Saturday, February 23, 2013

An Almost Everything Week

So I guess those of you who read this blog know that my daughter dislocated her kneecap on November 30, 2012, and that she's been attending physiotherapy while being monitored by an orthopedic surgeon.

When she went to see him in January after five weeks off work, the knee hadn't come along as quickly in healing as the specialist had thought. We asked why he didn't order an MRI. "These soft-tissue injuries generally settle on their own," he replied. "In all my years of doing this, I've only seen one situation where the patellar dislocation was hiding a deeper issue in the underlying ligaments, and the patient needed surgery to correct it. Besides, we only have one MRI machine for the whole Island. When you see me again in three weeks," he turned to her and spoke directly, "if you are not smiling when you do, I'll order the MRI." 

On February 5, she wasn't smiling. He ordered the MRI. "When the hospital calls you with a date, ask to be put on the cancellation list," he advised her.  "In the wintertime, with people in the country not wanting to chance the road when there are 'a few flakes' and the forecast is nasty; it shouldn't take long."

It took a few days to get the paperwork in place. She called the hospital herself after waiting almost a week. "Oh yes," they said. Your date is June 19th." 

(Gulp). She immediately asked to be put on the cancellation list. They obliged! 

Then we began noticing how often we had storms on the weekend this year. When it wasn't the weekend, it was a civic holiday. We prayed. "A storm, just a little one, to discourage someone from making the trip? Please?" (Was this me, the one who HATES winter, praying for a STORM??) Yet, we'd seen her hobble from room to room. We knew she was going to need surgery. We knew in our guts, "The sooner the better." That was this past Monday - the civic holiday when it was storming and the Island shut down for hours.

"Kingdom of Cold" courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at
Two days later, (this past Wednesday) with freezing rain and snow forecast for later in the day, she and her father went for a few errands. She got a temporary handicapped permit so that it would be easier for us to park and get in and out of places while she was recuperating. She paid her insurance premiums for her work's health care plan. 

Then, when they got back home, there was a message waiting on the voice mail. "This is radiology calling. Can you come in for 3 pm?" Her heart sank; it had been left over an hour prior to her return. 

Forty-five minutes later, the phone rang. "Are you still interested in that 3 pm appointment?"

OH yeah. With bells on! 

She managed quite well, and soon afterward we were laughing and joking over how quick it all was and how the promised storm held off until we were home!

I also started deepening my understanding of how ironic and quirky God's sense of humor is - using the things I hate most about winter to our benefit, and after all the complaining I'd been doing this year about the cold! Oh, He's a witty One. ;)

Anyway, the next morning, Thursday, she called the surgeon's office. "Can I get an appointment? I just got my MRI yesterday afternoon." They booked one for March 8. Wow - about 2 weeks, not bad!

Yesterday morning, Friday, she got yet another call. "This is Dr. ____'s office. We have the results of your MRI. The doctor wants to see you as soon as possible. Can you come in today at 11:15 to discuss?" 

A quick exam to confirm the MRI findings was all that he needed ... and so he told her what the results were. Without getting all technical, when she dislocated her kneecap, (this happened three times after the initial injury, all within a week and a half of it!) three ligaments were stretched permanently and were now too lax, making the knee unstable and more prone to dislocating again. Those ligaments, every time she re-injured, got frayed against the back of her kneecap, which runs along a vertical trench-like groove, like a taut rope fraying against a length of wood. 

This needed to be repaired by shortening the now too-long ligaments and securing with screws. 


"While I'm in there, I'd like to shift the focal point of your knee because it's off-center," he told her. This involves operating on the tendon that goes from the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shin-bone, separating it from the shin-bone and re-attaching it more toward the center of her stance. What this will do is correct that knock-knee problem she's had since she was a baby and prevent her from hurting it again. 

Once all her (and our) questions were answered, he wrote the requisition for surgery. Right on the requisition, he wrote, "Place on cancellation list." 

Before she even got a surgery date.

Of course, they'll send her information in the mail with her "if not before" date and instructions for pre-surgery... yes. But usually she'd have to wait for that information and THEN call to be put on the cancellation list. 

We got the impression he was trying to bump her to the front of the line. Just an impression, you understand. Perhaps he was feeling a little guilty that he'd waited so long? that she was the one exception in the last 20 years that he hadn't counted on?  Perhaps.

We're just so glad that the wheels are moving, that this will be over sooner rather than later, and that things can get back to normal and she might even be better than before she hurt herself! 

Was it only a month ago that someone (who shall remain nameless) turned to me at the kitchen table and said that he was not convinced that God cared about us? 


That same person turned to me last night and said, "You know, I think I'll start a gratitude journal. I forget so easily."

*happy sigh....*

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