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Most people have two ACLs in their knees.  I have one, plus two half ACLs.  This is a problem.

So, I got an MRI recently. 

No, wait. Hmm.  This story is coming together in all the wrong order.  Let me start at the middle.

When last we heard, I had hurt my knee pretty bad, and I was working on rehabilitating it.

Well, it had been 9 weeks and the knee was still not feeling great, so I went back to the doctor at the Q.E. Park Medical Clinic (who I will never return to, as you will soon see).

She poked at it a little bit more and said, it seems OK, why don’t you rest, but I pushed her a little and she said, OK, we can send you for an MRI, but there’s a long wait.  I said that would be fine.

I filled out a long form about all the ways I do not have metal embedded in me (they seem especially to like you to have metal-free eyes), and they said the MRI place would contact me about an appointment, but that it would be a while.

I waited two and a half weeks, and didn’t get contacted, so I called back to the clinic.

They said I should keep waiting.  I said, no, I wanted to know when the appointment was.  They said if I really wanted to know I should call the Vancouver General Hospital directly.

So I did, and found out that VGH had no record of any MRI request for me.  Um, WTBBQ? I called the QE Clinic back and they said, oh, wait, we sent it to the Richmond Hospital, so check with them.  Incidentally, not knowing where you sent my medical requests doe not inspire confidence.

But so I called Richmond and they said, you guessed it, that there was no record of any request for an appointment from QE Park.

So I call QE back and they said, shrug, oh, well, we can re-fax the form and then you should wait for Richmond to call you.

And I said, that’s bullshit, but that’s what I did (except I got QE to call me once they’d faxed it and verified the fax went through.)

In the mean time, I made an appointment with another doctor at another clinic in Yaletown, and got through him a referral to a private MRI clinic, also in Richmond, actually.  I had the Yaletown doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, the MRI appointment on Wednesday (of last week), and the diagnosis on Thursday.

The MRI cost $475, and I got it all done in 48 hours ... meanwhile, I was still trying to get the Richmond hospital to even call me back to tell me when my appointment was.  I did dither and debate about waiting to hear from Richmond… but I didn’t want to wait any longer; that knee injury was still bothering me!

So, you guessed it again, the kicker is, Thursday, Richmond called me back and said I could come in Tuesday for my MRI appointment. Yes, that’s a 1 week waiting period, not the 3-6 months that everyone said an MRI takes.  So, yay Canada health care system, I could have had an MRI real quick!

That is, if the QE Park clinic had bothered to send my paperwork in, I’d have had the MRI even sooner, AND it would have been free.

Also, if the doctor had initially diagnosed my condition as requiring an MRI, I wouldn’t be 12 weeks after my initial injury, just now beginning to figure out what’s really wrong.

Oh, and what’s wrong?

Well, there’s a complete tear of the ACL. I don’t have pictures of it, but I can picture it.  In my head it looks like when you take a piece of celery and you try to break it in half to share it, but celery doesn’t break in half. Or like that rubber band that comes around broccoli that you have to snip off… eww, I’m grossing myself out.

I have another appointment with my doctor tomorrow, and then probably with a guy who specializes in gimps, and then they’ll either operate or they’ll give me a pill that heals ACLs, or they’ll decide it’s not worth doing anything to because the death panels have already designated me F8 status, and if they heal my knee I’ll just be able to outrun them when they come knocking on my door to make me into cat food.

What does a torn ACL mean?  It means:
* I can’t ski.
* I can’t play any sport that involves hard cuts and sudden starts and stops.
* I can’t sing in perfect pitch.
* I can’t lose at charades - seriously, I’ve been on a streak ever since I hurt my leg.

No, it seriously means:
* my knee is prone to swelling and puffiness and soreness
* I limp when I’m tired
* If I need to use my left leg for sudden stability, I might not be able to and that means I might injure it, or other parts of myself.

Surgery, after I get it whenever that is, will take 6-8 months to recover from.  They may rebuild it or use ligaments from a cadaver or a pig or even from a homeless person that the Olympic committee has been “taking special care of” since 2010.

In the mean time, I can say that this is the worst injury I’ve had, and I hope that is something I will be able to say for the rest of my life.  I’m thankful it’s not worse.

But I’m not thankful about the QE Park Medical Clinic—they did such a poor job taking care of my medical condition, it’s awful. Boourns to them.



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