Thursday, August 21, 2008


Today I had a doctor's appointment for my knee, which I hurt on Tuesday at rugby practice. I was very reluctant to call Sports Medicine since the last time, the doctor's big advice was for me to quit playing rugby. Thanks, butt-face. But I digress.

My injured leg is the right one, and the nature of the injury involves pain when bending the knee and applying pressure. This means I walk like the Tin Man and I don't really believe it would be safe for me to drive. Obviously I cannot ride Etienne just now. So I had to hobble to the bus stop--a ten-minute walk on a good day, 17 hobbly eons today. I teetered into the building, up the elevator, and into the waiting room.

When I signed in for the appointment, the receptionist made me stand to fill out the paperwork, leaning on a counter thingy. I don't understand this. They knew I was there with leg pain, and I was already hurting from my big journey to the facility. It was pretty painful for me to stand and fill out that form, since I can't bend the leg and that's pretty much the only way to get weight off it. Finally, I was allowed to go sit in a chair.

The x-ray technician then called me back and proceeded to take lots of x-rays of my left leg. I didn't say anything to her, because I didn't know whether they needed baseline pictures or what. I'm not the expert! I was just wincing around with weight on my sore leg as she manipulated the other one. Finally, someone in the back room hollered, "No! The other leg! The OTHER ONE!" and we had to start again.

Only now she was pissed because I never said anything to her. In my mind, I said, "Why didn't you read my chart? I could sue you!" but in real life I shrugged my shoulders. I was about to die of agony when the power went out. There I stood, in the room with the x-ray machine, in pitch darkness. For what felt like an eternity.

Someone came to escort me to the hallway, where we all waited 20 minutes to see what would happen. I'll tell you what happened: lots of patients used their cell phones and yelled expletives while the temperature rose.

After awhile, my doctor decided he could do my examination in a room with the blinds open and the sunlight, sans x-rays. This was a relief, as he also works with the Pittsburgh Passion and the Pittsburgh Banshees, so when I told him I was tackled, he knew what that meant and had actually heard of a ruck before. If I hadn't already been crying from pain where he poked at my knee, I would have cried in relief.

In the end, it turns out I have sprained things in my knee but not torn anything. I have to go back to physical therapy, and I am not sure what I am allowed to do at practice. The power was still out when I left there, so nobody could write anything down or look anything up for me. They just sent me home with an ice pack, which I needed badly after my walk up the hill to my house. I am starting to get very bitter about the UPMC experience.

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