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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Would You Like Crap With a Side of Crap? Or Just Regular Crap? Dr. W Hands Down His Decision

D-Day went just about how I thought it would...except for being brought in for my appointment right on time. I never expect that to happen!

Babysitter came over to watch the Crazies.

G.G. drove me to the doctor for the third time this week.

Dr. W came in and neglected to look right in my eyes b/c he knew that he couldn't give me any good news. He just knew it. Here's how the conversation went (my memory may be a little off, but I'll do the best I can):

Dr. W: Your knee cap is not where it should be. It's in the groove, but it's right on the edge of the groove. That's not really a good thing. So, we can either do total reconstruction of the knee or arthroscopic surgery...either way, you're going to have to have surgery.
Me: Awesome! (cue fake smile)
Dr. W: Do you have any questions?
Me: Yes...if we start with the scope, what are the chances that this will NEVER happen again? I want to be completely clear that I NEVER want this to happen again.
Dr. W: Well, nothing is a guarantee...it can always happen again (thanks Sunshine). If we start with the scope and you do all of your PT after the surgery, you're still going to have to be very careful for the rest of your natural born life. It could come out again...at which point, we'd do a total reconstruction (always giving me something to look forward to).
Me: Oh great...(I'm pretty sure tears started to come into my eyes, but I kept blinking like a crackhead to make it look like I was tough and could handle anything). Will I be back to doing the activities that I was doing before this happened? Cycling? Yoga? That kind of stuff?
Dr. W: Yes, you will be able to do those things, but you may have to wear a brace if the knee feels unstable.
Me: Okay...what are the chances this would never happen again if we did the total reconstruction right now.
Dr. W: The chances are the same. The knee cap could come out of position again. It depends on the activity and how much you protect the knee.
Me: Okay...when can we do this? (as I have two vacations in the next two months, a set of twins turning two, a set of twins starting school, a set of twins who constantly try to knock me on my ass in the middle of the kitchen...we gotta get this moving)
Dr. W: You'd have to schedule it with my secretary.
Me: How long will it be until I'm back to normal activity?
Dr. W: It all depends on how the surgery goes and how your PT goes...it could be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. (Does anyone else feel like he's not giving me direct enough answers?) The good thing is that the ligament is not torn...just really stretched right now. Let me check something on the MRI.
Me: Can I see the MRI?
Dr. W: (smiling, shaking his head, and walking out of the room) It's on the computer.
G.G.: Why do you want to see the MRI? You won't even know what you're looking at!
Me: Because it's cool (yes, at this point the level of maturity was dropping at an alarming pace).
Dr. W: (grabbing my knee...and not in a sexy way) Okay, the ligament here is stretched and this one is loose...can you feel that as I violently twist and turn your knee cap? Can you feel that clicking? Well, there are edemas on the bone under your knee cap...feel that? Feels weird, right? Alright, now...do you feel that clicking and how your knee cap seems to be coming out of the socket again? Yeah, that's because there is so much damage done to the actual knee cap that all you have to do is knock it against something (such as a child...or a giant dog) and it can come back out again. Hmmm...maybe you shouldn't have let this happen 8-9 times before getting it checked out. Anyway, if we can repair this ligament, the edemas, and some of the damage to the knee cap, I won't be able to mush your knee around like this making you want to throw up.
Me: Ummm...yeah...I get it. Stop touching me.
Dr. W: I want you to stop wearing the immobilizer as much (my heart literally stopped) because if you can get flexibility back before the surgery, it's going to be much easier to get it back after the surgery. I want you to walk on it as much as possible.
Me: What about driving? Can I drive? If I can't, you should just institutionalize me right now b/c if you've ever seen how much kids act on one rainy day, let's give them 10 in a row and give me a lame leg so that I can't chase them when they're trying to set the house on fire.
Dr. W: If you can walk without pain, you can drive. (Hallelujah Chorus literally started playing)
Me: How long will I be out of commission right after the surgery?
Dr. W: You'll be off your feet for the first 24 hours. After that, I want you to start walking around. When I take the stitches out a week later, you'll start PT right away. You'll also have a brace...with hinges...that the PT can adjust to decide just how much torture you can endure at any given time. (I decided to leave out the part where he mentions that a possible complication would be my entire knee filling up with blood...gross!)
Me: Is there any way I can get a tummy tuck thrown in at the same time?
G.G.: HUGE GASP...REBECCA! (her face turned bright red...I don't think she was expecting that question)
Me: What? It's worth asking! (for the record, I intend on asking any doctor who is going to give me anesthesia...eventually someone will acquiesce, right?)
Dr. W: (looking down and avoiding all eye contact) I am not able to perform that procedure, so no, we can't do that.
Me: Well, they really should have thrown it in with the c-section...I'm just sayin'.
Dr. W: Okay, I'll let my secretary start setting everything up for you. I'll see you soon and we'll get this all taken care of.
Me: Thanks...you rock.

We went out to talk to his secretary, filled out some paperwork, and asked some questions about the timing of this whole shindig. There was a word that the secretary couldn't read on the doctor's order, so I brought her into my examination room where we tried to find the right word on the huge knee poster that I was obsessed with. G.G. kept saying, "maybe we should just ask the doctor what the word is rather than trying to find it on this damn poster." The three of us were hysterically laughing at which time Dr. W came walking by and wouldn't look at any of us. She eventually clarified the word with him to make sure he operated on the correct part of my knee.

The surgical coordinator is going to call me within a week. I really wanted to schedule it right then and there, but I guess these things take time. I have to have a preoperative physical (i.e. someone is going to weigh me and I'm going to have to give said person dirty looks...blah). I silently vow to take all incoming calls from weird numbers that I typically ignore since I really do want to schedule this surgery.

That's it...D-Day went just about how I thought it would, but I had more fun with it. Dr. W is a tough nut to crack. I got a smile with the tummy tuck question and something else...it may have been wanting to see the MRI (seriously? It's mine...it's my MRI...let me see it...it's probably in some top secret MRI screening room where everyone sits around and laughs at the latest patient who should have come in 12 years ago). Who knows? Maybe he just doesn't get my sense of humor...wonder why...