At some point while I was home at Christmas, I remember saying to mum “I don’t care what the X-ray says, I am convinced I have a small fracture somewhere. It just doesn’t feel right.”
Well, I was still having pain so on Monday this week I went back to A&E. A nice doctor did another examination – no clues from where the pain was as to what might be wrong (because everything he made me do hurt) – and arranged another X-ray, and the X-ray didn’t show any fracture. And this is where I got lucky. He believed me when I said it was sore and not right and he wasn’t happy to leave it as no bony injury, rest and painkillers, and he made an appointment for me at fracture clinic on Wednesday, saying that he was worried there was something not showing up on the fracture, perhaps my femoral head jammed into the acetabulum and nipped a bit of cartilage and he wanted me to be seen by the orthos. So I went back to work on Wednesday and headed off to my # clinic appointment in the afternoon.
The surgeon (reg or senior reg, I think probably senior) was looking at the X-rays, I looked at them, I laughed because I could see my IUD and my mooncup. He laughed and said the gynaes could probably tell what sort of IUD it was just from the X-ray. He confirmed there was no visible fracture, did another examination and went away to consult a consultant, leaving me still looking at the X-rays and laughing. Then he came back and frightened the life out of me by saying there might be a non-displaced fracture somewhere and I had to swap to crutches and be only toe-touch weightbearing until they could get me an urgent MRI because if the possible fracture suddenly collapsed it would be “life-changing” and I don’t think he meant in the Euromillions sense.
Bear in mind I’d had the injury 2 weeks, been walking about using one stick and managed a 400-mile round trip on trains with suitcases.
It’s really hard to manage your life as toe-touch weightbearing with two crutches when you live alone in a second floor flat and don’t have anyone to fetch and carry for you, so to be honest, I wasn’t as conscientious as I should have been. In fact my friend (OT in ortho) described me as a bloody terrible patient. And also, my crutches technique turns out to be terrible. The physio who gave me them and “assessed” me on the stairs was really quite stunned, I think, by how poor I am with them. Not too bad on stairs, but bloody awful on the flat – could not get the hang of crutches and bad leg together, with my bad leg a second behind.
The surgeon said he’d ring me yesterday re an urgent MRI either yesterday or today. By two pm I was wondering if he’d forgotten or just not had the chance to ring me so I phoned the clinic and someone’s very nice secretary said she’d chase him up. He rang this morning, and asked if I could get along to MRI for 2.30pm, which I did. On and off buses isn’t that difficult on crutches. It’s certainly easier than making a curry on crutches, which I attempted last night and gave up on the crutches very quickly.
I’d never had an MRI before. It’s both horrible and not too bad at the same time, with a touch of Logan’s Run (or how I remember my childhood impressions of Logan’s Run anyway). I was lucky in that because they were scanning my hip, my head was sticking out of the other end so it wasn’t as claustrophobic as it would have been otherwise, but I did make the mistake of opening my eyes while I was being pushed through it and that was very unpleasant. Didn’t like that. It was like being in a weird plasticky coffin. So I shut my eyes again and waited for them to put the music on. I listened to Take That’s Greatest Hits and got all of Never Forget, How Deep Is Your Love, Pray and Back for Good while they scanned me. That was the best bit really.
Then I got dressed, put my nose stud back in, etc etc and waited for the radiologist and the surgeon to confer and decide. But the radiologist turned up and said the surgeon (the senior reg from Wednesday) was scrubbed up in theatre so they’d spoken by phone but he couldn’t come down to talk to me himself. The radiologist told me there’s a tiny fracture in the right superior pubic ramus (I knew it!), it would heal in about 6 weeks and meanwhile I could be fully weightbearing again. Best news ever. Oh, and he said there was no way an X-ray would have picked it up because of the size and location of it. I’m not too concerned about that, I know pelvis fractures can be really hard to spot on an X-ray sometimes so I wasn’t blaming anyone for not seeing it before. He said the surgeon would be available in about 90 minutes if I wanted to wait, but I was happy to leave it at that. So I wandered off to physio to swap my crutches for a stick – good job they took my word for it because I didn’t have anything from the surgeon to confirm I’m back to fully weightbearing, promised to self-refer to community physio if I think I need it, and headed off to go home. Texted my OT friend in ortho, who was about to leave, and got a lift home with her, narrowly avoiding running into an ex-boyfriend by about a second and a half. Lucky escape, so not in the mood to deal with him. The surgeon phoned when we were in the car, just to say yeah, fracture, gradual improvement over 6-10 weeks, no follow-up required, if any more problems see your GP. Excellent service.
I’m so very relieved. I’m relieved there is something wrong because I would hate to be having this pain and be told there’s nothing wrong when I’m sure there is. And I’m relieved that it’s only a tiny pubic ramus # when it could have been something nasty and impacted leading to major surgery with the possible risk of complete dematerialisation of my leg. And I’m very very glad that the nice doctor I saw on Monday wasn’t happy to leave it as no further action.
I’m intending to go back to work on Monday and negotiate lighter duties for a while – no manual handling and nothing too far away involving too much travelling. If a week of that is too painful I’ll ask for redeployment to the contact centre for a few weeks because that’s a desk job and they’d be delighted to have me. And I might ask for an occupational health referral too, just to cover myself in case of further requirements for time off, and because our new sickness policy is an absolute cunt of a policy, excuse my language, apart from it lacks both the warmth and the depth.
Don’t know when I’ll be back on the bike. Probably try it when I can walk without pain. I think sitting on a saddle is likely to be pretty sore for a while.
So, I’m sore, but essentially quite chuffed there is something officially wrong and very chuffed it’s only a pubic ramus fracture.