Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Great Portland Hospital!

I've been thrown a bit off sched lately due to a seriously craptacular stunt I pulled coming down the stairs and breaking my big toe (or Great toe as they refer to it in medical-speak) into a million pieces. I was hobbling around for several days with a splint and crutches, then found out that I needed to have surgery to repair it, inserting two pins to stabilize the toe.

Needless to say, I was terrified at the prospect, not having had surgery since third grade when I had my tonsils taken out. All I remember about that is going into the OR and having a doctor put a little sieve over my nose and mouth, squirting some smelly stuff on it and telling me to count backwards from 100. Plus getting to eat lots of ice cream and stay out of school for two weeks (the best part).

My physician, Caroline Reay, a fantastic person and wonderful physician, referred me to a couple of orthopedic doctors at the Multnomah Orthopedic Clinic, Drs. Higgins and Mandiberg. The surgery was scheduled at Providence Portland Medical Center on NE Glisan where I'd check in at 7 a.m. for surgery at 9 a.m., with a plan to head home mid-afternoon.

From the moment I got there, through the surgery, the recovery afterward and waiting for the effects of the anaesthesia to wear off, I was treated caringly and attentively by absolutely everyone. No one was snippy or condescending, I was told exactly what to expect and my questions were all answered satisfactorily. Particularly great were Natasha in short stay prep; Dr. Standish, my anaesthetist; Bonnie in recovery and Louise in short stay post-surgery.

The best part was that my expectations of pain and an uncomfortable recovery were not fulfilled, and I was off Vicodin after 24 hrs. My very witty orthopedist, Joseph Mandiberg, says it's going to be six weeks before he can take the pins out, but I'll be working on getting off the crutches before then. Ya gotta love it when your doctor quotes Hamlet in the examining room.

Major props, everyone, and let the healing begin!

My friend and and incredibly talented photographer, Tom Miller, just sent the following "An Ode to Dee Toe":

Toe Woe

Woe dee toe
We no go
Dee po toe
No toe? Whoa!


Anonymous said...

Did your toe accident have anything to do with your new (at the time)Keen's?

Kathleen Bauer said...

No, actually. It had to do with hauling a large (i.e. heavy) load of laundry (barefoot) down our steep stairs, slipping on the bottom step and all the weight (me and the laundry) came down on that toe as it buckled under. It quite shattered, as you can see. So no one to sue, alas. It feels fine now and doesn't bother me at all. A happy ending!