Down with June.
I am officially over the month of June. The entire month. It can go fuck itself for all I care. We’re through. I’m looking out of my 5th floor window at sheets of rain falling from slate-grey clouds and for the first time in a few days I’m happy to be bed-ridden. Screw you, June.
Here I was thinking that this year’s midway point couldn’t be nearly as bad as last year—filled as it was with near mental breakdowns, near arrests, general summit pandemonium and psychotic-urinating-cat behavior. Ha. Silly me.
Just having been invited in the Chelsea advanced league and not having played an entire game in the Brooklyn summer season, I pivoted on a fast break and popped some stuff in my knee. I knew it was not good, but wasn’t really sure how bad. Two weeks later, 5 doctor’s visits, 2 sets of X-Rays, and innumerable calls to Oxford Health insurance (they, along with June, can fuck themselves), the summit begins and I still have no idea what’s wrong. “Soft tissue damage” is all anyone can tell me, and (as I knew from the first day), only an MRI would solve the mystery.
Added to this year’s nonstop summit fun was a GP team one man down (no consultant), and me on the injured list, still maintaining my glorious title of “Master of the Lists.” Yes, that’s a capital L. Oh, and did I mention that I have to find a new apartment, move into it, AND try and take a brief vacation? Yeah. Some of those things aren’t going to happen.
At times like these, as I told R, all I want to do is pack my bags, buy a one-way ticket to somewhere where nobody speaks English and leave the city behind. It’s not worth it, any of it. I know that all I’m going to get after 21 days straight of work culminating in 8 hours of sleep over three days, all I’m going to get is a Cc on a thank you email and the expectation that I’m going to show up to work on Monday. I’m not kidding when I say that the only reason why the office was graced with my presence on June 29 was fear and health insurance.
But it’s over now, and I shouldn’t be bitter. Wish me luck with that.
I have never been good at asking for help—extreme stubbornness is an unfortunate character flaw of mine. It makes being holed up in my apartment that much worse, because all I really want is someone to do my laundry, clean up my room, and tell me what I can do to keep from turning into a lump of lard on my bed. But I don’t know what to say or what to ask for.
For two weeks I’d worked on accepting the fact that my meniscus was torn, and I’d likely have to immobilize it in some way to let it heal on its own. When my first orthopedist said that it was too early to rule out the ACL, his comment didn’t really register. I was too deep in summit mode.
On Monday, a dozen cocktails and over two dozen hours of blessed sleep after last week’s conference madness, when his office told me there was no way to read the results of the previous weekend’s MRI until July 15th, my second thought was rage. First, of course, was incredulity. Well, perhaps that’s a fib. I have become fairly credulous of the stupid hoops that medical practices and insurance companies make patients jump through in order to get decent care. Bypassing the system entirely, I called the radiologist and ordered a copy of my results. I was going to be seen by someone within 24 hours, dammit, and although I wasn’t sure by whom, I would settle that later.
In short (or not really at all!), the baffling labyrinth of specialists’ offices and insurance protocols distracted me from the as-yet-undetermined diagnosis of my knee. See, it distracted you, didn’t it?
Thus, when I opened the envelope in the Medical Records department of Park Avenue Radiology, I had not yet prepared myself for what I would read on the report. Below is a brief excerpt:
Anterior cruciate ligament is torn with associated findings including subchondral cancellous edema of the lamina terminalis of lateral femoral chondyle as well as extensive cancellous edema of the lateral tibial plateau…lateral meniscus anterior horn is torn and fragmented with what appears to be complete maceration evident…the lateral collateral ligament complex is reasonably intact. There is mild popliteus tendonitis however.
“what appears to be complete maceration?” NB: medical journal articles allude to “texture of crabmeat.” Delicious.
“mild tendonitis…however?!” Who gets a ‘however’ in their MRI report? Like the rest of it wasn’t bad enough?
Still haven’t written a scathing letter to orthopedist #1 regarding the negligence of his office and ridiculous patient care. Who the fuck would read a fax like that and not even CALL the patient, let alone let them in the fucking office to see a doctor. That, perhaps more than anything really gets to me.
The nice ladies at Records even had tissues for me, cringing a little as I bawled. Somehow my little idealistic self hadn’t allowed for the possibility of an AND situation rather than an OR. Silly me, I thought things couldn’t possibly be worse than I’d imagined.
I was obviously wrong.
On the up-side, my complete lack of self control and massive crying fits did get me a last-minute appointment to see an actual qualified doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery, so I guess the American health care system really does work like a well-oiled machine.
So now I sit at home in my just-shy-of-sweltering apartment as the temperatures at last climb to something resembling summer weather, watch bad television and regress to the calorie counts and body image issues of high school. I mourn the loss of life’s greatest pleasures: hiking, high heels, soccer, physical exercise, my own mobility, a vacation with an old friend, Yellowstone, and New York City Parks in the summertime. It’s fairly impressive when one June can even manage to ruin July’s planned vacation and most of August. Well done on that, commendations are in order.
Excuse me, friends, while I waste away the first few days of this seventh month wallowing in self-pity and cursing the one that’s just past.