Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I just got back from the UVA orthopedic center. I saw a P.A. (that's Physician Assistant for those of you in Rio Linda) who was very nice and knowledgeable. The whole trip took three hours, which is a lot longer than I expected. Luckily, Stephanie was able to go home and get work done and then pick me up when I was ready.

First they took x-rays, which I did not think was necessary because things probably did not change in 2-1/2 weeks, but heck, what do I know, I'm just an engineer. Then I saw the P.A. and he spent a good amount of time with me going over the CT scans and x-rays. I did not learn a lot of new things, but he encouraged me and justified the pain and lack of mobility. He said it will take about 12 weeks to heal, and even then I will feel sore and weak due to inactivity. Chronic long-term pain does not seem to be an issue. No work for another couple weeks, and after that it is up to me and how I feel.

The P.A. pointed out the rib fracture on the CT scan which is something that I did not pick up on my own.
From Snowshoe II 2009
The PA pushed poked, pulled, and prodded in a few places. No physical therapy for now. I tried to argue my case, but he said I need to heal more first.

Then I was fit for a back brace. It is fairly comfortable and supports my back muscles, helps me stand up straight when I walk and prevents twisting and bending. It looks similar to the back supports that grocery stockers wear while working, except this one is taller and has metal stays in the back. The tech said not to wear it while lounging or sleeping.

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks with the ortho doctor who works with the P.A. I just saw.

It felt very good to get out of the house. As before, the hardest parts were getting in and out of the car, and sitting upright in the office chair. So I slowly walked the halls with the walker while I was waiting, and it felt pretty good. It was the most exercise I have gotten at one time since the accident. My hip and lower back were sore, but no more muscle spasms.

I am very grateful that Stephanie was able to drive me too and from the doctor's office, and she was very flexible with me since it took 3 hours instead of one.

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