With the cold, also came snow. But being the good partner I am, before I left for work, I trotted out to the drive to get the paper and throw it inside. Unfortunately, there was ice under that snow.
No – je did not fall, but I think it would have been better had I let that happen. Instead I (over)compensated by re-balancing myself and putting stress on my right leg. My already bad leg, as it were.
I knew I stressed it before I even got in the car, but after a 2.5 hour car ride (me driving), getting out of the car was more than a bit difficult.
But I should start a ways back. I posted two stories in 2006 about my go-round with being found to have chondrosarcoma, but yesterday I realized I never posted surgery or post-surgery follow-up stories.
Surgery wasn’t too too bad – but I was out, so what to do I know? The plan was to take bone from my hip to replace what they took from my leg, but when they got in, they had to take more femur than anticipated. While on the table, they called for take-out from Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement for some bone. Cadaver bone. (insert eerie music here!) After that was inserted, I got a metal plate and nine pins and/or screws.
The hospital stay wasn’t as bad as my appendix, but once again, I had to go to my parents for recovery. Even though I did a little physical therapy (how to use stairs and the crutches), there was no way I could navigate the 20 some stairs up to my apartment. Crud.
When I took off the dressing it was kind of disgusting. It was one of the few questions I didn’t ask. Bruised – but not black and blue……more like green and grey. And swollen. With 27 staples going down my outer thigh. Maybe at some point I’ll post one of those pretty pictures. It was just disgusting, actually.
The six weeks I was told I would need crutches turned into almost 12. And then another 10 or so with a cane. On the plus side, I got a handicapped sticker that let me park just about anywhere I wanted. Well, that was weeks later when I was allowed to actually drive. Having a clutch made it damned near impossible for at least a month.
Therapy was mostly exercise bikes and swimming. But things got better. All my follow-up appointments told me so. Two weeks after the surgery, they took out my staples. But by then, the skin had grown around them. So with each extraction, which was just by a frickin staple remover, I said ‘ouch’….’ouch’…..’ouch’. The resident was not amused and told me, ‘oh, it doesn’t hurt’ – to which I replied, ‘oh, yeah? let me do it to you 27 times!’. He got my point.
And at one of the follow-ups, I got my favourite x-ray (not the above image). It has my pins, plate and the head of my penis that sticks out from the side of the lead bag they placed over my groin. If I had a lightbox in the house, it would be on permanent exhibition.
The scar is killer. 10-12″ straight down my leg. It took years before I could actually sleep on my right side. And to this day I can usually predict with some accuracy when a low front is 12-36 hours away.
All those stories about feeling it in your bones are true. It used to be there’d be pain, but that is no longer an absolute. But there is usually some limping before the storm (or the front). I don’t alway notice the limp, but other people will.
Today there is a limp. Mostly due to the slip on the driveway. I couldn’t bear any weight on it for hours and now it is just incredibly sore. I doubt I did any damage, but I’ll keep an eye on it. But the ache could be compounded by bad weather that is now predicted for tomorrow.
A few months ago, I read an article in New York about a journalist who accidentally found himself to be in the same disease, situation and process I was in 15 years or so ago. It was so odd reliving it through someone else’s life and work.
I do want to throw out there, that I know a number of people have done searches for ‘chondrasarcoma’ and come across this blog and in particular these entries. I see it through the queries on how people find my blog. It is weird for me, because people have this disease – or know someone who does. I never did – before or since. But we’re out there – and we survive.
Song by: the Killers