Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

injury update

Went to the doctor today to get a checkup about my shoulder. The first fun aspect was that his office, FirstMed in Lawrence, doesn't accept vehicular insurance. Prior to going there, I had asked my scoot insurance person how I should handle medical stuff, and she said that I should give them the Progressive card and they'd deal with what was covered and then we'd figure out later who pays for what. Well, apparently FirstMed didn't get the memo. They haven't accepted vehicular insurance for three years, because "it's too much of a pain to deal with." Um, so it's better to make your patents deal with it, eh? Nice service. Why do they even have a billing department if they're too lazy to deal with bills? I love Dr. Burt, but I'm not sure I love him enough to stay with this joynt.

Anyway. Doctor Burt has me remove my shirt and says, "Wow, that's quite a bump you have there." Hmph. Then he asks, "Has it been getting better or worse?"

I tell him that the pain has declined from I'm being stabbed to death through the top of my shoulder! to a mild It aches all the time and has bright-white twinges when I do something wrong.

He sends me to take an x-ray, which the tech shows me as it pops out of the developer (yup, they still use film at FirstMed). "That doesn't look good," he says. No kidding. Check this out:

The clavicle (collarbone) is sticking up, out of place, more than half an inch. Fuck. Here's what it should look like:

After a while, Doc takes a look at the image and comes to chat with me wearing a bit of a frown. "I want to take another picture of you holding a milk-jug and see if the Acromioclavicular dislocation becomes greater." I laugh. He's serious. He wants to know if the other little tendons holding the clavicle down are snapped off or not, thus letting my collarbone float upward.

So I go back to x-ray and see a pair of - I'm serious - milk jugs filled with water sitting on the table by the machine. The tech looks real nervous. "I'm not sure about this," he says. "How about I give it to you a little bit at a time and we see if you can hold it?"

As it turns out, I can hold 8 pounds in my bad arm (also my good one - they take a pic of each to compare), but it hurts like hell, and my shoulder remains sore for many hours later. Oddly, this weighted x-ray shows the joint closed up more than the previous one, a sign that the tendon isn't completely separated - perhaps good news. Here's that photo:

Here's an anatomical drawing of how things should look:

I go back to wait for the doctor. It's now been 3 hours since the appointment started, and I'm pretty sore from sitting in a chair without arms, not to mention having just hung a bunch of weight from a hurtin' arm. Doc comes in kinda smiling. "I don't think you'll need to go under the knife. Unless that bump bothers you."

"Will it always be out of place like this?"

"Yeah, you'll pretty much always have a bump there. Does that bother you?"

"What can I do to get the joint to go back to where it belongs? Physical therapy? What can we do to fix it?"

"Well, you can have surgery, but only if the bump bothers you."

"It hurts when I move my arm up - I can feel the bones rub with them being out of place."

He grimaces at that. "Maybe we should send you to the orthopedist."

So I have an appointment next Tuesday. In the mean time, there's nothing I can do to try to get the thing back into place; I even asked him if I could push it down to try to help: "Well, if you could press 50 pounds down on it all the time." He chuckles.

The problem is, the tendon is all stretched-out - if it's even attached at all anymore. It makes me sick to think this is a permanent injury from one idiot's moment of inattention while driving. Because she was in too much of a hurry to wait for a scooter to ride past her. What if I'd been a newbie scooterist? I'd have driven right into the side of her car and over the top when she stopped in the middle of my lane.

Dammit. Not in a good mood. Taking a Lortab and going to bed.

Tags: accident, life

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