As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted …
I’d been cruising across Tasmania for summer in big loops based around Hobart as I sorted out a number of medical appointments — annual checkup, dentist, optician, brain surgeon (just kidding … I think).
Was booked in for a precautionary biopsy in late February, attended the pre-op sessions, and then took off for a few days of well-earned relaxation.
Met up with an old friend at Sorell, shared a fine meal and good wine while twilight lingered.
Next morning, in the midst of my daily housecleaning chores (one-minute sweep, one-minute vacuum) the phone rang.
It was the surgical bookings office at the Royal Hobart Hospital. “We’ve had a double cancellation. Can you get to hospital tomorrow for pre-op procedures and be available for a full knee replacement in five days time?”
Could I ever!
For years I’ve been in constant pain with my right knee in increasing decline, and was unable to get on the elective surgery waiting list. About two years ago I was ambulanced to hospital with a knee twice its normal size, and in such pain that even morphine had no effect.
I was rushed into theatre and emerged to wake up from the anaesthesia with a drip in my arm and a drain emerging from my heavily bandaged knee.
A few hours later a very cheery orthopaedic surgeon came round to check his handiwork and asked how long I’d been on the waiting list. “You’ve just got bone on bone and no cartilage.”
When I explained that I was still trying to get on the list, he looked a bit shocked but replied: “You’re on it now.” and kept his word.
Coincidentally, he was also the surgeon on duty who did the full knee replacement nearly seven weeks ago. Thanks Mr Harvey.
The x-rays above show the before and after results, and the x-ray on the right with what looks like a row of fish bones, is actually revealing the the 29 stainless steel staples that held the scar together.
Since the operation I’ve managed to walk a fair bit with only the occasional limp, drive the bus several hundred kilometres and go cycling without an custom mouth guard.
And the biopsy? I’m now on another waiting list. UPDATED.