October 18th, 2018
Dear Diary: it’s been 1,954 days since my transplant surgery. That’s how long it’s been since my life ended as I knew it.
Well, this week feels like one for the books. I went to Banff for my 5 year post operative transplant appointment, Yes, the ones where I drive all the way to Banff to sit around for an hour to get a 5 minute appointment with the God himself, my knee surgeon. The day started out pleasantly enough as my in-laws came for the drive, meaning I didn’t have to drive. Even better! When I got to my appointment the place was packed of course. This means all us normal people (not ski team amazing people) get to sit and wait at the back of the bus for help. I met one girl who had a patella transplant who was doing much better and is walking now, but is now having issues. She talked to me and I could tell she was getting worried. I said that if she’s better now, I’m sure her issue is minor and can be fixed right up. Not like my case inspires much confidence of course.
While I finally get a room to sit in , and by room I mean a curtained area in the ER of the hospital, the physiotherapist’s lackey from the transplant program came to do my usual leg measurements. Here’s where it started to go off the rails. One, because he has zero social skills. He is quiet and mumbles when he talks. Second, I always have to fill out about 30 pages of questionnaires that pretends that it means something to be in this program. Normally it’s given to me and I fill it out while I wait. Takes about 20 minutes or so. Mr. Idiot assistant stands over top of me the ENTIRE FREAKING TIME, watching me fill out the questionnaires. From about 2 feet away from me. Like I’m in detention. So, now I’m annoyed. He says at the end, “That was very efficient.” I said “Yeah, well I’ve filled it out many, many times and it never changes.” After this I wait nearly an hour for my 5 minutes of fame. Here’s problem number 3. Idiot lackey stands there in my room waiting the entire time, either in silence, or asking about how terribly my surgery went. So not only do I not get to sit in peace and read my book to pass the time, I have a guy questioning me on my job loss, my disability, what I used to do before the surgery that I can’t do now, and then says, “So, in retrospect, do you think you regret getting the surgery?” This is where I began picturing putting my fist through his face. I said, “OF COURSE I DO, THE SURGEON RUINED MY LIFE!!!” Then he gets quiet and we sit in silence while I cry. He doesn’t offer kleenex. He doesn’t leave and say, “Hey, let me give you a minute, or I have to go get something.” He stands there looking at me as I cry.
Finally the surgeon shows up for my 5 minutes. He says the usual. By this point though I’m barely keeping it together and I want them both to rot. He doesn’t think I should get a knee replacement. He said the States will do it in a heartbeat, but don’t do it. Not that I have $50,000 USD I’m unsure what to do with. He says how’s work? I tell him I lost my job. And am on disability for life now. He says well your other option is to get another job and let the disability go. REALLY?? Because there’s so many jobs that will replace that income and my medical pension and my medical benefits that I’d lose. I told him it’s easy to say when you aren’t in the situation. How about say, that’s terrible and I’m sorry to hear that. He asks me what all he has tried since the surgery and when. Apparently I’m his secretary now. I explain the best I can and suddenly he says, to my incredulity, “Well, I think I would like to have another look in there to see if anything is going on. I want to do another scope (although last year surgery was OUT of the question), and if something doesn’t look right we can discuss a hemi-cap (not important what it is at this point).” And then finishes that off with, “Because I care.” He literally said that verbatim. Now I am picturing putting my fist through his face. Because you care? Because you care? I lost my career. I have a wheelchair now, from being an athlete before surgery and was in nursing school that I had to quit. I can’t do anything now except watch my life pass me by. I’m a housewife, and we had to sell our house because I can’t do stairs. I can barely walk 3 blocks and if I do I can’t bend my knee properly for days. AND NOW YOU CARE? WHEN IT’S TOO LATE TO GO BACK TO WORK? WHEN YOU TOLD ME FOR YEARS MORE SURGERY WOULD JUST DO DAMAGE AND ISN’T AN OPTION? And finally he added, “It doesn’t mean you are getting a hemi-cap. If it looks ok in there you aren’t getting one. Or, we don’t have to do the surgery, IF YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE NOW.” I’m sure my jaw hit the floor. I said “What?” I said “How could things get worse?”
So what he did there was make it on me if I want the surgery. Not his choice. I need to decide if I’m happy as is. Sure I love being a suffering cripple with no life outside my home. Great times. And if I don’t get surgery, I’m clearly stating that I am satisfied with the amazing life he’s left me with.
And when he’s done? Idiot lackey boy stands in the room with me looking at me, while I’m standing there in tears, with my pants in my hand clearly waiting to change. And he stands there, and stands there. I finally said it’s pretty late for you all to start helping now. I’ve already lost everything in my life. And he still stands there with is dumb bad social skill smile, before finally deciding, hmmm, I guess I’ll let her change since she’s standing there like an idiot.
All in all it’s been a great week. And the apartment is a mess as usual and the most exciting part about my day will be cleaning it up yet again because it can’t seem to be clean for more than 12 hours at a time. I wish I could afford a maid. I guess when I get this great new high paying job that I can do from home in bed, that doesn’t require me to be on disability, I’ll get one.
That’s it for today. I have more to say about other things, but I’m too mad to discuss the other failings in my so called life right now. Goodnight Diary.