Learning Experience

The alarm system in his building was low on batteries, so he trekked up the stairs outside the building (approximately 26 of them) to change the battery on the security system panel on second floor. He had no knowledge, unfortunately, of the large hornets’ nest that had been built by its own diligent occupants directly beneath his feet at the top step.


A brief moment later, he was lying on his back, approximately 18 feet below, with eleven bee stings, initially unable to move either leg. As he began to assess his predicament, however, he was surprised to discover that despite his inability to straighten his legs, he could wiggle his toes, rotate his hips from side to side, and he seemed to have full sensation of his feet inside his shoes. For 3 days, an emergency room hospitalist would be inexplicably confused until a nurse practitioner from an orthopedist’s office walked in and knew within 5 seconds that he had ruptured both of his quadriceps tendons.

My first level physical therapy student was amazed by his story and had an all-too-familiar response, “Oh my god, that must’ve really hurt.”

“You know, it never even hurt until the 2nd day in the hospital”.

“No way…really?”


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