lotus10’s AchillesBlog

Up to surgery

Posted in Uncategorized by lotus10 on the July 22, 2010

I’m not really sure why my pictures aren’t coming up???

The day after I went to the ER, I was scheduled to be on call at the hospital. My work involves the ICU, I attend high risk deliveries and the unit can have 80-90 babies at a time… I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took a cab, hopped on up the elevators, thinking I can do this. My co-workers thought differently though, and we had to call in another colleague to come in for the night. That was the first time I cried in all of this, I just felt so terrible, an inconvenience to others.

But after schlepping all the way to the hospital, I decided I might as well sleep in the extra call room, and try to see an ortho first thing in the morning. A colleague had given me names of people to see, one who was kind enough to email me immediately and tell me to page him the next day so he could see me in between cases.

I wasn’t about to take him up on it, though; I mean, that’s taking advantage of my being a doctor, right? But the next morning, I looked up all the orthos at the hospital - what is up with all their specialities - hand, shoulder, joint replacements, etc etc? And started calling one after another, only to be told there was no appointment for 2 weeks?! I told them “I tore my Achilles!” but didn’t seem to get anywhere. Finally, at noon, the surrounding co-workers told me to page that guy. I resisted until one of them said, “my god, we doctors should get SOMETHING out of being doctors, you’d do the same for one of us!” and I gave in.

But let me tell you, we were all pretty clueless as to what would be done to my Achilles. Most said, “there’s no way they’d operate!” because “I was not a professional athlete”. I was quite eager to get surgery and get this thing re-attached surgically, but my audience (residents, hospitalists, attendings) tried hard to convince me that any surgery is fraught with risk, so stay away! Until one colleague, married to an ortho herself, texted him and he wrote back, “of course they’d operate, why wouldn’t they operate”. In his words, if you’re young, healthy and active, surgery is the way to go. And the room was abuzz again with discussion and telling me not to get surgery because I had a “better chance of winning the Nobel prize than the Wimbledon”. Seriously.

Sure enough he called right away and got me in between his OR cases at about 4pm. I told him how the injury occurred, and he said he’d have to see for himself, because “sometimes ER can be wrong”. After a brief exam and a couple of my “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD” and “HOLY MOTHER OF#*$&@)_”, he told me it was indeed a tear. My question “is it partial? is it complete” didn’t seem to have much weight, and he quoted the re-rupture rates, surgery complications, the logistics of surgery (regional block, outpatient surgery).

“Well let’s just do it!” I said, and hobbled home again, in a cast. I waited for 4 more days. There was no pain, but sometimes I swear, I could feel something - must be the gastroc - DANGLING.

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