Friday, February 20, 2015

Leg Injury Update




Bill's iPhone photo of me during my return trip to the emergency room

What a time I've had since I slipped and fell leaving the hotel last Wednesday night.  First I went to the Beebe Emergency room.  Of course they have all my paperwork, I've been there so many times (five now) since I've moved to Delaware.  I'll try to be concise in explaining what has happened since they discharged me.


Not how I planned the evening when I left work Wednesday night

I was given a leg brace (hospitals no longer do casts).  Bill (my saintly spouse) helped me hobble out of the hospital at 2 AM or so.  Our  wonderful neighbor Bob M. had brought Bill to my car at the hotel so Bill could drive me home. I cannot extoll this man's kindness enough.  He has his own health problems with his wife and he takes time out to help me and Bill.  Us old folk stick together.


Our neighbor Bob M. checking up on me and Bill to make sure we're alright
This isn't the first time our neighbor Bob has visited me in the emergency room.  He was there last year when I thought I was dying from kidney stones.  Bill was too upset to come.  Bob stayed with me and comforted me. Why am I so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor?  And he's a conservative Republican yet!


Me waiting for the results of my X-Rays to see if I had any broken bones - I didn't think I had because I wasn't in extreme pain
Anyway, Bill takes me home.  I struggle to get in the car.  I had to slid my long legs in the back seat.  And it was COLD out!  The hospital discharged me but told me to arrange an appointment with a orthopedic surgeon for an MRI to see if there was any ligament damage.


Me checking out the damage to my leg


More of Bill's picture taking
I didn't get to bed until about 3 AM.

I had my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today but first I have to tell you of the series of events that were unbelievable. 

First, my AOL e-mail wasn't working on my iPhone.  Damn!  After wasting time resetting my password (AOL would recognize my password) I found out from the Internet that the problem was at AOL.  Of course it was.  Yes, I sat at my computer with my leg brace on, feeling miserable. 


Self explanatory

Second, my DirecTV station wasn't working.  The message said the satellite wasn't receiving a signal.  We have four TV's in this house. We checked them all.  Two were receiving a picture, two weren't.  There was no way I was going to call DirecTV service because of my leg and I had to schedule doctor's appointments and I didn't want the two interfering.  Then I find out it was ONLY MSNBC, my liberal go to station, that wasn't receiving a signal.  


More self explanatory
The, to top everything else off . . . this morning we awoke to NO HEAT.  Yes, we were OUT OF GAS. The temperature outside read ZERO DEGREES and we were OUT OF GAS.  Excuse me, but wasn't I out of gas December 30th?  The first time since I lived here in 2006?  And OUT OF GAS again on the COLDEST DAY OF THE YEAR.  Folks, I have to admit, just for about a minute I wanted to go to sleep and get away from all of this but I couldn't because the house was so cold and getting colder by the minute.  I call the gas company.  Not open yet, they will open at 8:00 AM.  My doctor's appointment to evaluate my leg injury was at 11:50 AM (which I mistakenly showed up and hour and a half early for).  

Me in the backseat of our car - the only way I can drive because I can't bend my leg

I call the gas company at 8 AM.  Here's what I got "Your call is very important to us."  Heard that one before?





 I finally did get through and they were here in less than a half an hour. We had heat back and a big $1,000 plus gas bill to match the one I received at the end of December. Hey, what the heck! You only live once, might as well be warm.

Off to the doctor's office.  You should see Bill trying to get me in the back seat of my car (no pictures, too serious).  I can't lift my left leg below the knee.  The ligaments are obviously damaged.

My leg brace off so the doctor could evaluate my knee - I have a lot of swelling from internal blood clotting which he tried to remove by needle but couldn't get much of it

Okay, this blog post is going long.  I'll try again to be more concise.  My doctor told me I had a "knee pad replacement."  In other words when I fell I dislocated my knee pad.  It's back now but that's what I felt immediately after I fell, a soft saucer like thing on the left of my knee.  I don't need knee replacement.  

He gave me a "test."  He asked me to life my left leg.  I could not.  I'm ashamed to admit this, but I actually teared up (big sissy that I am) when I couldn't lift my leg.  I just could not move it.  I can wiggle my toes but I cannot lift my leg.  That's why Bill has to lift my leg into my bed when I go to bed.  In fact, I have to call Bill (and did) when I get up in the night to visit the bathroom, which I did three times last night.  I can't get back into bed unless he lifts my leg.  

The X-Ray of my knee

Folks, I'm going to tell you something now.  I am so fortunate to have Bill. He has been such a saint through all my medical problems. He's 86 and I'm 73 and who has the medical issues?  Me.  I'm just glad we're here for each other because I would do the same for him.  I would hate to think how I would handle this if I lived by myself.  This is hard enough with just me and Bill.  What do people do who live by themselves? I feel so sorry for them.

When I got home I had to take a shower.  I haven't taken one since I injured my leg and I was feeling quite greasy.  Of course I had to take off my leg brace and try to remember how to put it back on.  It was an ordeal but I hobbled into my shower with my aluminum cane (waterproof, they think of everything those medical device people).  

Ready to put back on my leg brace after my shower - the band aid is where my doctor tried to draw out the blog that had swollen up my knee internally
So here I am now folks.  I have an MRI scheduled for Monday to see how much damage has been done to my cartilage.  I asked my doctor "How does it heal?"  He said it all depends on how much damage was done.  It's different with everyone.  He said that I had major trauma (tell me about it) to my knee.  He said it would heal on it's own but if there is a lot of damage they would have to perform surgery.  

So that's where I stand (no pun intended) now folks.  I won't be back to work for several weeks at least.  I will have to go to physical therapy to build up my leg again.  I had to do the same thing back in 1962 when I dislocated my right knee and wore a hip to ankle cast for six weeks.  My leg as all shrunk up.  

There, I hope I didn't put you all to sleep.  I wanted to do a memorial for my friend Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau but that will have to wait until my leg heals and I can sit at this computer longer than I can now.  It's very uncomfortable sitting at my computer desk now with my left leg stretched out.  

I'm trying to think of a nice zippy way to end this post but I can't right now so I'll just end it here.  And to remind you all, be VERY careful when you're out and about on the snow and ice.  This could happen to you!




25 comments:

  1. I am so sorry Ron! I guess we will know more on monday after you have the MRI. I just hope you will heal fast and you are not too much in pain even though I know you are uncomfortable.
    (I am working the academy awards this weekend).

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    1. Nadege,
      Thank you for your concern. I'm looking forward to what this MRI will tell me. I'll know on March 9th when I see my orthopedic doctor. I am not in any pain, except if I should happen to step on my leg the wrong way then the pain shoots through the top of my skull and my body is thrown to the floor (happened once here at home already). I have enough pain killers medication (Percot) but I'm not taking them. Hopefully I won't need them. My main problem now is how to maneuver around the house, getting in and out of the bed and going to the toilet are major challenges. Hopefully each day gets better. It could have been a lot worse though and for that I'm thankful it was not.
      Ron

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  2. Ron - we've all heard that phrase bad things happen in threes. Well if we consider your two episodes with kidney stones and now the dislocated knee - maybe your trials and tribulations are an end. Tho your not out of the woods yet with this one. What an inconvenience you are going to have to put up with for the next while. I hope it soon becomes just a memory.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Time has been passing by so fast, I'm hoping this passes by fast too so I can get back to being normal. Once thing is for sure, I will be a lot more careful when walking outside on snow and ice. And no more wild dancing for me at Oil Can Harry's or Zippers, that will just be a memory. I'll hold the wall up.
      Ron

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  3. Ouch! It looks like a lot of swelling. Take care, take it easy. DG

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    1. David,
      My doctor tried to take most of that blood out today with a needle but he only got a little bit of it. Most of the internal bleeding has clotted. Thanks for your concern.
      Ron

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  4. Ron,

    I am relieved that your knee is ok, and I am hoping with some therapy the ligaments heal on their own. Glad you were able to shower, but be very careful! Running out of gas this morning must have added insult to injury. It hasn't even been two months since it was last filled. Out here most we don't have tanks holding the gas, so I have never run out. We also rarely have temps that low outside, but I don't like being cold! You are very lucky to have Bill to assist you when you need it, but I am certain you do the same for him when needed. I live alone but have good neighbors on either side of me so I don't worry about that. Thanks for the update.

    Cindy from Sonoma

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    1. Cindy,
      I've been through the physical therapy before when my right knee was dislocated in 1962. Boring but absolutely necessary to get my leg back to normal. I'm prepared to do it again. I have a guest in the hotel who works in Abu Dhabi. He told me he's retiring to the Philippines. He says he would never retire to a place where he has to pay to heat his house. I'm thinking about it. California?
      Ron

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    2. Ron,

      We still pay to heat our homes, but for me in a 3 bedroom place only about $100.00 a month. I am frugal though and dress in layers when it's cold. Sane in the summer when it is hot, I just keep my bedroom cool. Though I have to admit I hate being cooped up in there sometimes. LA is hot all the time, but here in sleepy Sonoma it's not so bag.

      Cindy from Sonoma

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    3. Cindy,
      Uh oh, it gets HOT in L.A. in the summer? You mean the temperature isn't always hovering in the 70 degree range? Whoops, maybe I have to rethink this Moving to L.A. scenario that's been playing out in my mind. One thing I was thinking was spending the months of January and February in L.A. A lot (or most) of the gay guys around here head to Florida (Ft. Lauderdale) for the winter months. It's always been a dream of mine when I retired to move to warmer climes for the months of January and February. "Sleepy Sonoma", Pat and I will have to visit more locations the next time (next year) when we're in California.
      Ron

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    4. Ron,

      When you and Pat come back next year check out San Diego, the climate there is much more favorable year round. It is one of my favorite places to go in California.

      Cindy from Sonoma

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  5. Ron,

    All I can say is, "Oh, man!" This was not the kind of post I've been looking for, but nice upbeat ones on your L. A. Trip. Hang in there, buddy.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      I have to get back to the "fun" posts about my trip to L.A. Right now this is the major story in my life. Something I wouldn't wish on anybody, believe me. Little pain but very, very inconvenient. I always say time flies, now I wish it.
      Ron

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  6. OH MY! Rest up my friend and here's to speedy recovery.

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  7. What an ordeal! And yes, I wonder all the damn time what I would do if something like that happened to me. I don't even know my neighbors' names.

    Hope it will heal on its own. Quickly.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      Get friendly with your neighbors, at least some of them or have someone on your cell phone you can call if you're in an emergency. I almost had a disaster if the second time I had fallen outside in that zero degree temperatures and didn't have my cell phone. What possessed me to go back inside I can only attribute to my guardian angel. Maybe there is something to this religion thing after all. I'm told by my orthopedic doctor that my ligaments will heal on their own but it takes time and physical therapy. I've been through this before in 1962 when I dislocated my right knee. It took six weeks with a cast hip to ankle then weeks of physical therapy. Right now everything is very inconvenient but thankfully, little pain.
      Ron

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  8. Ron,
    I wish you nothing but a quick painless (one can hope) recovery. You are very lucky to have Bill and your neighbor. Both are worth their weight in gold.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      I always knew I was lucky to have Bill and my neighbors Bob and Barbara. Over the years Bill and I have had some pretty bad neighbors but now we often remind ourselves what wonderful neighbors Bob and Barbara are. And Bill, for fifty years that man has devoted his life to me. I am one lucky guy.
      I'm not in any pain, just discomfort and dragging this leg around with me is very inconvenient. I cannot move (lift) it below the knee. The ligaments don't work. I'm told they will heal. I didn't realize how much exercise I got around this house until now.
      Ron

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  9. I really appreciate the update, Ron. I've been worried about you. What a horrible ordeal to go through - and I know it will take a long time to recover. I'm glad you have Bill and your neighbors. They are saints.

    I've had some very bad luck, too. It got down to minus 10 last night. One of the pipes under the house broke and everything is flooded (and I'm not insured). Also I fell on the ice (again) and really injured my back. I think we're in sync with bad luck.

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    1. Oh Jon, you falling on the ice again and injuring your back. You do carry your cell phone with you at all times don't you in case you're immobilized like I was? Especially in this cold weather. Falling outside and not being able to alert anybody to your condition could be disastrous. Mine almost was if I had fallen outside the second time. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to take those three steps back in the hotel. I didn't know my leg was going to give out but it did and I was down and could not get up. Jon, it can happen so easily.
      And your frozen pipes, what bad luck Jon. That was our worry at the hotel, Pat's worry and our worry here. I was thinking about you and your situation last night. It's not for me to say (or suggest) but I was thinking of you living in Nashville. In town. With your talent and ease in making friends. I don't know about this living out in the wilderness Jon. Awfully dangerous. Again, not for me to say or suggest, just thinking. However, I am glad you're out of West Texas. Jon, you're had more than your share of tough times over the past few years. My situation isn't all that bad now except it is very inconvenient. Not much pain (I'm not using the two prescriptions I got for Percocet) but very, very inconvenient. Bill has to life my leg to my too high bed. Last night I had to call him three times because I got up that often to go to the bathroom. By the way, what kind of heat do you have? Make sure you don't run out like we did yesterday morning, for the SECOND time in two months.
      Stay in touch Jon. Thinking of you.
      Ron

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  10. Yikes, sorry you're in pain, Ron. Kudos to Bill and Bob too --conservative Republican or not, people know when they've got good neighbors worth helping and keeping.

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    1. Geo.,
      The "conservative Republican" reference I made to my neighbors Bob and Barbara was tongue in cheek. Oh sure, they are conservative Republicans and I am a liberal Democrat but we love each other and would do anything for each other. I think that is the definition of America isn't it? Bill and I are so grateful that at this time of our life we finally have good neighbors. Our last neighbors in Pennsylvania were so bad (homophobic). Another reason I wanted to get out of Pennsylvania in addition to the high taxes and move to Delaware where there was a larger gay population where Bill and I wouldn't be singled out as "gaywads" (as our Pennsylvania neighbors used to refer to us). So thankful for our neighbors now.
      Ron

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  11. As usual, I am late to join the conga line of condolences and get well soon.
    You sure lead a colorful life! What you need is some mundane peace and quiet.

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  12. Dr. Spo,
    Right about now I am craving some of that Monday and peace and quiet. Looking forward to leading a double life for at least two or three days, before all the excitement begins anew.
    Ron

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