An Open Letter to My Orthopedic Surgeon

No, I don’t have anything of value to add to the discussion on ED today. Instead, I offer you an open letter to my orthopedic surgeon: 

 

Dear Dr. H—,

 

Do you remember how I came to you, desperate, for a second opinion about my ankle after being told by a Stanford doctor that my MRI showed a torn tendon and that I needed surgery, and you not only agreed but encouraged the surgery, even pushing it up a month, and then, after the surgery, telling me that the tendon wasn’t torn and there was nothing structurally wrong with my ankle but a lot of inflamed synovial and scar tissue, and then telling me I’d be fine to walk within a week, but then when I wasn’t getting better by my next check up, wrenching my ankle around in several directions telling me to get over it, only I had gotten an infection from the surgery you did and that was why it wasn’t healing and still hurt terribly, so you put me on antibiotics that almost killed me because I was allergic to them, but you took one look at me when I was covered in huge, painful hives and actually denied that I was having an allergic reaction to the medication, and then, after having to do another surgery to get rid of the infection, you wrenched my ankle around a lot and sent me to physical therapy saying that I was fine and had no reason to be in pain, even though the nerves in my ankle wouldn’t stop firing and it hurt to put on a shoe or even touch the area near the scar, and then, after two months, when the nerve pain actually got worse you came into the office, wrenched my ankle around in a bunch of different directions despite the fact that I was crying from the pain, declared, “We’re done,”* and then walked out of the room (and charged me $30 for the less-than-five-minutes you spent with me)?

 

Well, this keeps happening:

Swollen ankle 5 months after surgery

 

“There’s nothing structurally wrong with your ankle.”*

 

Thanks, doc.

 

– K.

 

*Actual quote.

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