Fire Department Hell

by Shayna Van Tine
(Ashcroft BC)

I am a 20 year old female, part of a volunteer Fire deaprtment in my hometown, Ashcroft BC. One night, one May 28, 2008 at about 8:30 my husband and I were in our backyard(he too is fire dept.) When our neighbor's shed all of a sudden had a small explosion and within seconds was engulfed in flames.


The shed belonged to a local cafe which was right across the alley from my home, so it was very very close! While I ran in the house to grab my cell to call 911, my husband got in the truck and got it started to get to the fire hall and sound the alarm. I geared up and was heading for our main truck to put on my air tank and mask. (the fire was basically across the street from the fire hall) I was just stepping up on the truck and i ducked under the safety rail as I am not quiet tall enough to push it out of the way while crawling up. While i did that, my boot stuck to the checker plating on the running boards and as my body went forward, my knee bent backwards.

There are 2 steps to get onto the truck and when I stand on the first one, my knee is directly level with the edge of the top one, so that is what forced my knee backwards as my weight went forward. I just remember a loud pop and I had the wind knocked out of me.

I kinda sat there for a second and pulled my legs over the edge of the platform so my legs were hanging off the side. I just remember saying to another firefighter " I just dislocated my knee" and he just looked at me like I was stupid and laughed and went to walk away, so i said it again, and he looked at me and said "your not kidding, are you?!" Well he believed me then!

I was helped off the firetruck and sat on a tailgate of a nearby truck while someone called the ambulance. While the ambulance was on its way my dad showed up from 10 Km away in Cache Creek BC, because someone phoned him saying my house was on fire in Ashcroft!! Luckily it was the shed behind us and not a lot of damage was done. The firefighters had it out in less than 20 minutes. 3 were hurt bad enough to be hospitalized short term for treatment, mostly smoke inhalation. Our house was safe!

So the ambulance informed me it would be $90 to take me to the hospital 4 blocks away, I said no way I was paying that, i'd rather walk! so my dad drove me while my husband made sure our house was OK and brought the truck up a few minutes later. It was a long task to get a diagnosis because everyone thought I had torn cartilage. So I was put on WCB and was on crutches for 2 weeks before I could walk properly again.

3 months later and a CT scan, I was diagnosed with a completely torn ACL ..... Not fun at all. So i was put on heavy physio 3 x a week for 1 month then sent back to my surgeon, who today, Sept 3 2008 decided he is going to do surgery due to lack of improvement in instability. He thinks the two ends hanging off the bone are catching in my joint, causing it to lock and re-dislocate..... Very painful by the way! So he is going to scope my knee and see if there is anymore damage than originally thought and if he can, he is going to cut away ligament pieces and try me on therapy again and see if the helps stability, or he may reconstruct the whole thing while he is there. It depends on what he sees and how bad the damage is.

I am not fond of hospitals and needles and the works so I thought I would read up and find out what is ahead of me so it is not a suprise and it also helps calm me down a bit to know exactly what will be done and why and what I can expect for recovery.

I will keep you posted on my surgery when I am booked, in about a month we will say because it is WCB, so i will be sent to a private clinic for faster service. Ill keep in touch.

Thanks you for letting me tell my story!

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Jun 11, 2009
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8 months and feeling good!
by: Shayna

It has now been just over 8 months since my surgery and I feel great! I have little pain in my knee and I am able to do all my regular activies with the exception of kneeling..... it is still higly painful and I avoid it at all costs or for the next 3-4 days, it wont stop cracking and clicking everytime I walk. I have had some problems with my knee cap "tracking" as the Dr called it, my knee cap slides out of its little groove when sitting and when I stand up, it will forcefully "pop" back into place, Very painful!!!! LOL I am still a little nervous to get back into horseback riding.... I really really want to try it but I am soooo scared of popping my ACL again that it has kept me from trying and my poor horse is feeling a little neglected for it.... I had a bad riding accident about a year and a half before my surgey and I broke my hand, wrist, fingers and knuckles when I fell, so it is a mix of being afraid to fall and popping my knee out again.... soo though, my husband is supportive and he is encouraging me to start with walking only until I feel comfortable again. Ill kepp out updated! I have heard storied of people starting to ride as little as 3 weeks after surgery!!! I dont know how they could do it cause my knee was still beyond painful at that point!! I wasnt allowed to walk without crutches for a month and a half as my dr wanted the graft to stay in place without having too much of a risk of being over streached which would have had the surgery a waste of time. If I were at home, i could walk around, just no long distances to give the ACL a chance to heal
Is anyone else still having problems with kneeling???? will it ever get better! You dont relize how much you kneel until you have it taken away from you LOL Is it still normal to have aches and pains in my knee this later after surgery? I hope my recovery is still going well. I know the popping a clicking after I kneel is not really normal... But the dr said there is nothing wrong... hopefully he is right

Dec 05, 2008
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Bravo
by: Starzy

I guess you are on your way... Very good update. Keep them coming...as I think we all want to know how it turns out for you.

~Starzy

Nov 19, 2008
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Update
by: Bart - SII

Good to hear that you are on your way to recovering. It can be frustrating, especially those first few days/weeks.

Good luck!

Bart

Nov 17, 2008
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Reconstruction
by: Shayna

Well, I had my surgery done on Oct 2 2008 (life has been crazy lately so I havent had time to update everyone) the surgery was not really what I expected. The pain was bad, but not as bad as I thought. I still didnt really clue into the extent of the surgery until the nerve block came out 2 days later....Then there was pain! I couldnt stop crying, This was definately the worst just for the fact that the pain never went away and just drove me insane, no matter how many painkillers, it never fully went away, i had to learn to live with the constant pain. So and mix of emotion, pain and frustration finally built up on me and i couldnt help but cry, it felt like it helped, I felt bad because my sister in law was there and she looked a little akward and didnt really know what to do to help, but it just hurt so bad. I got very frustrated that if i even so much as had to get up for the bathroom, i had to have help, and I couldnt even pick up my leg to put it back on the couch so I could rest, so my husband learned how to help by lifting my foot and assisting me in "tucking" my leg in with my ice packs and tucking in fuzzy blankets to soothe the sore skin on my leg. I found that as soon as I got comfortable enough that I was able to finally rest without pain, someone always had to stop by or phone. When i finally felt relaxed and comfortable pain wise to get some good sleep, my husband usually would leave me to sleep and would go to the shop to keep busy while letting me rest quietly, as i was sleeping on the couch in the living room so could watch TV without moving and visit with people when they stopped by whithout having to get out of bed everytime. My husband was my life saver! I owe him big time for his kindness and help after surgery. My mom was also very supportive, bringing me creamsicle ice cream, flowers and magazines to help keep my spirit up, which was also very appricitated.
I found the recovery a long a frustrating event, even now, it is still a big job. I still have not had physio as there has been issues with WCB, so I have done alot of it on my own and I can walk fairly well now without much of a limp, but I still have problems with stairs and going downhill. So far I rate my progress at about an 8 out of 10, I feel really good and it feels awesome to have my independance back and I am now able to go on short walks for about 3 blocks every morning to get my mail, anything further is still too much as I havnt seen a physiotherapist yet and I have just remastered walking on my own, so i dont dare over-do-it. Rating my recovery today, I would give myself an 8 out of 10. I am very happy i had the surgery, it was worth the discomfort for a few weeks to have my life, my activites and my career back!

Sep 25, 2008
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to shanya
by: spring

Is the doctor going to a reconstruct on you, or is he just going in to fiddle around? I would make sure he is going in to accomplish something so that you don't need any further surgery.

Just double check everything. That is where you will feel empowered.

~S:)

Sep 12, 2008
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Hang in there
by: Quincy

I am scheduled for surgery in less than a week, Sep. 18. I am scared too. I don't think you would be human if you weren't. Without having your husband there, I am sure it is even that more difficult. Keep coming the the site, I bet readin posts or replies will help you. I has helped me.

Sep 12, 2008
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Booked for surgery
by: Shayna

I have no been booked for surgery on Oct 2 2008 and I am TERRIFIED!!! I thought I would be fine, as I was calm thinking about the surgery and reading articles on it, but as soon as I got the phone call 2 days ago informing me of my surgery date, I almost died I was sooo nervous. Now I am panicking because I dont want to do this anymore. I am more scared of the recovery than I am of the surgery, as I have nothing to worry about as i wont even be awake! But the recovery scares the crap out of me. I am afraid I am going to fail somewhere along the line, that i wont be able to get my knee into a useable state. I really dont want that to happpen as my career is on the line. 9 months is soooo long. I have already been off work for 3 and I am already going nuts. It seems like too much work and pain, and I dont know if I can do it, especially by myself as my husband is off at school 500 km away for apprenticeship school for his year 1 and 2, so I am in it alone..... I really dont know if I will be able to keep my moral up long enough to try to work through the pain. Anyone have any advice to help get rid of this nervousness?!?!?! I am already loosing lots of sleep over this.... and I still have 3 weeks to go!

Sep 07, 2008
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Wow!
by: Bart - SII

This is one of the more "exciting" ACL tear stories I have heard. It ranks right up there with one who tore his ACL when he was shot and the force from the bullet into his vest forced his body around and his knee stayed put.

Thanks for sharing your story, and for contributing to the other posts!

Bart

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