Thursday, April 26, 2012

Report from the Funny Farm

"O snap"
Hate to have his co-pay. 
Day 16 post tendon repair. I thought I would recap the two week status. This is boring stuff, I've lost my staff photographer back to work and I am not above sprinkling in cute animal pictures. I had planned on my return to work yesterday at the onset of this adventure. The surgeon indicated 2 weeks or 3 on the outside for returning to the 

old grind. After the surgery my HR department forwarded me a return to work release. My job requires mobility and the ability to lift heavy machine parts while repairing broken behemoths. The work release is very specific on the criteria needed to return and, at the moment I don't measure up. I will not write towards specifics regarding my company on the internet without clearance, but suffice to say that the inability to get wet is a major strike against my return. Since the cast has to stay dry, rain is now a job hazard. I am weight lifting a lot, 2 days on 2 days off, upper body which I hope will help me overcome some of the mobility requirements. Of course, I am not allowed to sweat so the reps are 5 minutes apart. 

This whole experience has been bull *%#@
I hate being grounded
 I plan to pressure the doctor at my next appointment for the quickest return possible. I have been employed on and off since I was 12 and continuously since 15, excluding a brief year at college where I subsisted on college loans and Ramon Noodles. I am not cut out for this much slacking. If I could work in the yard or elliptical or even bike I would really enjoy this break. Just, please,  let me outside. Although, I imagine biking or kayaking probably negates your disability status. I had planned on making the dangerous trek to the grocery store today, but mother nature intervened with some showers so instead I shall dine on all of the mustard and jello left in the fridge. 

This cast is making me prickly.
Even an old goat can have trouble on trails.
Pain levels are great. Less than 3 winces per day now, usually when I first put my weight on the leg. Some cramping has started, mostly in the calf which I fear has all of the tone of a spaghetti noodle now. Angel Hair. A deep ache in 

the tendon area remains whenever I am out of the prone position. Fatigue levels are almost normal after 2 weeks. I am having trouble falling asleep, but I think that may be from the horrifying itching. Benedryl remains the only medication, other than insulin, I still need occasionally. Blood sugars are trending way better than I anticipated, but I continue maintaining a very low carb diet. My total daily dose of insulin is down 30%. Total daily carbohydrates under 75. That is less than 90 milliliters of Aunt Jemima syrup. I miss you most of all Aunt J. Some depression, but light. I think the loss of cardio and endorphins play an equal role with loss of mobility. So far, I think I remain ahead of the recovery timeline. I am looking most forward to a proper shower, clearance for the stationary bike and my return to work. Overall I am progressing well. I have no reason to complain, but will remain diligent in looking for one.
This is nothing but a big fat cat astrophe.

Every since I can't get my cast wet,  all I see are fire hydrants.
The medical bills are starting to roll in. I had estimated $2500 out of pocket on top of the lost wages and $1200 deductible. The insurance company is still processing my share, but I finally have the itemized bill from the doctor, hospital, anesthetist, hospital cafeteria, and MRI. Looks like a shade under $20,000. About $227.28 per minute for the 88 minute surgery. The anesthesia was almost $6000. I would highly recommend self anesthesia if you are trying to save money. Maker's Mark is only $20 per 750 mL. The hospital was also very pricey around $11,000. A clean garage, your wife's sewing kit, and a decent set of Craftsman tools could save you thousands.



  1. That out of pocket hurts! That's an expensive scar.

  2. hope you enjoyed your trip to the real funny farm. glad you weren't mauled by the goats - the cast does slow you up a bit. we miss you lots.

    1. Miss you too. It was a riot. And that is not funny. Goat mauling is up 32% in western NC for 2012.