“Danny,” Dr. Jamison interrupted Danny’s pained words. “I understand you have questions, but don’t strain your voice unnecessarily. Let’s just take things one step at a time.”
“Rac…ing.” Danny spluttered, his dry sore throat not feeling any better with the small work out it had already had.
Tracy grabbed the glass of iced water from the steel table then leaned over Danny and offered him a drink through the straw in the cup. “He wants to know when he can get back to racing, Doctor.” Tracey relayed Danny’s question.
“Yes, I gathered that.” The Doctor replied to Tracey but looking at Danny. “And I’d prefer too concentrate on your recovery not when you can get back to racing.”
“But I nee…d to…know…how…ba..ad…”
“I understand that Danny,” As a knee surgeon to many sport stars Doctor Jamison knew that dealing with such people was different to dealing with any other person. Sports stars and people that relied on his surgical skill to continue their careers rarely cared about anything other than when they would get out on the field again, or when they would make the next track meet, or in Danny’s case when he could get back into a car. “As I said surgery went well and their appears to be no major or even lasting damage but there are still a number of factors that will dictate when you can get back to work.”
Like many doctors Dr. Jamison had learnt to remove the personal factor from his discussions with patients. To him Danny was not a race car driver, he was a patient. To him Danny’s racing career was not his immediate concern, repairing the damage done to his leg was. That didn’t mean that Dr. Jamison had no feelings for Danny or his career it was just easier for his own well being that he did not get involved beyond a professional level with any of his patients. It was something not many people ever considered but a big reason why many doctors and surgeons had more acquaintances and work colleges than they did friends.
“What are those factors doctor?” Tracey asked hoping to save Danny’s voice a little bit until the soreness started to abate.
Danny nodded his head, thankful that Tracey had asked the question.
“You are going to need some rehab. You can’t have the sort of surgery you had and not need rehab.”
Danny gasped, it didn’t hurt his throat as much as talking but there was still a definite pain in his throat. He waved his hand at Tracey and pointed at his mouth. Tracey gave him another drink. Like many people Danny didn’t like the word rehabilitation because it was a word associated with pain, with hurt and with physical discomfort. Even the times in his life where he’d done nothing more than sprain a joint the rehab had been painful as the therapist tried to heal the body quicker than they body could heal itself. Of course the end result nearly always justified the pain of the repair but that didn’t make the word rehabilitation sit any easier in Danny’s mind.
Noticing Danny’s reaction to what he had said Doctor Jamison continued. “How much rehab you will need is down to a number of things. I’d prefer you waited a few days before starting any rehab, I’d like the swelling to go down as much as possible.” The swelling he was talking about was largely due to the surgery but also because he’d had a chunk of gear stick slammed into his leg. “The nurses will have a list of exercises for you to do while you are here that will start the process but I’d like to see you here for at least three days just to make sure there is no complications with the surgery and that you are ready for rehab.”
Danny took a breath and was about to start saying something again. Dr Jamison who was used to reading patients expressions stopped him and began to speak again.
“The gear stick might have missed everything major but removing it and repairing the damage is still considering substantial surgery, you’ll be recovering from surgery as much as from the damage sustained in the accident. I want to make sure that recovery is the best it can be.”
Danny nodded, there was a slightly defeated look on his face, the kind he got whenever he was told what to do, but he knew there was little point arguing with the doctor. In a few days things would be different, the doctor might be more pliable to his way of thinking, but arguing at that point in time was not going to be productive.
“I’ve got a… race in…thre..ee wee…ks. Will…I.” Danny’s voice was obviously improving but the evidence of his recovery from the drugs was still evident.
Tracey knew that Danny desperately wanted a time frame, desperately wanted Dr. Jamison to give him a day or date when he could get back in the race car, but she also knew that the doctor would not do that. Even with the next even three weeks away the doctor would not give Danny false hope and he would not allow himself to be later quoted back on a date that could not be achieved.
Tracey offered Danny another drink from the straw. “Here, have another sip, honey” she said to Danny, then turned to Dr. Jamison. “He’s obviously anxious to get back on the track, we both are. But we under also understand that recovery takes time.”
Only a few months earlier Danny would have been annoyed with such an statement from Tracey, would have seen it as her taking over and trying to talk for him but laying in the bed he realised what Tracey was doing wasn’t trying to talk for him, she was trying to help. He immediately wondered how many other people in his position would have the same thought.
“It’s ok Mrs. Holmes I deal with a lot of sport people. They are all keen to get back to the sport that injured them.” Such a line was the closest Dr. Jamison ever got to making a joke, he then turned to Danny and with his well practised bedside manner he said. “I promise you I’ll do everything I can to make rehabilitation as quick and as comfortable as possible. I also promise that we’ll get you back on the race track as soon possible.”
Previous Racing story here.