Today, I visit the orthopaedist and grow up a little more

Today, at 1:30PM, I’m going to make my fourth trip to the/a medical doctor as an adult (hey, I’ve got unusually good genes and never get sick, all my sibling group members are the same as I am so it’s not like it’s magic, just good genes), having been to a Doc twice for stepthroat infections and once to a cardiologist to shut a family member up who thoght I might have been having heart problems (I wasn’t, my heart was and is fine), so today is my Number 4 Trip to an actual physician and it’s because I actually need to and not because I want to.

When I was 17 and was working for my father’s plumbing contracting company, I was superintendent (Yes, at age seventeen) on a restaurant remodeling job when I tripped and fell backwards and landed my then-250 pounds on my right ankle, sitting on it hard on a concrete floor and shattering it so badly that my then-orthopaedist and orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. A. E. Harer (deceased many years back) who had been my ortho-doc since I was an infant because I was born with a bad case of rheumatoid arthritis – told me before I went into surgery that he might have to take my right leg from just below the knee down but he was going to do everything in his power to save it. Save it, he did, the man was an artist in bone from heaven, but he did manage to save my leg and construct what was left on it to where I did eventually walk on it despite his prediction that I’d never walk again, would stay in the ‘chair for the rest of my life or worse.

Like I like to say, between the power of prayer and sheer Craig Family stubborness and my motivation to prove Dr. Harer wrong, damned if I wasn’t walking after a year or so, even though tears would run down my cheeks from the pain when I did, damned if I didn’t walk and never have been in the (wheel)chair since.

No other single incident in my life has affected my life more. I’m technically still 28% totally disabled and Yes, I do have a handicapped placard for my car but seldom use it, and I will always be “handicapped”, Geez I hate that term, I’m crippled, I don’t mind using the word, I’m crippled because of the injury to my leg.

Because of that accident, even with Dr. Harer saving my leg, I had to make major life-altering choices concerning careers, family issues, housing, etc. I’ve consitently resisted taking any pain medication for the 24/7/365 pain I’ve stayed in since then, all save regular old aspirin – actually “Ascriptin” which is half Maalox stomach soother and half aspirin, but now at age 48/49 on the 21st the pain of the injury to my right ankle/leg has simply become too great to bear alone any longer, which is why I’m going to see an orthopaedic Doc and surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle problems this afternoon. Not because I want to, because I need to.

All options will be on the table, including amputation. Over the past two or three years especially, the “recovery time cycles” for deep pain in my ankle has shortened to where I basically have ZERO relief from the truly mind-numbing 10-of-10-painscale pain I stay in, go to sleep with and wake up with.

Knowing all about “phantom pain” of amuptees who continue to feel the pain in amputed limbs no longer there, and I’ve spoken to a couple of amputees in the past who had voluntary amputations for medical reasons, mainly pain-related, and they both regreted having it done, said they’d go back and never have those voluntary amputations if at all possible, but that said, like I said, I’m in such tsunami-levels of pain that all options will be on the table.

Do I want my right ankle/lowe leg taken off? Of course not; I’m sane, after all. But, my past acquentences personal experiences aside, if removing my right ankle would spare me real-time and after-effect phantom pain which can/could be just as bad and there are no other viable options, then Yes, amputation would definitely be an option. We’ll see.

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