Had my pre-surgical screening, clearance, & workshop yesterday at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Things went very well. I arrived a little before my scheduled 9AM start time. After meeting with patient registration, they took some blood for labs, did a chest x-ray, and did a urine screen. Things went very smoothly and everyone was very nice.
I went back down to the lobby and read while I waited for my 11AM total hip replacement education class to begin. The class was a little over an hour long and was taught by a nurse educator, physical therapist, and case manager. There were about 10 patients in the class, and not surprisingly I was the youngest one. They gave me a bunch of reading materials and a DVD about what to do before my surgery, and what to expect during and after my hospital stay. I’ve never had a hospital provide provide so much information prior to a surgery before. It makes a lot of sense to prepare patients as much as possible prior to the procedure, as opposed to waiting until they’re in pain and on narcotics.
After class I roamed around the East side to find some lunch. At 2PM I met with a doctor who cleared me physically for my surgery. She said that my leg length discrepancy may be corrected, but at the least would be improved. I got home a little after 4PM both tired and excited for my surgery. Only one week away!
I’ve always wanted to be a bone marrow donor, but could never remember to research it. I was reading someone’s blog tonight and they had a link to the National Marrow Donor Program website. I got excited about signing up, until I read:
If you have any of the following conditions, you will not be allowed to register:
- Chronic back pain requiring ongoing medical treatment (including chiropractic care) and/or daily or frequent prescribed pain medication
- Herniated, bulging or slipped disc anywhere along your spine diagnosed in the past 2 years
- Single back surgery in the past 2 years
- History of a spine fracture, if caused by bone disease
- History of a spine fracture in the past 2 years, if caused by injury
- Placement of rods or pins for scoliosis
- History of a hip or pelvic fracture and/or repair
Figures. I can’t donate blood until March of 2009, due to the 4 units of someone else’s blood I received during and after my surgery. At least one day I’ll be allowed to do that again, and I’m not banned for life.
Had my physical at Newport on Monday; it was as bad as I expected.
After leaving Boston at 5AM we arrived at Newport Naval Hospital at 6:20AM. I checked in and was given a blood test, urinalysis, a hearing test, eye test, a full physical, dental exam, and this was all before lunch. After lunch I had my meeting with the orthopedic doctor, who didn’t feel comfortable starting a med board without knowing what is wrong with my leg. He orders some x-rays (which didn’t show anything) and told me I’d have to get a CT scan and come back down to Newport.
Yesterday I spoke to a SSgt at Quantico who tried to explain things to me as best she could. When a candidate it hurt at OCS, he/she is sent home to heal. The healing process is only supposed to last 6 months. Because my injury was so bad, we had to ask for extensions beyond that 6 months to allow time for the leg to heal.
It has been a year and a half since the injury happened, and I’ve started losing hope that things will ever get better. I was given the option to go to my primary orthopedic doctor at BMC and have him write a letter saying that we shouldn’t do the med board now and that I “should get better soon.” I can’t bring myself to give up not knowing if I’ll be in good enough shape to return in 6 months. I don’t want to end things with the Marines and regret making the decision the rest of my life. So I’ve decided to see my primary ortho doctor and get his opinion and possibly get that letter from him. I see him 11 Sept.
(By the way, the little good news that came out of my trip to Newport was that my eyes are still perfect, my hearing was the best the examiner has ever seen, and my blood tests were near perfect)