Thursday, May 30, 2024

Reluctantly revisiting the world of pain

School is so all-encompassing that I really don't have much time to be with myself and write. I do miss that, but I'm doing something important- learning to become a nurse- and it really is all encompassing. I have a year left.

But that year may need to be stretched a bit. Time is not always in our hands, you know? Hashem makes timing for things. I used to say that to my birthing women a lot, and it helped them with labors that were long and slow. Helped me get through them with the women, also (long labors, as their doula). Hashem controls timing of things.

I decided to write now because I have a health issue I am dealing with, and it's not simple. And it could put off my graduating with my class. But, health comes first, and I have to remember that. 

It is looking like I need another hip replacement. On the opposite side from the last one. It started hurting deep into the joint some time in March, and I did some physical therapy to try to make the pain go away. It just got worse and worse over the months, and at this point, at the end of May, I am in so much pain on a 24/7 basis that I am having a hard time functioning. My 7 hour lectures in school are seriously difficult for me to make it through. In January and February I did clinicals in the hospital. It was four, sometimes five days a week, 8 hour shifts, mostly on my feet. It was extremely challenging on my body. But I made it through, and shortly thereafter my hip started to hurt. 

Dressing, bending, getting up from sitting, getting into and out of the car, and a hundred other things are very painful. Sitting at my desk at home to do my studying has become impossible. I now study in my bed, with the back up and the legs up (it is an electric adjustable bed, one of my wiser purchases in life...) I don't like spending so much time in bed- hours in the afternoon/evening- and then of course at night to sleep. But at this point, it is the only way I can study after these long days in the classroom.

The left hip is complicated though. This is why I am nervous about having the replacement. Even though I need it. Last week I went to a private hoidy-toidy orthopedist who I had never met before. Turns out that the orthopedist who did my right hip replacement has changed his practice in that he now only sees patients who have a recent recommendation for a hip replacement. Even though I was his patient 4 years ago, his secretary said he won't see me unless I have this referral from another orthopedist. OK, a bit of an ego trip here, but OK. I know he's the best. So I went to a different orthopedist so that I could get the referral for a hip replacement, so that I could see my surgeon. Crazy. But yeah, that other orthopedist was fabulous (he doesn't do hip replacements, he specializes in knees), and wrote me the referral I needed. After I sat down and told him I am in tremendous pain, and some of my background story, he said "so it seems you know you need a hip replacement, what can I do for you?" So, he did examine me, and came to the same conclusion that I have come to. I am now waiting to see my surgeon, on June 9th. At that point, I hope I will get a date for surgery that isn't too far in the future.

The left hip is where all the intensive scarring is from the NF (and from the reconstruction surgery in New York in 2019), and from the PVNS. That hip has been through two arthroscopic surgeries- one for PVNS, and one for a labrum tear, with FAI (google it if you want to know what FAI is). I am nervous about this surgery because of the possibility of adhesions that have formed, and because it is a hip that has had lots of trauma before. I don't know if this is possible, but are there old lymph nodes there that are hiding the Strep infection? The orthopedist who I saw last week was concerned about that possibility. And then there is the fact that my whole lower left belly and upper left thigh are totally numb. I do feel deep pain, but it's numb to the touch. The nerves there are all messed up, and it makes me nervous. More cutting through skin and many muscles to transplant the hip. I really really don't want to do that. The recovery, as I remember it from the right hip, is painful, and arduous.

This is only getting worse with time. Not better. I do still manage to get to the gym semi-regularly, but what I can do is limited these days. I am doing everything I can to stay strong in every other way. After having had 14 surgeries already, I need to stay strong.

I am supposed to spend July and August in clinicals; some in hospital and some in community nursing. I just wrote an email to my principal of the nursing school telling her what is happening, and that it is looking like I won't be able to do those clinicals. I will probably be having surgery then. And if, for some reason, I can't schedule the surgery over the summer, I highly doubt that I would be able to do the clinicals on this very painful hip. So, see what I mean by timing problems? I'll have to do them at the end probably. I really hope that this surgery doesn't put me back so much that I will have to join the class that began after mine. I really want to stay with my class. But we'll have to see how things go. When I have a date for surgery I'll know more about the timing of everything. 

I'm bummed out. We are also planning a trip to the US in August for a week. Don't know yet if that will happen. And I have no more vacation time other than two weeks at the end of August.

I don't want to do this surgery. But I do want to have a pain-free hip, like the right one is. But surgery is SO SCARY for me. Too many things can go wrong. But if it all goes right, then I can do nursing wth no pain. Goal.

I don't want to do ANY surgery. Surgery sucks. It sets life back. But oh, the pain. It all comes down to that. I'll write more after my June 9th appointent with my surgeon.

1 comment :

  1. Sending you love and a Shabbat Shalom. Please what can we do for you?