on into a rock as I was descending a scrubby, rocky hill side in the Port Hills. Its not the first time I've punished this knee. Two years ago I smashed the same knee at full up swing force into a nice little branch end of a hard Australian tree stump. Learnt my lesson there....unlike NZ the air is drier in Australia and the fallen trees dry out rather than rot so you cant just run through them like back home....Also don't trust the opinion of a Doctor at a student health centre. Two weeks after it happened he gave me this advice: "put some ice on it, take some anti-inflammitories and the swelling should go down in a couple of hours".... Yeah right! it took 3 full months for the swelling to go away completely. But the strangest injury of all I've had on this knee happened when I was about 7 years old.

Back in the day when I lived in Wanaka, we had a nice two story house with a deck. From the ground below up to the deck was a tree. A prickly pear tree. As a seven year old in the then country town of Wanaka I was pretty hard. We used to run around at lunch time squashing bees and wasps in the clover grass in our bare feet. If you get them quick enough you can kill them before they can sting you....all about having the initiative....But it was a learning process and we got stung a few times. It wasnt the only fun we had with wasps either...at lunch time we would sit near the skip, eat half an apple, put it back in our lunch box then wait... When a wasp would land on it, we would rush in close the lid then shake until the wasp was dead. So Climbing trees was just part and parcel of what went on at lunch and play times. Unfortunately the parents of today have managed to chop all the trees down in schools so kids cant climb in them anymore...

Anyway we had some friends round one night and my Dad who was a legend in climbing trees around Wanaka got me to show them my party trick. Climbing up to the second story via the tree. So I raced down the stairs and climbed up. In my haste I managed to whack my knee on a prickle of the pear tree, thought "oh that was a bit sore" and kept climbing. I was pretty tough as I have already mentioned...and thought not too much of it, but an hour or so later I was in a lot of pain and couldn't bend my knee comfortably either. The next day my parents realised that I wasn't just whinging and took me to the doctor.

Turns out that when I pricked my knee, the prickle had gone in underneath my knee cap and pieced the small fluid sac that sits under the knee cap. Prickly pear trees are also poisonous and consequently I had poisoned the fluid sac in the process. Three weeks my knee was in a half cast so I couldn't bend my knee....although it didn't last the three weeks as I broke it racing my brother up the stairs....

Anyway I thought it was a pretty strange injury and I'm sure there is many more just as strange ones out there involving Orienteering...like the story of the guy jumping out of the bush onto a road a being hit by a car! Also Im documenting my career as I go so that when Im famous like Thierry Gueorgiou I can have enough material to write a book on My life as an Orienteer....:-P

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