Today was my 6-week follow up on my most recent leg surgery. If you don’t know that story, here’s the summary:
Had to switch doctors due to insurance from Dr. Fabulous to Dr. Busy.
Dr. Busy said I needed to have my entire femur reconstructed.
Dr. Fabulous’s second opinion was that I only needed the screw in my knee removed to encourage my femur bone to fuse back together.
Dr. Busy disagreed and was kind of a turd about the whole thing, making me get a bunch of tests before he would take the screw out of my knee.
Dr. Busy took the screw out of my knee.
So today was the real test…did my femur bone make growth progress? Was it possible that Dr. Busy was right and I needed the whole, big, awful reconstruction surgery?
I arrived way early and got right in for an x-ray. It was the usual, “Are you wearing metal? Any chance of pregnancy? Do you like my scrubs? Wait in the hall.”
I tried to sneak a look at my x-ray on his little screen in the x-ray room before I went to the hall, but I couldn’t see it.
I was called into another room where I sat with an assistant who asked me questions about how many drugs I’m taking and if I want physical therapy. (I’m telling you, this entire office is just FULL of people who do their homework…) I asked if she could bring my x-ray up on the screen and she said it wasn’t working for her. I’d have to wait for Dr. Busy’s assistant, Assistant Guy, who was on his way in that very moment. We like Assistant Guy. He treats me like a person.
Assistant Guy walked in 12 seconds later and greeted me like the nice guy he is. I was coming out of my skin, so anxious to see if there was growth or not and at this point I felt like climbing over him and pulling up the x-rays myself. I’m pretty tech savvy. I could do it.
“Let’s go into the other office. I’ll pull up the x-rays there. It’s not working the way I want it to on this screen,” Assistant Guy told me.
He walked me down the hallway to a big office shared by lots of other assistant guys. All the computers were taken. “Well, let’s try another office…”
We walked all the way to the end of the hallway, which felt like it was a 1/4 mile long, into another assistant guy office. He finally clicked around enough times that he got my x-rays up on the screen. In my anxiety-ridden state, I couldn’t figure out if there was growth or not. It looked the same. It didn’t grow.
“I can’t tell…did it grow?”
“Oh, um…” he paused as if he KNEW I was dying inside. “Yeah. I mean, look.”
He showed me the x-ray from one month ago and the x-ray today. Growth? Yeah. I’d say so.
My bone is filling in and growing all around the rod in a golf ball shape. I literally jumped up and down. “IT’S GROWING!!!” I held my hands clasped together at my heart, looking on at my new little baby femur bone.
“How’s it going?” I heard a voice behind me. I turned around and there he was: Dr. Busy in a pretentious suit and tie with an apathetic look on his face. (Ok, now I’m just being mean…But seriously, the suit was shiny…)
“Oh! Hi!” I hadn’t seen him in 6 weeks. “It’s growing!”
“It is?” he asked Assistant Guy.
“Yeah, ” Assistant Guy pulled my comparison shots back up. “See this is a month ago, and then this is now.”
“Well,” Dr. Busy said, “I do see a little bit of growth.”
“Take a look at my first x-ray. The one from before the surgery,” I prompted him. I wanted him to remember what it used to look like.
He stared at the screen. “Huh.” He was a little dumbstruck.
“Great, huh?” I asked.
“Well…well, son of a gun.”
I’m not kidding. He literally stared at the screen with surprise and, in a moment of more emotion than I knew was possible for him, he uttered, “Well, son of a gun.” OH MY KINGDOM FOR A SPY CAM. I wish you all could have seen that moment. It was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.
As I walked back to the little room with Assistant Guy, Dr. Busy muttered, “Well, that was the easiest surgery ever, I guess…”
And I wanted to shout, “YEAH AND HOW ABOUT ‘TAKE THE METAL ROD OUT AND COMPLETELY REPLACE IT IS THE ONLY OPTION’, HUH, DOC?”
Look, I’m not an “I told you so” kind of person on the regular, but this is a special circumstance. I listened to my gut, I got a second opinion, I did my research, and it saved me a $30,000 surgery and another 6 months of recovery. It’s one of the first times in my adult life that I listened to my own gut and simultaneously did my research. And it worked. AND I TOLD YA SO.
Once we settled back in to the little room, I asked Assistant Guy if I was in the clear. “Pretty much,” he said. “It’s fusing at a great rate and I figure in 2 months I’ll see it’s completely connected.”
“Can I exercise regularly again?”
“I wouldn’t run unless it’s on a treadmill,” he said.
“I wouldn’t run unless someone was chasing me, so it’s all good.”
“Perfect. I’ll see you in 2 months,” and he walked out.
I practically skipped out of the office and before I even got to my CAR I called Dr. Fabulous’s office and told his assistant the good news. She was thrilled and couldn’t wait to tell Doc Fab that his advice served me well. I’m healing. I’m whole.
And I treated myself to a hot coffee and a terrible donut when I got home.