Shallow Grooves

Last weekend I was telling my friend how I dislocated my kneecaps (yes both) not one time, but four times when I was in high school. If you've ever experienced this then you know how painful it can be, however as I retold the story the other night we laughed for an hour after that. 


I am lowkey clumsy and this is the only time I will openly admit that. (I have to keep telling myself I am gracefull so that it will happen). I've never broken any bones or had braces; just spinal surgery, brain surgery, and a few dislocated joints (normal growing pain stuff). To top things off each time I was injured I wasn't doing anything adventurous or fun, just something stupid or completely normal, like walking; because that's hard for some of us. 


My First Time

I was a junior in high school, and that morning a fight had broken out at school. One of our coaches (he was also my driver's ed teacher, and now the current mayor of the town I went to HS in #smalltowndreamsdocometrue) got injured trying to break up the fight and was taken to the hospital. His wife was my show choir teacher, and she left our class that morning to go with her hubby to the hospital. With that our class was left with a substitute who did not know what we were supposed to rehearse. Which meant we basically had a free period and decided to play ninja. Remember ninja? That game where everyone stands in a circle and quickly tries to slap the hand of the person next to them. Yeah, so here you have about 15 very extra show choir kids, who know how to do nothing on a normal level, playing a game of ninja in a small trailer instead of rehearsing Bridge Over Troubled Water.

My turn was approaching, and I had managed to avoid being slapped out by the person to my right. Now, we were all doing ‘the most’. We weren’t just quickly moving our arms to get the next person out. No, our entire bodies were involved along with sound effects. #wewereperformers. Now, it is my turn and I spring forward lunging off my left foot while swinging my left arm in attempts to eliminate the person next to me all while making a little hay-ya sound effect. What happened next still confuses my mind today. I know I lunged forward and to the left, yet my body went backward and I landed with a thud on my right side.

The room went silent.

Me (laughing): “oh my gosh, how on earth did that happen”?

Everyone: (just staring)

Random show choir kid: “wow, are you okay”?

Me (still laughing, embarrassed, suddenly realizes can’t move or feel right leg, and still on the floor): “haha yeah I’m okay, uh..?”

Friend one: “oh my gawsh your knee!”

Me (still sorta laughing): “What?”

Friend two: “ohhhh, uh go get the nurse.”

Me *thinking* (why can’t I move?): “What do you mean my knee”?

Friend three: “It’s…”

Substitute (who just now gets up)” oh honey, you okay? Give her some space. The nurse is coming.”


At this point, I was still laying on the ground laughing throughout the entire thing due to the shock of what just happened, and the sheer amount of embarrassment I felt. I also flashed the entire circle because I was wearing a skirt and my left leg flew in the air as the rest of me was falling backward and landing on the ground. (I wore shorts under my skirts every day after that). I also could not process how on earth I had landed on the floor, and in the complete opposite direction, I was jumping. I didn’t trip. No one pushed me. Then I remember someone mentioning my knee, and the fact that I could not feel my leg. I looked down at my right leg and saw a rather large bump on the right side of it, and like something was missing in the front.

My kneecap was on the side of my leg and was not moving back.

Me (now weak): “Oh Lord” (quickly puts head back down).

All laughter and humor left my body. The room suddenly felt small as everyone was still standing above me in a, now tighter, circle as I laid on the ground. The absence of pain was quickly replaced with this burning fire radiating from where my patella should have been and extreme nausea. Not to mention, I was trying to keep my skirt down and ankles crossed to maintain any bit of modesty and dignity I might have had left. A few moments later the school nurse came through the door with a wheelchair. It dawned on me that everyone knew what had happened before I did, and the person who went to go get the nurse must have known that I wouldn’t be able to walk.

The nurse, however, was not convinced.

Nurse: (looks at me like, why is this girl on the floor) (with fake compassion): “Are you okay, honey? Can you get up”?

Me (my word, now why didn’t I think of that): “I don’t think so.”

Nurse: “let’s see if we can help you.”

Me: -_-

I am not a small human being. I am 5’7”, none of your business pounds, and I did not want anyone to touch me as much pain as I was in let alone help me up.

Me: “okay.”

As I was pulled up from the floor we ran into a second problem. I needed to bend my need to prop it on the foot rest for the wheelchair. If you didn’t know, you cannot bend your knee when it’s on the side of your leg.  My legs are long, so that meant even with the foot prop, and my leg extended, my feet still touched the ground. Therefore, she could not push the wheelchair forward.

I was dragged backwards in a wheelchair down the halls of my high school by the school nurse and parked in the front office while I waited for my mom to pick me up.

When my mom arrived  I was in the wheelchair with my head in my hands trying not to pass out, because at that point the pain had really started to hit.

Mom: “Hey, you okay” (lifts scarf from my knee and see’s displaced knee cap) *gasps* “ohhhhh. Oh, oh, okay, uh, let’s get you checked out.”

Me (*thinking*): this is not happening to you, so relax. Please, let’s go. I almost broke my whole body playing ninja. I don’t even know how it is possible this just happened. Plus, I just flashed everyone. Then this freaking nurse as the nerve to be rude as if it’s not her job to help a student. And if we don’t go now, I may just puke: “I’m okay.”

Now the challenge was how to get me in the car, because, again, I could not bend my leg. Just moving it was painful. So, here we go. My mom opens both doors to the back seat of the car. I get propped at the edge of the seat and hang on to the door. My mom crawls through the other side of the door, hooks her arms under mine, and drags me across the back seat. She then props me up while the nurse holds my dead leg, and I push with the left. At this point I’m thinking, wow my mom must dispose of bodies on the weekend because she just did the thing.

We get to the hospital my knee had slid back into place on its own (which I’m very grateful for). However, x-rays and everything else still needed to be done to check for damage. As I’m being rolled on a bed to get my x-rays I hear:

“Oh my goodness. It’s Chantel”!

It was my show choir teacher.

Teacher: “What happened”?!


P.S.  a few months later, and after multiple displacements, a doctor told me I have shallow knee grooves and that this is why my patella’s easily come out of place. -_- okay sir, sure.