Monday, July 07, 2008

How was my trip, you ask?

Weellll, I spent the last five days in the hospital. I can tell you that the Hilo Medical Center in Hilo, Hawaii is very nice!

I fractured, last Monday, my left "tibial plateau" (essentially part of the knee joint) quite badly. A wave knocked me over as I was walking into the water - which shouldn't have been a problem, and it was just a fluke that I fell the way I did and broke it. I went to the hospital the next day (it didn't seem bad enough right then, and only became grotesquely swollen, and me unable to walk, that evening). Spent 12 hours in emergency, then was admitted that night. Told by the orthopaedic surgeon that it should be operated on - a fairly major and complicated operation that would involve putting pins and plates and all that stuff in my knee, and yet would still probably result in me having arthritis or some mobility restrictions. Good times. So the doctor was at first going to operate on me there, but then was quite strongly advocating that I go home to have it done, so that the same doc who operated on me could follow up with me, because of the strong possibiblity of problems with the surgery and outcome.

So I stayed in the hospital, with myself calling my OB/GYN in Scary City (the only doc I really have here) pleading with him to find me an Orthopaedic surgeon who would admit me into the hospital. The hospital people were arranging with my travel insurance to get me home. Meanwhile I hung out in hospital, transported around by wheelchair and then later by walker and then by crutches. We weren't able to leave until Saturday night. The insurance had booked R and I into first class flights so I had more room as was not able to bend leg. These flights - overnight, red-eye - were a horror because the folks at the hospital in Hawaii had struck mortal fear into me by consistently warning me about the possibility of dying of a blood clot on the way home, because of having been lying down for so many days before. I had been given daily injections of anti-clot stuff, but I was still terrified. R said I seemed so worked up on the plane that I was going to give myself a heart attack. And then I was also having some sort of awful reaction to the meds I was on for pain. God, the traveling was the worst part of the whole thing.

Then yesterday morning - Sunday - I arrived back in Scary City and was escorted straight to the hospital, where I was admitted into a horrifying ward that I have named the Dickensian Ward. It was so noisy and chaotic and disturbing and smelled liked pee, and I was shocked. (Thankfully I was transferred when a semi-private room became available in the evening.) The Orthopaedic surgeon on call right now had agreed to take me on. I met with him yesterday and then again this morning, when he discharged me. After looking at the x-rays and MRI, he doesn't feel that the extremely complex surgery is worth it. Thinks I can probably heal almost as well (read, not fully, but mostly) without doing it. So here I am. At home, on crutches for weeks more. R is here for the week (she had to take an extra week off work in Home City, which I feel bad about), and then my mother insisted on booking herself a ticked to come here for five days, and then my father for a week. By then, I should think I'll be in pretty good shape, though probably still on crutches.

So, yeah. That was Hawaii. It was great up till this happened. And I was supposed to leave for Home City this Wednesday, for seven weeks. Now I can't. Now I'm here for at least three more weeks. There goes my long summer with R, which we really need because we are on tenterhooks.

Really, it is so ridiculous I could almost laugh. I've had more health/medical problems in the last twelve months than I've had in my whole life, it feels like!!

Anyway, will now go to start checking out your 145 posts in Bloglines - good reading for an invalid!!

21 comments:

plam said...

Wow. I'm speechless. I hope that this latest medical incident (a wave?!) passes too and that you can resume biking around soon enough. Good thing you have travel insurance.

It's probably better to not get the surgery, but what do I know; we're all the wrong kind of doctor for that.

(Yeah, I really should get travel insurance before we climb Mt. Rainier....)

Maggie said...

Sweet Christ on a bicycle, Hilaire. I'm so sorry! And I so, so empathize with you about the travel... long plane rides are horrid anyway, I can only imagine how awful it must have been under those conditions.

I'm sending you healing energy, dearheart. Take care of yourself.

medieval woman said...

Oh. My. God. Wow.

Shit...

...I don't know what to say except how sorry I am that this happened to you! It just sounds like one harrowing event after another - jeez.

Please keep us updatd and accept all the cyber-hugs and good healing vibes I can send!!!

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh my god, I'm so sorry! How absolutely miserable - you poor thing! Sending lots of healing thoughts your way!!

squadratomagico said...

Poor Hilaire! You seem to have pissed off the gods of physical well-being this year!

Hope it heals up quickly!

JM said...

wow. virtual icepacks to you. sorry for the sucky.

What Now? said...

Hilaire -- I can't believe this -- how horrible! What a terrible misadventure. I am so, so sorry, about the ruined trip to Hawaii, the long healing, the shortened summer with R -- damn, this just sucks so much. You have all my sympathies.

Sisyphus said...

Oh no! Rest up and get well! maybe go for a second opinion on that surgery now that you're back home? And look into physical therapy for recuperating --- I had to do that for my dislocations. Ooh, and pilates, if you're careful, is good for strengthening up the muscles once you've gotten through the PT recovery stuff.

Hilaire said...

Thanks, all -

Just a couple of things...

Plam (and everyone) - Yes, yes, yes to travel health insurance...!!! I cringe to think about the times I've traveled either without it, or without bringing along my policy number and info. Plam, you should have it as part of your university's benefits package - every place I've ever worked at has had it. Definitely use it!!

Sis - Yeah, I forgot to say about the second opinion: One thing that made me like this orthopedic surgeon in Home City was that he made sure to get a second opinion...he told me after the first time I saw him that he was thinking it might not need surgery, but that he wanted to consult with a colleague before saying so definitively. I appreciated that a lot. And sure enough, the colleague also agreed that the major surgery that would be required would not have outcomes that justified the hellishness.

And yeah, pilates - I might go back to it...I did it years and years ago, and stopped - I'm really such a cardio girl. Now that I'm going to be unable to do my cardio for weeks and weeks, I'm going to have to look at other options...pilates is going to be one of them.

Thanks for the well wishes!

Dorabella said...

That's awful. I'm so sorry. Feel better soon!

JustMe said...

oh my gosh, you poor thing. that sounds awful! as if flying wasn't bad enough, then add in the stress! i hope things get better real soon!

Psychgrad said...

Geez - when it rains it pours. I'm really sorry to hear about this.

I guess not needing surgery is a good thing - particularly if there are generally a lot of potential problems post-surgery. I like the surgeon's attitude about this (i.e., wanting a 2nd opinion). I hope it heals well on its own. It's good to hear that your parents are going to come in to help out. Don't be shy to accept the help too!

lil'rumpus said...

Damn. I mean DAMN! That totally sucks. I really hope your leg comes back from this. I am a cardio girl, too. My answer for folks is some kind of cardio and sculpt combo...but that's for much later. In the meantime, I am sending positive healing energy your way.

K said...

Oh Hilaire, I'm so sorry. Here's to a quick recovery.

dbm/gaa said...

OMG you poor thing! What a mess. At least you have help, or else I'd have to come out there myself. jeebus woman look after yourself! Oh, let other people do it for you.

Susan said...

Avoiding surgery is absolutely terrific. I'm a great believer in PT! I wonder if the surgery/not is a Canada-US distinction?

Anyway, it's boring, and a terrible way to end your vacation in Hawaii, but I hope you have a quick recovery.

Dr. K said...

Ack! Glad that you didn't need the surgery but so sorry that your holiday and Home City plans were ruined. Here's to a speedy recovery.

Thoroughly Educated said...

Yikes! I keep thinking there's going to be a letup in your annus horribilis syndrome! Heal well. I wonder if you can do water therapy?

Psych Post Doc said...

I am so sorry!! I hope you heal quicker than expected and can recoup some of your time with R.

Maude Lebowski said...

oh girl! i'm so so so sorry! that sucks! at least you don't have to have surgery. what a mess. when it rains, it pours doesn't it? all of my get well/speedy recovery wishes and energy go out to you!

take care of yourself, and i hope things begin to look up.

adjunct whore said...

holy toledo....you really must laugh, no?

god i'm so sorry, on so many levels...and i know you and R need some time. i really hope you get some soon.

don't let your mother drive you crazy:)