Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Mummy Returns

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
-music by Mr. Mister
-performance by my surgeon's resident

Good riddance to ragged rubbish.

Day 8. My first post operative appointment. My open splint had morphed into a terrible monster; a creature feature of dishevelment and disgrace. I really wished to graduate to the latest running fad, the fiberglass cast, so I fended off my wife's best attempts to safety pin my current rags back to respectability. The original timeline called for 2 weeks in the open splint followed by stitch removal and then 4-6 weeks in a hard cast. Dr. Nunley moved my papier-mâché date up 6 days at the hospital in an attempt to protect me from me. The new plan was for a hard cast over the stitches today and then back in one week for destitch and reboot. 

The front desk tried to charge me a specialist copay, but luckily I know someone who speaks insurance. Appointments related to the original surgery are billed as part of the surgery for the first 90 days. Thanks mom! Penny and I got our callback to the casting room. Penny followed the nurse, I followed Penny, and my 4 foot bandage tail followed me to the gory unveiling. We were met in the bodyshop by the cast mechanics Mark and Mike. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy End Scene I.

Why so serious?
Prepping for Pupa stage. Soon I
will be a butterfly!

I was seated behind curtain #2 with Wayne Brady and a fabulous new dinette set. (Sorry overdosing on the daytime TV lately). Technician Edward Scissorhands had my leg naked faster than a college freshman can say Stawberry Boones Farm. I basked in the holy sensation of fresh air on my newly liberated leg until I saw the wreckage. Not the incision. The abhorrent, flabby, withered blob that had replaced my calf. Entombed for just over a week, my 26.2 ink now looks like a Salvador Dali tattoo etched on mashed potato. 

If you look closely you can see the Icarus wax residue on my
Hermes wings. I trailed to close the sun.
The incision itself had not completely closed, but Dr. Frankenstein pronounced it close enough. Lab assistant Igor cut the stitches out with what looked like an X-Acto knife. Penny and I thought it a bit premature and a little Abby Normal, but with a few butterfly stitches and not so much as a conjugal visit my calf was returned to its cell. Prickly heat was diagnosed from sweat inside the splint, resulting in some rather random raging red rash. In retrospect the floor exercises and nude sunbathing may have been a bad idea. Perspiration in the new hard cast is strictly prohibited, and after midnight may result in Gremlin growth. I am cleared for upper body lifting; high weight low reps, in the AC with a nice iced tea.

Prisoner ID No. 26.2. Ruled a flight risk
and danger to himself and others. Release
DENIED. Parole hearing May 7, 2012.

My new ride is a 3/4, candy apple red, fiberglass, open toed chassis, accessorized with a two inch Franken foot boot. I am allowed to stand or hobble on it to pain tolerance. The nurses indicated I should be able to stand within 2 days and walk on it with crutches in a week. I worked out the leg atrophy within 24 hours, but the open incision keeps healing to the inside of the cast making my first couple of steps lively. The underfoot height of the cast when combined with the Franken boot now measures a 4 inch drop. I was lumbering around on my right leg's tip toes like a sea sick pirate until Penny proposed a solution. I said no to the matching red stiletto, but now find myself modeling her platform flip flop down the catwalk to the kitchen. From the front my feet look like Attack of the 50 foot Woman dancing with Herman Munster. Now my left foot demands beer, bacon and beef jerky while my right foot craves Riesling and bubble baths. (Photo documentation below. Warning: may disturb Republicans.) 

Jealous much?

Hopefully the cast will make me a little more mobile. I am relieved to be able to sleep in my bed without tying my leg to the ceiling fan. I have convinced the doctor to allow me into a boot in just under 3 weeks. On May 7th, if all goes well, I will shed the cast and borrow Forrest Gump's leg brace.  At this point the most frustrating issue is skin care. I just want to bathe my leg under the knee. Helpful hint: use benadryl caplets for itching instead of coat hangers, steel wool, or puppy teeth. 

The state of NC officially recognizes me as temporarily gimpy now and has bestowed upon me the privileged parking honors associated there with. Blood sugars have been on the straight and narrow, controlled by my all meat all the time diet. I am finally mobile enough to add some greens to my diet. Yeah spinach! I discontinued the ibuprofen and am controlling pain entirely with sniveling and secret Tom Cruise Scientology rituals. Physical discomfort is down to a 3 on a 10 scale, but I can see atrophy is going to be a big challenge when I finally become booted. My weight has stayed pretty constant. I am trying to maintain my UFC Welterweight status. Currently at 156.5, I was 159 at surgery date.

Filling out insurance forms turned a 2 hour appointment into 3 hours. We were smart to review and flag all of the pages requiring doctor's entries the night before. It saved some time. Running shoe gossip with the cast constructor probably added another hour. Six years ago Mike everted where I inverted and recovered over 2 years. That injury is significantly more damaging than the one I suffered. It cheered me to see his NB minimus kicks. While my cast set he showed me his favorite running shoes on the internet. He runs now as part of his fitness program, and although he has unrelated knee issues, his ankle is sound. It was encouraging to talk with someone who had made it successfully to the other side of ankle surgery.

Please try to limit catcalls and refrain from whistling in the comment section. I'm Sexy and I know it. I work out.



  1. Healing nicely! The scar will have a lovely curve to it. I'm sure you can dream up something creative for the next ink job.

    Love the Santa Clause boot.

  2. Be thinking about your knee tattoos. We can get a groupon deal together.

    1. I have enough for a slightly skewed reproduction of the Umstead trail map.

    2. That is the best idea you have had since Uhwarrie. Does the scar represent Reedy Creek?

    3. I have enough scars for Reedy Creek, Sycamore Creek, and Crabtree Creek.

  3. Wow that's a whole new kinda sexy... Can't believe you thought you could run!!

    1. Sexy is as sexy does. - Forrest G.

      I knew I was in trouble when every run kept drifting to the left.