Month: May 2016
“Welcome back, Mr. Donnangelo, so what’s going on?” It was not said in a condescending manner, it did seem like he was mildly concerned. However, not concerned enough to sit down or come all the way into the room.
“My right ankle is starting to feel just as bad as it did before surgery?” I stared at him lying on the doctor’s bed with my shoe and sock off, while the door of the room was still open and Flash only three steps into the room.
“The surgery was almost two years ago, I think all you need is some more physical therapy. I will write the script for you.” Quicker than a baseball that was hit by Babe Ruth, he was out of there.
At no point did he touch my foot, move my foot, or even look at my foot. He moved so fast even Amanda could not ask a question before he was gone. For the first time in my life I was furious at a doctor. I felt that my hand almost broke from the force of slamming it down onto the doctors table. I did not utter a word; I simply put my shoe back on, left the room, passing Amanda, the nurse who is holding my script, and the checkout window, slamming open the exit door as I left.
All my life I always did what I was told by my doctors. I never questioned their opinions. Who was I to question a medical doctor who went to school and trained for years in order to help patients. That precise moment changed everything on how I view the medical community as a whole. Not even the time when I fell on my face after the first surgery shook my opinion of doctors and nurses. But to be ignored, to be brushed off, to not even be worth five minutes of time to be looked at after going through months of pain before going back to the doctor, I could not have possibly held it in any longer.
I exploded outside in the parking lot, every curse word, every degrading comparison I could make erupted from my mouth like fire from a dragon. Amanda waited for the explosion to settle before convincing me to get into the car. Then Amanda ever so calmly put her hand on my leg and looked over before backing out the parking space and stated:
“He does not know what he is talking about; we are going to get a second opinion.”
Second opinion? I thought, that was an idea that in my thirty years never crossed my mind. I always took a doctor at his word and never thought another doctor could disagree with a colleague of his own stature. I liked the idea of another doctor disagreeing with this doctor. Clearly this doctor did not know what he was talking about. How could he? He didn’t even examine me!
It was the thought I needed to put my fury to rest and to regain my focus on getting better. Once we were home I immediately booked the earliest appointment, which was in December. Though it was three months away, I felt excited. I felt that this hospital would be leaps and bounds over our previous one. The only reason I chose the first one was because it was affiliated with Amanda’s (prior) employment. I was ready to get another opinion from a new doctor and if this worked out I would never need to see Flash again.
I updated my blog quicker than normal. I have to re-live the experience in my memories to remember what happened during the time. I had to write this entry today and get past my experience with Flash. I encourage anyone to take their own health and well being into their hands. If you do not like the doctor you are seeing, immediately go see another one. Each doctor is different; a patient should never feel like they are just a number, that they are an inconvenience on the doctor’s time. You deserve much better than to be tossed away like last weeks left over’s after a five minute appointment. Be strong, stay strong, and keep pushing to get the care you need and deserve.
Special thanks to a close friend that has helped edit my entries, so I can concentrate on the content and she can concentrate on the commas, lol.
Pushing through the second set of doors was the culmination of my return to normalcy. It was very uplifting being greeted by everyone, everyone asking me how I was doing and what I did all the time that I was off , but most of all just being back in society among my co-workers, friends, and yes even customers.
It did not take long to get back into the swing of things. To make things easier, my assistant manager at the time told me to erase the last month of emails and begin with the prior few weeks. That took care of a couple hundred of emails and hours worth of review.
The following few weeks went by and I did my best to prove myself as a Senior Customer Service Representative. It was only six weeks ago that my goal had been to get back on my feet and return to work but now my focus turned to becoming a store manager. It was certainly a long shot for a Sr. CSR to skip Teller Service Manager and Assistant Manager, but I knew of one person that had done it, so I was determined do it as well. I did everything I could in my position – working extra hours, performing tasks above my level, as well as closing many loans as I could while training others to do it.
The hard work was paying off, and the surgery, that seemed from long ago, was just a memory. In August 2009, about six months after returning to work, I was told I was going to be promoted. Normally a promotion would be greeted with jubilation and congratulations:
“A Teller Service Manager!!!??,” I exclaimed. My blood was starting to boil. What did a teller service manager have to do with sales and loans? What could I accomplish behind a teller line? I hated being a teller. I was only on the teller line twice! What were they thinking? The questions and disdain were mounting in my head faster than I could process the emotion to remain professional.
After a small outburst and a few moments later, my manager and I continued our conversation. He explained the bigger picture to me and the experience that I was going to gain, and with hesitation and the slightest bit of reluctance, I took a big swallow and said “OK.”
I was very fortunate at the time to work for a man who understood my emotions, my passion, and my drive to obtain the position I wanted. He has always seen my potential and provided the support I needed.
My health was fine and I was pain-free from August of 09 to April of 2010. Little did I know at the time, but taking the promotion of Teller Service Manager was the best decision I have ever made in my career. I absolutely fell in love with the position. I had a crew under me that supported me without question and if I made a mistake I had an assistant manager above me to fix it. I made many friends and some I still talk to now six years later. I learned a lot about motivating a crew, holding contests to keep work interesting, as well as how a bank works “behind the scenes” of the branch. It is truly a position that I cherish to this day. I feel like a fool the way I acted at first to the news of the promotion, but I realize that was just the passion within me in trying to get where I wanted to go. During those eight months I truly grew as a professional.
Amanda and I were growing as well. Amanda was finding her place within the nursing society as I was finding mine in banking. We worked opposite shifts. We only saw each other for a few hours as I came home from work as she left. It was just the way things were and we accepted them as such. We were getting ready to celebrate our second anniversary in May 2010 and what a two years it was. The first week on our honeymoon I found myself in pain and the remainder of our first year I spent recovering from surgery and physical therapy. The next year we were so busy with our jobs, that it went by too fast to even notice. However, it was time to let Amanda know something. It was something I was withholding from work as long as I could, and something I was withholding from her. I was anxious the weeks leading up to the news I was about to break. I woke up each day thinking it was just a fluke or it was something that would pass, but it never did. I told Amanda a week before our second anniversary that the pain has returned and it feels just as bad as it did before. I could tell by the drop in her face that she was concerned and worried, but stated that we will see how it goes.
I did my best to ignore the throbbing growing within my foot. I tried to walk, though the stabbing sensations with each step I took brought on a new wave of pain. I could not hold on any longer, and in November, sitting on the doctors table, Flash entered the room and stated:
It was February 8, 2009 and the end of six weeks could not come faster. Depression of being isolated at home the last month was starting to take its hold over me. Everything I did consisted of balancing on my left leg and using crutches to get around the house. Tasks as easy as putting dishes away led me to exhaustion. The place I found that gave me the most comfort was on my bath chair in the shower. The first two times I took a shower after the cast was removed hurt a little. The water hitting my former covered skin felt like little needle points pricking at me. I had to adjust the shower head to have the water pass above my head and just trickle down my body. I found peace sitting there. The running water was washing away the past month memories and renewing my focus to returning to my normal life.
The third week in February was here and that was the beginning to physical therapy. I was nervous about how much pain I was going to be in, but excited at the fact that at a minimum I would be out of the house three days a week.
I arrived at the center, checked in, and took a seat in the corner relaxing my crutches against the wall. It was an open area. I could see other people receiving therapy. Two people were on the exercise bikes going very slowly, another was lifting a 5 pound weight over his head and holding it there for a total of ten seconds. In the far corner of the building I noticed a man with a shoulder harness on. I asked later what he had on him and I was told it was a cold press machine for when he finished his exercises. The therapist told me it would help with his swelling.
After filling out and handing in the necessary paperwork I was called back to an office located on the left side of the building. The office looked like a regular doctor’s office. There was a small desk in the corner, the patient chair in the center of the room with two little chairs for any accompanying parties. I had no one with me today; my dad dropped me off this morning and Amanda was at work and could not come along.
The office might have looked like a doctor’s office, but the waiting did not take as long. The therapist came in and introduced themselves. She went over all of the paperwork I filled out as well as the notes my surgeon sent them. The therapist explained everything that I could expect from their services and after evaluating my condition by performing a few strength tests, she had me take a seat on a table across the room.
I became immediately at ease being there. The therapist was personable and her assistants came by to introduce themselves. The other patients in the room were very nice asking what happened to me. At the time I could never figured what to say. I just told them I was walking and my ankle gave out, but nothing happened to cause it. It was the truth and it was short to say. By the end of the first session I had my schedule for the next six weeks, my at home exercise chart, and my goal sheet that listed where I wanted to be after each week.
For the first time in months I truly smiled. I had a plan in hand that was going to return me to normal and get me back to work. As the weeks went by I followed the therapist’s recommendations to a tee. I performed leg lifts, scrunched up a towel with my toes, performed the alphabet with my foot, balanced myself on a foam board and began to lift weights on the machine with my legs. The only pain I felt was moving my foot left and right, from being restricted in my cast.
By the end of the six week I formed a bond with my therapist. It was not only her job to make me feel better; I could tell she had a passion for it. I did not know if other therapists felt the same, but I was thankful to get one that did. I pushed myself to the limit, as I hit the twenty minute mark on the treadmill, and the eye of the tiger beating in my ears, I felt like I reached the mountain top and hit my goal all that I needed to do was scream: “ADRIAN!!”
As I left therapy for the last time, I was given a shirt that I still wear today, for my accomplishment. It was over, it was all finally over, the pain I had before surgery, the worry I felt going into surgery, the boredom and isolation I felt after surgery for the six weeks, and the battle back to normal through therapy. I laid in bed so proud of everything I accomplished; the only thing left was the return to work……
The title return means a lot to me. Of course, at the time I thought it truly was over. I returned from pain and surgery and got back to normal. However, as you will read it was not over. It was only the beginning, but I did not know that at that time. Now, The Return to me is not returning to a life without pain and a normal life of working, it is The Return to happiness each and every second of the day when I am feeling down about the events that has happened. I feel that I am winning that battle as well.
I sit here this morning waiting for my pills to swim over me releasing me from the pain. Today Amanda and I celebrate our eight year anniversary. I find myself sitting on my chair thinking back throughout all of those years and everything we have been through. I am determined to keep fighting to feel better, and though I cannot physically do what I want to do, I will not let it take my happiness away. My thoughts are going back to the time when I arrived home from my first surgery and the recovery period that followed….
I never made it to the bed when we got home. Amanda said I crawled up the stairs and around the corner and fell asleep on the couch. She only woke me once for me to take my pills. The doctor said to make sure you overlap the pills to keep the pain down. When I woke the next day I was feeling hung over. The effects of the anesthesia or the medicine were still with me, but not to the extent of post surgery. Amanda exhausted from the experience was still asleep in the bed. I plopped myself down on the floor and crawled to the reclining chair beside me. I managed to climb up and position myself in the most comfortable way that I could, making sure to place a pillow under my leg to keep it elevated.
I remember the emotion of being relieved. It sounds crazy but I was. The surgery was over, the pills were keeping my pain down, my dizziness was subsiding, and all I had to do was sit in my chair for six weeks and to keep it elevated. It was over! In a little more than a month I was going to be healed and put this past me. It was an incredible feeling. What was I worried about? The surgery besides the aftermath was easy, this was it. I get one month of work, all of the customer issues that were left behind would be solved by the time I get back, and I would go back to a clean slate. It might seem a little selfish, but I concentrated on the good points of this surgery. It was the good points that kept me going. The clean slate when I return to work was not the only bonus to focus on during this recovery period, I would be able to catch up on all of the video games I wanted to play!
Looking at the positive, I put a smile on my face, turned on the TV, the XBOX, grabbed my game controller and was ready to play. As the game on the screen was loading up, my eyes were slowly falling back down. It wasn’t before long until the effects of the medicine replaced the vibrant images of the tv screen with the darkness of sleep.
It took another day to fully awake from the procedure and to get my senses back. I think my body was getting used to the medicine as well. By the third day Amanda was getting ready to go back to work. She told me my parents would be over and to be sure I take my medicine on time. I was feeling pretty good, the pain was just dull, and I was getting ready to catch up on games that I wanted to play for a long time. I thought, “If I take my pills I am just going to go to sleep again. I’d rather be up.” Not feeling too bad I pushed my pills to the side and loaded up the first of many games that I will play.
By the fourth hour since my last dose, itching was setting in. I couldn’t reach it because of the cast, so I tried not thinking about it. I was always told if it itches it means it’s healing; besides there is a boss battle coming up! I didn’t make it to the boss battle, the itching increased to an ache, and by the time my next dose kicked in the ache turned into a pounding that would rival Celtic drums during the Celtic fling. Thankfully, the dizziness set in not too long after and the darkness of sleep found me again.
I never made that mistake again, I kept up with the doses and the effects seem to calm down. I was able to stay up longer and longer each day and I made sure never to tell Amanda I tried missing out on a dose. The weeks went by and they were pretty uneventful. I went to the doctors to have the cast removed and the stitches taken out. I was surprised the doctor never came in, it was just his assistants, but I figured he must have been seeing other patients who were sicker. I was relieved to know I could take a shower in a few days. I only took a shower once during the whole time and I washed up at the sink during the other days. I borrowed a shower chair from my neighbor, wrapped my leg in a trash bag, and used duct tape to keep the water out of it. It only took one time of ripping the duct tape off my legs to learn that I can get by the remaining weeks washing up at the sink. It wasn’t until 5 years later that I learned about a plastic leg cover you can buy on Amazon to make it easy to take a shower with a cast on (in a few days look for my product review). After receiving instructions for physical therapy, we were well on our way.
In the beginning of recovery I received a lot of phone calls and well wishes, a lot of people were cheering me on it felt really good. When the seventh week arrived, the phone calls became less and less. I felt people were forgetting about me. Once in awhile someone from work would call to see how I was making out and to find out when I would be returning to work, but other than that the visits from everyone came to an end and I started to feel alone. I was welcoming the idea of starting physical therapy in a few days, it would get me out of the house and doing something again. It would give me another goal to focus on and something I can accomplish that will help me to move forward and put this whole experience in the past…
I made it to 9, I remember that, if I made it any lower than that I cannot recall. Everything faded to black. It was the feeling of going instantly to sleep, a sleep where you do not dream or remember anything during the time you are asleep. You just go to sleep, your eyes close and then the next minute you’re trying to wake up. From my past experiences it is always the same feeling for me, closing your eyes, and then trying to wake up. You will not know if one hour went by or six. Do not ask me to explain how it works, or why it works, all I know is how it feels…..
[————-] Where am I..oh yeah…., the first thought I remember, then my eyes closed again[—————]
Think there’s two people beside me…not sure…..[————-]
Waking up was like watching slides slowly change on an old projector. My eyes would open, I would see a frame, and then everything goes black, slowly the next picture would try to come into focus and then everything would go black again. Much like hitting your snooze button in the morning, I gave up and went back to sleep.
[————-] What! [————-]UH??? I couldn’t manage to speak the word’s that were in my mind. “Doug wake up are you feeling ok,” a voice from my right stated. “I think so..” I thought, but the words probably sounded more like, “Flurrbbbb ga burg.” “After you wake up more and you’re ready, you can go home. Your wife is on her way back.” “Blurrppbaggr.”
I have learned a few things about hospital procedures going through all of my surgeries. Number 1: Someone comes in and tests your cohesiveness after being under anesthesia. Number 2: Patient is escorted out of the surgery area: usually in a wheel chair. Number 3: There is usually an attendant with you until you make it to the car.
“Doug are you ready to go?” “Yeah…” I actually managed to say it this time. Everything was still out of focus, but I knew Amanda was beside me and a nurse was in front of me. Amanda told me that the doctor did come down to check on everything, but I do not remember him doing so. All I knew was that I was extremely groggy and tired. I was not feeling any pain, I was too dizzy to feel anything except wanting to go to sleep.
I specifically recall Amanda stating, “I am going to tell Dad to go get the car and bring it to the front.” Amanda then leaned over to kiss my head and then headed off to the left down the hall. I also vividly remember what happened next.
“Doug they are bringing the car around and you can get going then.” The nurse left my bedside. When you’re under anesthesia, comprehension does not exist. You do everything by instinct. I believe you do everything by instinct to get back into a position where you can sleep again. I waited until Amanda was in view and coming back towards me from the hallway. As soon as I saw her I flopped my legs over the bed and began to stand up.
The look of horror had to be over Amanda’s face as she was running the rest of the way back. I can’t imagine what the site looked like, right after my feet hit the ground, my face hit the floor. Even under the affects of anesthesia there is nothing that wakes you up faster and makes you become more sober than a tile floor hitting you square in the face. I fell without even getting an ounce of weight under me. My right leg, which at the time I did not know, was in a cast. I remember the nurse saying what happened, but what I remember more was Amanda’s fury. Amanda’s strength, much like the Grinch’s heart grew 10x times that day. I cannot say for sure, but I think Amanda single handedly picked me up and threw me back onto the bed. Then mamma bear turned her head and focused her fury onto the nurse.A lot was said, and Amanda’s anger was a lot more heightened back then that it is today, and I remember her telling or should I say scolding the nurse on the procedure for releasing someone after surgery:
“HE HAD LEG SURGERY!” Amanda yelled.
“Well there are no instructions on the release form for him,” the nurse chided back
“HIS LEG IS IN A CAST!!!” Amanda’s anger starting to grow to a boil
“It doesn’t say to give him crutches or give him a wheel chair to leave,” the nurse exclaimed.
“HOW CAN HE WALK OUT? HE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO STAND FOR SIX WEEKS.”
“Well, I will go get him crutches, but it was not marked down.” The nurse stated and left
The nurse went and got a pair of crutches and Amanda helped me out to the car, all I knew was I wanted to go home and have this day come to an end………
BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!!!!!!!!….BRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!……BRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!………BRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!! What the…. BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!!!!!!!!….BRRRR!!!!!!!!! Oh my God…. BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!!!!!!!!….BRRRR!!!!!!!!! How am I going to get out of this…. BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!!!!!!!!….BRRRR!!!!!!!!! A month passed already….. BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!!
It was December of 2008, and as most of my friends and family know I look forward to Christmas more than Clark Griswold. However, it was not the 25th it was the 17th. A month had already passed. The month prior I found myself in the doctor’s office again waiting for Flash to come in to read the results of my MRI. Always trying to make Amanda laugh in the office, I heard the door knob turn and became immediately quiet.
The doctor lived up to the name I gave him. He flashed into the room read the results and stated that I need surgery. He was going to drill holes in my cartilage in hopes the holes will heal and create scabs that will eventually become cartilage. Then he is going to shave down my bone to get rid of any edges after he cleans the bones that were loose in my ankle. He said he will schedule the surgery in about a month and that I should see his assistant to confirm the scheduling and get instructions for the day prior to surgery. In a matter of a few sentences and a couple of breaths he was gone again.
At no point in time did he ask me if I understood. He did not even go over what I should expect or how I might feel. Just what the heck was he talking about??!!! I never had surgery?? It only took two minutes after he left the office until it hit me. He is going to drill holes into me, in hopes the holes heal and become a new layer of cartilage. He then is going to shave down my bone?? Do I have a choice?? It didn’t seem like it, this is what had to be done, he was in and out and seemed sure of himself, there is no other path I thought…I need surgery………….
My mind was racing; I was shocked, nervous, and afraid. I am sure at the time I heard in the background through a fog of thoughts, Amanda’s words: everything will be fine……
The assistant was a little more helpful in answering my questions. I was going to be put to sleep, the procedure will be done, and when I was ready to go home I would be able to. I would need 4-6 weeks off of work and physical therapy for a few months. I will not be able to walk during those weeks, and I will have an appointment in two weeks to remove the sutures.
The only solace I could find to help myself deal with this was the fact I was put to sleep to remove my wisdom teeth. I remember going to the dentist office, sitting in the chair and in a minute of my time waking up with the procedure being done. I played this memory in my head a hundred times to calm my nerves of the surgery coming up in four weeks. In the meantime I had to tell work that I was going to be leaving for a month. The human resources department supplied me with a stack of paper that I had to fill out with my doctor of expectations and dates to and from work. FMLA documentation so my position would be held. I worried that work would not be able to get help to cover my spot. This surgery had more complications and paperwork then I have expected. The fortunate part was that I was working for a company that was very supportive. Though the surgery was eight years ago, I still keep in touch and have become good friends with some of them to this day. Besides the paperwork, I was relieved that work did not put any more stress on me and that they all wished me well and a quick recovery.
BRRR!!!!!….. BRRRR!! “Come on”, Amanda said while shutting off the alarm clock “We have to get going.” I slowly got up. I felt helpless there was nothing I could do to stop this. I felt like I was starting to shake. I was so nervous I did not want to have this done. I did not want to go through with the procedure and I did not want to think about the pain that came afterward. The feeling of dread overcame me as I entered the car. As Amanda pulled out of the driveway down the road the only thought in my head was: I will sit in the chair, he will put me to sleep, it will be done…. I will sit in the chair, he will put me to sleep, it will be done…. I will sit in the chair, he will put me to sleep, it will be done….
Checking in and filling out the paperwork with the receptionist we sat and waited to be called back. We stayed quiet Amanda knew I was going through things over and over in my head and conversation was not an option right now. Luckily, it did not take long to get called back. The nurse called me back and we both got up, but my heart skipped a beat when the nurse told Amanda she could not come back until I was prepped. This was the first time I had to deal with this without her no matter if it was only going to be a few minutes. My heart had to be racing faster than it ever had, my hands started to shake and the only thing I knew is that I did not want to go back there without Amanda. Once again I heard: everything will be fine……
I will sit in the chair, they will put me to sleep, it will be done…..I changed into the gown and laid on the bed. The nurse stated they would have to put IVs in my arm to apply the anesthetic and antibiotics. “I need what?” I asked. She once again told me I need IVs for the medicine. I did not remember this part at my dentist office, all I wanted was to be put to sleep so I can forget about all of this.
The anxiety had to be written on my face, as the nurse came back and assured me as soon as I meet with the anesthetist, the doctor, and his assistant and sign the necessary forms, she will give me something to calm my nerves. I gave up this did not seem anything like the dentist’s office. I just laid there hopeless. One by one I was visited by each staff member to go over what was going to happen. Information that would have been helpful when they the surgery was scheduled to help me prepare for this day. All of them told me the same thing Amanda kept saying: everything will be fine……
I started to believe in order to graduate from any medical program that you had to learn this phrase and repeat it over and over and over again, before you were given your degree.
The meetings with everyone were done and I swear the doctor asking me if I was ready and if I had any questions, was the first time he ever asked me that and the longest he ever spent with me. I had two IV lines inserted into my arm and finally Amanda was allowed back in the room. As promised the nurse came back into my room and said she was going to give me something to relax. Amanda agreed and before I knew it I was pleasantly calm. Everything will be fine…
This was the first time in months I felt great, a nurse took me back to a room where the Anesthetist was talking to me about sports. He then asked me to count from ten. I said okay and started, “10..9……………..”
I hope you enjoyed my latest entry, for someone going to their first surgery who may be nervous I want to say: Trust me it is normal. I was so nervous and maybe I acted as nervous as a kid, but it was my first surgery. I was a mess. It does get easier as you go along. Now I ask the nurse if I can put the IV in and apply the nerve block. Having a surgery is like ordering food at a restaurant now. Oh I am having this, this and this thank you.
Also, I tease Amanda about saying everything is going to be fine, but she was just as nervous as I was and she was not sure what to say at that time and how it would affect me. I would have been much worse without her by my side and that is the reason why I started my gofundme page in honor of her support.
The appointment was made with my general practitioner and it only took one x-ray to determine that I needed to see a specialist. Not really sure what she saw and being new at being hurt, I took her word for it and went to the doctor they recommended.
Being a new patient my appointment date was two months scheduled for July. Honeymoon was over and I could hobble with a little bit of pain. The pain in my ankle seemed to have calmed down since the Disney Trip and the Baltimore incident, but I could tell that it was there. It felt like little teeth grinding together and at times a sharp pain would shoot up from my leg. However, there was no time to worry about it now. I had to get back to work, I did not think about the probability of causing any extra damage to the area, besides my life was busy, no time to wait around and heal. It was no big deal, none of the doctors seemed too concerned about, they wouldn’t make me wait two months if something was wrong I thought, so if they didn’t worry about it neither did I.
During the next two months Amanda and I were adapting to the married life. Her career as a Nurse just started and I was promoted to a Sr. CSR, a supervisor of a bank. Things seem to be heading in the right direction. The only issue we were having is the space in my one bedroom apartment. We knew that we would have to try to find a house, as soon as this appointment was over. The pain came and went during this time. Some bad days, some good days, to me it was becoming the norm. I just took it a little easier during the bad the days.
The day finally arrived for my appointment and as the cliché says, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was in July of 2008, when I met with my first Orthopedist at OIP. I was ready to explain everything that I have been feeling. The pain at Disney, the fall in Baltimore, how I have been feeling since, I wanted to make sure I told him everything, so he knew exactly how I was feeling. I was getting a little nervous after the first person left the room and hearing the door handle turn for the second time. Amanda was sitting on the chair looking very calm making sure that I was okay, it was my first appointment seeing a specialist and I did not like doctor’s offices to begin with.
The doctor came in and introduced himself to us. Without hesitation he took my foot and told me to perform the same exercises Amanda had me do at Disney. He then let go of my foot, and stated that he looked at my x-ray and I am going to need an MRI and that he will see me back in two-three weeks and his assistant will help schedule the MRI, He then got up and left the room……..What just happened? This was the first thought that entered my mind. I was so nervous about him coming in I didn’t have any time to collect my thoughts. Why didn’t he ask me questions? Was it not important what I have been going through? Actually, what the heck is an MRI? I heard the term before, but I never knew what it was, was it going to be painful? What did it do, what was it like? I came here to get answers to my issue and now I am worried even more. I was prepared to tell him all about it, all the pain I went through these last few months, didn’t he care? Anxiety must have been painted in neon lights on my face, Amanda came over and said everything will be fine (I learned throughout the years, this is Amanda’s go to line for almost everything) let’s go.
I left the office, feeling baffled, confused, and minuscule; there was no time for anything to explain to me. The doctor was like Clarke Kent turning into Superman in a phone booth. One minute he was here the next he was gone. Amanda telling me that an MRI was not a big deal helped only just a little. She never had one, so how would she know was my thought process.
With the help of the assistant we were able to schedule the MRI within a few days. Both of us arrived at the testing facility. I was a little less nervous for this appointment. I learned from the internet that the procedure does not apply any pressure on you and it is virtually pain free. After filling out the required forms I proceeded into a room and got changed into a gown. The design of the gown had me a little confused. I was told to keep the open part facing my back and then tie the straps around me. My first thought was who designed this thing, and the second thought was, screw it I am going out there with the back half of me exposed. Those little straps did not go around me.
It must have been okay, because as I exited the room the radiologist led me to a very thing table sticking out from a machine that filled the room. If you never had an MRI before, but you saw the movie Stargate, you would have bet your last dollar that you were about to be transported to an extra dimension.
I was surprised how calm I was. I think it was because of all the attention I was getting from two of the employees at the facility. Before they even put me on the chair they explained everything to me. I was going to hear loud noises and the earphones they put over me would protect me from the noise while music played through them. They handed me a button that I could press if I got too scared and they warned me that it will take about a half hour. This experience was much better than superman flying in and out of the office like a lightening flash.
Thirty minutes passed, the noises were muffled, the music was nice and I did not need to use the button. Thanking them for being so nice I got dressed, went out in the waiting room and told Amanda all about it. She was quick at noting that she told me that it was no big deal and it wasn’t. All I needed to do now was wait for my next appointment with superman or the flash……
To be continued……
The next entry will be about my first surgery. For those of you who never had procedures, tests, or surgeries, I am sharing my experience for you. I am writing my story to share with everyone on how I got to be where I am, but more importantly I write it so that someone may learn from my experiences and help them get through a time that can be confusing, stressful, and at times overwhelming. If I can reach out to one person than I know it is going to be worth continuing this journey. I also want to thank everyone again for following my journey and supporting my gofundme page. All of the support means the world to me. Thank you again.
I also want to share this link on what an MRI is and what to expect. It may help you to learn what to expect if you never had one before. I was worked up because the communication at my appointment was lacking. I never went through it before and I did not know anyone else who did go through it. I am here to tell you that if you ever do need an MRI the experience will not be nearly as bad as I expected to be: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146309.php