Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finally, A visit to the Orthopeadic Surgeon.

Well, today was interesting.  But let us first go back to Tuesday.  Ok, well wait, let us actually go back to August when I made an appointment with my local Orthopedist to review the results of my shoulder MRI, which I already knew showed two torn ligaments in my rotator cuff, one which one a “near complete tear” because I hacked into the disk that held my radiology report.  *Inhaaaaaaaaaaale*  The “first available” appointment was for 6 weeks later.  Yippee Skippy!  So that would make it September 24th.  However, on Tuesday at exactly just a few minutes before I was to leave my awesome, amazing, fabulous job (covering my posterior, just in case my boss stumbles onto this) the Ortho desk lady calls me and says “ummm, Miss Law-ree” (I live in Mississippi, but I’m a damn Yankee and have a damn Yankee name, so that is how its pronounced down here), “Dr. McBusy had to leave the office and rush to the hospital to perform a superahippoagealterectomy”, or some other such ridiculously unpronounceable surgery, but what he was probably doing was an emergency round of golf.  But ok, so I’m obviously a little put out by this stellar turn of events since I had just waited six weeks in pure agony, but they did just move my appointment to the next day.  I could handle that, except I’m a drama queen and I just needed something to be uber dramatic about so I of course whined and wailed about it for the rest of the day.  My family really appreciates and admires my dramatic side, so I indulge them whenever possible.  (You’re welcome family). 

Wednesday takes it sweet time getting here but somehow I manage to survive long enough to make it to my new appointment, one entire, whole day later.   Phew!  I only have to sit in the waiting room for about an hour and fifteen minutes before I’m called back, but I have my handy dandy Nook Book Reader with me (shameless plug) because I’ve been to this rodeo before.  As I’m immersed in a really good smuttyfied horrorish murdery novel, (Those words will be in the soon to be bestselling dictionary that I plan to write and have published by a famous publishing house later this year.  Be on the lookout for it, titled, Words I Totally Made Up and How to Spell Them Wrongishly, by Lorie) the nurse comes out into the waiting room and calls out for Miss Law-ree.  I really should be used to people pronouncing it this way by now but I do briefly look around the waiting room just to see if Key and Peele are hiding somewhere getting ready to drop a  "Substitute Teacher" skit right in the middle of this doctor’s office.  Alas, no such luck.  So I gather up my 40 lbs. of crap that I routinely carry around with me (ask me how I messed up my rotator cuff) and schlepped off to the patient room to wait for Dr. McGonnabewaitingawhile, to join me.  As soon as I entered the patient room I was immediately assaulted by the lovely aroma of rectal methane leakage.  Holy Anus Symphony, Batman!  Who the hell was in this room before me????  I looked at the nurse fully expecting her to apologize for the rancid smell in this room, but much to my surprise she totally pulled off the most impressive poker face I’ve ever seen because she actually appeared, to the naked eye, to be completely oblivious of anything odoriferously offensive.  Well played,  Nurse Ratched . Well played indeed.  Okay, well if Nurse Ratched can pull off the “I don’t smell a thing” card, I am certainly not going to fold!  So I pretended to not smell anything putridly rancid either, although my eyes were watering and my nose was running a bit and I was fighting the insanely vigorous urge to cough. 

Up to this point I may not have mentioned the Kinesio Tape.  What is Kinesio Tape ?  I’m glad you asked.  Kineso Tape is a rumbustious (That’s a real word. I swear!  It means really strong. Google it.  ) elasticy (don’t Google that word until my dictionary comes out) tape that you put all over your wounded body part, in this case; my shoulder, and it provides some stability to weak and torn ligaments and muscles.  Okay, so you don’t put it “all over” your wounded body part, there is actually a way to properly tape it, but for the purpose of this story we’ll just say it was all over my shoulder.  And I already mentioned it was super, whamidine, maama jaama strong tape.  Like sticky strong.  Like rip off 17 layers of skin and expose the grody stuff under your skin strong, if you don’t soak it off in a nice warm bubbly tub first.  And I may not have mentioned yet that I had dear husband, Mark put a fresh coating of this fly paper armor tape on my shoulder just that very morning. Yup, six whole pieces.  Six. 

Now back the noxious room with Nurse Rached.  She opens her mouth to speak and I know she has to be loath to actually allow the fumes in that room to enter her mouth while she speaks, but she’s got some brass, because she does so without making any expression changes at all.  I’m wondering if my mettle might be out gunned here.  She says that we are going to go take some x-rays and I’m wondering if by “we” she means I get to run the x-ray equipment.  Nah, you probably need a permit or a license or something to do that.  Then she informs me that my precious tape needs to be removed first.  Aw hell.  Then she informs me that she will be removing it for me.  Well….. um….. okay, I suppose.  I mean, she’s a nurse right?  They are trained to be compassionate to the patient.  Right?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure she took the cliff notes version of the “Nursing with Compassion” class at Nursing School.  She grabbed the first piece and ripped it off like she was trying to give me a Brazilian wax job on my shoulder.  I responded to that with a “wooo”.  She said “Oh did that hurt”?  As she dug her nails under the second piece and flayed the flabby part of my upper arm like a trout.  At this point I had opened my mouth wider to “Wooo” again but that booty perfume snuck into my mouth and I promptly closed it again, hence I “Wooooo” and then “uuurrpshhhhh” all over Nurse Ratched’s Crocs.  So I just sat there with my hands politely crossed in my lap and didn’t open my pie hole again while she extracted all the hair from my arm and I suspect several layers of my epidermis as well.  Then she said “here” and handed me the ball of crumpled tape with all of my shoulder hair and some lumps of pink skin rolled in for good measure and wordlessly left the room.  Hmm.  I wonder if I was supposed to follow her so “we” could take an x-ray.   A moment later she reappeared at the door and stared at me like I had a penis growing out of my forehead.  I guess I was supposed to follow her when she left the first time.  I looked at her and said “Hi”.  She didn’t look amused, so I got up and followed her this time.  One of the little voices in my head echoed “it’s not good to piss off the medical professionals who are in charge of your health and well-being”.  I wonder if Nurse Ratched reads my blog.

The x-rays went fairly uneventfully.  They indeed did not need my help running the x-ray equipment.  I asked.  Before I knew it I was back in the skunk room awaiting Dr. McKeepwaiting.  So I read some more of my e-book, carefully keeping my mouth closed to the odor when a thought occurred to me.  I wonder if Dr. McLigament will walk into this room and think that *I* am responsible for this nuclear landfill grade aroma?  I did not like that thought, so I took it upon myself to open the door and allow a little fresh air to seep in.  No sooner had I sat back down, did Nurse Ratched storm to the open door and promptly snap it closed again.  Well hell.   Maybe I would just blame Dr. McBone-Dude for the perfume in the room.  Yeah, I wonder if I have the stones to clamp my hand over my mouth and nose, when he walked in and say “ohmagawd, did you have red beans and rice for lunch”?  And then that pesky little voice in my head reminded me again “Best not to piss off the dude who may, someday soon, have a scalpel aimed at your unconscious body”.  Eh, better not I spose’.   

Dr. McScapel-Weilder finally made an appearance in the poopy room not long after I mentally vetoed playing the blame game with him.  He asked me a few relevant questions and made me do “the wave” a few times and then twisted, prodded, poked, contorted and tied my arm in a pretty bow. (This is why he makes the big bucks)  He then pronounced that I still had good range of motion.  Goody, but my arm is still numb from the shoulder down to the tips of my fingers, so he declares that the real problem may in fact, be a disk in my neck.  That is an outstanding bit of news right there.   But wait, it gets better.  Do you think Dr. McPain wants to do an x-ray of my neck?  Naw.  How about a CT Scan?  Nope.  An MRI perhaps?  Negative.  No Dr. McSharps is a fan of process of elimination.  This is always good news.  He would like to do a Cortisone and Steroid injection into the bursa between the Humeral bone head and the Coracoid process, right under the Acromioclavicular joint.  Oh well sure.  I’d love it if you stuck a needle into the tenderest bit of torn ligament in my shoulder.  Why don’t we do two while we’re at it?  A matching pair would be nice don’t you think? 

I did ask the doctor if I was going to cry because of this and if I did, do I get a lollipop afterward.  He snickered a bit and said that is sounded more painful than it really was.  I really hoped that he was snickering at me for being a goober and not because he just told a big ol’ whopper to the gullible patient.  Doc left because apparently he doesn’t do his own dirty work and he sent in Dr. Doogie,  his Physician’s assistant.  I was feeling a little insecure about Dr. McSnicker’s assurances so I asked Dr. Howser if *he* thought I would need a lollipop after this injection and he answered my question with a question.  (Dontcha love that?)  He asked if I’d ever had one before.  I said No.  He then assured me that THIS one would be the best one then.  Okay, so in other words, this one might hurt like a mofo, but the next time I get one, it’ll rate higher than 40 bullet ant stings on Schmit’s Sting Pain index?   That really didn’t have the sedative effect on me that I think Dr. Doogie was going for.  Perhaps he should read my blog.

Dr. Howser gave me some last minute tips on post injection shoulder care.  “Don’t use your right arm for a few days. The first two or three days, your pain should get worse, but then you should get some relief.  If not, then it means the injection didn’t work. If anything turns black and falls off, call and make an appointment to come back and see us”.  He didn’t actually say that last part, I just added it to be dramatic.   Doogie cleaned my shoulder with some alcohol (he didn’t have the kind you drink, I asked) and then some betadine. Then took a fine point sharpie out of his pocket and proceeded to draw a scapular map on my shoulder that would make the fussiest cartographer proud.  I asked if he was going to make an “X marks the spot” addition to the map.  He wasn’t, but he would if I really wanted him to.  Well, no.  I don’t want to be high maintenance but shouldn’t any good map have a red “X marks the spot” spot on it??  Ok, well maybe I was stalling.

And then he removed the syringe from his lab coat pocket.  When he popped off the protective cover, one of the more annoying voices in my head said “Dum Dum Dum Duuuuuummm”.  That voice really grates on my nerves.  But the voice was right.  The needle looked like a Sonic Route 44 drinking straw.  I wondered if he was going to inject me with a blow dart through that straw, but no.  That was the actual needle.    I felt beads of sweat start rolling down my neck and I prayed they wouldn’t cause Dr. Jeremy’s map to run down my back and that straw sized needle would somehow end up jabbed into my chubby ass.  Oh Lord, the places where my mind wanders when I’m moderately panicked.  Dr. Howser explained that, more than pain, I would actually feel a lot of pressure.  Okay, well that doesn’t sound horrible, I spose’.   Yeah right.  Doogie proceeded to push that needle in through my right shoulder, but I swear it came out in my spleen.  Holy Paralytic Extremities, Batman!  My arm felt like it weighed 73 pounds and had Black Mamba venom coursing through it causing it to rot off at warp speed. (pretty image eh?) I’m fairly certain that Doogie’s needle hit quite a few odd nerves during it journey to my spleen because my left eye snapped shut of its own accord, both of my pinky toes curled under, my one open eye was watching a fireworks show that was being projected on the paper towel dispenser, I thought I could feel a band of spiders marching up and down my back while my ears twitched out a rhythm that made me think of playing “Chopsticks” on the piano as a kid, and I kept hearing an odd noise that sounded a bit like a wounded cat.  But after a few minutes I realized that the cat noise was coming from me, so strike that one. 

Four hours later, Dr. Doogie said, “All done, now that wasn’t too bad was it”?  Well no, not if you are comparing it to a six hour root canal with no Novocain.  Or maybe having an ingrown toe nail removed with a pair of rusty pliers.  Then no, no it wasn’t that bad.  But if you are comparing it to an Ice Cream cone from Ben and Jerry’s, then it sucked out loud.  But then again, I am a grown up (mostly) so aside from the mewling cat noise that involuntarily escaped from my throat, I think I handled it very well.  However, I was making plans to walk calmly to my car and roll up the windows, turn the radio up full blast and belt out a fourteen minutes string of swear words I learned from my husband’s twenty years of service in the Navy and all the swabby sailors whom we socialized with.  I’ll leave the details of that out in case my Mom and Dad read this. 

The next few days should be fun.  Stay tuned.

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