Friday, June 18, 2010

Is my hip fixed?

OK, so I have no idea where yesterday went so I can't fill you in on what I did with the day (that was too long ago now).
I know I had my last massage with the therapist I've been going to for I-don't-know how long.  She has decided to retire from massage therapy and concentrate on her nursing career alone (she is a registered nurse at the Critical Care Unit of the Ottawa Heart Institute).  I will miss her terribly.
I've also been very busy working on special posts for this site (they will go up at appropriate times -- they simply take advance planning and lots of special attention).
But I do know where today went.
I had to be at the hospital for 12:30pm to get my steroid injection in my left hip joint at 1:00pm.
We arrived at 12:20pm, parked the car and made our way to the X-ray department, where I checked in.
And there we sat -- until 12:45pm (why on earth I was told to be there by 12:30pm I'll never know!).
Once the intern confirmed that I was the right patient (what's your date of birth? and you're here for an injection in your ????), I was ushered into the change room and told to remove everything from the waste down (obviously).
From there I was seated in the room where the procedure would actually be done but I first had to sign the all encompassing consent form.
Which form is obviously a generic one, used for every procedure they might be undertaking, but I was questioned as to which box I had checked "no" against.
"Oh, that would be the consent to administer anaesthesia," I responded, "because to my knowledge the procedure I'm having does not require anaesthetic and if it does, I don't consent."
"Interesting," he replied, "no one has ever taken that approach before."
Duuuuhhhhhhh, was I all I could think.
I also found it interesting that I was being asked to sign a consent form which included reference to the fact that I had been fully briefed by the doctor as to the procedure about to be undertaken, and its risks --- and I hadn't even met the doctor yet!
When I called that to the intern's attention he again commented that he's never had a patient make those kinds of observations (but he granted that I was perfectly correct and he proceeded to explain the procedure and its risks, yada yada yada).
I signed the form.
They really know how to cover their asses in the event of something going wrong.  "But we have her signed consent right here."
When the doctor arrived, he introduced himself and asked me a bunch of questions and again went through the drill of what was going to happen (so now I had been fully informed so the consent form became valid).  The doctor looked almost like Jerry Kellerman (Mark Paul Gosselaar) from Raising the Bar (at least the way the character looked in last year's shows) but claims to have been doing this for many years so what the hell do I know for guessing ages?  He was very personable and we had a few giggles when we were discussing the use of steroids and their frequency.  He mentioned that the one he was going to use on me today (which differs only slightly from the one I received in April) is the one he uses on himself.  So I asked him if it allows him to get back on the field to play ball, and does he hit home runs?  Even the nurse laughed at that one!
He then prepped my groin area, being guided by the X-ray machine which the nurse had lined up before he had arrived in the room (normally, this would be done using contrast dye but I'm allergic so ...).
He drew lines and dots to mark the right spot.
Then he froze me in several spots.
And before he attempted to inject the joint, he explained that if it was painful while he was doing it, I was to tell him and he would give me more freezing.
I kind of laughed at that and explained that it had been uncomfortable getting the freezing because of the pressure he had put on the area but I could tolerate an awful lot of pain, simply because I lived with so much pain every day of my life.
He commented that most people who land on his table are usually very stoic for that very reason:  they live with so much pain they can tolerate the discomfort of the shots remarkably well.
As he administered the shot, he would stop, step back, look up at the X-ray machine, make sure he was on target, ask me if I was doing OK, and then proceed until he declared that he was done.
"Really? That's it?  I was waiting for it to get painful."
He just looked at me in amazement and shook his head.
Then he told me to watch the area for signs of infection and/or heavy bleeding and get back to the hospital if either occurs.
And don't get the area wet for a couple of days (oops, I guess I should have showered this morning ...)
And while I'm not "limited" per se for the rest of the day, I should take it easy; my body will let me know.
We left the hospital and I told John I was fine to drive.
Yeh, sure.
Got in the car, all settled to pull out of the parking spot (after springing to the tune of $14.00 for a mere 90-minute stay -- highway robbery I tell you!).
And pulled right back into the parking spot, telling John that he'd better do the driving.
My left leg was beyond sore -- every movement of my right leg caused excruciating pain in my left groin.
So we switched positions, and as I tried to get myself back in the car on the passenger side, it was all I could do to get my left leg in that damned car!
We went about our business, stopped for lunch, made a couple of quick pit stops and then came directly home.
Now we're going to have supper and I'm hitting the sack immediately afterwards.
Wonder how much difficulty (or ease) I'll have sleeping tonight.

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