Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fractured Foot (Part 2)

 So, Katie had to spend the weekend with a fractured foot.  She kept it elevated and iced it when possible.

The same day we found out it was fractured, there was a party being thrown for us to give us a chance to see friends we hadn't seen in four years.

At one point during the gathering I looked over at Katie and realized she was really hurting while waiting for her pain meds to kick in.

I got a live bunny and put it in her lap to distract her until she felt better.

It worked!

The flight home was awful.  It was a red-eye - meaning we flew out at 8:00 PM and landed at 8:00 AM the next morning.  Then we had to catch another flight which lasted for three hours.

We were supposed to have a wheelchair assist between flights but when we got off the first flight in Dallas the wheelchair wasn't there.  Katie struggled off the plane using her crutches but was exhausted by the time she got up the ramp and into the airport.  Emily and I were carrying three purses and three carry-on bags and we were pretty wiped out too by that point.  Finally an employee flagged down a passing cart and got the driver to take us to our next gate.  A wheelchair was brought to us at that gate.  The guy handling it was very fun and personable.  We chatted with him a good bit.

The flights didn't do Katie's foot any good.  There was no way to prop it up in those seats and her left foot was significantly more swollen by the time we landed. 

At our final stop, someone was waiting for us with a wheel chair.  He barely spoke to us as he wheeled us down to baggage claim.  The guy who had helped us in Dallas had been very fun and chatty.  This guy was having none of that.  When we got out to the curb where our ride was supposed to meet us, he literally set the brakes on the wheelchair without saying a word and left us there.

Thankfully, our ride met up with us and we were able to drive home and get ready to go to Katie's doctor appointment the next morning.

Unfortunately, jet lag kicked in and we woke up shortly before we were supposed to be at the doctor's office.  I called and managed to get the appointment pushed back by two hours.

In the military health care system (which is usually very good - we've had great care over the years) we had to see our regular doctor first and get a referral to orthopedics (even though we saw a military doctor at a military hospital and x-rays done by a military tech and in my opinion that should have been enough to send us straight to orthopedics but what do I know).  Our regular doctor wasn't available on such short notice so we took the first available doctor.

When the doctor came in to examine Katie he already had the x-rays and discharge papers we had brought from Hawaii.  He told me he had put in a call to orthopedics and had left a voice mail because they weren't answering.  He examined Katie's foot and put a referral in the computer for her to go to orthopedics.  He told me, "If you haven't heard from them in twenty-four to forty-eight hours, give me a call and I'll see if I can contact them."

I just looked at him for a couple of seconds and said, "Where is orthopedics?  Is it in this building?"  He told me it was one floor below us.

I've played the "go home and wait until we call" game before.  It never works out well.  And there was no way in hell I was just taking Katie home and waiting.

We headed straight to orthopedics.  I had Katie sit in a chair while I told the receptionist, "We were just seen by a doctor in family health, he put in a referral for Katie to be seen here.  We've already been to an emergency room and we know it's a lisfranc fracture; I have the x-rays from the emergency room with me."

She looked in the computer, found the referral and asked me, "Did he send you for x-rays here?  He knows we need x-rays!"  She quickly got permission for Katie to go to x-ray and we headed over to get that handled.

When we got back to ortho, we only had to wait a little bit.  The x-rays were brought directly to an orthopedic surgeon who met with us and told us Katie would be scheduled for surgery Friday morning.

I was (once again) in shock that she needed surgery and that it would happen so quickly.  The surgeon was telling me they would either need to fuse the bones or put screws in.  He explained the pros and cons of each procedure to me.

"Do I have to decide which procedure to do?" I asked in horror.  I couldn't imagine having to decide between two extensive procedures either of which could result in permanent loss of mobility, gangrene, amputation, or death (as was all so carefully explained to me).

"I'll decide once I'm in there and can see the extent of the damage," he told me.

I breathed a sigh of relief that the decision was not placed squarely on my shoulders.  The extent of my medical knowledge is how to put on a band-aid.  To add to that, the surgeon had lost his voice so he was whispering all this info to me and I was worried I was missing something.

I signed dozens of papers and made appointments to come back the next day and handle pre-op.


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