Doctors and nurses care for you as a patient, but what they don’t know would fill far more than a thimble.
Putting your life (and your ankle) in someone else’s hands isn’t easy.
I’ve only met Dr. McConn one time at his office. I know that he’s 37 years old and has done a lot of arthroscopic surgery during his career.
I know that he stays on top of things because I saw a letter in My Chart that he sent to my primary care doctor.
This Is That Letter:
Thank you for the referral and for giving us the opportunity to be involved in your patient’s care. We will be sure to engage all efforts to improve your patient’s quality of life and assist the patient in getting back to the desired activity level.
Please see below for my plan regarding the patient’s recent visit to our clinic. Diagnoses and all orders for this visit:
Peroneal tendon injury, right, initial encounter
Post-traumatic arthritis of the right ankle
Transient synovitis, unspecified ankle and foot
MEDICAL DECISION-MAKING AND TREATMENT:
We have had a thorough and meaningful discussion regarding the patient’s condition and etiology. We have talked about both the clinic and radiographic findings pertaining to their ongoing pain discomfort due to post-traumatic changes of the right ankle.
We discussed that she is exhausted from all forms of conservative management including boots, custom bracing, physical therapy, and injections.
At this point, she continues to have considerable pain as well as extensive limitations, and therefore would like to move forward with something more aggressive.
Surgical intervention will consist of an ankle arthroscopy, repair of the peroneus brevis tendon, and removal of ectopic bone at the syndesmotic level.
A postoperative course was also discussed which will include non-weight-bearing to the operative extremity for the first 2 weeks post-operatively.
At the 2-week postoperative interval, the patient will be allowed to WBAT in a protective boot, and remain in the boot for the following 4 weeks.
During the 2 weeks to the 6-week post-operative interval, the patient will be instructed to perform light range of motion exercises at the operative site.
At the 6-week postoperative interval, the patient will transition slowly out of the boot into a sports brace and begin formal physical therapy.
All in all 3-4 months to get back to normal life and a year to full recovery are anticipated.
Timothy P. McConn
Normal life. I think I’ve forgotten much of what that might look like during the last 10 years. Actually, it is 10 years in July. The injury happened in July 2012.
One of Dr. McConn’s nurses called Friday instructing me to pick up 4 medications. And so I did that.
At The 24-Hour Mark:
At the 24-hour mark, you start to think of vital things. Important things. What would happen to Ivy if something happened to me during surgery and anesthesia.
I told my daughters once that if my pet/pets were not taken care of I would haunt them from my grave for the rest of their lives.
You take care of last-minute details. And then go over and over them again to see if you’ve missed some small but important detail.
At the 24-hour mark, you think back to the last ankle surgery in 2014. You recall the IV being put in and the anesthesiologist briefly speaking to you. He/she explained what they were about to do.
Then you start counting backward from 100. I recall that I usually could count about 2-3 numbers before the oblivion set in.
One of you said that the first 3 days are the worst. So I keep that in mind as the hours bring me closer to leaving for the hospital.
I ride my scooter around the apartment and make notes of any problematic areas. And then alter them.
Handing Yourself Over To Strangers:
Handing yourself over to strangers is a scary proposition. They only know a few things about you. And all that is in a medical chart.
These people don’t know that you favor the color red. Or that you prefer to listen to solo piano music compositions.
They don’t know about this blog or that I’ve poured the last 13+ years of my life into it. With both heart and soul. That I’ve not held back.
I’ve tried to give the best advice that I know of and I’ve given you my tips on decorating and gardening.
And I’ve shared intense grieving and happiness as well.
They don’t know that I’ve moved in the last 6 months, or that I have kind neighbors who I now consider friends.
I still don’t like crowds or loud noises. None of that has changed. It’s who I’ve always been. But another side of me has slowly emerged. And you have noticed and commented on it.
What They Don’t Know & Never Will:
They don’t know that I like a cozy home and the things I love surrounding me.
They don’t know that I like the sound of running water. And especially the rain as it pours down from the sky. That I even like thunder as it booms and crackles. And the lightning as it flashes and temporarily lights up the sky.
They don’t know that my strongest childhood memory is of chasing lightning bugs through the shadows of that chapter in my life.
Or that my innocence was short-lived and I had to become an adult practically overnight. But that’s okay. Because of all of that, it’s made me who I am. And I wouldn’t change it. Because then I’d be someone else.
They don’t know that I have all of you to support me. That I don’t know your faces or the sound of your voice. But I often recognize who’s writing the comments without looking.
They don’t know that I consider you all my friends. Or that I couldn’t have gotten through this last decade of my life without you.
The Next Phase Of What They Don’t Know About Me:
And so we move toward the next phase. I’m no longer that 52-year-old woman who began a blog. I am now 65, officially a senior. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of pages about all kinds of things.
I hope some of it was beneficial. That it helped you in some small way.
As is expected, readers have come and gone. Some of you have died, and some have moved on because you don’t need this blog anymore. That’s just how life is.
What they don’t know, especially what they don’t know, is that I savor life. The good and the bad.
That I’m mostly happy. And I see the glass as half-full instead of half-empty.
They don’t know that I’ve created a thousand miles worth of memories in those 65 years.
That I’ve gone down through the valleys and ventured up the hills. Or that I’ve fallen many times, but gotten back up to begin yet again.
What they don’t know would fill more than a thimble. Or a bucket or a much larger vessel. But what they don’t know isn’t really important, is it?
It’s their expert care that I count on as oblivion overtakes me. And for a time I’ll be floating somewhere no one can reach me.
“We are not machines,” wrote Michael Egnor in “What Is Your Soul Doing When You’re Under Anesthesia?”
“Our mental powers are altered by drugs and injury and death but there is strong scientific evidence that mental powers of the soul persist in many conditions which we traditionally have called “unconsciousness.”
Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D:
What is commonly lost under anesthesia is memory. Combs wrote. Even though a person may not fully lose consciousness, that person does lose the memories that occur at this time.
So, my friends, I may have no memory of you when I’m under anesthesia. But I do plan to see you again on the other side.