July 20, 2005

My Surgery Fiasco

So, I'm having a bunion removed from my right foot. You may have thought like I did that they would just whack me on the head and take a palm sander to it, but I was informed by my doctor that it is unlikely that such a procedure would have the desired effect. So, surgery is my only other option.

I haven't mentioned it because I've been busy lately with getting ready for school and reading Harry Potter and learning how to work my television. (For the last five years, I have not had to work the TV by myself -- either because I didn't have it or because I had a roommate whom I left in charge of that -- and I just got Dish Network, which has lots of gadgety features. It's very exciting.)

The last time I was at the podiatrist's office, they told me that I would have surgery next Tuesday and that they would send me the paperwork and additional information in the mail. I didn't get anything.

Well, due to a psychic premonition, I decided to check my home voicemail. (My cellphone is my primary point of contact; I only have a homephone for the internet and now Dish Network.) Lo! There was a message from my Primary Care Physician informing me of an appointment with them this morning.

Here's the phone call I made to them:

Flibby: Hi! I think I have an appointment this morning.

Nice Nurse Lady: Yes, you do!

Flibby: Would you be so kind as to tell me what the appointment is for?

Nice Nurse Lady: It says here that you're coming in for a physical.

Flibby: The one I had two weeks ago wasn't sufficient?

Nice Nurse Lady: Hm. Are you having surgery or something?

Flibby: Yes.

Nice Nurse Lady: Oh! Well, this will be so that we can sign your papers.

Flibby: Do I have papers for you to sign?

Nice Nurse Lady: You should and you should bring them with you to the appointment this morning.

Flibby: Ok! I am going to call my podiatrist and have them fax the papers to you for the appointment because I have not recieved them.

This is my subsequent call to the podiatrist's office:

Flibby: Hi! I just found out that I have an appointment with my primary care physician this morning and I am supposed to give them some paperwork to sign, but I haven't recieved any paperwork.

Spacey Nurse Lady: Uh oh!


Flibby: Um. How can I get the paperwork?

Spacey Nurse Lady: You could come by and get it or I could fax it over to them.

Flibby: Yes, please fax it to them. Can you tell me if I have any other appointments with you?

Spacey Nurse Lady: I have you down for Monday.

Flibby: Okey dokey. Do you know what that's for?

Spacey Nurse Lady: No. The scheduler lady doesn't have it in the computer.

Flibby: Oh. Well, do you know if my surgery is on Tuesday?

Spacey Nurse Lady: No.

Flibby: Oh. Well, if you do get more information, will you please let me know? I will let my doctor's office know to expect your fax.

So, I had two top-secret appointments I didn't know about. Then, the Scheduler Lady calls me up.

Scheduler Lady: Hi, Flibby! What's going on?

Flibby: I have no idea. I found out this morning that I have to go see my primary care physician and now I know that I also have an appointment with you guys on Monday.

Scheduler Lady: Oh. You didn't get a letter with the paperwork and schedule?

Flibby: No.

Scheduler Lady: Oh. Ok. Well, let me tell you what it is and then I will send you another letter so you'll have a copy.

So, then she tells me what all I have to go to and I learn that I will be out of work an extra day and that there are all kinds of appointments I have to keep.


Oh, and flashback to my conversation with the surgeon:

Flibby: I understand it requires surgery.

Surgeon: Great! What kind of surgery would you like.

Flibby: Um. You're the expert here. Why don't you tell me which one you think I should have and then I'll pick that one?

Surgeon: Sure! There are lots of different... [blah, blah, blah... we talked about two different procedures and the pros & cons and he told me which one he recommends for me and I said, "Let's do that one."]

[Then, he adopts this really serious tone.]
Now, I don't want you to have an unrealistic expectations about this. Surgery doesn't fix everything.

Flibby: [alarmed] WHAT? Am I going to be able to walk when this gets healed up?

Surgeon: Oh sure. I --

Flibby: [Still alarmed] I'm not going to tip over while trying to stand up or anything, right?

Surgeon: Oh no. Nothing like that. I --

Flibby: [relieved] Ok. So, what kind of unrealistic expectations might one have about this?

Surgeon: Well, your foot won't be perfectly straight. Some people want their foot to be unnaturally straight.

[silence. I'm looking at him like he's crazy.]

Flibby: Um. Look. I gave up on my aspirations to be a foot model a long time ago. I just want my toe to not hurt and not compromise any of the natural function I have today. Like, I don't want a stiff toe and I don't want to fall over and I don't want to end up in a wheelchair because of a bunion, ok?

Surgeon: Oh. Well, yeah, we can definitely do that.

And these people are about to cut on my foot. Right now, I'm thinking my palm sander idea has less risk to it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at July 20, 2005 10:11 AM | TrackBack

One of those dremels would probably work better. Much finer control than a palm sander.

Posted by: Jim at July 21, 2005 09:56 AM
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