A few minutes ago, I picked up the phone to hear someone say, "This sure here is a lot of shit happening." It was some carpet-cleaning guy calling, unaware that he'd already dialed my number and that I had answered, but it kind of encapsulated my day. Today, I went to see Dr. SecondOpinion. I was hoping that I would get an early Christmas gift in the form of, "No, you don't need surgery! A steady diet of jujubes and gingerbread will clear the problem right up!," but no such luck. Alas, it looks like I found myself once again on Santa's Naughty List because I just got handed a big old lump of coal in the form of medical news. Not the worst news, mind you, but not exactly what I was hoping for.
But first, the good news: Dr. SecondOpinion and his staff/interns enjoyed the X-ray Christmas cookies. His secretary was very impressed and if I've learned one thing from grad school, it's that secretaries secretly run the show and you should do everything possible to stay on their good side. Dr. SecondOpinion's response was particularly priceless: "Those cookies are really...imaginative," which made me laugh a little on the inside because it's exactly what you say to two-year-olds who show you their scribble drawing: "Oh, honey, that's a nice pony you drew...I mean, airplane. Yes, it's a very nice airplane. You're very imaginative." Anyhow, yes, if Dr. SecondOpinion thought I was smoking crack to have given him such a strange Christmas gift, he didn't show it. He even ate one.
My Freaky Cyborg Hip, however, refused to share in the Christmas joy. Since I don't want to rain on your holiday parade, I will keep it brief (okay...brief-ish): it's apparently really hard to re-attach the gluteus medius muscle and Dr. SecondOpinion only gives me about a 50/50 chance (at best) that the problem can be repaired. My socket might be loose (the test was apparently inconclusive...the only thing it proved is that I can swoon faster than a Harlequin romance novel heroine). If it's loose, they're going to repair it and give me one that's more "appropriate" (whatever that means). They're also going to make me an extra half-inch longer on my left side because even though I feel like I'm taller, I'm actually still too short. And, yes, that is the first time that the word "Arley" has been found in the same sentence as the phrase "too short" in the history of the universe. (Seriously, TLC better break out the cameras because by the time I get done with this crazy carnival ride, I'm going to be like 19 feet tall). Still no word on why my hip flexors are going all Rip van Winkle on me.
And when can all of this be done? According to his secretary, probably not for another 6 months. (This is not terrible news according to his secretary because the wait-time used to be 3 years, so I guess I should count my blessings on that front). Part of the wait is because the month-long cluster-fuck known as the Olympics is coming to town, which puts everything into a crazy back-log because they're not allowed to do elective surgeries during that time. (Just in case, you know, the entire German hockey team does a massive amount of steroids, gets avascular necrosis and all need hip replacements). The other part is that my case isn't technically an emergency and so I'm not high on the wait list. Now, you might think, "Wait a minute. Isn't your tendon flapping around in the breeze like the backdoor flap of an old man's pajamas?" Yes, this is true, but that shit isn't going to kill me. It's just going to make me walk like a heroin addict. Possibly forever.
At the end of the appointment, Dr. SecondOpinion asked if Dr. ___ would be performing the surgery and my heart momentarily skipped a beat at the thought of having to kick off my New Year with SurgeonWatch2010; (at least I know that I can stalk him at Starbucks now). Luckily, however, when I explained that Dr. ___ had kind of....uh...vanished....Dr. SecondOpinion agreed to do the surgery. I was so happy I could have made him 12 more batches of X-ray cookies.
None of this, however, explains what the hell happened in the first place. I'm not the most aggressive person in the world. To borrow A.'s phrase, I am "too fucking polite," possibly because I am "too Canadian." I am willing to ask a question, but I'm not willing to say, "Hey! Answer my question right fucking now!" Though Dr. SecondOpinion is a fantastic doctor, he doesn't really have time to answer the full page of questions I always write out. (That, to be fair, was actually a strong suit of Dr. ___'s. He didn't mind being peppered with questions). Seeing any surgeon is a little like releasing a genie out of a bottle, except instead of having three wishes, you maybe have time to toss out one or two questions before he dashes out the door to serve the next 12 people who are waiting. Since I knew I could probably only ask one or two, I decided (a good decision, I think) to focus on future-oriented questions, instead of "seriously, how did this happen? Like, seriously, who should I be directing the full force of my rage towards?" questions. This means, however, that I may never know exactly what went wrong: did Dr. ___ fuck up? Did I fuck up? Will I fuck up again during the next surgery?
I left the appointment in a bit of a tailspin. When my mom and I went shopping afterwards, however, there was a minor Christmas miracle. For the past 6 weeks, I have been looking for a pair of Olympic mittens for Karo. She's done a lot for me and I figured this was a small thing to repay her with. It turns out, however, that those Olympic mittens are rare as a sunny day in Vancouver because they tend to sell out 45 minutes after a shipment comes in. Seriously, trying to find those things is like trying to buy ketchup in the Soviet Union circa 1986. Vancouver has a case of mitten fever! To make a long story short, I thought I'd got the right mittens, but they were youth ones, so today I went to the Bay to see if I could find the adult ones. When I asked the clerk, she originally said that they'd sold out and I should try again on Wednesday. Just when I was about to leave, however, she said that she'd bought a pair for her grandson but since it's too late to send them before Christmas, I could have her pair. Aww! What a nice lady. I could have hugged her.
I came home all excited and went to my computer to see if I could find Karo's email asking for the mittens to see if she needed them before Christmas or not. For the life of me I couldn't find the email, which means that perhaps I'm on crack and hallucinated Karo's mitten-related needs, or perhaps someone else asked me for the mittens, not Karo. So Karo, let me know if you do need the mittens and when you need them by. I will send them your way!