July 22, 2010

brace yourself... (pt III)

I’m not exactly sure why there always seemed to be a large gap in time between my doctor’s visits. It didn’t appear to me that it was that busy in the emergency room. I didn’t see many doctors rushing to anyone around me. It was a really chilled atmosphere.

When my doctor finally emerged, he arrived with another ultimatum. He proclaimed that he had arranged the help of an orthopedic surgeon to come put my knee back in place. The orthopedic surgeon however, came with strings attatched. According to my doctor he would not touch my knee unless an x-ray was performed. My doctor went on to say that every person in the emergency room had to have x-rays done before any treatment. I really question this, what if I cut myself and needed stitches? Would they x-ray that? what would you look for, the knife? Yet my doctor remained steadfast that ALL patients were required to have an x-ray.

After another set of painkillers I agreed to the x-ray. I did however get the doctor to agree to some of my terms; He agreed not to allow the x-ray tech to touch my leg. They would instead move the x-ray machine to achieve the desired side angles (why couldn't they have done this from the start?). I returned to the x-ray waiting line, I can remember it this time.

My little posse followed me, like they did my entire stay at the hospital. I was so thankful to have them around. I was not really happy that i'd been in the hospital for three hours, but hey, I had a great group of people with me. They were able to keep me calm, and I could vent my frustrations with them. I felt like I was a textbook, they agreed. They would stand by and watch as a myriad of doctors would walk up to me grab my leg, and touch my floating kneecap. I would cringe and growl at the curious doctors like a rabid animal. They would stare down the doctor as i would curse up a storm. It seemed like the doctors didn’t get it. If you touch my knee, i'm going to scream and yell, it was simple. My friends stood by powerlessly as these doctors always reached for my knee. One doctor even took photos of it. It's not like i could move away, i just tried to make my kneecap smile, while my friends glared at the doctor.

My journey to see the orthopedic surgeon was something out of the wizard of oz. They wheeled me into this back room filled with people in green scrubs. I swear the room even had a green tinge to it (I was also high on several shots of pain medication and that half syringe full of morphine, so i could have been imagining things). I entered the green room with only my translator friend, my entourage was asked to remain outside as they closed the door behind me.

I felt really happy and confident that my journey would be over with this doctor. I mean he was a guy who performed knee operations! However, I blindly put my faith in this doctor, much like Dorothy, the lion, the scarecrow, and the tinman did with the wizard. This 'specialized' doctor didn't fare much better than the wizard. The second (overall) attempt to put my knee back in ended as the other did, I screamed louder than I’ve ever screamed in my life. I was screaming at him to stop, I was pleading for the endevour to be over. After the attempt failed, I was pleading with the doctors to put me under, to knock me out, I couldn’t handle it anymore, I didn’t care how they got the knee back in. I just did not want to be awake for the process.

The doctors would not listen to me, they didn't give in. They instead came up with an alternative. They would get a towel and put it over my eyes, I didn't really like the plan. I wasn't watching them anyway, and it was not the reason I wanted to be knocked out. I was given another shot of painkillers before they started on the third attempt. Seconds before the doctors moved into position, a nurse stuck a rolled up towel in my mouth. I have NO idea why they she did this, I mean I know it was to bite down on, but seriously? I was confused. I didn't have long to think before they started again. This attempt would eventually be successful. I felt relief as the knee slide along its track and back into place. Euphoria rushed over my body and I collapsed on the bed in complete exhaustion. (the photographer doctor kept the camera clicking)

I don't remember much about the hospital after this. I know that my school director wouldn't come and pick me up, and I was told to take a cab home. I've been told that i had another round of x-rays. I remember the makeshift leg immobilizer I was put into. BUT what I remember the most is that the doctors told me NOTHING. They said don't move my knee for a week, don't shower, don't touch their contraption, and goodbye! The lack of pain really allowed the pain killers to knock me out, and not give a shit.

All in all i was in the hospital for 5 hours.

There is some good news that has sprung from this unfortunate event. I have tested the medical system, a large reason for this adventure was to try new things in Asia. I love seeing how things are done differently. I swear i'm trying to write that with a smile on my face...

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