Thursday, October 14, 2010

Emanations from Vicodin Land

I have received several emails from you guys asking about my health in response to the post I published informing everyone that I had committed an act of unprecedented, for me anyway, bone-headedness that had severely injured my knee. I suppose I will give in, just this once, to peer pressure popular demand and publish an update. Since my original post, I have made the more than two-hundred mile trip to OHSU for a consultation with, supposedly, the best sports-medicine doc in all of Oregon. According to him, I really messed up this time, and there will be far reaching, probably permanent, consequences. It is likely that I will be crippled in that knee to some greater or lesser extent that remains to be seen, and arthritis is a foregone conclusion. Who knew that go-cart racing was so dangerous? First let me say that for the time being, I am off the crutches and I am now using a cane. (Check out the link, flames make you go faster, proven fact, look it up!) The doctor also released me from the Hell that was the straight-jacket-like brace the emergency room originally inflicted on me and put me into a much more comfortable, articulated brace that can lock for walking or bend for sitting.

Here is the damage I have done to the knee: I have torn the ACL and PCL. This is not new, the other orthopedic doctor told me that. What is new however, is the fact that it is too damaged to be fixed, so it will have to be replaced, so that means a tissue transplant........from a cadaver. (Ominous music here.) In all honesty it does not bother me in the least, but many, especially my female friends, give me comments such as, "eewwww!", "That's gross!" and Blue Wolfess came up with the moniker "Zombie Knee." (BRAAAAAAAAINNNSSSSS!) I tore the MCL off of one side, apparently the recovery for that type of injury is longer but more complete then if I had torn the ligament itself. He thinks that the LCL has a grade 1 tear (ten percent or less), and he thinks that it will heal on it's own, but that he will take a gander while he is in there and take any steps if necessary. Beyond that I have an extruded (herniated) medial meniscus that is torn (probably) that will need to be sewn up and shoved back in. Lastly there is a fracture of the Tibia that no one seems to give a damn about, but has probably healed by now, so that is to the good.

The prognosis is that I will walk again without crutches or a cane, someday, and that I will probably be able to take stairs without a limp, maybe, but that I will likely never regain full range-of-motion. For example, I will never be able to squat on my haunches, sit "Indian Style," and probably not run more than a few hundred feet at a time. Some of this impacts my life more than others, obviously, as I don't sit "Indian Style" very often at my time of life. Others will have great impact. I would like to be able to teach my youngest how to ride her first big-girl bike for example, something that requires running, but that is a few years off yet, so we will see.

The doctor's office and the insurance company had a snafu in their communication, so the office manager told the scheduler to remove me from the surgical schedule until it was cleared up. This would have been at least acceptable, if they had bothered to tell me. Fortunately I had to call for some information and that when I found this part out, which is nice because I would have been awfully put out if I had showed up to an OR of blank stares and comments of, "Well your not on the schedule for today." Regardless I will be having some strong words with the doc's office manager. I am awfully vexed with the her, to say the least.

Other than that, there are good days, and bad. The other day the pressure dropped ahead of a rain storm and I tell you, I thought I was gonna die from the pain. It just throbbed like a angry ball of agony. Other days, nothing unless the brace slips. All in all things are good, my pain is well managed and both the family and myself are well. I was even released back to work about three weeks ago and most days are alright. Even though my surgery has been pushed back, my date is still not too far away, early November, and I am looking forward to the repair job, if not the 2 year recovery time. I will say that I am more than ready to be done with this whole thing, and would give good money to do so, and I am hopeful that I will have a good recovery and regain much of my range-of-motion. I will try to remember to keep you all updated from time to time so that my mailbox does not fill up with, "What is going on with your knee?" emails.


Anonymous said...

I hope you have a full recovery.

Right Wing Extreme said...

I am hopeful and optimistic, which is rather unusual for me being that I am cynical as all get out. Realistically I will probably have range-of-motion loss, but I am going to do everything I can to make sure that it is minimal. Thanks for your well wishes.

cube said...

Yikes! I resolve to stay away from go-carts.

Wishing you a speedy recovery, RWE.

Right Wing Extreme said...

Actually I am ready to go again, I just have to remember that old admonition to keep my hands and feet inside the car at all times. Thanks for your well wishes.

asshat1988 said...

I witnessed his knee destruction. (Was passing him when he crashed) His knee, was moving in directions it shouldn't move... Get better good sir.

Right Wing Extreme said...

Now the truth comes out! You did not pass me until I crashed into the first wall, that is how you got such a good view of my injury. My only question is how did you see the accident so well when your eyes were full of my dust? Seriously though, thank you for your well wishes.