Today's post was going to be titled Schlong Thongs.
I'll get back to writing that post again soon. Just thinking about the topic makes me laugh. I like to keep myself amused, have you noticed?
I had a long, long, visit with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday. Honestly, he's the only orthopedic surgeon on earth who will sit down and spend an hour or more with a patient.
Our visit began with him teasing me about some of the topics I write about. Yes, embarrassingly enough, he reads Twenty Four At Heart. I didn't tell him about 24, but he found the site while googling one day. He started reading and realized his very own patient was the author.
My injuries/recovery/car accident story are pretty identifying I suppose. Apparently he even knows I gave away a rabbit once upon a time. Isn't that the sort of thing you want your health care professional discussing with you as he laughs heartily and wags his eyebrows at you?
In truth, I owe him my deepest gratitude for all eternity. When he first saw me I was curled up in a ball in the most excruciating pain imaginable. I'd been through three failed surgeries with a different doctor and I was in terrible, terrible, shape. I will never forget him telling me I needed surgery (again) "as soon as possible." I informed him there would be no more surgeries, and then he looked me in the eye and said, "Let me help you … please."
I did. A few days later he operated on me and then he followed up a few weeks later with my 5th and final surgery.
It is now one year later, and nearly three years since my car accident.
Yesterday he reminded me of just how bad things were a year ago. He reminded me of how far I've come. I have come a long way, he's right. And then … for the first time, he informed me I will spend the remainder of my life with a permanent disability.
He and The Torturer, apparently, have known this all along. The realization they've known this for the last year both surprised and hurt me. My surgeon told me they couldn't "allow" me to hear those words earlier because they knew my recovery would be difficult and it was critical to my progress that I believe I'd get better. They've been in a conspiracy against me all this time. By mutual agreement they've been withholding information.
You don't get better from a permanent disability.
A permanent disability is … permanent.
I mean, I knew I'd never be playing tennis again, but …?
Doc added, "You can't come back from what you've been through and expect your arm to ever work normally again."
Then why? Why have I been trying so damn hard to make my arm work if they've known all along it never will?
The Torturer tells me it's because my arm would be in much worse shape if I hadn't been working my ass off.
In case I was overwhelmed with the news of my permanent disability, Doc prescribed me some Xanax before I left. I guess it's supposed to keep me calm until I come to terms with the words permanent disability.
Permanent disability. Permanent disability. Permanent disability.
I don't want to come to terms with those words. I don't want to ever hear those words again. I don't want to take Xanax and pretend everything is wonderful either.
Doc also added to my gloom by ordering another MRI. I don't remember how many MRIs I've had over the course of the last three years, but I do know it's been too many.
"Why?" I asked him. "Why do an MRI? I will not go through more surgery no matter what you find."
He looked at me thoughtfully. I could see his wheels spinning. I could feel him thinking back to a year ago when I was also quite adamant I wouldn't go through more surgeries.
Quietly, he wrote up the order for the test in spite of my protests.
I have family in town for the next several days so I've postponed the MRI until Monday evening. I won't get the results back until the end of next week.
There was more bad news too. Many of you know I've had a strong (!) personal goal to be done with PT by this summer. Yeah, well, that ain't happening. (Where did I put those Xanax pills?) I won't bore you with all the medical mumbo jumbo about the horrible, disastrous things Doc forecasts for me if I stop PT. It's enough for you to know he believes I'll be in excruciating pain if I stop.
Really? Does he wants me to be a "lifer" at PT? Does he expect me to go to PT forever to manage the pain caused by my permanent disability?
I suppose that brings good news for all of you … stories about Money Town women and The Torturer won't dry up anytime soon. (As a side note, my doc got on quite a roll about Money Town women and how extreme they are. Money Town women have quite the reputation in Southern California!)
I left the doc's office and went straight to my standing appointment at PT. There are times when The Torturer is kind and there are times when he's tough. Yesterday he sat next to me and simply said, "Tell me."
And I did.
When I said permanent disability, The Torturer looked down, avoided my eyes, and nodded his head.
I protested and told him to stop nodding his head in agreement because he can't agree with that prognosis.
He was just … quiet.
Why wouldn't he tell me the doctor is wrong? It's what he was supposed to do. It's what I needed to hear him say.
© Twenty Four At Heart