- PIP- a pot of money they just give you in a wreck if your bills exceed the PIP amount. You pay for this as an option when you set up your insurance. Ours was $5000, which James exceeded before lunch on New Year's day.
- PEEP- some sort of ventilator measurement, I think measuring how hard they push air into a patient. When James came in, he was a 15. To get off the ventilator you have to be a 5 or less.
- fracture- unlike the "real" world, when you imagine a fracture is like a crack, in medical speak it is a break. A bone is fractured whether it has one or ten actual breaks.
- comminuted- a shattered bone, of which James has many. Multiple breaks.
- code grey- when a spouse whose hair has gone grey totally loses it and needs to be sedated.
- MPOA- medical power of attorney. Automatically the wife signs if the husband is unconscious though.
- atelectasis- sometimes due to bruising, but a frequent consequence of just reclining. Compression of the lung's aveoli, so that you can't get a deep breath.Evidently just the normal motions of life such as stretching to put dishes away or bending to pick up socks prevents this in the general public.
- sympathetic opthalmia- This is when a ruined eye sends jacked-up images to the brain which the good eye picks up. Since our eyes work in tandem, the good eye wants to match the signals sent by the bad eye, and it spontaneously sympathetically degenerates itself, so that James would have no vision in either eye. Also if the body finds eye fluid in the bloodstream, when it should only be in the eye, it starts an auto-immune response and attacks the good eye. .02% chance.
- NPO- nil por os- Latin for "nothing by mouth," an instruction to withhold oral food and fluids from a patient for various reasons, including 12 hours before surgery.
- c-collar- cervical collar. Supposed to stabilize the neck after neck injury. James' occipital (lowest head bone above neck) fracture is why he had one. Supposed to be on 6 weeks.
- tracheotomy, ie, trach- hole in the trachea (windpipe) to allow patient to breathe.
- toe-touch- Toe touch weight bearing means that only the toes on your operated leg are able to contact the ground. This is for balance or switching weight to the other foot.
- An internal fixation method is when a physician performs minor surgery to place pins, wires, screws, and plates on the bone to stabilize it.
- Orthopedic trauma is a branch of orthopedic surgery specializing in problems related to the bones, joints, and soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) of the entire body following trauma.
- more coming.
Here are some of the new words I'm learning on James' recovery journey. If there's one you want to know, let me know in the comments. Also, if you are more knowledgeable than I, feel free to extrapolate on my layman's language, probably over-full of crisscrossing analogies.