I remember my very first question on my NCLEX exam for my nursing license being an orthopedic question – my least favorite subject – and me thinking, “This can’t be a good sign.”
And then I REALLY couldn’t believe the irony when I was hired to work the orthopedic floor as my first job – but I transferred to general med/surg as soon as I could because ortho was not my jam.
Well, 15 years later, ortho is still not my jam, but I was sitting at the first of two orthopedic appointments I had for myself today when this doctor I was meeting for the first time started just casually giving me all kinds of frightening information.
After looking me over and poking on me, he determined that, apart from stress fractures and bursitis, an MRI of my hip was needed because a condition called avascular necrosis (AVN) seems likely.
As most of my readers probably aren’t familiar with AVN, here is a brief definition:
As is mentioned above, AVN is frequently caused by long-term steroid use. Also, a major issue I’ve been having – that was so severe I was limping this morning – is pain radiating down my thigh to my knee. As you see listed, that is a symptom. AVN is also linked to lupus. There are many frightening indicators.
So, the doctor mentions quickly that I need the MRI because of this condition and then says casually to my daughter and me, “The severity of the AVN determines the size of the graft.” He then says, “So we’ll see you to discuss everything after the MRI. In the meantime, we will treat with that as our presumptive diagnosis. So use your walker and don’t fall.” Then he just walked out. No answering questions. No concern for my pain. Just dropped a bomb like that and LEFT.
And the real kicker was that his assistant seemed surprised that I was crying when she came in. I just told her I was in severe pain and completely upset and confused. Based on her reaction, patients must leave in that condition all the time.
Anyway, I took my MRI paperwork and I will have it done. I will then pick up the results and see another orthopedist. I wouldn’t let this one operate on my worst enemy, as his treatment plan for a presumptive diagnosis of AVN is “use your walker and don’t fall.”
And that was just my first appointment of the day.
My second was a followup with my foot ortho guy. And what did he have to say?
Both of my feet are still all kinds of broken – no kidding – and I’m still not a good surgical candidate. (That especially sucks since the hip guy says I likely NEED some hip work done. Great.) Anyway, he said I could come back in four weeks to recheck them – or sooner if I “fall or something.” What the frack? What is the deal with everybody at this office and falling today? He really seemed put out to see me since there is no procedure for him to do.
I decided today to find a new foot ortho doc as well, because I understand that there is no big billing in office visits instead of surgery but somebody has to follow my broken feet. I have multiple broken bones in both of them.
And again I left there crying.
And, just when I got it together to at least get us home, my daughter lost it – because all of the doctor craziness she had seen and heard today had scared her to death for me. She goes with me to all of my appointments and has NEVER reacted like that. Today was just that terrible.
When we got home, my smartchair had been delivered which I am so incredibly thankful for – but, WOW, what a big deal too. Especially with the AVN business, I am so glad it was delivered though. As I mentioned in a previous post, he shall be called Maximus.
He is this style KD Smart Chair:
He is incredibly comfortable and drives like a dream. I was so exhausted today that I really didn’t get to drive him as much as I would like so tomorrow I’ll be learning more – and I’m sure there will be pictures of our adventures once I gather myself.
Even this post is hours after the fact because I totally hugged my Wonderpup and collapsed this evening.
This is some rough stuff, y’all.
All prayers, good vibes, and warm fuzzies are greatly appreciated.
Be well, everybody.
Grace and Blessings.