Knee Cap Re-Cap and Other Tales

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Greetings folks, and sorry for such a long delay between posts. Quite frankly, there hasn’t been enough of interest happening to warrant me making a post. After all, I don’t just want to write these stories for the sake of writing. That would be boring. I doubt you really want me to write about life back in the cubicle farm. New cube, new view, new tasks, but more of the same, know what I’m sayin’? Also, my mega-map project hasn’t quite got off the launch pad yet. I’ve got the pictures sorted, and started working on it, but it’s a bit tedious, because I still need to purge my ‘best of’ shots down to a bare minimum for the map, and that has to happen before I import the GPS logs. So my apologies, but it’s still on the agenda. Also, special shout ouf to Mason for the title idea, apparently, he’s been left a little short of reading material since I got back, and was hoping I’d get back to blogging. So here I am. Let me take you through a few of the medical mayhem mysteries I’ve been subjected to, since they’re sort of interesting (trust me, you’ll get a real kick out of one of my stories). Read on land-lubbers.

As I alluded to in a previous post, I’ve been having pretty rotten knee pain. I finally got my act together and went to see a sports doc, as I was in real pain after a mere 6km run for an entire week. I’ve been advised to totally stay out of running until I can get properly diagnosed. To those ends, I was written a scrip for both X-rays and an MRI. The X-rays were very standard, and really weren’t worth writing about. However, since I’ve never had an MRI, that was something a little unique, and I will write about that. The X-rays were about two weeks ago, and the MRI was Friday night at 11pm at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital. Yup, you read right, I only had to wait about 2 weeks to get my MRI done. Apparently the province has gotten a little further ahead on the MRI front. Thank God! However, before I get into a few of the details on that procedure, I’ll backtrack a week to another event, and proof that even though MRI wait times have improved, general wait times have not ;-). Just wait for it, there’s a good story coming up here, so don’t leave me yet…

Last weekend was some great weather, as you may all remember. I was also a bachelor for the weekend, as Jody was off to Niagara on the Lake with the ladies for Alix’s bachelorette party. As a result, a few of us burly manly men were left trying to figure out something to do for fun. Friday night was just a low-key night, with Dave coming over for a few beers and some Guitar Hero, but Saturday, Rob, Matt, Dave, Andy, Mike, and I had made some slightly wilder plans. The plan started with Rob, Matt, Dave and I deciding to have our first round of Disc Golf for the season. Not only that, but we were all on our bikes to get there, since it was so nice (well, that and because gas is just too friggin’ expensive, don’t you think? Oh yeah, and I didn’t have a car anyway ). Before even teeing off on the first hole, we hit the dep for a round of giant beers to quench our thirst. Okay, not a big deal, we always do that.

On the back nine however, we each got another ginormous beer to continue quenching our collective thirsts. The game was going quite well, and I was having my best round ever. We felt pretty invincible, but a few holes later, we realized the beer was starting to effect us. Oh well, not to worry, we were still in pretty good condition. Sadly, I lost my driver on the 18th hole, but that had nothing to do with beer, just a bad throw. At one point, I mentioned aloud that I didn’t think drinking 2L of beer BEFORE the Lucky Ron Show at the Laff was a great idea, but was ignored. Looking back, it was definitely a bad idea 😉 At the end of our round, we mounted our bikes and giddily made it back across the river safe and sound to lock up our bikes outside the Laff. Once inside, we started our tradition of drinking quarts of beer, and singing along with the show. Mike and Andy met us there and joined in the fun.

Well, at the conclusion of the show is where things went a little wonky. We all decided we should get back to Dave’s place and order some food. However, I decided that I had to go home first (yes, a 20k detour) in order to feed and walk Jonah. I set off at top speed, planning to make it back to Dave’s in about an hour or so. Well, I never made it back. In fact, rather than make a speedy trip home, I ended up making a high-speed encounter with a parking meter while trying to avoid a child on the sidewalk (no I don’t generally ride on the sidewalk, it was just one little stretch by the War Museum connecting the bike path). I jammed the brakes on and swerved, but blammo! My face met the meter, chipping teeth, splitting my chin, and abrasing my face. I was quite embarrassed, and assured all that I was okay, and dusted myself off for the rest of the ride home.

A little later, I realized I was actually missing a wheel nut, and that my front wheel was actually no longer securely attached to my bike. Damn. So picture this if you will: A dazed Steve, with a blood gushing out of his chin and a scraped face and forehead, trying to hold his front wheel onto his bike with a foot (it’s complicated, but it worked) while biking home at the early hour of 7pm on Saturday! Not my best effort I admit. But yes, in case you are wondering I absolutely had my helmet on. I NEVER go anywhere without it on while riding. Thank goodness for that right? I made it home in one piece (sort of) and grabbed a shower and still thought about heading downtown. However, my head was aching, and I ended up sleeping until 2am! Oh well, it was probably for the best.

Where am I going with this? Well, the rest of this week was spent cleaning my face up, as well as visiting my friendly dentist for a patch job on some of my lower teeth. Luckily, they weren’t super damaged, and he just ended up sanding them down and using some sort of epoxy to remove the sensitivity, rather than having to totally cap them off. Thank goodness for that. However, Tuesday afternoon, my neck still hurt like heck, and twisting it was pretty rough as well, so I decided to get checked out to make sure I had no real damage. Yup, that’s when I learned the joys of emergency visits once again. I was admitted, and given a red arm band, presumably meaning I might have a serious issue, then proceeded to wait over 4 hours before finally seeing a doctor who did some rudimentary sleuthing only to inform me the neck was merely sprained. Granted, I was glad with the diagnosis, but why the bloody heck did I have to wait 4 hours for that??!? Serves me right I guess.

Well, to cap off the story, I’ll just give a couple of my insights on the MRI. If you’ve never had one, be warned… they are probably the loudest non-invasive medical procedures you’ll ever encounter. After slipping into my gown and pants, I was led to a large room with a large machine (the Phillips Achieva 1.5T MRI> where I was told to lay perfectly still, but not told anything else. The constant noise sounded like a techno drum beat, which at first I thought was a stereo, but it wasn’t. Once on the moving bed, and the scan started, there were alternating noises of various intensity and duration, like jackhammers, or pneumatic pumps or something. It was very odd. I would have loved to learn more about it, but they are really pumping people through there, and they don’t even tell you what to expect. On the plus side, I was given headphones, and could choose some music, even though it was drowned out by the MRI itself.

On the plus side, I was able to convince the technician to snap the picture that you see along with this post. She had to take it from the control room, as the super-strong magnetic fields in the scanning room would likely have fried the electronics. That’s why you see a lattice pattern as well. It is in the glass to protect from magnetic fields. Crazy, isn’t it? Once the scan was done, I was more or less pushed out the door. They couldn’t show me the scan or anything, as they have to wait for a doctor to examine it before letting you see. Too bad. So the end of my tale is that I still know nothing. I was told that within a week, my doctor will have the scan (along with my x-rays from earlier). I’m hoping that I will then have a better idea whether I’m in for surgery, or just more rehab. I’ll keep you all up to speed. Till then, enjoy the weather, but watch out for those damn parking meters!!

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