Friday, April 30, 2010

Diagnosis?.......Kneemonia with a touch of Sportsmindedness

Well it’s not everyday that your husband has surgery. Was it major? No. But nonetheless it was still surgery. Let’s talk about why he “needed” to have this procedure done. You see, Steve is a “sportsman”. He loves to play a variety of sports which inevitably guarantees an injury to one of his body parts. Back in his high school days he played on the football team. I’m amazed at the results of him wearing those football shin pads. Due to the constant rubbing of these “said” pads he has NO HAIR growth on certain parts of his legs. They are as smooth as silk. If I had known that all it took was that……I would have joined the Football team and traded in my Lady Shick.

As Steve progressed through life he joined up for weight training, golf, running, baseball, squash, hockey and biking. His main focus when concentrating on all these activities at the same time is how to bind, wrap, secure and protect all the parts that he has injured or is sure to injure while at play, during play or post-play. So where do the tensor bandages go ? It’s a menu of choices……does it go around his knee, around his elbow, his wrist, around his leg, over his shoulder, near the Achilles tendon, beside his groin, around the area of his groin, near but not too close to his groin, wrapping his toe, wrapping his finger, covering his head, wrapping his head, surrounding the area between the head and his feet?

This can get quite confusing but Steve has an array of “tensors” and "braces" to ensure that he can still enjoy getting injured while he protects his currently wounded body parts.

So let’s talk about the fact that it’s finally come down to surgical intervention in order to fix Steve. It all started on the squash court. Steve hasn't played squash in a long time but after joining the gym a few years ago he longingly watched his buddies on the courts run back and forth after a miniscule ball that bounces at lightening speed off the walls of a small enclosed tomb-like area with high ceilings and a glass wall for spectators.

I “Googled” the act of playing the game of squash and it is defined as follows:

1. Squash is played between two individual (singles) or two teams of two (doubles) on a Squash Court.

2. One player serves to start a rally which proceeds until one player hits the ball out or down or fails to hit the ball before it has bounced twice.

3. Squash can be played using a couple of scoring options, traditional scoring and point a rally scoring.

4. Squash Players having a social game can modify the rules to their own requirements.

This is what transpires during the game of squash played between my husband and his “gym” friends:
1. Book a court at the gym

2. Walk into the squash court and close the door

3. Hit the ball and try to aim for each others exposed flesh

4. Run sideways a million times, crash to the ground and bleed

5. Try to get up from the floor

6. Try to see your partners serve through your protective eye gear while shvitzing (sweating) like a pig

7. Run sideways a million more times and crash into a wall while stopping yourself with your hand.


9. Yell obsenities when your partner hits you in the head with a small missile-like object

10. FALL down again

11. Game over

12. Limp up the stairs to the main fitness area

13. Stop limping when you see your wife working out in the main fitness area

14. Walk into the changeroom and fall down again

15. Limp around the changeroom after you shvitz like a pig again in the steamroom

16. Try to lean on the shower wall to keep yourself upright

17. Try to bend over to put on your socks and shoes

18. Limp around again

19. Walk out to the main gym area without a limp

20. Drive home

21. Fall down again onto the couch

22. Ask your wife to pull you up off the couch to have your next meal

23. Game over….again.

And then there is Baseball. In this sport, MY husband NEEDS to play the part of “catcher”. His necessity to capture the coveted spot on the team is a stipulation. If he can’t be a “catcher” he doesn’t play. Take a look at what positions catchers stay in the entire game. They are crouched down in a squat pose OR they are kneeling on the ground. Fabulous for your knees. Especially knees that have already experienced years of wear and tear by treating them stupidly.

This is where the story gets good. Over the past year it has come to Steve’s attention that he can’t GET UP anymore. When he is sitting, he can’t GET UP. When he is bending he can’t GET UP. When he’s lying down he CAN’T GET UP. So what’s the point? When you can’t GET UP anymore you required to repair the problem. After a series of medical appointments with a variety of physicians and a pot pourri of tests – Radiographs, Ultrasounds, MRI’S, CSI’s etc., conclusive evidence pointed to – a torn meniscus, which in laymen’s terms means a piece of torn cartilage in his knee.

And so the surgery was scheduled for April 20th at 1:30 p.m. ( a nice normal hour for surgery). Not too early ....not too late. The plan was to drop Steve off at the hospital at 11:30 a.m. for his pre-op admission. He marked both his with a YES and one with a NO just in case the Doctor was "unsure" of what leg to operate on....only Steve would do this by the way...

When I returned I parked my car in the lot where you must purchase a ticket from those idiotic automated machines. Simple enough eh? Why is it that I always have issues with automated devices? Here's what tranpired.
  • I put my credit card in the machine
  • it popped out
  • I put it in again
  • it popped out again
  • there was a message flashing on the machine screen
  • "Card not accepted - Unreadable"
  • I look at the instructions on the machine
  • "place card in this way with strip facing down"
  • I put the card in with the strip facing down
  • the card popped out........AGAIN!
  • just as I was about to start "fist banging" the machine an elderly gentleman in a safari hat walked past me and simply said "out of order"
  • Then I went to the next machine on the opposite side of the parking lot and tried again.
  • I put the card in
  • It popped out
  • I put the card in again
  • It popped out again
  • I checked the strip was to the bottom right side down
  • I put the card in......and it said
Then I had a decision to I buy 1 hour, 2 hours or a full day pass....I went for the full $15 day pass and guess what? I only needed an hour.
I made my way into the hospital to search for my broken husband. I was instructed to go to the second floor and look for Room 282. That's where they dispose the bodies after they come out of surgery. The second I entered the hospital I got my usual feeling of "hibbiejibbieness". It happens everytime the aroma of hospital air hits me. I find room 282 and don't see Steve but I see other bodies that aren't looking so great. He still must be in a "holding tank" somewhere else. I approached the main desk to ask about him and the "mean" nurse told me that he is probably still in "surgical" recovery which was different from room 282 recovery. She told me to go sit at the end of the hallway on some rubber chairs to wait patiently for the "patient". I positioned the chair to face the end of the hallway and put on my "lookout" glasses. I didn't want to miss the "gurney" arrival. As I was working on my blackberry I sensed a familiar voice coming from the end of the hallway. I peered over my glasses and there was Steve....smilin, wavin, and shoutin..."there's my beautiful blondie!...there she is!!"

I was really happy to see him alive...albeit slightly stoned on morphine. I gave him gingerale with a straw and asked him how he was feeling....he looked up at me cross-eyed and asked if I could possibly fish out his Iphone from the gross plastic hospital bag that housed his personal belongings. .... It wasn't 3 minutes after they wheeled him into room 282 that he needed to make a business phone call in his current drugged state of mind ....what happened to the days when you were not allowed to use a cellphone in a hospital? Once he finished his gingie and the phonecall the nurse asked him to get dressed. Wow...that was fast. Drugs, surgery, recovery, gingerale and out ya go in less than 2 hours.

I went to get the car and waited for the hospital orderly to wheel Steve from Room 282 to the curb. Once I saw Steve emerge from the emerg exit, I carefully threw him into the car and off we went. And then my main concern was PUKE. I was hoping that he wouldn’t. Especially in my car. Before I returned to pick Steve up I made a pit stop at Fortino’s. I bought some chips, gingerale and some banana’s for the ride home. Don’t ask me why I bought bananas. The real reason was not to subside Steve’s possible urge to barf… was because Steve has an issue with bananas. He rations them. If I need a half a banana a day for my cereal and only use one and a half bananas during the week, I usually freeze all my leftover dead banana halves for future baking uses. What am I getting at? Oh yes, my banana ration for the week was depleted ahead of schedule so I needed bananas. Oh my G-d. What does this have to do with Steve’s surgery? Yes ….I know….I was thinking that IF Steve was sequestered to the house for the next few days and needed my assistance I would not be able to have a banana. That’s my point.

Once we reached home I was wondering if I needed to carry him into the house but instead – miracously – he walked. Yes folks, he walked by himself as if he was cured by an Evangelist. "YOU AH HEALED". Once inside he plopped himself down on the couch and started flippitating the remote control. Lo and behold he flippitated to the AMC Channel and found one of his favorite movies to watch – take a guess? You got it…….TOP GUN. I don’t know anyone on this earth that has watched TOP GUN more than Steve has – not a million, not a billion, not a zillion but probably a DILLION times !!

Since he was in post-surgical state I didn’t want to make my usual comment which is…. “WHY YOU ARE WATCHING THAT STUPID MOVIE AGAIN! …DON’T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO….THIS IS NOT NORMAL”.
Instead I let him be in peace…..and continued on my merry way into the kitchen to prepare his ice pack for his knee. The hospital released him with a two page list of instructions and a prescription for some heavy duty pain meds. On the list were a multitude of things to do and not to do. Amongst them were:

• Soft diet to start

• Do not remove the tensor bandage for 48 hours

• Take it easy for 72 hours

• Do not get the incision wet

Very simple to follow... if you're not Steve.

Here was his plan.......
• Soft diet to start – Steve ate Pizza and Salad

• Do not remove tensor bandage for 48 hours – Steve removed the bandage to examine the surgical site within 48 seconds

• Take it easy for 72 hours – Steve went to work and to the gym the next day

• Do not get the incision wet – Steve showered with a strap-on Longos Bag the next morning

Was there a point to giving Steve a list to follow? Does he ever follow instructions included in a box? No.

The only issue he had the next morning was trying to put his socks on. For this task he needed my help. Here's something else you may not know about me. I have a thing for feet. I don’t like them. I know they help you walk and all but feet are not one of my favorite body parts. I would sooner come face to face with an armpit than a foot. It was on the morning of April 21, 2010 that I was presented with “the foot” and had no choice but to tend to it. I tried not to think about “the foot” and struggled to get “the foot” inside “the sock”. Don’t get me wrong…..Steve has nice feet. They are always groomed and don’t stink but I don’t care…….it’s still a foot. I tried my best not to gag……but as I was putting “the foot” inside “the sock” I noticed I was making Ew! Ew! Ew! noises……

I am happy to say that I only needed to put the sock on the FOOT once. The next day …..Steve managed himself ….most likely because he didn’t want any further “foot drama”.

And then Steve watched TOP GUN again 4 times within a week between the convalescing and not following the list….a perfect end to a successful procedure. Stay tuned....his wrist is bothering him now.

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