29 November 2006

medical update number 2.5

I cringe at the idea of using this blog to document my medical misadventures, but since it's where people know to go to find me, and since people (apparently) want to know, I will. At least for now.

So part of the idea in sending me home, at least as it was first stated, was to get a move-on on getting me cut open and fixed up. The doctors in Vlad didn't have any openings in their O.R. schedule until Monday the 27th (one week after my accident), and since my surgery was not urgent, it was deemed acceptable that I wait. Of course, this (along with most other things about the Russian hospital) was not acceptable to the State Department.

Ha. I had my first meeting with the orthopedics guy yesterday, at which he informed me that I will be getting cut open and fixed up (to the tune of a metal plate and a "bone graft" that isn't literally a graft), but not until next week, when the swelling and bruising (yes, I have some pretty fantastic-looking bruises, and by fantastic-looking I mean calcified and composed of liver-colored and yellow splotches) have diminished. He claims that it's necessary to wait to reduce the risk of infection and let the soft tissue heal properly, but I think he just wants me to suffer more.

...Ok, I'm just kidding about him wanting me to suffer. But it's hard to feel warm and fuzzy toward the doctor who tells you that it's "a very serious break" and that you'll "need to take it easy for two to three months" for it to heal, no matter how much I remind myself through gritted teeth not to blame the messenger. (Note: I refuse to accept the idea that that will mean two to three months at home. Hopefully at least some of the recovery - like the part where the only things I can't do are sprint, ski, and use a pogo stick - will take place in Russia.)

In other news, I got a CAT scan today. When the doctor yesterday looked at my x-rays, he said he thought he saw a hairline fracture in the femur. Today, the CAT scan guy said no, no femur fractures, but maybe I have a cracked patella (kneecap). Later he changed his mind and said that actually it's the fibula (other shin-bone) that's broken, not the patella. This in addition to the tibial plateau, of course. It amuses me that they're so mixed-up about this, but on the other hand I think I've finally been convinced that it's better to get all this done here than in Russia, since the Russian doctors didn't see any of this and, as far as I remember, couldn't give me a CAT scan because the CAT scanner - like most high-tech equipment in Russia - was broken.

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