Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Medical update, possible bad news

Where do I start? I have been spreading my eggs in so many baskets these days that I am forgetting things I need to take care of for myself.

I showed up to my doctor's appointment today in Tel Aviv with MRA in hand.
He asked for the other x-rays, and my face must have flushed; I actually had forgotten to take care of the other x-rays he ordered. I couldn't believe it, I have never forgotten to carry through with tests. It just completely slipped my mind. I know you are saying "no biggie, happens to all of us". While that is true, the difference here is that I traveled to Tel Aviv for this appointment (arranged kids to get rides to activities, go home with friends, etc), and I am paying out-of-pocket for this doctor. My insurance should reimburse most of it, though.

So, without those particular x-rays, he cannot decide whether or not he can fix my hip. He looked long and hard at the MRA, and told me what that bit was which I read on the evaluation that I didn't understand. Apparently the hip has more problems than "just" a tear in the labrum and impingement. Apparently there is a lack of cartilage, and that cannot be fixed. Cartilage does not grow back, and cannot be repaired. He called it "early onset arthritis". So, when he gets the x-rays he can decide if it is worthwhile for me to undergo surgery or not. They gave me an appointment on Thursday evening, if I can get the x-rays done tomorrow or Thursday morning. I have to trudge back to Tel Aviv.
The fact that the hip is in worse condition than it was a year ago when I was going to do the surgery is depressing. The fact that it may be inoperable is depressing. The only solution, in that case, would be total hip replacement, and he advised against that because I am too young. Honestly, though, I'd rather be young and out of pain than living with this pain for more years, biding my time waiting for a hip replacement to being me better quality of life.

Oh, and the tingling I have in my right foot frequently? He says it's not from the impingement, but rather, indicative of a possible disk problem, or lower back issue. He wants that investigated, too. To be honest, I don't want that investigated. I am aware of too many issues, and I can't deal with another.

He also addressed the issues that I have about my general health. I had thought that, aside from skeletal and nerve pain issues, that I was a pretty healthy person. That I have been through a lot, but am pretty strong on the other side. I told him that I didn't think I was in any higher risk category than the next guy. That what happened to me was a one-in-a-million lottery toss, but I am pretty healthy since then. He disagreed. He pointed out all my allergies to antibiotics (including one of the best- Vancomycin- which is not good to be allergic to. It is the antibiotic of choice for nasty hospital bugs). Hospitalizations, cellulitis multiple times... lymph edema and pressure garments... yeah, that's me, too. But since I went off the pain meds I have been feeling much stronger. Although, of course, in more pain. I told him that honestly I don't know if I can stay off pain meds if this problem is un-fixable.

So, he's waiting to see the x-rays. I hope I can get them done tomorrow or Thursday morning. Then it's back to Tel Aviv, tiring myself out just before a big Shabbat and holiday to prepare for.

Even though the answer is not [yet] "no", I feel really down about this. I feel like damaged goods, and I feel up against a brick wall. That there is no way to help me to have a pain-less life. I have been *counting* on this surgery as one of the reasons I went through the whole withdrawal from the Fentanyl. It was a solution to a problem. If I was to be off pain meds, than I can fix the source of the problem. But early onset arthritis was not part of the plan.

I may have to go for the Cannabis after all. I don't want it. I don't want any drug controlling my body.

On top of this, there are serious issues I have to take care of with my children. I have been spending so much time in the hospital, or doing things for my friend, that I haven't been on top of taking care of my own kids. And today is Azriel's 10th birthday. I missed it. We will celebrate, don't worry.
Ya'akov also needs a lot of things worked out for him, and I have to be on top of that, and I haven't been. I know this means I have to pull back from being with my friend in the hospital so much, but that is going to be hard on her. She is alone. She said today was extremely depressing because nobody came until 9PM. Nobody came or called (except a few messages from me throughout the day). Today was only the second full day that I didn't go in to see her in over a month. I can't keep doing it this way, but I don't want to leave her alone in that place. I'll work out boundaries. Just writing about what my recent stressors are.

So, let's hope I can get these x-rays done very soon, and that whatever decision the doctor makes based on what he sees will be a decision I can cope with. It's all from Gd, I know that, and you know that, but sometimes it's so hard when we have a plan. You'd think I'd have learned that by now.

How long can I remain off pain meds with this pain, if it is unfixable?
I don't know. 
Only time will tell.


  1. Thinking of you and your friend in hospital.

  2. I don't know how you manage with everything on your plate. But you somehow do, and always with such grace and dignity. I know you feel depleted right now, and down, and that is completely understandable-but if you realize how much joy you bring to people-maybe you can internalize those people's energy and love for you to further strengthen you right now. Love and hugs from us!

  3. What Ken said. I'm sending big mooshy hugs to go with that. And I hope you remember my compliment to you on Shabbat afternoon. You truly are radiant.

    1. Thank you, that is so sweet. It kinda reminds me of Charlotte's Web- when Charlotte writes in the web "radiant pig". I'll take it. :)

  4. I'm planning on going to the hospital tonight while Jeff is teaching his class. So, rest up, get ready for TA tomorrow, and keep reminding yourself that you are strong, wonderful, and surrounded by loving family and friends.

  5. Sara, tell all your friends in Beersheva that your friend needs company and also the shuls. You can't support her all on your own. Also, perhaps consider getting hip replacement surgery sooner rather than later. I have friends who've done it in their 50s and are so happy. I know you're younger but by the time you'll need a replacement for the replacement I wouldn't be surprised if something new is invented. Wishing you a wonderful year to come.

    1. Michele that is exactly my (our, husband also) thinking. It may be just smarter to go for the replcement instead of having a patch surgery, with all it's possible complications. Every surgery has possibility of complications. FOr me, a bit higher possibility, I have to face that fact. Indeed the technology may be different when the hip needs to be replaced, and who knows what the future will bring, anyway?
      Thanks for your input. Always. :)
      Yes, we are going to try to get some sort of list for visiting my friend. It's just that she isn't in any particular community (not religious), and I know she doesn't want a parade of strangers coming in. We'll see.

      L'shana tova, and g'mar chatima tova to you and yours!

  6. May this new year, new cycle of life starting over again, be an opportunity to at least make your suffering more bearable darling.
    Every time I read you I find myself speechless (not a very common occurrence) .
    May you be blessed.

  7. hi Sare, may you continue to be in tune with yourself and your body, and find and keep these important boundaries. May you and your family be blessed for a sweet, HEALTHY and prosperous New Year of bracha, peace and Torah.

    Love, Dev