Prison Pete

Thursday, December 18, 2008
  Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself...
That is what my right leg said to the rest of my body this past Tuesday.(This is being written on Thursday, December 11, 2008.) After almost eight months of carrying my right leg around with the aid of two crutches, the new surgeon told me to start putting weight on the leg.

It was the first week of September when I last met with the surgeon who operated on me back in April of this year. At that appointment he gave me the bad news. In his opinion my femur was not going to heal and the only alternative was to replace the ball end of the femur and part of my hip with man made material. This would involve removing some of the God given parts I was born with and am quite attached to.

Since this surgeon no longer did hip replacement surgeries, he was referring me to another surgeon in the office. He said that this new surgeon would arrange for a follow-up appointment once he reviewed the actual CAT scan as opposed to relying on the one page report issued by the radiologist. As things went, both his office and the crack medical department at this secure location did not properly diary my file. I was in no hurry to lose any parts of my body. I figured the longer I hobbled around keeping all weight off the leg, the better things might be.

Two weeks ago I had to go down to sick call to get a replacement for one of my crutches that broke. The cross-piece bolt snapped so I had to hobble the 200 yards down to medical clutching one crutch by the side support and hoping I did not fall on my face. On my way in to see the nurse, as luck would have it, I ran into the doctor in the hall. He made a comment about how I was still on crutches, and I mentioned about the supposed follow-up. He took my file from the nurse, looked it over and mumbled something about oops... My file was placed on top of the follow-up pile and thus the most recent trip to the new doctor.

The new doctor asked me if my leg gave me any pain when I walked and I explained that my instructions from his associate was no weight was to be put on the leg. So he asked if I put weight on it would it hurt. How was I to know I wondered? He then held my right foot, moved the leg around a bit, asking if that action caused any pain. "No, it did not," I replied. He prodded the area of my leg where the break occurred and still no pain.

He then suggested that I start off by using just one crutch for a while and then no crutch. Oddly, he never had me stand up and try walking in his office to see how it would feel to put weight on the leg.

Since I have not used my leg in eight months, I am still using both crutches, but putting weight on the right leg with each step. It is amazing how strange it feels to be able to "stand on my own two feet."

I am still feeling shaky balance wise, and already the calf muscle in my right leg is letting me know that it is not used to having to bear its burden of being part of the body. Buck up muscle.

The surgeon is still of the opinion that since the break has not fully healed, at some point the pain from the not fully healed leg bone will cause me to beg for hip replacement surgery. The doctor told me that the only point of the operation was for pain management. I says, pain, hey I am in prison, pain smain. Oops, I might have slipped into the lingua prisona.

My plan for now is to continue to walk with the aid of both crutches till I am sure the muscles in the leg are up to doing their part, and then work my way through the one crutch phase, followed by the no crutch phase. I am scheduled to see the surgeon in two months for another follow-up unless the pain becomes unbearable.

At this point my arms are already feeling very grateful, and there is no pain yet. Stay tuned for further updates.
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