Noilly Prattle: It still hangs on a screwdriver . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2014

It still hangs on a screwdriver . . .


    What do you do if you are peeing into the wind? This is not a riddle, it is a simple question of logic. Well, maybe common sense as well. Answer: you can either get wet or turn around. This little conundrum assumes, of course, that you are of the male persuasion.

        Get wet...or turn around. After some seven months of pissing into the wind, I have pretty much decided to turn around. I'm getting tired of wearing out my clothes washing them.

left trochanter- where the metal meets the muscle
        Recapping briefly, in a previous post with a similar title, I described the difficulty of trying to have a titanium nail and screws removed from my left femur, something I assumed would be a simple enough procedure, in Japan. The nail was inserted during a surgical procedure called ORIF to support a broken femur in a hospital in Prague, Czech Republic in February 2013. I began to experience some pain and discomfort in my left hip about seven months after the operation when we returned to Japan from a holiday in Europe in October, 2013.

        Consultation with a local Orthopedics doctor indicated some inflammation caused by friction of the titanium nail rubbing against muscle tissue. The doctor didn't seem to think it was such a serious matter and suggested I cut back on exercises that might exacerbate the friction and see how it goes. I tried that, but it seemed to me that it wasn't going very well, so I asked him about the feasibility removing the metal parts. He wasn't enthusiastic about that idea, and also added that there was a problem of what tools the doctor in Prague had used. He had never seen this type of implants. He did, however, refer me to an Orthopedics surgeon at a local hospital. He suggested I wait until the Fall (this year) and see how it goes.

        I finally consulted the Orthopedics surgeon at the same hospital where I spent 3 months with a broken right femur some 30 years ago. He didn't think it was really necessary to remove the hardware, much the same attitude as the three previous doctors. But he agreed to send a letter to the surgeon in Prague anyhow to find out if we had the proper equipment here...and see how it goes.

        He was unable to make contact with the Prague doctor either through email or regular mail. At that point an angel arrived on the scene. A friend of ours in Prague offered to see the surgeon in person and ask him to send the information. He sent her an email outlining the procedure and tools used. She forwarded the email to me and I sent it on to the local surgeon and made an appointment to see him.

        It has been been about seven months since I consulted the first of four doctors (quadruple opinions). All were hesitant to do this surgery saying: “It's up to you.” Even with the information from Prague, the last surgeon wasn't “100% optimistic” about having the right tools. But, “I can do it, it's up to you.”

        Yes, it's up to me. The unspoken message from all four doctors, was that I am doing very well and that perhaps my expectations of 100% recovery (the way it was before the accident) are unrealistic. I think they may have a point. Perhaps it's a case of mind over matter, because I've been noticing that I seem to be having more trouble with muscle weakness in the thigh and gluteus medius and maximus muscles than pain in the trochanter (hip) area. Accordingly, I am shifting my focus away from removal of the hardware to working on building the strength in those weakened muscles....and see how it goes.

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