Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Are you as scared as I am?

A year ago July, when I was supposed to have this right hip surgery done and it got canceled at the last second because of my allergic reaction, I wasn't in that much pain. It could have been (may well have been) because I was on the Fentanyl. That being the case, I remember thinking "this isn't hurting so much, tell me why again I am having this surgery done?" Then the other 'I' would say "because you were given medical advice not to let it get too bad, because then the surgery gets more complicated. The hip is in worse shape the more it hurts. Get it fixed when you know there is already a problem, but it's not awful".

Well, that surgery didn't happen, as we know, and I upped the Fentanyl so I wouldn't feel the pain. I did get the allergy testing for antibiotics done shortly thereafter, but [presumably] from those needles I got cellulitis again and another hospitalization. That was early August last summer, I believe. By the time I went back to my [then] orthopedist, and told him the saga of the allergy testing and cellulitis, that together with the higher Fentanyl tipped his scales and he decided he won't operate on me.

Why reiterate this when we already know the story?
It's a roundabout way of saying... now I'm in a *lot* more pain than I was in last year! It hurts all the time, walking or resting, even first thing in the morning after a night's sleep. It's distracting all the time, and I am constantly more tired these days because of being in more pain. It stinks.

I don't have anything to compare it to as far as last year's situation, because I was on Fentanyl. I assume that the joint is more worn down, and in fact my new orthopedist had to decide if there is enough cartilage to do the repair successfully. Thankfully he decided there is, and I have the surgery date for... three weeks from now. October 19th.

We've been so busy with the Jewish holidays, I haven't been able to take care of any of the paperwork or pre-op testing. I'm getting started on that now, but it's still the holiday of Sukkot here and I can't get any appointments accomplished until next week. The week after next is my cousin's much-anticipated wedding, in Tzfat (3 hour drive north), and we'll be gone for that for two days. Then I have the pre-surgical day at the hospital right after the wedding, then a few days later the surgery. Not so much time! That's what I wanted, though. What's that saying... be careful what you wish for?

Oh, and one thing I found out by reading some of my medical papers late last night was that the hospitalization could be up to three nights (in Tel Aviv). I had thought it would be one night. Oy. It makes life so complicated.

The holidays have been great- honestly great. But very, very tiring. I wanted a quick surgery date, and I got one. I'm just plain nervous. There is a lot to organize before the surgery. The main thing is that I need a person who can chauffeur my kids around for six weeks, I spoke to a good friend yesterday and it looks like he'll be able to do it much of the time, but I need a back-up for the times he can't. (Anyone reading this who may fit the bill of being a back-up driver afternoons for my kids, please let me know. You can have use of our car.)

I also need to arrange meals because I'm going to be on crutches and very limited movement for about three weeks at least. I'll have my two younger kids home afternoons, and need to make sure there are salads and foods ready for them for dinners and snacks. They can make things, but when they are hungry, decent food needs to be available. Also I will need someone to come early afternoons to help me make my lunch. On crutches, you can't take something from the fridge, put it on the counter top or in a pot. It's complicated even to make a sandwich. Non-weight bearing pretty much means the hands are occupied with the job of bearing weight on one leg. And, since my "good" leg is not what it used to be, having gone through this surgery twice already, with it's own disease history, I'm going to be limited in mobility in the best of circumstances.

This logistical arranging helps keep my mind off of the fact that surgery is around the corner.
I need to have this leg fixed, and if all goes well I'll be really happy that one major source of pain is reduced, if not eliminated (the orthopedist said that pain will be reduced, he never said eliminated). The question which festers in my mind is "what if it doesn't all go well"? It's so mind-numbingly scary, knowing what I know, and bearing the scars (and pain) of surgery gone awry already.

But, I have to try to improve my quality of life. I went much of the way by going off the Fentanyl. This surgery is the next goal. Please Gd, let it be the right thing at the right time, with the best possible result.

Are you as scared as I am?


  1. wishing you a complete refua! you are in my daily tefillot, and tehillim.

    the doctors and surgery should be matzliach and get you to a place of refua, and

    feeling healthy. we will be praying . maybe there is some kind of bikur cholim

    group by you where pple can prepare food for your family for a couple weeks, that

    would be a huge help for your family.

  2. Yes, scared - but also very hopeful as I really hope that you are well. You have come so very very far and you continue to awe and inspire.

    Refuah shlema!

  3. Count us in to do whatever and whenver you want from us. it will be our pleasure. I'll coordinate with Robert.

  4. Yeah.
    Let me know if you need to talk.
    Miriam Maslin

  5. Scared for you? Yes, but HOPEFUL too. My prayers are with you, Sarah, and I have to believe our wonderful G*d has this plan for you, to care for you in the best possible way, and make sure your family is cared for while you recover.

    Hugs, and I wish I could help!