Ok. So, I have a funny story.
I was so caught up on tuesday with my anger/sorrow about the disastrous changes at flickr and the ensuing disappearance of all pictures on my blog that I didn’t really say much about my trip to the doc.
Let me pause here to thank Cosmo C. again for his brilliant stroke of coding that saved me (or in point of fact, saved all of YOU who so generously offered) from going back through the entire blog copying and pasting image URLs.
At the end of my uneventful visit with the doc I asked if he thought it was a good idea to get a little x-ray of my forearm to make sure that it was healing up as it should. He said, “sure” and had someone make a phone call and I headed straight off to the radiology unit in the basement. A nice lady called my name and in we went. I put my arm down on the table, palm down, and she grabbed me by the wrist and flipped my hand over so that it was palm up.. Or at any rate she tried to.. quickly.. and with what felt like quite a bit of ooomph.
“OW!!” followed by some form of expletive that I can’t remember.. probably taking the lord’s name in vane in some way.. “The arm IS broken.. we already know that.. we’re just checking to see how it’s healing up!! Please be a little gentle.”
She got wide eyed. In her defense, I was not wearing a splint when I walked in. Since the X-ray script said that we were checking in on the status of a break and I wasn’t in a cast, she probably assumed I was all healed up.
“How’d it go baby,” said Hill as we walked out.
“I think that nice lady just re-broke my arm..”
Yesterday we went to an appointment with the head of the palliative care branch of the cancer treatment center. A friendly young doc named Beth. We talked about my current state, and my goals for medical intervention. (To be as comfortable and energetic as it is possible to be while sill being present and available to my family and close friends). We discussed enrolling in hospice. *takes deep breath*. She suggested that I take more pain killers than I am, particularly leaning on the slow release version. She assured me that the 80-90 mg a day that the increase would mean was a fraction of what it takes for some people. Hill had a wedding to get to and left a little early as I waited for the doc to write me some scripts and schedule a follow up appointment. Almost as an after thought I said, “Oh! As long as you’ve got my file there, can you pull up tuesday’s X-ray?” I hadn’t heard anything from my oncologist, so I assumed everything was fine, but I’m always curious to see for myself. Here’s what she pulled up on the screen..
You don’t need to be a radiologist to see that there’s something wrong with THAT. By contrast, here’s what it looked like the day I broke it.. (for those of you who are as fascinated by this stuff as I am, check out the level of atrophy in my forearm! Imagine what it would look like if I’d left the cast on.. Well.. probably not broken again, come to think of it).
Beth left me in the room while she went to see if she could arrange an immediate visit with someone in orthopaedics. I cancelled the pool game that I was already running late for. She came back to report that everyone in orthopaedics had already left for the long holiday weekend. The only thing left to do was to go to the emergency room. “Nope. Not a chance. Those monkeys will just put me back in a long arm cast. Not gonna happen!” I don’t know much about bones, but I know a little about building stuff and engineering, and THAT looks to me like it needs to be plated.
So I headed home. I hopped off the bus at the grocery store and picked up a pork loin roast and some baking potatoes. Wax beans. Fennel. Apples for a little Marsala infused applesauce..
I wrote some emails to the various ortho docs who have been so helpful with my recent mountain biking maladies. I got the strangest responses. Three docs wrote me back, and rather than actually publishing what they wrote (that seems like a no no somehow), I will distill the three into one fictional response:
“Hey Ezra. Sorry to hear what happened. It doesn’t actually look THAT bad. Don’t worry about it. I would definitely wear the brace all the time. Ice it and keep it elevated and the pain should go down. We’ll take a look at it next week.”
I get the distinct sense that these are some docs who have plans for the long weekend and don’t want to perform some sort of emergency surgery that can wait until next week with no adverse effect, and also don’t want ME to spend the weekend feeling all anxious about my messed up arm. Any orthopaedic doctors or radiologists out there who feel like weighing in, feel free to write me.. I would appreciate it. And I CAN handle the truth. I am not in any pain, and I’m sure that it can all be taken care of next week.
SO. I’m off to the pool hall. Playing one pocket today. First Yorgos and then Jon Smith. Tomorrow Special Ed will join me.
You can’t make this stuff up. It really is true that only real life can be so unbelievable. You’d never get away with it if you were writing fiction.
Keep it coming, universe. You’re cracking me up! (so to speak.)
Just to be clear. I am not blaming the x-ray tech for re-breaking my arm. I said what I did to Hill on our way out of the appointment as a joke. A way of saying, “holy cow, that really hurt.” The fact that the arm then turns out to have a displaced fracture where there wasn’t one before is a bit of a head-scratcher, but there are certainly other explanations than that she re-broke it. I could have done it in some other way WEEKS ago. One doc that wrote me back suggested that there’s no way of really knowing.. My guess is that a good radiologist looking at the actual film instead of a phone capture could probably make an educated guess, though. We’ll see!