Who would have thought that a graphic artist, a retired soldier, a fitness trainer, and a real estate mogul who shuts down farmers’ markets in El Segundo would have better diagnostic capabilities than a modern emergency room? A few days ago they had accurately dx-ed my injury as a cracked pelvis rather than a strained ballsack, but just to be safe I went to the doctor yesterday.
I still remember Dr. Kim from the emergency room, after she had readjusted my ballsack wearing asbestos gloves, telling me my hip wasn’t broken. “Stand up,” she had ordered, with that quiet authoritative command more commonly found in a back room with leather straps, whips, muzzles, and handcuffs hanging on the wall.
“Do I have to?” I had asked. “It really fuggin’ hurts.”
“Of course it hurts, but if you can stand up there’s nothing broken. You can’t stand on a broken hip.”
Just before standing, my son Woodrow had placed his hand in mine for support. I struggled to my feet and crushed several bones in his hand. “This … really … hurts.”
“Of course it does but it’s not broken. The x-rays don’t show anything either. You can sit down.”
Almost three weeks later I hobbled into the Torrance office of Dr. Peter Borden, Bone Dude, but not without incident. My wife was with me, having driven me there.
I was about to sit down when a woman jumped up from across the room. “Seth!” she hollered. The room, which was mostly full, turned to watch.
“Hi,” I said, uncertainly. Everyone looks different without their cycling clothes on, and if she were a reader of my blog I knew she might be armed and seeking revenge.
“What are you doing here?” the nice lady asked.
I pointed to the crutches. “Bit of a strain or perhaps a break.”
By now she had walked over, beaming and staring at my wife. The whole room was watching, still as a photograph. She had that look of a fan who has finally cornered Tom Cruise and is about to tell him that she too was beamed down by aliens.
“And I’m so happy to finally meet you, MRS. WANKER!!!”
The room erupted. Mrs. WM gritted her teeth and smiled politely. Oh, the price of fame.
Soon enough we were in the examining room. “These doctor calling me onna Mrs. Wanker you gonna need surgical other leg too,” she said.
There was a computer in the room where the nurse had downloaded the x-ray from Torrance Memorial Hospital, which was right across the street. Dr. Borden strode in, shook hands, and asked me what had happened. Before I got very far he glanced over at the computer monitor. “You can stop,” he said. “You have a cracked pelvis.”
“Really? The ER doc said the x-ray was fine.”
Dr. Borden pointed to a rather obvious place next to my lower trochanter, just above the pincus bone and off to the left of my zygomatic arch. “Right here, about a 1mm displacement.”
“Why didn’t the radiologist catch it? I can see how Dr. Kim was distracted by my ballsack, but … ”
Dr. Borden shrugged. “I don’t know. But that’s what it is. You’ll be fine in eight weeks. Four to heal, four to rehab.”
“She said if I could stand then I didn’t have a broken hip.”
“You don’t have a broken hip. You have a cracked pelvis.”
“Is this x-ray a really tricky read? Something that even a radiologist wouldn’t catch? I mean, you just glanced at the screen for one second, halfway across the room and you saw it.”
“ER’s patch people up. They don’t catch everything.”
“Is it patching someone up to tell them they don’t have a broken pelvis after taking conclusively diagnostic x-rays?”
I could tell the MD Bro Code was at work. “Well, I’m a specialist, and you’re going to heal up just fine. See you back here in four weeks. And lose the crutches as soon as you can.”
“Thanks, Doc. Guess I have to buy the Bad Dream Team a beer.”
“Nothing,” I said, and hobbled out.
For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog. Unless you’re Smasher, when even if you subscribe you still might not get it. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!