You know, there's never a dull moment when I'm around. If I'm going to have a hip replacement, it's not good enough to just get one of your plain, old vanilla "uncomplicated hip replacement that actually results in you being able to walk without looking like a swamp creature." No, I go big or go home (and then, you know, stay home in bed for months at a time). Same goes with routine tests. I mean, why just get a test, when you can get a test AND faint like a wealthy Victorian woman whose organs are being warped by her corset? Exactly.
First stop in the Neverending Needle Tour: a trip to see the neurologist for a friendly course of electric needles. When we got to Richmond General Hospital, I went to the washroom while my mom hung out in the lobby, where she witnessed a sighting of a rare and exotic creature whose presence has been endlessly speculated about but never confirmed: Dr. ____! Yup, after the many long weeks of SurgeonWatch2009 trying without success to get ahold of Dr. ___ and doing battle with his secretary, it turns out that the way to find Dr. ___ is to haunt the Starbucks at Richmond General Hospital. Yup, after a long day of working the orthopedic power saw, homeboy needed to recharge with a tall, skinny, nonfat cinnamon dolce latte. That's the power of Starbucks, ladies and gentlemen: bringing the people together.
Well, almost. Dr. ___ said hi to my mom, but by the time I came out of the loo, he had vanished back into his natural habitat with nary a trace. This is probably the best because I'm not sure what I would have said to Dr. ___ if I'd seen him. It would be like one of those awkward run-ins with your ex, "So....hey.....how's it going?...Yeah....it's been awhile....How's that monstrosity of a hip working out for you? Still causing you a world of pain and making you walk like a polio-stricken zombie?" or it would turn into a full-fledged Jerry Springer smackdown. It's a good thing I didn't end up going on those steroids, because I might have had to throw a few chairs.
After meeting one prick in the lobby, it was time to head to the neurologist for a few more; (sorry, that wasn't very nice. I don't mean it Dr. ___! I'm sure you're a very nice man). Yup, I had another one of those "being penetrated multiple times by an electrified needle plunging in and out of various muscles while the neurologist urges you to 'just relax.'" Yup, for about half an hour, I was sweating profusely, closing my eyes and thinking of England. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why so many people arrive at this site via a google search for "sex with needles." (You're welcome, fetishists...I can't help you with the sex, but we've got plenty of needles around here).
And the results of my needle orgy? The neurologist is again giving me the diagnosis of "WTF?" Apparently, my hip flexors are getting worse, but there's no reason why. Maybe my hip flexors are just lazy. Who knows? Dr. Needles McNeedleson is therefore sending me to another neurologist for more red-hot needle lovin'. Fun times.
The next day, it was time for a second date with the needles: this time, for another try at the nameless "big-ass needle in the hip joint" test. I'd tried this 5 days earlier, but because my body isn't a fan of the X-ray dye, we had to cancel the test and go back to the drawing board. They were going to give me steroids, but I guess they didn't want me howling at the moon and turning over cars (any more than I already do) because they found some magic MRI dye potion (which my radiologist informed me was literally worth more than gold) that wouldn't give me a case of the shakes. Crisis averted.
Well, almost. The test went off without a hitch. On the CT monitor, I got to watch the needle snaking its way into my hip joint, (which ranks right up there with some of the more awkward sensations I've ever experienced. I was frozen, so I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel the needle poking against the joint and stuff). It was actually kind of cool. They put in the special dye and you could see it leaking out where the tear was. Then, they injected some freezing and presto, I was done!
But the excitement of the day was not over. I got up off the bed and was walking around pain free (it was a Christmas miracle!) and thinking, "Man, that needle was not a lot of fun, but sign me up for this whole 'no pain' thing because this shit is good. Maybe radiology-needle guy can follow me around for the rest of my life, topping me up." As the doctor was giving me some last-minute instructions, however, things started to go black and I felt like I was going to throw up. It was a "man down" scenario because I had fainted faster than an opium-addicted Victorian lady in a romance novel.
This was highly embarrassing. I mean, I've had hundreds of needles filled with sugar water injected into my spine, been hung by doorframes as people tugged on my out-of-joint hip, stayed away throughout my hip replacement so I could see my old hip, and had countless electrified needles jammed into my ass. Did I faint then? No. But when someone takes the pain away, all of a sudden I'm swooning like a delicate lady flower. WTF, body? WTF indeed. I guess my body had had enough of the pin-cushion routine and decided to check the fuck out.
So, that was it. I had to hang out on a gurney for an hour hooked up to monitors to make sure I could remain upright and then I went home and slept for three hours straight. Hey, all that fainting is hard work!