Wednesday, April 27, 2016

X-Rays of My Past

The A to Z Challenge takes us on a journey through the month of April. We write Monday through Saturday and take Sunday off. Hence, 26 days and 26 letters of the alphabet. Come in and see what snippet I'm sharing with you today.


This was how my fractures were fixed
As a registered nurse, I have seen my fair share of x-rays. Some have been quite impressive. And some have been ridiculous. And the most horrific one was my own, after I broke my right leg in four places. Two at the ankle and two at the knee. With tiny pieces of shattered bones scattered about. Then the x-ray following surgery which shows a titanium rod and four screws left me with a gaping mouth. 
This is not my xray but it looks exactly like it post-op










I have looked at x-rays of things that have been swallowed. We once took care of a jail inmate who had broken apart his bed and ate the steel springs! Not a pretty ordeal for him. But a bit hard to feel too sorry for him too. Did a lot of damage to his intestines.

Then there are the x-rays of things that penetrate the body. Like a construction worker who accidentally shot himself in the head with a nail gun. Really!! And he was okay after the nail was removed. I once cared for a gentleman who was trimming a tree, on a ladder, using a saw when he fell off the ladder and landed on a limb on the ground; which penetrated his chest. It was touch and go for awhile, but he survived and is still climbing ladders and trimming trees. 

Since I worked on the post-surgical floor for most of my career in the hospital, I saw a lot of chest x-rays and colon x-rays. It was easy to tell if someone had pneumonia or a bowel obstruction. X-rays can be a good thing. So many times today the simple x-ray is bypassed for the use of the CT scanners or the MRI's, but I think the simple x-ray still has an important place in medicine.

Last, but certainly not least, one morning as I was leaving the hospital, following my shift, I was stopped by a surgeon to come view an x-ray with him. There on the light box was the x-ray of a colon. And inside the colon was a hamster. He insisted the x-ray was real!! I don't know. Anything is possible. 

What about you? Ever had to have an x-ray taken? Seen any crazy x-rays?





36 comments:

  1. x was a hard one, but you did a great job with it.

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    1. Thank you Denise! First thing I thought of since I am a nurse!

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  2. That's crazy funny about the hamster!
    I've broken my share of arm bones, but most likely couldn't study a film objectively and know what I was looking for.

    No wonder you're leery of ice and snow! I remember the pix you posted some time ago -- looking for all the world like an extra on Gray's Anatomy. No fun, the shoe being on the other foot, huh?

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    1. No, it was awful. But you know what? I think EVERY medical person should spend some time as a patient in the hospital. Sure would give you a better perspective!! It did me!

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  3. I worked for a cardiologist years ago who would show me things on chest x-rays and EKGs; it was fun to learn but of course I would never diagnose or attempt to diagnose :)

    Ouch with your leg when you broke it! And ouch too with some of those injuries you described.

    I believe the part about the hamster. Hubby told me something similar of a story from a hospital he worked at years ago. Just too weird though.

    betty

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    1. I couldn't attempt to diagnose from an x-ray either. Plus it is illegal. Rn's are not allowed to diagnose! But I can read an x-ray pretty good. Yes, unfortunately that hamster x-ray was probably the real thing!

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  4. Interesting post and yes seeing the service as a patient- should be part of the training. The hamster story - gross lol

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  5. Hi Paula - I've had a few ... thankfully nothing serious - checks etc.

    I remember as a kid having to get up a couple of steps and peering through at my feet being x-rayed for shoes .. those early days ... and they were giving off toxins ... it was fun at the time! I'm still here. Your break sounds horrible - glad they fixed it for you ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I have never heard of x-raying feet to purchase shoes. Interesting, Hilary!

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  6. Goodness! Your broken leg sounds like a very painful experience. Sorry that happened to you. I've had a ton of x-rays...too many, but they serve a good purpose and are efficient for what they do. I didn't get to see the x-ray, but a very tiny GN swallowed a Barbie doll boot and I drove her and her mother, Angel, to the ER.

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    1. It was a pretty painful experience. It took me off work for 3 months. Part of the reason I quit working at the hospital. I ran out of Family Medical leave at 2 1/2 months. So the terminated me!! But kept my job open for me. I was re-hired to the same position. Then I went back and found out exactly what that meant. It meant I started all over with EVERYTHING except for the pay. I would never be recognized for 25 years of service! I didn't earn PTO days at the same rate! I was like a new employee. I stayed for a year, as a pretty bitter employee!!

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    2. Ouch! Not a nice experience at all. I'm sorry that happened to you.

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    3. Thank you Gram! I am pretty much over the whole thing now. Except for that tiny limp I have!

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  7. Your tales about Xrays sound like episodes from the TV show Gray's Anatomy. So I guess there is some reality in these dramas.
    Good job with the letter X.

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    1. Yes, there is a lot of truth in those dramas. The exceptions, though, are much more glaring that the truth is.

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  8. Once, after a car accident, they x-rayed my arm just to be sure. Nothing was broken, but I had physical therapy for a few months.

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    1. WOW! Hope your arm is okay now. I still have a slight limp due to the broken leg. And pain when the weather is cold!

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  9. All I have to say is that poor hamster!

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  10. I've had so many x-rays taken I wouldn't know where to start. Did you have all the hardware removed from your leg? I had mine removed the year following surgery after hearing from friends who had their 'screws' come loose. I already had a few screws loose according to some folks, lol.

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    1. I had to have the screws all removed because they started 'backing out' I still have the rod! I always will have it! All in all, this single broken leg cost me a total of 4 surgeries before I was through!

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  11. The hamster story- I just cant. I've broken my ankle and my arm and several toes and a finger. All at separate times.

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  12. I think they don't do them as often for fear of the radiation. I think I've only had x-rays done of my teeth.

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    1. I often wonder how much radiation is really put out for a single x-ray!

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  13. I had a leg like that but it was not repairable with pins and screws because of the way I was splinted by an orthopedist shortly after my injury. I developed a massive infection. So to save my leg and my life they did a closed reduction and I was in various casts for about six months and had to learn to walk all over again. I still walk funny but at least I am walking. In 1979 they said I would walk 10 years maybe 15. What do they know.:)

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    1. I had to learn to walk again too. I was non-weight bearing for almost 3 months. It was awful. I took my first steps in a therapy swimming pool. Which was neat. They tried a closed reduction with me 3 times before they finally took me to surgery!! Very, very painful. Even with powerful drugs!

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  14. How did you manage to break you leg so badly Paula?

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    1. We were on vacation in Montana in February. We stopped in the mountains to view some nicely colored (painted) icicles and I slipped and fell on the ice. Miles and miles from a hospital! And many, many miles from home. I think I have written about it, Wendy! I'll go check

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  15. Oh lordy, a hamster in a colon. It doesn't bear thinking about!

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  16. Your x-rays look kinda like mine, except I don't have a rod (yet) --- but I have tons of screws going this way and that. It's almost alarming to see the x-ray, even more so than the broken down parts. Thanks for sharing your x-ray stories with us. A hamster?? I've heard about that but always thought it was an urban myth. Really??? OMG. People never cease to amaze me...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I am thinking that hamster story is a urban myth too. But this surgeon swore on his life it was true! I don't know....hmmmm!

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  17. My oldest son swallowed a boutonniere pin when he was twelve, which required an emergency room visit and, of course, X-rays. Fortunately, the pin had made it to his stomach and then passed without surgical intervention and with no issues.

    As for the hamster--I have heard of that and gerbils as well, but never really knew if that was a real thing. Goodness knows people do some crazy things...

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    1. Oh wow! A boutonnière pin! That would have been a nightmare. I am so glad it passed with no issues!

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