Thursday, December 10, 2009

SurgeonWatch2009: The Dramatic (not really) Conclusion

For most of the month of October, I began a campaign I called SurgeonWatch2009, where I attempted for over a month to get a hold of my original surgeon, Dr. _____, who had mysteriously vanished after promising me that he would call the very moment he got the MRI reports the day after my appointment. After a month of the whole "don't call us, we'll call you" routine when I didn't even have an appointment date, I assumed that Dr. ___ had taken a little visit to Bermuda, gotten sucked up into the Bermuda Triangle, and was chilling out diagnosing early-stage arthritis on the Loch Ness Monster. Enter Dr. SecondOpinion.

In the back of my mind, I've always wondered with happened to Dr. ____. Did he think, "If I just ignore her long enough, her torn gluteus medius will repair itself in much the same way that a tantrum-throwing two-year-old will eventually calm down if no one fuels their rage?" Or did he simply forget and stash my case in the back of his mind behind the memo to clean the gutters and the reminder that the dog needs to get its anal glands squeezed? What miracle would have to happen for him to call me?

The miracle of Starbucks! Yes, on the way to see my neurologist, my mom ran into Dr. ___ at the Richmond General Hospital Starbucks. He didn't exactly come over for a chit chat, but the image of me gimping along the Richmond Hospital Lobby must have jostled something loose in his mind and made him think, "Gee....I feel like I know that girl from somewhere....I have this faint memory of saying, over two months ago, 'don't worry, we'll find out why you can't walk and fix you right up'...."

This must be why, today at 9 a.m., SurgeonWatch2009 came unexpectedly to a close. My mom received a call that went like this:
Secretary: Hi! Is this Arley or Arley's mom?
Mom: This is her mom....
Secretary: Oh, hi there! This is ___! From Dr. ____'s office!
Mom: Hi....
Secretary: Dr. ___ just got a report from Dr. Needles McNeedleson and he was wondering if you still needed his assistance or if you're seeing another surgeon....?
Mom: Uh....I think we're good....We're seeing Dr. SecondOpinion....
Secretary: Okay then! Take care! Bye!

It was exactly the conversation I wanted....two months ago. Now, the funny thing about this is that Dr. ___ received a report from Dr. SecondOpinion a month ago, so in theory should know that I've taken the Arley Dog and Pony Show elsewhere. I guess it's like when you're in high school and some guy you're interested in stops calling, and you don't hear from him for months until he sees you at the mall having a fro-yo with a new man, and all of a sudden he pops back into your life being like, "Hey, baby! It's recently come to my attention that you've got your shit together and are blissfully happy with someone else, which means it's exactly the right time for me to waltz back on to the scene for another round of my manly mind games!"

So, yes, my mom told Dr. ___ that he didn't have to worry: Dr. SecondOpinion has it all under control. Now here's hoping that Dr. SecondOpinion does, in fact, have it under control and won't send me back to Dr. ___.


  1. A wise man once wrote, "the SurgeonWatch ends not with a bang, but with a whimper." When you write Dr.________, I fill it in with four-letter words in my mind :)

  2. Strangely (although me putting four comments on your blog in one day is strange enough), I've had this very same situation with my neurosurgeon. In 2004 when my spine inexplicably to turn on the pain switch, of course the first person I think to talk to is my neurosurgeon - who did the most recent spinal cord surgery, back in 1999.
    Referrals from my family doc, physiatrist, a neurologist and another neurosurgeon (neither of whom knew what the frack they were talking about) failed to bring about responses from this winning fella. I went a year dealing with this excruciating pain and all the medicos saying "What does your neurosurgeon think?" and me calling his office leaving one voice mail a day for a month.
    When did I finally find him? When I was seen at the pain clinic, evaluated and approved for an intrathecal pain pump, there he was to do the implantation... and he waltzes on the scene, talking like "why didn't you call me in the first place? You don't need to be here." While I had dreamt many times of the tongue-lashing I'd give him when I finally found him, all I could do is pointedly reply that "Because four consults and repeated calls to your office brought nothing, I had to proceed on to someone who could help me more immediately." I can only hope his inner voice was saying, "oooohhhhh SNAP!"