Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Total Eclipse of the Hip

It's no great secret that I've been frustrated by this whole "surgeon erecting the Berlin Wall instead of figuring out what's wrong with me" business. The situation has gotten so bad that today, when I saw a middle-aged guy on the stationary bike at the gym who had the regal, holier-than-thou expression of a surgeon, I considered asking him whether he knew anything about hip replacements. (No, he was not wearing a "trust me: I'm a doctor" shirt). Well, turns out that even if the guy at the gym was a truck driver, he might have been more helpful than my surgeon. As it turns out, Dr. ___ might not need to figure out what's wrong with me, because he already knows.

I am lucky enough to be one of the few people in North America to still have a family doctor: someone who has known me since childhood, has followed my medical ups and downs, and therefore doesn't see me as patient #14,058. Yesterday, I got a call from my family doctor saying that he wanted to see me immediately; (what? You mean it's possible to book an appointment with a doctor without a PhD in conflict resolution? You mean, sometimes a doctor does not run screaming in the other direction when you approach?) I had a sinking feeling that I knew what this was all about and sure enough, my family doctor had received a copy of the MRI reports, the same MRI reports that my surgeon has had since Oct 9th or 10th.

And what does the MRI that my surgeon has had in his possession for nearly two weeks and has yet to speak to me about say? That my gluteus medius has torn away and that there's "mild fatty infiltration at the origin of the gluetus minimus muscle." Translation: it's no wonder that all of my hip-strengthening exercises have been in vain, since it's hard to strengthen something that has torn free and is dangling loose in your body. Translation: I quite literally have an anti-ass, since my ass muscles have been damaged and are wasting away faster than Posh Spice. Now, I don't know what all that "fatty infiltration" business is about, since I don't speak medical-ese, (I envision dozens of little chubby marshmallow men wearing army hats all marching in drill formation), but I am fluent enough in what-the-fuck-ese to cry foul on Dr. ___.

I am not a surgeon. The sum total of my medical knowledge is "my hip hurts" and "my ass gets bruised because my ishial tuberosities are prominent"(ishial tuberosity is fancy medical terminology for "ass bones"). Perhaps it's standard procedure to double-check the results of an MRI considering I'll probably have to have surgery. But the fact that Dr. __ has yet to say, "Hey, look Arley. The MRI turned up this problem. We'll confirm it and then take the following steps" is more than a little worrisome. (What's the fancy medical terminology for "stop fucking around and fix my hip?")

So, yes, assuming that they can fix this problem, it looks like I'll be having more surgery, which means that I can look forward to projectile-vomiting luridly green bile thanks to my inability to keep down narcotic pain relievers, fainting every time I sit up because of blood loss, and generally sucking at life. The only question is: who's going to do the surgery? Dr. ___ doesn't seem so interested and I wouldn't want him to get bored and wander off for a sandwich when I'm on operating table.


  1. Okay. This might not be a good thing to say, but I am past wanting to hit your surgeon in the face. I want to hit him in the entire body. With my car.

    I also want to give you a hug and make you a cake and fix your hip. But since you're in a different country and I have no medical knowledge (not that it would make much difference, apparently), I will send good, hip-fixing thoughts in your direction. Let me know if there's anything else I can do.

  2. Thank you for your rage, Erin. It is appreciated! I will take the hug and the cake if I make it down to Champaign in time for my birthday, (which I'm working on, by the way). Though I suspect you've learned a lot about medical power tools from watching "Bones" (though, mostly those are used for autopsies), I will pass on you fixing my hip :).

    Speaking of "Bones," was there a new episode this week in the States? Up here, it was a re-run! Disappointing!

    - Arley

  3. Nope, all the Fox shows here are on the annual Baseball Hiatus until sometime in November.