Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crest, fallen

Sacré bordel*, what a day!

More fingerpointing, from one doctor to another.

From MDVIP-man, le boutiqueur(mot inventé, je crois!), I get: "I know it is hard, but hang in there." It's appeasement, a war of attrition. He believes there will be a crisis, through which all will mysteriously be revealed. His money is on this turning out to be some off-the-wall complication involving my lupus or some other connective tissue disease.

From the Infectious Disease Dood et al, I get: "Good luck! We have no idea what to do, and there are no antibiotics left for you to try!" Said with a smile!They want me to go to Mayo or Hopkins. They owe me over $2000 from overpayment -- this somewhat influences my opinion of them, especially since they made me jump through hoop after hoop to prove it. Qu'ils m'emmerdent? A massive understatement.

Finally, from the orthopedic surgeon's PA, I get: well... mostly I got a crestfallen face!

The Surgeon Himself was at the hospital, operating. Fine by me, because I like the PA, a lot. Not just because it turns out he is a neighbor of ours, here at Marlinspike Hall, deep, deep in the Tête de Hergé, but because he has taken much time and care to make me feel heard and understood. Also, he is very sharp, good at what he does.

A tradition has been birthed. Today was its first iteration, so hell, soon it will be a *trend*! It began a month ago, at the last ortho appointment. The incision from surgery #7 was finally beginning to heal, though serosanguinous stuff was still leaking out. Ortho Man, his PA, and I were struggling to find something about the situation to celebrate. Ortho Man laughed and said, "Shoot! Let's declare victory over the incision." And like bona fide idiots, all three of us sat there and cheered.

The PA badly wanted to continue the tradition, but -- hélas, I came bearing my latest labs, which were worse than any in the past year. Before he actually looked at them, he made a perfunctory speech about how this and that level might still be elevated from the trauma of the last surgery alone. I smiled politely. Then he reconstructed the timeline, realized that I had already had one lab with improved results -- from about 6 weeks ago. Ergo, these more recent ones couldn't be lauded as "still bad." Do you get my drift? Am I being clear as mud?

He made the same slick lateral move in a quick discussion about pain -- I am laying claim to a considerable improvement, except. Except when I use my arms! Ar ar ar! I didn't realize that on the left side, there is nothing cushioning the metal/bone intersection. If I had maybe given it a little thought, it would have been obvious... but to tell you the truth? I don't like to think about all the things they've done. Anyway, the PA opines that it will probably end up being quite painful on the left due to the thing contained not fitting the container (All those logic classes are paying off. Thanks, Professor Ryan!). So he decided, sort of on the fly, to say that it will be at least a year before we can really evaluate the pain.

I handed him the labs as he was putting today's films in the lightbox. He flipped through the pages, said, "Oh," and then sat down, deflated.

We danced the dance of "watch and wait," I stopped and spoke to a few of the very kind staff there (there's a guy in the outer office who is an incredibly positive person, who always remembers me, and knows pretty much what is going on -- he's good medicine!), and then we were outta there.

In honor of the movement to not speak of unpleasant things, I started humming when Fred wanted to know what had happened today. Hum hum hum. I also smiled, laughed, and changed the subject to the weather. The heavens, right on cue, opened a few moments later, and he had to concentrate on maneuvering through the heavy rain. Traffic, amazingly, kept moving. Hum hum hum.

Tête de Hergé's Department of Transportation doesn't have the greatest Maintenance Division and sometimes the potholes cause perilous weaving in-and-out of the five unidirectional lanes of the interstate. We all generally travel in the same direction here. If you absolutely must go against the grain, against traffic, fine -- take the scenic backroads route -- but be careful of the wagons and wandering dairy cows.

We were happy to see the exit to Marlinspike Hall, glad to go home, glad to have tea and soup, thrilled to see La Bonne et Belle Biance Castafiore, who is very contente to once again be starring in Gounod's Faust, pleased to pet the cats milling around our feet, mewling.

It's only now, Fred gone to an evening thing at church, The Castafiore cuing up her Faust discography, the felines napping after their full bowls of kibble -- only now that I will recognize my fever, the sweat pouring down my head, the legs purple, swollen, and cold, the pain, considerable. Hum hum hum.

*A native speaker will have to enlighten me as to whether sacré bordel is offensive or whether it is just one more sacré + object sort of ho-hum phrasing. A friend and I had it written on a birthday cake for our department chair back in the day -- a lovely man, rather circumspect, but sly, as well. I'm sure we had our reasons for choosing sacré bordel to be written on a celebratory instance of baked goods, but for the life of me, I cannot remember...

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