In a dashing break from my imprisonment, I threw a walker through my hospital room window, cleared the broken glass with a crutch, and then rappelled down some hospital sheets tied together, to run away from angry orderlies waving hypos filled with calming drugs…
Nah, not really. I endured four or five boring hours of waiting while paperwork was filled out, took an elevator, and hobbled slowly home. My knee is much better now — I won’t exactly be tap dancing, but I can get out of a chair and walk across the room without blistering the cat’s delicate ears with profanity, anyway.
Interestingly, I ran into what has to be a common doctor’s dilemma. They had multiple hypotheses about what was wrong — gout was high on the list, with a bacterial infection in the joint capsule running second — but you don’t get to do the nice tidy sequential controlled experiment when your patient is in great pain. So they treated me for both possibilities simultaneously, while doing lots of diagnostic tests. And then they discover both that my synovial fluid had none of the crystallized uric acid characteristic of gout, and was also delightfully clean of bacteria. But I was getting better anyway. They had some other hypotheses that they were interested in looking into, but dang, the patient was healing and their interesting disorder was fast disappearing. So I checked out, and we still don’t know what caused the problem, or what fixed it. This is why I never wanted to be a doctor: it’s so unsatisfying to not be able to treat the patient as an experiment.
Although I am warned that if the knee worsens once I’m home, I need to report in to the hospital immediately, and count on staying there for at least a week while they dismantle the joint. I’m hoping I don’t have to give them closure on this one.