Sunday, November 14, 2010

In Limbo - Part 2: Welcome to the Jungle

There is not much grey in a surgeon's world - everything is as black and white as the x-rays they inspect and dissect. For those who have had any professional contact with a surgeon, you will nod furiously in agreement when I describe mine as Type-A, decisive, blunt, jargon-prone, and about as fun as a bunion. Surgeons are also very much one other thing: unavailable.

When I left my surgeon's office that morning, disoriented and overwhelmed, having tossed a "I'll call you" as I sprinted to the elevator, desperate for some air - some thinking space, I had no idea, no basic understanding at all, that one does not simply ring up his surgeon and have a chat.

After I had slowed my sobbing to a weep and was generally able to drive my son and me home safely, I did what every modern patient or potential patient does: I googled my diagnosis.

This should have been straightforward I suppose, except I had no idea what my diagnosis was. All I had was my foggy memory of the name of a disease that was uttered before an onslaught of images and terms and treatments were thrust upon me. My surgeon hadn't written anything down and my inexperienced self hadn't thought to ask. I had left his office in shock and completely ignorant. I racked my brain for the sounds of the word. I got as close as I could recall and in the Google search box, I typed: KING'S BOX disease

Now, any fellow sufferers might be laughing their pants off right now or, like when reading those lines posted on "misheard lyrics" sites, might be thinking: Yeah, that's what I heard too.

The truly funny part is, Google responded with: did you mean kienbock's disease?
No word of a lie. And so it began.

I googled and read and cross-referenced stories, websites, and medical journals. I am a researching geek, a linguist by training and a writer by will. I can and will eek every bit of information about something until the information and I are spent. But as my fellow sufferers will attest, to find any "answer" in all the Kienbock's research and articles is impossible. Each bit of information brings only more questions.

So I called my surgeon for a chat. As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, the conversation with the surgeon's receptionist/bodyguard went something like this:

Me: Hi there. I’m a patient of Dr. D-‘s and I have a few questions about my diagnosis.

Receptionist: Um, o.k. I can book you a follow-up appointment.

Me: Can he call me back? Or can I just leave some questions with you and he can email me or call me with some answers?

Receptionist: No. I can book you into the clinic in two weeks.

Me: Um, o.k. Where’s that? What time?

Etc… etc…

Surgeons do not chat. Surgeons are unavailable. Duh. Two more weeks pass.

Welcome to the Jungle...
Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

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