Literally The Walking Dead

, , , , | Healthy | February 22, 2018

(When I am 20, I trip over a log and twist my ankle. It never heals right, and for years I have pain every time I take a step, stood, or put any weight on my leg. When I am 25, I get medical insurance, and my doctor sends me to a specialist to look at my ankle. It’s December, and this my first meeting with the specialist. The doctor comes in and pulls out the MRI of my ankle. He looks at it and then looks over at me. Then, he looks back at the MRI, and then back at me, with a small crease forming between his eyebrows.)

Doctor: “How do you even walk?”

Me: “Painfully?”

Doctor: “Yeah, you would have been better off breaking your leg. There is a bunch of scar tissue wrapped around the tendons in your ankle, but the real problem is your ankle bone.”

Me: “What’s wrong with it?”

Doctor: “It’s pretty much no longer there.” *he shows me my MRI* “You see that spot on your ankle, the size of a quarter? That is the part of your ankle that is missing.”

Me: “Well… That seems… bad.”

Doctor: “Yeah, if you hit it hard enough, you could just shatter the entire thing.”

Me: “So, what are my options?”

Doctor: “We can either take bone from your hip and use it as a filler to fill the hole, or we can use cadaver bone. I recommend using cadaver bone so that we don’t further damage your skeleton. Unlike organs, we don’t need to really worry about rejection or shortage. Bones are good for up to five years after donation. “

Me: “Ooh, I can be part dead person?”

Doctor: “Yes, we can use cadaver bone.”

Me: “I want dead person!”

Doctor: “Cadaver bone.”

Me: “What is the difference between dead person and cadaver bone?”

(The doctor just looks at me for a minute and then starts to laugh.)

Doctor: “Nothing. Nothing is the difference.”

Me: “I’m going to be part zombie!”

(From then on, he called it dead person bone. I was scheduled to have the surgery at the end of January, but he called me the first week of January to tell me he had found me a fresh dead person to use, instead; apparently, it takes better. So, we moved up my surgery. It’s been eight years now, and I’m virtually pain-free thanks to a wonderful person and their family, who looked past a tragic time in their lives and thought to help others. I like to use my ankle to help start conversations on the importance of donation, and I have let my family know to please donate all parts of me that they can. I hope that one day I get to help someone be part zombie, too.)

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