So Dr. Busy has been very busy, but he managed to fit me in before Christmas time. He reviewed my MRI and CT scan and swiftly announced that I would be needing to have the rod in my leg removed and then replaced with a larger one because my femur bone has not yet fused.
Just as he stood to leave, I requested that perhaps we talk about this for more than 30 seconds.
“Well, I spoke with the doctor who did my initial surgery…” I began.
Let’s pause the tape there. I didn’t know, or at least I didn’t want to believe, that some doctors could actually have egos SO large that they would be offended by a patient getting a second opinion from another doctor. I mean, it’s not like I googled it or asked my Auntie Donna what her opinion was. I went to another doctor in the same field with lots of experience to see if there was any way my thigh didn’t have to be ripped open again…
“…who is the doctor?” Dr. Busy, suddenly not so busy, stopped and asked.
“Dr. Fabulous? He is down in Orange Park and was the doctor in the ER when…”
“Well, do you want him to manage your care, or do you want me to?” he snapped.
I didn’t think, nor breathe, before I said this next part and I take full responsibility for it.
“I want him to, but unfortunately he isn’t covered by my new insurance so here we are.”
“Anyway, he suggested we try removing the screw from my knee to encourage the bones closer together,” I explained.
“Oh, like dionizing them?” he asked me as if I had any idea what the hell that meant. I googled it and I still don’t know what it means. Or how to spell it.
“Sure. I guess. Anyway he said that would be a far less invasive first step we could try.”
“Um. Yeeeah. I guess we could try that.”
Aaaaaand here’s my inner dialogue: Are you fucking kidding me?! You were about to walk out of the room to your next patient while I went ahead and scheduled a HUGE life-altering surgery and there is an ALTERNATIVE that we can TRY that you weren’t even going to MENTION?!
“Well, I’d like to try that so can we start there?” I asked.
“If that’s what you want to do, then I need to find out why this first surgery didn’t take.”
“Could it be because my bones had a long way to grow and they just haven’t quite made it yet?”
“I’m guessing it has something to do with your nutrition,” he said, obviously not knowing anything about me at all. “I’ll need to have a lab work-up done to understand why your body isn’t healing.”
“Ok. I mean, my nutrition is spot-on fabulous…”
“Well, you may think that. But your lab work will show us the truth,” he scolded
What, that I’m an overweight, unhealthy slob? Can’t you tell that’s not true just by looking at me?
“I also want to have the area around the bone aspirated to see if there is an infection there,” he went on.
“Wouldn’t I feel pain or have a fever if I had an infection?” I asked.
“Not always. We need to know for sure.”
“What if my insurance doesn’t cover all of these procedures?” I asked.
“I cannot do the surgery until I have the answers as to why your bone didn’t grow…” Then he sort of grumped out of the room.
There are a lot of lessons I can take from this. One is that Dr. Busy is an asshole. But two…two got me thinking. We ask “why?” a lot. Why didn’t it happen this way or that? And we analyze the “whys”, despite already having the diagnoses or knowing what the next steps should be. When I explained to Dr. Fabulous all the lab work Dr. Busy wanted done, he asked me, “What’s the point of all that? What good will it do him to know ‘why’?”
Ever ask yourself this? What good will knowing “why?” do for you? If you know why he cheated on you, will it hurt any less? If you know why the drunk driver was drinking, will it change the outcome of the accident? If I know why my bone hasn’t grown back together, will it suddenly cause my femur to fuse back together? But we drive ourselves crazy with “whys”, with needing to know more than we already do, even though the information doesn’t help at all.
I’m sure there are a million arguments as to when knowing “why” is a good thing, but I wonder if it’s always as good as we think it is? The next time you NEED to know “why”, second-guess yourself. Because even if my lab work shows my nutrition is horrible and also shows an infection in my bone, it still isn’t fused. It still hasn’t grown back together. And I still need another surgery to fix this problem. Jumping through a bunch of Why Hoops won’t change the outcome.
So, as of now, I have an appointment scheduled for January 27 to have the screw removed from my knee. At that point I will have 3 or 4 months to get my fuse on. And, if that screw-removal DOESN’T result in a femur that’s in one piece, I will have to have the big surgery to replace the entire rod. Can I get a couple prayers for a fused femur, peeps? 🙂