Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Decision Time

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was spent at in Corning, NY at the Guthrie Orthopedics Center discussing and scheduling knee surgery. It wasn't easy and I was a bit hesitant to do so, but I've opted to have both knees replaced at the same time and my physician/surgeon has agreed to perform the procedure.

We're working on (read: "waiting for the insurance company to okay") getting a 3-D printer construction of my joints so two sets of blocks can be manufactured to act as templates for the knees when it comes time to do the actual cutting. This procedure is costly but less so for dual (bi-lateral) surgery like mine. It also reduces the time on the table (from around 5+ to 3-1/2 hours), chance for infection, and any possible misalignment of the new joints. It also increases the life expectancy of the new joints as a by-product of getting things lined up better.

Getting two knees done at once will reduce the total cost of the procedure. (There's only one booking of the OR, hospital stay and anesthesiologist for example.) There are some increased costs of having to stay in the hospital a couple of extra days and then go to a rehab center for another few days before going home, but compared to two trips to the OR, two hospital stays and two anesthesiologists...there is a savings in there somewhere.

One big downside is the recuperation timetable. I literally will not have a leg to stand on for quite some time. Even with rehab it could be six weeks before I'll be able to drive and so will be pretty much at the mercies of my sweet, lovely, long-suffering wife. (This will, undoubtedly cost me dearly.)

The surgery is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 15th. There will be numerous appointments, physicals, pre-ops, etc before then.


Came home after the doctor's visit and chose to push the lawn mower about for two hours doing terrible damage to the dandelions bold enough to stick their pretty yellow flowers up just a tad too high. I'm not kidding myself, however. Short of taking some full strength Round-Up to the bloody things they will return. I did read somewhere that they are actually good for the lawn in that they will draw nutrients to the surface from way down deep. If you've ever tried to dig a mature dandelion out of the soil with an intact root, you can easily believe that. The average adult plant's root goes down some 9-12 inches. Not as far as some other plants like Queen Anne's Lace, but still pretty impressive.

After two hours of pushing the mower about, I'd harvested several bags of clippings for the mulch pile and reminded myself why I went to the doctor. As it was cool enough to not break a sweat, I did not have a pint+ of ale to rehydrate. Instead I went right to the bourbon to act as pain killer while sitting in front of the tube to watch NCIS and NCIS: LA.


Rev. Paul said...

That's a bold move, but IMHO it will be the best in terms of long-term gain for you.

joated said...

I don't know about "bold" but it will cut some of the combined rehab time that I would face if I had them done separately. And they both have to get done sooner or later.