the story of the meat sandwich

i've been asked, on more than one occasion, why i refer to my grandmother's knee surgery using various types of meats and foods in some of my posts (or out loud). so, HERE'S the story:

my grandmother had her initial total knee replacement surgery back in 199_, at montclair, back when i wasn't in the health care biz. her surgery was done by dr. thomas who has recently, much to my delight, has recently retired.

little, tiny, old people, you can now come out from hiding - the bad man is gone. just beware of jimmie harvey. (......i've never actually KNOWN anyone to get sued for slander, but there's a first time for everything, eg. eating shampoo...hence the directions on the back of the bottle, for those of you who didn't get that.)

anywho, dr. thomas came out of surgery to talk to my family, and amy & mom said while he was talking, he was eating crackers, and not only dropping the cracker crumbs on his giant, grotesque belly, but cracker crumbs were spraying from his mouth as he talked. it's kinda like that game where someone makes you eat a cracker & then whistle. only this time, you're a surgeon trying to talk to family about a serious surgery done on one of their members and might want to maintain some sort of PROFESSIONAL IMAGE. but, i digress.

so, mom & amy got sprayed with crackers, and grammy came out with a bum prosthesis...literally, they must have excised it from a bum's leg and given it to her. since that happened, i figured it was lunchtime & they must have brought his lunch into the OR, and he's working away, sticks the prothesis in, lays down his ham sandwich on the prosthesis, and says, "ok, let's close 'er up!" so, grammy has a ham sandwich (or bologna, depending on his preference - hell, he's a doctor. it could have been a plate of beef wellington, for all i know) in her knee, and that's why she's been having NOTHING but constant problems with that knee.

so, i always kid with her about it. when she winces from the pain, i'm like, "uh oh, is it the ham sandwich?" and she just laughs and nods. i mean, i think that's one of the only ways she's been able to deal with this is laughing about certain things.

i'd like to mention on a side note (and also in my defense to the courts), as he was hammering the prosthesis into her tibia (i know what they do now, since i'm in the OR on these cases all the time), they BROKE a good-sized shard off her tibia (no, wait, it gets worse) and proceeded to screw it back in (wait for it...) and then, SEND HER TO PHYSICAL THERAPY! (there it is!)

so, here's this tiny, cute, old, bun-haired lady, with a new prosthesis AND a broken leg, and they send her to PT to start getting her mobility back. FYI, for those of you who aren't following me, broken bones + PT = a whole new level of hell. that's why they put REALLY HARD CASTS on people with broken bones & tell them to keep the part IMMOBILE, because the bone is HEALING.

i'd like to also mention that we didn't find out about all this until about 2 or 3 years later, when she visited dr. cuckler (a doc who specializes in fixing other peoples' mistakes) at TKC.

ahhhh, all this crap my family has been through and working in the OR & the healthcare industry has given me a whole new perspective on docs. i know you really have to do your homework, when it comes to your own health, and i really try to encourage that of all my patients...well, the ones that aren't under anesthesia. that, and second opinions are very important, if not almost imperative. just because the sign on the interstate says that uab hospital is one of the top 5 in the nation, doesn't mean all the docs are.

i know they tell you that whole, "what do they call the doctor who graduated last in his class? 'doctor,'" but i don't buy it for a second. there are good docs, & there are bad docs. and i've seen a whole lot of both.

to sum up, environmental extortion is around us all....wait. sorry. wrong train of thought. grammy's just a gal who got a raw deal. she's been in and out of the hospital & doc with this knee, and i know she's getting tired of it. speaking of the top 5 hospitals, she went in for cellulitis (the meat sandwich) not too long ago, and she was in a ton of pain & agony. they started sending PT (not again) to get her up and moving, while they had her on a major round of rocephin, which was making her very weak. by the time she was able to shuffle her way out to the hospital, they kicked her out, without even making sure the infection was under control. just to update you, it's not. she & i are racing to see who can visit the doctor more times in one week - i'm winning right now, but she always comes up and blows me away.

so, thanks, top 5! and i'd also like to thank medicare (medifraud) for being so prompt in sending her home.

we'll be trying st. vincents next time, assuming jimmy andrews doesn't leave and the entire hospital doesn't go under. i can't believe the fate of that entire hospital rests on the shoulders of that one man who thinks himself better than God....ah, but that's another story! &=)

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