Monday, October 23, 2006

Doctors' Orders

Well, I guess I overdid it.

My shoulder started hurting. Thinking I just laid on it wrong, I went to bed. Woke up, it was worse. Laid there until the pain was so bad I was crying--then Dr. B said, "let's get you in the tub (I really needed a bath) and go to the doctor." So we headed into the bathroom, and called a nurse for advice. While talking to her, I got really dizzy, started dry heaving and almost fainted.

So, we called 911, and the paramedics came, and took me to the ER.

No bath for me.

They put me in a sling for my arm, which they thought was just strained, and gave me pain meds, and put me in a leg immobiliser for my knee. The doc was very concerned that it wasn't straightening, ordered me not to go to work for 3 days, to stay on the main floor of the house, and to see the Orthopaedist TODAY.


Still no bath.

So, I've spent the last I don't know how long flat on my back, bored out of my gourd. Last night, Dr. B rigged up a MacGuyver wheelchair (a moving dolly with a crate and a pillow), rolled me into the kitchen, and washed my hair for me. It wore me out, and the pain was horrible. As soon as he rolled me back to the couch, I fell asleep, exhausted. We woke up early, called for an appointment, and did the best we could to clean me up without moving me much. Which means? Washcloth, tupperware, soap and water. Not the most sanitary or comfortable of bathing experiences.

I did get to see the ortho guy today, on sort of an emergency basis. He is, from what I hear, a great surgeon. Arrogant, know-it-all, and kind of a prick? Exactly. He told me he was a trumpet player. Somehow, this did not surprise me at all. Waggled my arm and leg around like a marionette, but knew exactly what was going on, and quizzed his med student with a big grin on his face, while I moaned in pain.

"She just told you what happened, she told you the exact diagnosis! What is it?" he said, as I grit my teeth to keep from screaming.

The meek little med student stammered, and tried to hide behind the examining table.

"Move! Move!" he ordered her, and came around to bend my leg this way and that.

"Torn ACL. That was the 'POP' you heard back in 2005 when you did your original injury. Did you see? I could pull your leg right apart! There's nothing holding it together! You've been getting by on a wing and a prayer. Plus, the meniscus is most likely torn. And the reason you can't straighten your leg is that either a piece of the meniscus or else the end of the ACL tendon is flipped up and jammed between the bones of your knee. That's what's causing all the pain when you try to straighten it."


Physical therapy, for the knee and for the shoulder (which he said is strained and has tendonitis from the crutches and lifting myself up stairs), then an MRI to be sure, then a few weeks after that? Surgery.

Well, at least it will be over.

But, for some odd reason, all the flapping about of my arm he made me do actually helped, and it doesn't hurt nearly as much now. He told me I have to move it, or it will hurt more, and it appears he knows what he's talking about. I am on only Tylenol now, and the pain isn't bad at all. I even made it upstairs for a bath and (ahem) other things I'm not comfortable doing in the living room. (Thank heaven for the loan of a small porta potty when I needed it, but there are certain things you just don't want to do sitting next to the couch.) I'm staying up here tonight, on a real bed. And I'm clean!!! I can't tell you what a real relief it is to wash yourself, all over, with real water, and lots of it! REAL WATER! No damp washcloth and pail for me, no sirree! Ahhhhhh...

So regardless, I am still stuck here, and on doctors' orders to not work for the next two days. I have PT on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday are teachers convention (which I am skipping due mainly to the knee, but also partially to the fact that this year's lineup of presentations really stinks, frankly, and I don't know why I should spend 90 bucks to go and not get paid for those days teaching anyway, being a sub.)

And I've put out the call for reading material care packages--my step-mom and mother-in-law have promised me books.

There's only so much 'Clean House' a girl can watch, after all.

*Illustration from



At 11:05 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger NeverEnough said...

I've missed you and I was so glad to hear from you today! Glad you're back in the states too :)

At 5:24 AM, October 24, 2006, Blogger PutYourFlareOn said...

Oh my gosh, poor you! I thought you knee was on it's way back to being bionic again like it was in Paris. I hope you don't need surgery but if you do it will surely correct the damage!

I know what it's like being at the hospitol or anywhere else and not showered and it's totally out of your control. Glad to hear that you're clean and happy again. If you drop the soap, leave it there and just call Dr. B. Don't need you hurt your other knee. And I love the fact that you husband made a makeshift wheelchair for you. He's a keeper. :)

If you need anything from Paris, though the wait will be about two weeks the postage is free. Let me know! :)

See you soon, hon!

At 4:15 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy did the same thing to my arms when I tore a tendon in my ankle. Used same method of stair climbing and arms wound up plenty sore. Hope you are at least feeling a little better by now. I know orthopods/surgeons can be arrogant....but then again would you want someone on you that didn't have that confidence? Don't feel sorry for the student....Jon was there once upon a time and said the attending docs that were demanding and pushy, as far as quizzing him on diagnosis, taught him more and taught him to think on his feet. Take it easy and rest up Bobbie


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