|Jakarta -- Mid June 07
Surgery in Singapore
It began on May 25... a warm day (actually darned hot) over at Field 1 on the JIS campus. It was the end of the soccer season and a handful of
the parents had joined the girls on the pitch for a bit of soccer. Parents vs the kids.
It wasn't a spectacular sliding tackle, nor was it a superbly placed kick into the goal; it was just a moment of turning and kicking to stop the ball
from going off the pitch. That moment resulted in an ACL. Or a complete anterior cruciate ligament tear. In other words, Christopher no
longer possessed a working ligament between the fibia and the femur. But as is the way with these things, he tried to pretend that it wasn't
really so bad. He could still walk, and the swelling seemed not so bad...
On May 31, he took himself over to SOS for an x-ray. Inconclusive, but an MRI should show better what's right and wrong with the knee. On
June 15, he and Alissa went to Singapore for a variety of medical work: annual physical, follow-up tests, and an MRI. Later that day,
Christopher and Alissa sat with Dr. Raj planning out the surgery to take place on Tuesday, the 19th.
And this is Christopher's version of events:
Javalogue XX—the infirm issue
This is me trying my hand at typing from a hospital bed. The Mt. Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore has been kind enough to host me for
the last 30 hours or so and will continue to provide shelter for another 18. Although the procedure that brought me here was scheduled rather
abruptly, it did not merit the term “emergency surgery.”
One of the roles I played over the course of the last several months was as Commissioner of the Jakarta Girls’ Soccer league. In that capacity
(aside from frequently saying, “yes, I understand,” and “we’ll certainly try to accommodate your daughter”) I helped to organize the final day of
play. Rather than an end-of-season tournament, where all but a few of the girls would end their league play as losers, I urged a friendly kids vs.
I’m certain I needn’t elucidate much further.
So I wrenched the knee on May 25 and finally got around to scheduling an MRI for June 15, while Alissa and I were in Singapore for our annual
full-scale medical check-up. Surgery was scheduled for May 19 and I’m tapping this out on the evening of the 20th. The diagnosis is a
completely severed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), complicated by meniscal tears and a bruising or chipping (I forget which) to the condyle.
They went into my left knee and peeled away a few strands of my hamstring and then bolted those strands in to replace the ACL in my right
knee. Thus both knees are now swollen and recovering from surgery.
An interesting aspect of Singapore is that it is a very multi-lingual society. This, however, makes for some confusing moments when one is
passing through post-op recovery rooms and hallways. I would drift through a fog catching a few Tamil phrases, later resurface to the much
more familiar sound of Bahasa Melayu, and then float down a corridor propelled by nurses speaking Mandarin. (Tempting though it may be, I
will not look for a clever way to employ the term “dis-Orient” in this passage.)
As I said, Alissa was here in Singapore with me last Friday and Saturday for our physicals, but she returned to Jakarta on Sunday evening
while I stayed here for this procedure. Tonight will be my second night in the hospital and then tomorrow I’ll move to the nearby Marriott for two
more nights. I have spent some time today mulling over how I’m to get my luggage, crutches, and the Igloo cooler ice pack contraption from the
hospital to the hotel.
As I had secretly hoped, I got a text message on my phone a little while ago. It was Alissa saying she is at the airport and will be back here with
me before long. This will be the second time she’s surprised me by showing up unexpectedly in Singapore. (The first time was seven or eight
years ago when she and I were both in Asia on separate business trips. I thought she was in Vietnam, but she arrived at my hotel room on the
evening of—it’s just too sweet—the evening of our anniversary.)
Below are photos. We have a video, too (not posted). A new version of "come over and see our vacation slide show!" And below the photos
are the surgery notes.
|That's it for photos, text, etc., as the girls have the digital cameras, and
although we were considering purchasing yet another digital camera while
in Singapore, good sense won out and I only had three suitcases, 2
laptops, a bag of MRI and x-ray films, and a cooler machine thing to lug
back to Jakarta. And Christopher, of course. Speaking of whom, he's
resting with the cooler machine thing strapped to his right knee. We just
returned from massages and a nap is always so satisfying after a massage.
I think I'll go join him.
See you all in a few weeks,