Saturday, November 14, 2009

tendon [ten-duhn]
Anatomy. a cord or band of dense, tough, inelastic, white, fibrous tissue, serving to connect a muscle with a bone or part; sinew
Synonyms include: pain in my rear

This morning when I woke up, I wasn't sure what felt worse - knowing that the Lakers let punks like Chris Andersen, Kenyon Martin and JR Smith kick them to the curb, or the fact that in a few hours, Dr. Blaine would be sticking a big fat needle into my ankle. At 5:45 am, it was a toss-up. I did manage to forget last night's game though, trying to be a more sensible fan these days and realizing that in an 82 game season, losses, though never easy to swallow, are part of the game and if Kobe wasn't worried, why should I be?

Anyhow, Mom and Dad kindly accompanied me to to the Atlantic Medical Center in Long Beach so that I wouldn't have to bother with medical transport, as interesting as an experience that might've been. At around 7:30 am, I walked into the most hospitable waiting room I'd ever seen. The floors were cherry hardwood, accented with white moldings, and the walls were painted a warm taupe. A large couch upholstered with a lovely floral pattern sat by the window; in front of it was a coffee table topped with magazines, a flatscreen tv was mounted on the wall, and surrounding it all were armchairs fit for any country-themed living room. They really know how to make a patient feel comfortable here, I thought.

After filling out the necessary consent forms (and a few rounds of paper toss on my iTouch. Man, I suck at that game), I was ushered in and asked to get dressed. "Hospital gown and shower cap? I thought, for a cortisone injection on my ankle? But who am I to question pre-procedure routines, right? I got dressed and was asked to wait in a make-shift patient's room, complete with hospital bed, monitors of every kind, plastic storage bins...and a flatscreen tv? haha. Funny. I've NEVER had to sit on a hospital bed as a patient before. I really thought this injection would be like a flu shot, which I've also never had but my point is, I thought it would be a quick procedure. I think after the nurse asked me a round of medical history/background questions, I finally realized what a big deal this was turning out to be.

Dr. Blaine, a man of about 60 I'm guessing, is tall, with gray hair and a mustache to match. Seriously the nicest, friendliest doctor I've ever had. He came in and explained that I actually had a torn tendon in my ankle. Shocker. I really had no idea. So in addition to the cortisone shot, he would also be doing an additional procedure to repair the tendon. My goodness, how could I have gone on the last 2 years with a torn tendon?!

There were so many people who helped me this morning. The nurse who settled me in to the room, a medical assistant who ran some nervous and vascular system tests, a physicians assistant who came in for a last round of checks, the nurse who had the unlucky task of trying to find a vein on my arm to set up the IV and the anesthesiology nurse. In addition to Dr. Blaine, was also Dr. Freeman, the anesthesiologist, dealer of the "happy juice."

After all the pre-op stuff, which took about 2 hours, I finally laid down in the operating room, feet propped up on a firm pillow, happy juice running through my veins and before you could say, chronic tendonosis, I was out.

I woke up to a nurse asking if I was feeling okay and if I wanted some crackers and juice. In not exactly these words, I said, Hell yes, I'm starving. In the next 20 minutes or so, I had my IV taken out, I was snacking on Keebler cheese and crackers, sipping on apple juice and wearing my new boot. Another boot.

I got dressed, a nurse wheeled me out to the elevator to meet my dad, and before we got in, Dr. Blaine came running out with a box from Polly's Pies to bid me good-bye until my next follow-up appointment. Oh, and he also gave me a pair of tickets to a Clippers-Rockets game on December 2nd. Section 117! Who wants to join me? =)

"If you can't make it that day," he said, "call me and I'll give you another game." Heck, I'll take this game. I'll get to see Trevor!

Wow...when did doctors start giving out pies and basketball tickets to their patients? My parents said that when they were in the waiting room, a nurse came in carrying boxes and boxes of pies! Crazy.

Now I'm home, in my boot, my foot still numb, which I'm not going to complain about because I don't know how much pain to anticipate. I've got two choices of meds to help me out: Ultram for minor pain relief and, if the pain feels unbearable, dependable ol' Vicodin.

And that is my Saturday so far. Time to fold some laundry...

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