Out from Under the Knife in Istanbul

At a population of 13 million people, Istanbul is the third largest and least handicapped-accessible city in Europe.

My apologies for the tardiness of this update. Unforeseen medical circumstances very nearly derailed my entire semester and it has been a harrowing couple of days trying to salvage the situation. However, everything is fine now and doctors have assured me that it is safe to resume blogging.

Despite my total wheelchair-confined helplessness, the flight from Madrid was relatively easy. Turkish Airlines’ safety video featured the goofy antics of Manchester United, which meant that it was the first time I’d ever actually watched the safety video on a plane. The airline was also aggressively pushing for the  export of Turkish hazelnuts through advertising and unlimited free hazelnuts and hazelnut-based candy. However the highlight of my flight, and of my crippledom thus far, occurred when, instead of the usual poverty parade past the condescending glare of  the first-class passengers, I got to roll right over their toes and board the plane first.

The people of Istanbul have been uncharacteristically patient and accommodating with my injury. Passing shop owners on the streets will often greet me with a “Hi friend, what happened to your leg? I give you big discount!” Sometimes cars will even stop if I am in the crosswalk, a courtesy never extended to pedestrians with multiple remaining legs.

I went to get a follow up x-ray at the American Hospital, followed by an MRI, which looked like this:

See that part where there's chunks of bone, that's supposed to be one bone.

After seeing this image, the orthopedic surgeon recommended that I return to the US for surgery immediately. This would be followed by 3 months of recovery, and obviously no more semester abroad.

When faced with devastatingly bad news, I’ve always found that denial is the most effective response. I decided to seek a second opinion from another doctor. Looking at the same images, this second orthopedist came to a completely different conclusion. My ankle could be healed without surgery, in fact I might be able to walk again within a month. Best of all, I could stay in Turkey!

Now I had to make a difficult, potentially life-altering medical decision. Naturally, my solution was to crowdsource:

Everything is so beautifully simple on #Twitter.

Throughout my life, I’ve always opted for the improvement of my mind, even at the expense of my body. This has never been more true than today. My decision may have serious medical consequences for the future, but I know I could never forgive myself for sacrificing my study-abroad experience out of physical weakness.

Next post coming soon. I promise I’ll stop whining about my leg and show you all the fun, awesome stuff I’ve been doing here!


1 Comment

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One response to “Out from Under the Knife in Istanbul

  1. without knowing it, you just joined a major new economic movement in turkey: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64150

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