Discovered Tattoos

October 18th, 2009 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Irony seems to have its own vitality, emerging suddenly. While I was commenting on the tattoos of others, for one example, a surgeon had loaded up my own version.

The day after the Deep Ellum session, I appeared at Brigham and Women’s orthopedic-trauma offices for my OK-now-get-lost visit. Having been eight months since surgery to repair my broken leg, the final checkup was to be sure nothing has gone terribly awry.

Having posted snaps of my comminuted fibula head and splintered tibia, I knew this was my chance to see whether the bag of rocks that was the thinner bone had tried to heal. I was sure that the tibia was growing plenty of repair material, but the fibula was just a bunch of jagged shards held together by the fascia around it.

On the previous visit, the very jolly and helpful resident surgeon assisting the God of Trauma had noted that they really didn’t care whether the fibula cohered.

“We are very disrespectful of the fibula.” He noted that orthopedic surgeons use the tibia for spare parts, lifting segments as needed to graft to weight-bearing and essential bones. He iterated that as far as they are concerned, it isn’t even necessary for me to function.

Two long-term friends, who are professional massage therapists and healers themselves disagree. They say they treat numerous clients with bad pain and such from the fibula-is-connected-to… kind of problems. That is, this allegedly non-weight bearing bone helps align the ankle and knee, and in turn femur and pelvis. If one bone is out of whack, it can twist the pelvis and spine.

From the surgeon’s point of view, I got my taste of that in the hospital. The operating team arrived at my bed a few hours after inserting a 14-plus-inch pin and five screws in my leg saying I was good to go. The leg was structurally sound and I could leave when I was ready.

That’s a very carpenter or auto-mechanic attitude. Shall we say, kindly, it is not holistic. There was a piece of metal keeping the leg from collapsing if I tried to stand.

I was on opiates and experieninge an elegant, sublime level of pain regardless of the mechanics. The room nurse overheard them and as they left (and I think within earshot), she said, “Fucking surgeons!”

For last week’s final, they had even less concern about potential problems.  I had taken my minerals and hit the gym like a Spartan. My bone growth in the first two months had been what they might expect in eight or ten. They didn’t order or want x-rays for the last look.

I don’t, can’t and won’t know if my bag-of-bones above my ankle is knitting. I choose to think it is.

For other issues, I asked about the discolored swatches on the left calf. The long, crescent contusion-looking areas have remained since the surgery.

Originally, the surgeons said that was collected blood cells that would resorb into the body. However, last week, the head of the group said they were permanent. “Consider them tattoos,” he told me.

I laughed aloud and told him about the pair at Deep Ellum. He said he lived in that neighborhood and would check them out, as well as the taps there.

Now I have a bit of a science project. A couple of weeks ago, one my massage-therapist friends was by and examined the leg. He has been following the progress since February.

He showed me a technique for stretching the skin around the discolored areas and inspiring the cells to move along. I’m already trying his method. I learned long ago that physicians, be they in the GP/FP/PCP/internist families or surgeons/specialists have large areas of ignorance. Some are defensive about not knowing much about nutrition or rehabilitation or the like, pretending that expertise in their areas means they know every damned thing. Others are open to different views and admit they can’t know it all.

So, it’s likely that Mark, the doc, or Joel, the body worker is right. TBD.

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