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After Further Review…

December 6th, 2005

That’s what my father suggested I should use as a title, the same phrase used in football games after a ref’s call has been challenged. And so, as it turns out, I’m not going in for surgery.

I figured surgery was necessary, as did my parents, my aunt (who is a GP), and her husband (who is an anesthesiologist). I mean, look at the x-ray. How could that heal correctly? I thought the doctor at the E.R. was nuts for suggesting it–he didn’t even suggest surgery, I had to bring that up.

But my aunt’s brother-in-law is an orthopedic specialist, and he said I should not have surgery. That the intervening area will fill with collagen, and then with bone, and it should not impede my abilities. If I were a runner, then maybe, but I’m not. There would be too little to gain, and the risk, hassle and expense of surgery on the loss side. The doctor said he would be giving me a spinal block, not an ankle block. There would be a risk of infection. And then, the pins would have to come out next April, which would mean more surgery.

So I’m not going in for surgery. Go figure. That’ll leave me more time to do what I need to one-footed. But it won’t let me travel into Shinjuku for the remaining final exam nor the graduation ceremony–I’ll have to leave a note to be read to everyone. I’m ordering pizza a lot more, and am putting off going to the store until I really need to. So it’s immobile in bed for me for the time being, which means I’ll be getting my grading done a lot faster this semester.

Not that fate isn’t having fun with me in the meantime. The gas system in Japan is such that if there is any irregularity, the system shuts down automatically. I have to go out my front door, open a cabinet in the wall, and hold down a button for three seconds, then wait a few minutes before I attempt to turn on the gas again. I thought it only got tripped by earthquakes and the like. But I believe I have just figured out that another condition for tripping is if you use too much gas for too long–on the assumption that there’s a leak therefore. And because I’m now home all the time and prefer to use gas heating instead of the air conditioners, the gas heater is on all the time (I have a big place). So every 24 hours or so, the gas trips off. It just did it for the second time as I was just starting to shower. Imagine the prospect of getting dressed, walking out the front door, holding down a button, then coming back inside and waiting–when you have a broken foot and are buck naked just about to take a shower. Not an easy task, and frustrating as hell, particularly with the timing.

I caught on to the possibility that prolonged gas use triggers the stop mechanism when this morning, at 8 am, while I was still sleeping, the doorbell rang. I couldn’t ignore it because it could have been my airline ticket for next week, which the travel agent said he’d deliver sometime soon. It turned out to be the gas meter reader, enquiring why my gas use was more than double what it was last time. It was because I started using my gas heater, that’s why. So I had to wake up and crutch my way to the front door for that. Lovely.

Well, enough of my whining and moaning. I’ll still post soon on what’s involved in a hospital stay in Japan, despite my not going now. I’d heard about it before but had forgotten. Coming soon.

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  1. ykw
    December 7th, 2005 at 03:17 | #1

    When did you break the foot? How did you break it? How long does it take to “heal” (i.e. no pain when walking) w/o surgery? With surgery?

  2. Luis
    December 7th, 2005 at 07:35 | #2

    YKW, if you just read the posts….

  3. Charles
    December 7th, 2005 at 15:41 | #3

    Luis, Sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you have a speedy recovery and an enjoyable vacation. We will certainly miss you at graduation. Take care, Charles

  4. December 8th, 2005 at 22:03 | #4

    Have you heard about ??? You can order food and groceries and they deliver it to your door once a week. It takes a while to get started though. Very convenient for me.


  5. Luis
    December 8th, 2005 at 22:09 | #5

    Roy: Thanks, but I don’t think it’ll work for me. First, it looks waaay too complex for me to do–my Japanese, especially written, is not that good. Second, I’ll be back in the U.S. in one week. By the time I get back, I’ll be in the “stiff foot” phase. Third, I have a scooter–I never mention it in main posts because knowing that would worry my mom. But the scooter allows me to jet to wherever I need to. Not good for long trips with a broken foot, but it takes me to the store. The people there are good about helping.

    Thanks, though!

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