Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Family Physician Visit

Earlier today I saw my family physician, Dr. Didace Kabatsi. The last time I saw this dude was in 2007. I was, oh, almost 50 pounds heavier at the time -- coming in at a jolly 230 lbs. What can I say? I'm awesome at eating. Today I came in at 188 lbs, so I rushed to Chipotle afterwards to make sure I still dominated at eating.

I do.

The 2007 visit was your standard, run-of-the-mill physical. If I remember, it was a bit more thorough than I was comfortable with. There were parts of the examination that I was under the impression didn't take place until you turned 40. But hey, better safe than sorry, right?

Fast forward to today. I explained to Dr. Kabatsi everything that's happened to me since February. The last six months can be summed up as follows:
1. I hit a tree and suffered a fantastic ankle fracture. Oh, and I had nerve damage. And a mustache.
2. Surgery to fix fibula and attach medieval external fixator.
3. Fracture blister the size of a delicious grapefruit. $300 to pop it.
4. Surgery to remove medieval fixator and internally fixate the tibia fracture. Lost 20% of my tibia bone at the ankle.
5. Infection.
6. Wound pump.
7. Skin transplant from a generous family with new baby boy.
8. Six weeks of grueling physical therapy.
9. Surprise! Modern medicine failed you. Please return to 1 and try again.
We spoke at length about my infection. I explained how my wife, a nurse, and I were growing concerned about the possibility early on in my recovery. After my second surgery, I had a very high temperature for a few days. We finally got it under control, but my ankle never looked right. There were holes in the tibia that never healed. It was always red and warm to the touch.

Dr. Kabatsi's guess is that the infection was discovered too late and is the likely source of the nonunion. I asked him about the potential for osteomyelitis. His first reaction was, "you do not want that. It is very, very bad." Not sure why he told me that. I don't think I'm rallying for that diagnosis.

I knew going in today that osteomyelitis is very difficult to diagnose, and blood work alone can't do it. But he reassured me that my symptoms would be more severe if I had it. My pain is very manageable now, so that is reassuring.

Not surprisingly, the blood pressure was high today. It isn't normally that high. I'm sure once I'm on pain medication, that blood pressure score will plummet.

So what's next? My lab results will be faxed over to Dr. Buchanan Friday morning. My radiology reports from yesterday's CT scan should already be in to his office. My next appointment with Dr. Buchanan is Friday at 1100am. We'll find out a lot more at that time.

I emailed Dr. Einhorn from that Washington Post article from a few days ago. He wrote me back to tell me he'd be out of the office all week, but that I should have Dr. Buchanan contact him next week. I'm not sure what Dr. Buchanan will think about it, but if it he thinks it'll help, I'm in.

I've been watching snowboard videos on YouTube all day, getting psyched up way too early for getting back on my board.

1 comment:

  1. Tony,

    I'm proud of you for remembering to inform your primary physician of all the important details. If you would have forgotten to mention the mustache who knows what he might have diagnosed you with. You really dodged a bullet with that one.