The Surgical Story / by Reginald Crump

Not so much.

Not only did I not have a seat to myself but I had to share with someone who needed two seats of her own. You do the math.

I of course was on the train first, but once I saw her eyeing the seat next to me, I knew that being able to stretch my leg out in that aisle was more important than leaning my head against the window to sleep. Now, if I had known by this point what the Percocet would have done, I would have opted for the pill and the head against the window for the entire trip. Of course, my own paranoia wouldn't allow me to be drugged up on the train.  I wanted to be alert and in total control, just in case some other dramatic episode went down (after all it is the holiday season). I was once a boy scout and the scouts honor is "be prepared."

Little did I know that she was going to want to chat the entire way, complain about how hot/uncomfortable she was and how her legs/back were hurting the entire time. I should have given her the Percocet just to get her to shut the f*!#k up. You can imagine how my heart ached when she mentioned she was heading to Newport News, the stop after mine.

Thankfully somewhere between D.C. and Richmond the over crowded train began to thin out, allowing all the remaining passengers to spread freely.

With my leg finally stretched across the seat I began to massage it. 

At this point I was still going over the logistics of my PCP stating the inflammation deals with gravity and of course it was making its way down. I could see the inflammation, so I wanted to massage it down and out of my life. Wrong idea.

Around Fredericksburg I started taking photos of it.

I sent photos to my sister to show her what it had turned into. She immediately diagnosed it as being "Cellulitis of The Knee." Little did I know that she'd called my mother and told her to take me to the emergency room as soon as I got off of the train.

Williamsburg, Virginia.

Finally after 7hrs of pain on the train, I collected my belongings and cane and made my way off the train. I noticed the assistance the kind young gentleman gave to the older ladies as they exited the train. But, my youthful gender neutral face did not garner that kind of attention or support from him even with a cane and an obvious struggle. "F*#^! it. I've got it," I said to myself.

Finally, in the car on our way to Riverside hospital ER in Williamsburg. We check in. We wait to be seen. They call me. Ask questions to fill out paper work. I joke. I laugh and try to bring light to this unfortunate situation that has made me super uncomfortable by this point.

I'm rolled into the room.

I begin my story again which is now starting to take tip top shape considering I've been practicing it since the day after Manchild's birthday. I try to not skip a beat.

They agree.

It looks like Cellulitis.

The skin is severely infected.

"What we'd normally do, right here in the office is insert a needle to withdraw the fluid."

"In this case, inserting a needle would risk inserting the infection deeper into the joint because the skin is severely infected."

They test my blood. I lay there for a while with my mom by my side and my dad in the waiting room. This was comforting because the hospital visit is something I've done very little of.

My mother reassured that often she's experienced extended periods of time waiting for the return of a Dr. or nurse to the point of where you begin to think “they've forgotten us in this room.”

They returned with more info and then left again.

This time my mother understood that she could take my father home to give him lunch and return after. After all, our house is literally 5 minutes away across the railroad tracks.

So, she left, knowing she would not be far away and could return once the diagnosis had been determined.