Jul 6, 2006

Hip Diagnosis

I saw an orthopedist today who tells me that the mass in my left hip is nothing to worry about - it is not cancer for sure... it is just an extra growth of bone or something. The report says: "benign lesion of L femoral neck; prob enchrondroma, does not pose threat." I looked up "enchrondroma" online and it seems to be some kind of common bone cyst that is nothing to be concerned about. I had to take the X-Rays twice since the tech messed them up or something the first time. The whole visit to ortho took just under two hours. So, we can cross that one off the list. Yay!

Before that, I also was able to get in to see the neurologist who says I'm doing well. The visit with him took about two hours too. He typed a lot and did some strength tests on me. He wrote up my Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) paperwork and suggested I take it to Walter Reed myself. I was happy to do that as I was planning on visiting that soldier anyway. The doctor I saw is also leaving the military, but he was good and now I'm not a new patient!

I finally made it to WRAMC and after searching for the right office for almost an hour, and I finally spoke to someone who told me about the MEB process. Apparently, an MEB can take a few weeks to months to complete. During that time, I would be attached to a Medical Hold Company at WRAMC – we would have to move out of the apartment and Holly would have to head back to Texas immediately. When they start the process, you are reassigned within days and are at their mercy until a decision is made. With that knowledge, we are going to wait until the follow-up MRI in August to see what the next course of action will be and then decide what to do. If it is clear, I might take my leave and get everything back to Texas and come back for the MEB after a few weeks. If it is not clear, more radiation might be in store and that brings us a whole new set of unknowns. All in all, there are still many unknowns, but at least now we have an idea of what to expect. For now I can rest, work on my strength and agility and spend time with Holly.. and enjoy the summer! Pray for the tumor to stay away!!

After all the MEB crapola, I finally set off to find the young SGT that Joey wanted me to check on. At the info desk I was told he was at the Malogne House. I stopped by there and talked to his roommate. His roomie said he had surgery this morning, so I walked back to the hospital, avoided the info desk, used common sense and followed the signs to Neurology. I asked several people where he might be and finally found a nurse that was looking for him too! She took me to him and he was doing fine. He had surgery this morning and was still a bit groggy. His mom got there just after I arrived - she missed her flight this morning. I didn't want to stay long so that they could visit, but he was in good spirits. I told him that Joey is my bro-in-law and that he personally asked me to check in on him. He was very appreciative and said that Joey is one of the best company commanders out there in Iraq and that he liked him a lot. He was worried because he was little numb in his left leg and is having trouble moving his toes. I told him about what I went through recently - he said that after talking to me he felt better and that he would be just fine. It felt good to give him renewed hope! I told him to rest and rely on others now until he got better. I gave his mom my number and told her to call me if the hospital staff was uncooperative over the weekend. I got the heck out of there and headed home.

Lastly, I talked to my boss late yesterday and I am returning to work Monday on half days at first. I have a short meeting Monday afternoon to talk about what I’ll be doing for the rest of my stay. Pray that that goes well. Holly and I are having a picnic after work tomorrow at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden where they have free Jazz Friday nights during the summer. The weather has been very comfortable; we are looking forward to it!

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