Monday, July 8, 2013

Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again

"Does it hurt when I do that?" Zach asked.

"No," I said.

"How about that?"

"Nope, it’s fine."

Larry and I are regulars now at OrthoNY in Malta. These are the fine folks who have slowly but surely been putting me back together. We’re now on a first name basis with a number of the staffers. Zach is the cast/dressing guru, a talented and friendly young guy with a "Jennifer" tattoo on his left forearm and studs in his ears. He wraps me back up at the end of every visit. We were psyched about putting a purple cast on at our last visit until Dr. Rosas burst our bubble and said we would stick with splints.

Post second surgery, 7/3

Broken bones, 6/5

 Lauren is the tech who was on duty the night Larry and I went there for Urgent Care, at the end of a very trying and painful day at the beginning of this odyssey. She saw me at my worst, and every time she sees me now she gushes over "how much better you look" and at my speed on the walker. She’s an amazing cheerleader. Emily and Ashley, resident PAs, do the preliminary check-outs and how’s-it-feelings and put their blissfully cold hands on the tops of my weirdly sensitive toes. Then The Man comes in, Dr. Rosas himself, always with a handshake for me and Larry, and we talk about where we’re at and where we go from here. Although I can’t imagine how busy this guy must be, he never seems rushed or preoccupied when meeting with us.

I can’t talk about OrthoNY with mentioning Salvatore Quattrochi, the, let's say, confident PA (doctor? I'm not sure, it's a bit of a blur) on duty the night we went to Urgent Care. It felt a bit like being treated by a character of The Sopranos. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen him since then, but he feels like my angel in all this, as he calmed me down, assured me he was good at what he did and would help me, and the man delivered. I'm just glad I didn't throw up on him.  Larry and I will always be grateful to him for his help that night.

When I was at Saratoga Hospital for my second surgery, the two women in charge of prepping me for surgery were having a hard time getting my I.V. line in. I have notoriously shallow veins and they had sunk further into my body in protest of all the recent abuse they’d taken. I was starting to stress and tweak a little at that point and that made the techs feel even worse and more apologetic about the hard time they were having. So they called in the assistance of a doctor whose name I can’t recall, a young Ukranian woman with pencil-thin arched eyebrows and skillfully applied eyeliner. I understood maybe every fifth word she said, but she smiled and winked a lot and moved with an air of authority. She put a blood pressure cuff on my arm and cranked it up – and left it there. She then took a needle and grabbed my hand and said "VHAT is the problem, you haf BYOOTIFUL veins," and jabbed that sucker in in no uncertain terms while I involuntarily yelled in protest. But it was done.

In my room after surgery, as I was getting my bearings back, I started to experience lower abdominal pain the likes I’ve never experienced before. It turned out that, because of the spinal block I had for surgery, my bladder was full and beginning to spasm. All I knew was that I was in screaming agony, and suddenly there were (no exaggeration) 10 people filling my room, with carts and equipment, all ready to pounce on me depending on what my issue turned out to be. Morphine, please!! That and a catheter, and five minutes later all was right with the world.

Lots of people have done lots to help me. Yes, it’s their job, but I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what they’ve done, and continue to do. Thank you, one and all.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing you and your walker next week. The X-rays are horrible looking but also look like you'll have a pretty strong ankle soon. Keep up your one legged dancing with your walker. I know how you like to lead!!!!