Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You Are as Good as 2+4=6

Back when he was 7, my son wrote this poem called 3 on a Nee which I will not translate for you, especially since some of the words still continue to puzzle me after several decades (shech? What is shech?). Just know that he was a child who loved numbers and when he said that "you are as good as 2+4=6," you knew that you had been complimented.

I just can't help myself. I've got nees on my mind. Some surgeon that I hardly know plans to remove some parts of my body next Monday--parts that I've had for a very, very long time--and is going to replace them with some fancy titanium bits. I've loved my nees, sorry, my knees for all these years, even when they hurt me. After all, they taught me some important life lessons. People don't limp just because one leg is shorter than the other, as I had always assumed in my frivolous, unthinking way. Lots of people endure pain every single day of their lives. And doctors aren't magic, they can't always take the pain away.

Now this surgeon, the one I hardly know, is going to inflict more pain with the hope of making things better. We'll see.

WARNING: Do not look at the following photo unless you are a medical student or a devoted watcher of House or any other TV medical drama. Do not look if you are queasy.

I just had to share this photo of an acquaintance's knee after knee replacement surgery, because this is the sort of thing that is on my mind these days. That incision is longer than usual because of several prior knee fixes. I'm hoping that my incision will be much shorter. I'm considering offering my assistance to this surgeon, because I have surely watched more House episodes than he has, and am thus uniquely qualified to take my place in the operating room. On the other hand, he may have other plans for my role there.

Oops, too late. You saw it. Dr. House, intubate!! Intubate!!


Anonymous said...

hmmm....I'm pretty sure that I must have been much younger than 7 when I wrote this. My guess is that "1983" was part of the rhyme-scheme.

Towanda said...

clair ~

I was an orthopedic nurse for years and years, and got certified in ortho and taught classes in knee repleacement surgery. I have not seen too many post-op knees that look like that one...that looks like one of the "worst case scenario" deals. The surgery has improved over the years, and has been refined into a pretty good and simple procedure. (We used to keep our patients in the hospital a minimum of TWO WEEKS in the beginning - 1980s. You will be there a few days.) The prostheses they use now are better, the post-op therapy MUCH improved. I bet you will do fine. Not saying it isn't a huge deal - especially when you are the one going through it ... just do everything they tell you in the time after the surgery to return to normal.

Nearly every person I have ever taken care or or known who had the surgery has said afterwards they are glad they made the decision to do it. Just think how it will give you thirty or forty more years to hike around New Mexico!

clairz said...

You're right, that was probably a worst case. That "acquaintance" had previously gone through a high tibial osteotomy which, in some way, made that long curving incision necessary. I'm expecting a short, neat, straight line little incision. Can't wait to walk without a limp.