Monday, February 27, 2006


I concur with the orthopedic doc's hunch about my knee: it's the meniscus. And since I'll be needing healthy ones of those as I get on in years, I'm going ahead with the MRI and, more than likely, some sort of repair. The diagnosis is uncertain, but all indications have convinced me of the high likelihood that there's a tear somewhere in the middle cartilage. The kind folks at SOS (yeah...Syracuse Ortho...) are going to call me with the schedule for when I get to climb into the narrow tube to have my magnetic resonance imaged. It's been ten years since I had one, and as I recall, it's close to what I imagine beam-type space travel would be like. So that I would be insurance-eligible for the MRI, I filled out a form, and I think I might have answered one of the two bold questions incorrectly. Feel free to guess which one: "Are you claustrophobic?" or "Have you had a previous MRI?" However, I answered all of the plain text questions honestly and correctly, including "Eyelid/eyeliner tattoo?" My answer was no, but I was tempted to check yes if only as a conversation starter and simply to find out what that's got to do with the scan.

Brighter news is that I had the tire fixed on the Element. Goodyear, like PepBoys, wouldn't patch/wad the tire (too much risk with the punctum being in the sidewall), so I had to produce a big-handed grab of dough to get a new one. I had no idea the tires on our car were so precious. Then I was insulted to learn--from an obnoxiously proud/aggressive manager-type--that we missed our annual NY motor vehicle inspection. Oh? Add twenty-one bucks. I should be grateful, but I still can't figure out why NY grants two year registrations while requiring annual inspections. In Missouri (brace yourself; this is the part where I confirm that some Missouri laws are smarter than those in New York), inspections were due at the same time as registration, and two-year registrations/inspections were available for vehicles less than seven years old or so. The high-priced tire replacement: that was the high-!-light of my day.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at February 27, 2006 5:30 PM to Slouching Toward

Oh, just what every grad student needs: surgery. I'll be thinking of you.

Posted by: Krista at February 27, 2006 6:03 PM

Tks. It's not absolutely certain yet, but after three weeks I can tell Something is amiss in the joint, and the ortho-dr was quite confident in suggesting the meniscus. He said the recovery tends to be swift, however, so I should bounce back quickly. One can hope, anyhow.

Posted by: Derek at February 27, 2006 6:16 PM

The physical recovery may be pretty quick, but surgery and anesthesia can both play havoc with your memory for months. I think it was four or five months before I was back to normal after my knee surgery. I had mine in early April, and at a department end-of-term get together in early May, a professor asked me what we'd studied in a small seminar I'd taken (there were just two of us in the class) and I couldn't tell him. He's been fighting a rare form of cancer for at least 15 years and has had lots of surgeries, so I took him at face value when he just smiled and said "Don't worry, it's the surgery." Since then, I've talked to a couple of other grad student's who've had knee work done and they've had similar experiences, though it does vary from person to person. It will, however, be worth it.

Posted by: John at February 27, 2006 7:01 PM

Obviously you don't watch House. The Eyelid/Eyeliner tattoo must be because they use a lead based ink to do those kinds of tattoos; therefore when you go into the big magnet 'o fun the ink could be pulled (perhaps out of your eyelid) and hurt like the dickens. (I can't believe I just said "like the Dickens). Well, anyway, that would be my assumption. And who says watching Fox TV cain't teach you nothin'.

Posted by: jenwingard at February 27, 2006 7:05 PM

Oh, I had forgotten the memory loss (!) until I read John's comment. That was another problem for me (complicated by the three weeks of narcotics, which you might not have to deal with.) I agreed to teach a new fall prep during that period, and was SHOCKED to find out later what I had done. (It's turned out to be a good course -- well reviewed, anyway -- but still...)

Posted by: Krista at February 27, 2006 7:27 PM

If only the memory loss served the unpucking and uncluttering of blended, sprawling interests heading into exams. If only...oh wait, I already said that.

Good to know about the possibility of memory problems. I had three surgeries in 1996, and it would fall right in line with this that I don't recall any adverse effects. I'll do my best, anyway, *not* to commit to any big post-op projects.

You're right, Jen, that I don't watch House (it's a television program, eh?). Yet clearly I can count on you for bringing to light all I ever wanted to know about permanent eyeliner--even if you had to write "dickens" to set it up.

Posted by: Derek at February 27, 2006 8:18 PM

As for your comment about the inspection, I got my truck inspected yesterday, hopefully ending my hate-hate relationship with the DMV, for now at least. Virginia's laws are similar to Missouri's in that they just plain make sense!

I'm sorry to hear about your knee.

Posted by: Tamika at February 28, 2006 3:47 PM

Re-brace yourself: the bill repealing vehicle inspections in Missouri made it out of another committee last week. In a tight election year like this, I'll bet it's repealed by November. The rush to save voters $12 each is on.

Posted by: Paddy at February 28, 2006 6:13 PM

I was afraid of a meniscus when you first brought it up...I had all of the same symptoms that you have. Are you thinking of waiting until the summer if you need to have surgery? How soon is the MRI?
Have you had a previous MRI? Hum. Maybe that's the one you answered incorrectly? I think I've had 5 or insurance must hate me.

Posted by: kelly Rawson at February 28, 2006 7:06 PM

Good to learn that you straightened out the truck reg, T. First time in-state should be the most ridiculous; the runaround decreases from then on, I hear.

Twelve bucks is twelve bucks, P. Now if I could only remember where I parked old blue, the '85 cavalier wagon that was so good to me for all of those years. Plus, you know, road-safe standards significantly reduce the quality of life for so many Missourians.

You were right, K. In fact, I think you called it that very evening when Ph. and I saw you in the office. You told it: meniscus. Me: Nah. I've laid still in the chute of magnetic resonance once before, so, yeah, this time will be claustrophobic kicks #2. I had a message today from the orthopedic telling me it would be a few days to schedule the MRI because the insurance skeptics need a signed note explaining the suspicious conditions (nothing on the x-ray, etc., I guess).

Posted by: Derek at February 28, 2006 7:29 PM

Too bad you have to deal with the knee problem so that you get to have another MRI! :) Also too bad that they probably won't give out the good drugs until after the surgery or the 'beamed space travel' might be more fun.

I don't even want to talk about Missouri laws. I had to pay $257 personal property tax Dec. 31st for the privledge of owning and operating my car and motorcycle in the state for one year. Plus, add inspection, registration, and state income tax on top of that. I am less than thrilled.

But, there are things that are less pleasant. I hope the surgery goes well and that you feel greater flexibility afterwards.

Posted by: Marcia at February 28, 2006 10:07 PM

I was probably slipping into a nostalgic frame of mind when I mention Missouri laws. But I think it makes sense to have inspections match with registration cycles, even if the cost turns out to be the same.

Ouch, and I remember the dagger of personal property tax every year. Of course, if the bill is high, it means that you're riding around in style, right?

Posted by: Derek at March 1, 2006 10:50 AM

Yeah, that's true. I'd hate to pay the bill on something that is newer than my car and bike which both turn 6 this year.

Posted by: Marcia at March 2, 2006 8:38 AM