Saturday, February 27, 2010
I can feel my jaw drop as he says this. I was NOT expecting to hear that I need surgery. For a bone bruise? What is going on here? He tells me that the MRI shows that I did not bruise that part of my talus, I actually broke it. The broken bone is causing my ankle joint not to fit together correctly and move smoothly. The surgery involved going in with a drill and a camera and removing the broken part, and then drilling into the bone marrow to encourage new bone to grow. I'm holding myself together pretty well at this point, until he brings up arthritis. And the fact that it's now a given that I will develop it at some point. I feel my eyes well up with tears, but I'm not a cry-in-front-of-others type of person, so I blink them away and ask how long it will take for the arthritis to develop. I remember him telling me that was a wonderful question, and unfortunately, he couldn't answer that. It could be 10 years, or 20 years, or.....whenever. Now, Dr. BlueEyes is a great guy, and he walked me all the way out to the lobby with his arm around my shoulder and told the receptionist that I was going to need a consultation with the Foot and Ankle surgeon. He told me to hang in there and if I needed anything, I could call him. And that was the last time I ever saw him. I mean, he didn't die or anything, he still works there.....I just haven't needed to see him again. So the receptionist tells me that the Foot and Ankle surgeon doesn't have any available appointments for 3.5 weeks. I got into my car, closed the door, and burst into tears. And I cried for quite a few miles on the way home. But now what? I have 25 days to sit and wait and worry and not have anyone to answer my questions. I'm still in pain. Surgery?! What about my job? I stand a lot! Will I need to be on crutches? Drilling my bone marrow? How much pain will I be in when I wake up? So I did what researchers do. I researched. I went straight to the medical journals and I learned everything I could about my injury [an Osteochondral Fracture of the Talus, for you nerds out there :)] and the different types of therapies. And I will not lie to you, I got a pretty sick satisfaction out of telling my boss that I needed SURGERY and apparently, you CAN be that injured and still walk on it. The day of the surgeon's appointment finally rolls around, and I am so confident. I know my injury, I have seen the data on different therapies. I have made decisions on how I want my treatment to go. I am READY for this. I have been in pain for nearly 4 months, and I am ready to move on with my life. So I'm sitting in his exam room, my shoes and socks off, waiting to get this ball rolling and he knocks on the door and walks in. And he's gorgeous. Oh my god. And he shakes my hand and introduces himself and I can feel myself blushing because he is so attractive. Grey's Anatomy was lying when they called that guy McDreamy. I officially declare his official name to be Dr. McGorgeous. So he looks at my MRI, and does the same ankle exam that I've had done 3 times in the past and I feel smug. Because I am prepared for this. And because I'm an idiot. He sits down and tells me that yes, we will repair that fracture, but he thinks we will need to repair at least one ligament. This is that point in the movie where everything gets all fuzzy and slow for the main character, because what's currently happening to them is so bizarre and so unreal that it can't even be filmed in real time without camera tricks. He goes on to explain that if the ligament needs to be repaired, my surgery goes from an arthroscopic (meaning, done with a camera and tiny incisions) procedure with me walking in a week (which repairs the bone), to that procedure PLUS an open procedure where they drill a screw into my leg and reattach the ligament to that. And the recovery is much more difficult. Tears in eyes AGAIN, I ask him what are the odds that I need this done. He said the only way for him to diagnose this for sure is to do a stress test while I am under anesthesia. Apparently, when your ankle hurts as much as mine, you start "guarding". Which means, all your muscles and tendons tighten up to prevent it from moving too much, and this makes doing a stress test while I'm awake impossible. I tell him to level with me, because I can't be put under not having a good idea of what I'm waking up to. He tells me he would guess that there is a greater than 90% chance I need a ligament repaired, in addition to the bone repair. In a daze, I was led to the scheduling department and was signed up for surgery on May 21st. Four and a half months after the injury happened. Walked out to the car, burst into tears, lather, rinse, repeat. I need to know what is going to happen if Dr. McGorgeous is right, and I need at least one ligament repaired. How could a simple "sprained ankle" have turned into this?