Thursday, January 18

Competence easy to achieve in 2007

I went to my post-op appointment on Monday, still limping a little and very sore. Overall, though, things seemed to be healing. I was concerned because they hadn't found what they were looking for: a tear in the cartilage of my hip socket. Instead, they found things that seemed insignificant, and a chunk of missing cartilage "of uknown importance."

So I was a tad nervous walking into the room. Had anything been fixed? Would I ever be able to walk again? Screw that; when can I have sex again?!

The post-op doctor was not my surgeon, who I trusted the most. I decided to ask her a million questions. Here is a good sample of the conversation:

"Are you having any problems?" She asked while taking out my stitches.

I winced and waited for elaboration. When none arrived, I prodded: "Problems...?" Like... a T-Rex coming out of my stitches? Soreness? What's the scale, here?

She refused to give me any options. "So I guess you don't have any, then."

I was pissed off. Clearly she didn't mean T-Rex, but... "Actually, there's a piece of skin that's irritated..." I hesitated.

"Where?" She asked.

I glanced at my mom, who was in the corner. I then pointed as best I could with my pants half down, to the spot. Riiiight next to my va-jay-jay. "Y'know... down there kind of." I was hoping she wouldn't tell me to take my clothes off in front of my mother.

"Oh, yeah. Sometimes that happens." She proceeded to explain exactly what they did to me after they knocked me out. They pulled my naked legs apart, set one still and pushed my other one as far away as they could. Basically, they tried to dislocate my leg. And when they were done, they set my leg, the tender part right next to my va-jay-jay, right up against a pole that must have been coated with something akin to sandpaper. "Some people get a little sore and chafed."

Part of me was relieved; my hip was sore because they basically threw my legs around as they saw fit. Y'know, probably punched me in the groin a few times. At least it wasn't an actual complication, and no wonder I was so sore. The rest of me was horrified. While she explained all this, she pantomimed by thwacking the place that was next to the pole and spreading her legs open. Her clothed legs. Mine had been naked. No panties. They had ripped my legs apart and were standing right next to my crotch for the whole procedure. When someone got bored, did they try to stare inside me? Why hadn't I trimmed and shaved before going in?

I smiled and moved on. "So, they didn't find a tear when they went in. What did they find?"

"There was an abnormality in the joint." I had watched the surgery video. That abnormality was so tiny and seemed so insignificant.

"That was enough to cause the problem?" I asked skeptically.

"Oh, yes. Of course."

"Oh, good! Wow, that's relieving..."

She explained my recuperation very vaguely. "You should start going walking, to increase strength and flexibility."

"When should I start doing that?"

"I don't really have an answer for you; it's different for everyone." Was she glaring at me? No... what's the step just below a glare? That's what she was doing.

"Um, so how long should I walk for?"

"It really depends. You'll just have to see what hurts and what doesn't and respond to your body." She looked like she wanted to leave. Did she have lunch plans? Diarrhea?

The rest of the appointment went pretty much like that. I kept trying to get information, and she gave me no answer other than a variation on the phrase "listen to your body." Somehow I still felt much better walking out of the building than I had walking in.

As my mom and I got into the car, she remarked "That doctor really seemed to know what she was talking about."

I agreed and then realized we thought her to be so competent even though she barely gave us any of the answers we were looking for. "Listen to your body"? Is it me, or is it getting easier to be a doctor these days?


KY_traveln_guy said...

I had an Anthropology professor who also taught in the medical school who told us the young medical doctors she instructed almost all hated dealing with educated actually ask questions where as men and everyday women just take what they say as fact and won't question them...wham, bam, here's your diagnosis mam!!!

Wanderlusting said...

I hate doctors...they just fucking don't care anymore. That goes for men and women doctors too. They just don't like questions cuz they really don't have all the answers. Makes you wonder what the learned in med school, aside from bad bedside manner.

S said...


Ripsy said...

So what has your body been telling you?

Spill the Beans said...

Just wait until you give birth.


Dropout! said...

When I read that there was a video of your surgery, I immediately thought of a pervy guy walking around with a handheld camera, trying to get the best shots of the va-jay-jay. That's usually how my "surgery" videos work.

Plus, how awesome would it be if a T-Rex actually did come out of your stitches? Sure, you'd probably be dead, but dinosaurs!

The Ambiguous Blob said...

It's so hard to find a doctor who gives a shit. I FINALLY did and now, I'm not letting her go for anything. She almost spends too much time with me on visits, explaining every last little detail. My other docs still pretty much blow.

Eileen Dover said...



That's as bad as me calling it a kitty.

I hate when I go into the doctor's and say, "Well, I have an upper respiratory infection with an unproductive cough, and I've had a fever for twelve hours."

They check me out.

"It looks like you just have an upper-respiratory infection. Give it a few days, take some ibuprofen, and you'll be fine."

"Thanks. Here's your copay. Can I have a note to release me from work?"

The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

Va-jay-jay: Greys Anatomy reference.

BlueLoverGirl said...

OMG that was so damn funny! (at your expense, I know, sorry). The whole image of you being passed out with the docs moving your nekked legs too and fro with your nether reagion on center stage, is just too too much. Really, I would have been horrified too.

The Accidental Bitch said...

ky_traveln_guy - Just educated women? What about the men? Yeah, I can imagine why they get irritated but it's kind of rude to assume we don't care whether we know what's going on. Especially when I'm asking if I'll be able to walk again...

wanderlusting - Exactly. I think I would be an awesome doctor... maybe I should work on that.

s - Thanks

ripsy - To get jiggy with it... but without moving.

spill the beans - One word: adoption. Muahhahaha right back at ya! :P

dropout! - It's all internal. I think they forgot to give me the one that actually shows off my body. By they, I mean you. Oh and yeah I'm pretty proud of the T-Rex visual.

the ambiguous blob - I have a good primary physician and I love her. I still have to ask a lot of questions, but she never gets mad.

eileen dover - Yeah it's gotten to that point with me, too. I guess on the flip-side, we're getting a lot smarter.

the very - Caught me.

blue - Yes, I do try to bring humor to these situations. What else can you do but laugh while your soul dies a little? I'm sure a couple of them got wood looking at me.

Songbird said...

TAB, my (former) bro had his aortic valve replaced twice. It's one of those heart thingies. He got the same kind of instructions that you had.

At first, all he could manage was to walk to the end of his driveway. He had to work his way up (longer and longer walks).

Maddening, huh?

Songbird said...

p.s. My heart surgeon had the bedside manner of a hacksaw.

a giRL liKe mE said...

And these are the professionals...