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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bad experience of a self-accident during a Hash Run

It was 02 weeks before the Chinese New year of Year 2010, on a late Sunday afternoon, when I participated in our usual hash run, together with my wife and a group of 40 odd gang of runners. Our usual group size is around 60 - 70 members but on this weekend, the number was lesser, in view of 'cleaning' committment at their homes, since the Chinese New year is just a fortnight away.

We set off at 4.30pm that afternoon, without realizing that the ground was slightly slippery (because there was a brief rain that same morning). Our aim that day was to finish the run as soon as possible, so that we too, can rush home to carry on with our unfinished work (it has always been a Chinese custom and tradition to ensure that our house is clean and presentable, when we prepare to usher in each new year festival).

The first uphill attempt was rather tough as we have to ascend almost 900ft straight upward to reach the top. Soon as we descended (around 100 ft only), I had a slip and skidded. In that fall, I got my left ankle caught underneath a dead tree trunk. It was a bad twist and I felt as if... my whole left ankle had been detached from my lower extremities. I tried to stand up but it was impossible as I lost instant sensation of my left ankle. That was just 1/3 of our journey and what made the situation worst was...this new spot was located at quite an interior part, away from the City. There was no service connection to everyone's handphone system providers. I had no choice but to continue on, even with the intense pain. I was lucky to have 04 senior members of the gang accompanying and assisting me at that time, and I really owed them tremendously.

The rest of the journey was HELL ... as I had to limp all the way through rugged terrains, hitting my injured ankle against all the obstacles along the way. My gang tried to assist me, even lending their shoulders to walk and in fact, it made my pain worst because of the narrow jungle path. Half-way through, another 02 senior members appeared, carrying an empty plastic gunny bag (which we often used for storing rice and sugar) and a long parang (local hand-made knife). They told us they sensed something was wrong with one of us, because the front portion of the group has already completed the run. Soon, 04 holes were made at each corner of that plastic bag and 02 short young trees were chopped down to be used as handles to hand-carry me like a sedan chair.

Initially, 02 of them took turn to carry me (01 of them in front and another at the back). Little did they realized that they were carrying an 85 kgs 'baby-elephant' and they were exhausted faster than expected. Then, the task was later shared by 04 persons. Eventually, the 04 also panted for breath because the narrow path made the journey very difficult. There were several areas that I have to get off and made my own way uphill as it was impossible to carry me in that manner. I had to bear the pain as it was indeed intense and torturous.

After a long 02 hours journey, 01 strong member of the team appeared again. I can feel his musculine body as he lifted me up and piggy-back me and run through a small stream. I was suffering instead because I could feel my lungs gasping for air when he started running, clutching my 02 arms. My rib cage was pressing hard on my lungs due to my weight pressing against his back. Fortunately, there was several breaks on the stream and finally, when I reached the main road and the sight of vehicles parked alongside (which was meant for rescuing me), I could not be more happy and thankful to everyone.

My nightmare did not end here. When I was finally brought to my own vehicle, I was dumbfounded after sighting my enlarged ankle joint. It was obvious that there are excessive bleeding internally. I drove home in great pain, accompanied by my wife. I tried to call a Chinese Physician for assistance. It was around 7.30pm and unfortunately, he was attending a wedding dinner and could not attend to me. Since it was also a Sunday, no one was around. I didn't want to go to the hospital because I feared that they will plaster it up without the proper way of 'assembling' the joint rightly back into its original position. Instead, I had to bear the pain the whole night (without any pain killer too).

When morning came, I went to another Chinese Physician (a friend). He didn't do much except trying to extract the excess blood inside my joint through cupping. However, it was a failed attempt too. He put some ointment over my swelling and bandaged it. The pain was still there as I kept repeating the procedure for 01 whole week, never doubting his skills to resolve my problem. By the end of the week, my ankle joint already swelled to twice its original size. I knew I was in trouble as the injury had become serious. I called the first Physician (whom I have never met due someone recommended him to me). Finally, we met (after a long week) and he told me to bear the extreme pain when he re-assembled my ankle joint because of the swelling. He started with some light massage and when I was not paying any attention, he gave my ankle a hard pull (twice) and then, pushed it back. He said, my ankle joint has came out of its socket and subsequently, the smaller supporting bones surrounding it, were also slightly cracked. Believe it or not, after that simple manipulation of my ankle (although extremely painful), my swelling subsided that evening and true enough, my injury became improved as days gone by. Soon, I started to stand up and limp around.

Because of my inability to take complete rest, I walked around excessively. This has caused me to use a lot of energy on my other good leg (right side). Eventually, it started to become painful too and now, what troubled me is not my 'bad' leg but my 'good' leg. One problem started with another and it became worst 02 weeks ago when the tendon and muscle above the right knee cap region started to swell, hard like a golf ball. It happened so sudden when I was attending a church service. Instantly, I couldn't move and I had to limp to my car. I went back to the last physician for help and he turned me away saying he could not do anything as this problem is a very rare one to him and he prefers not to do anything with it and instead, asking me to rest.

Surprisingly, the big lump started to subside 02 days later after constant self-massaging. I thought that was the last time I saw of it. Then, 02 days ago when I was driving in the morning, I felt a sharp pain at the same spot and without warning, the same lump started to emerge again. I was at a loss and fortunately someone recommended me to see another Chinese Physician who is specialized in such problem related to muscle and tendons, including dislocated joints too. Instantly, he told me that I am having severe internal bleeding in my knee cap (above region) and this is due to my torn ligament (probably from the 01st fall). He further explained to me that the content could be comprising of pus and clotted blood and said he will be using a bigger needle (hypodermic needle * see picture below) to prick into it and let the content flow out by itself.



Well...I have attached 02 short video clips (taken using my mini digital camera) and you will be shocked to see the content flowing out like a mechanic, changing the motor-oil of a vehicle. The flow was indeed sluggish because of the pus been mixed with the blood. Had it been blood, the blood could have squirted out uncontrollably.

Finally, I would like to endorse my sincere appreciation to everyone who assisted on that day (although it is a bit late), especially my Hash Run Members and the last physician. Hopefully, my problem could be resolved from henceforth.



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