Thursday, July 18, 2013

Under the knife

Well, a week can make all the difference.  I went to Dr. Wenneker again on Monday expecting some sort of head scratching and song and dance about what might be wrong with my leg.  To my surprise, he took one look at the report from the radiology lab and said, "Oh here it say's you've got a torn labrum."

Umm, isn't that what I was calling about all last week?

Apparently Jefferson Hospital is just as dysfunctional as the rest of the medical profession; Wenneker was never notified that the MRI that he'd requested for me was complete.  What the fuck.  At this point though, I'm honestly happy that they found something, anything that could be at the root of all of the problems that have kept me from my beloved bike riding for the past 18 months.  Let's get me into surgery and get me recovering and make this happen.

I called the surgical specialists at the Rothman Institute, the orthopedic specialty clinic at Jefferson, and was expecting a long wait.  Every other time I've tried to schedule an appointment with a specialist it's been a 4-6 week wait and I expected something similar here.  Nope, called on Monday, in on Wednesday.  I got in to see a guy who specializes in hip surgery at one of the top ranked clinics in the country in 2 days.  Once I got to my appointment, I registered on a touch screen and they called me up to the desk within 1 minute.  Then I completed my patient questionnaire on an Ipad and was ushered into the doctor's suite within 5 minutes.  Totally night and day difference in customer experience.  I did have to wait a fairly long time once I was in the room, but at least I was there, getting seen.  Maybe my standards have been lowered too far, but whatever, at this point it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Once he came in, Dr. Parivisi went over the MRI, X-rays and my patient report, flexed my leg around a little, listened to my symptoms and gave me 2 options.  Option one is to wait for it to see if it heals on its own, with maybe some anti-inflammatories.  Option two is to open me up, clean out the chunks of gristle that are all torn up in there and smooth out the cartilage on my hip.  I figure that if 18 months of pain is probably enough to convince me that time is not going to help.  We're going to go for broke and open me up.  This seems like the only reasonable option at this point, particularly since the last month has seen my hip pain get worse and worse.  I'm now taking 4-6 of my pain pills a day, rather than 2 every couple of days.  Sitting hurts, standing hurts, riding a bike hurts, sleeping hurts.  Time to get this show on the road.  I go in to surgery on July 30th and should go home the same day.  Dr. Parivisi said that I should be fairly mobile with crutches for the first week, and then weight bearing after that.  He expected I'll probably be able to get back on a bike within 3 weeks  and start aggressive physical therapy after that.  Full recovery is rather long though, 3+ months before I get full range of motion and strength close to normal.  Whatever.  I can deal with 3 months of improvement after 18 months of decline.

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