Recently, I went to the Surgeon about my other hip to read my MRI…
After having read the report myself before the appointment, I was convinced I was heading under the knife again with the pain I was experiencing, challenges getting around, and the verbiage in the report like:
Anyway, my daughter came along because I wasn’t sure I was going to easily get parking in this place…always a challenge there.
Waiting for the doctor, I asked G-d for a miracle, since after all the hospitalizations this last year, I literally thought that another one at this time could very well kill me.
Low and behold, the doctor comes in and as if G-d is directing his speech for the next 40 minutes or so, he does everything to dissuade me from having the surgery this month, even though he was the one at the last appointment that had already booked me on his surgical calendar.
So today the miracle unfolded…
First, the doctor read my MRI, but then quickly flipped the screen to an MRI of another patient–a 76 year old–and he showed me the unbelievable progression of the osteoarthritis from near onset to ultimately the complete collapse of the joint over about 9 years time for this lady…the last MRI looked like complete and utter bone devastation–I had never seen anything like it!
Next he opened his drawer and took out a horror basket of used replacement joints parts that he had removed from patients that needed revision–he showed me the wear and breakage and described in horrible detail how he often has to dig these out of the bones of his patients and how each revision–which everyone will need after about 10-15 years or sooner if they become symptomatic–becomes more complicated and dangerous in terms of infection, blood clots, and recovery.
Then he told how in the field so many replacement surgeries do not go well and that he sees 3-5 patients a week who come to him because they are UN-happy with the replacements their doctors did.
This went on and on, and bottom line…he said, “I love to do the surgeries–I really do–but wait as long as you can before getting it [on the other hip], since while it can provide for short term improvements, each revision is worse, and at your age you could need three–on each side.”
Needless-to-say, from this whole thing, I was in utter shock and some disbelief as I had been told these prosthetics can last 20-25 years with the newer models, and I was not aware of what the revisions really entailed in later years or the challenges they brought.
As he continued to describe the risks in painful vivid details (note, I was his last appointment of the day and he was talking his time here), my eyes were literally welling up in tears.
I looked over at my daughter and she was sitting mouth agape shaking her head at what he was saying. I was deeply sorry that she had to sit through this (what we had thought was a simple MRI reading and confirmation of the upcoming procedure date).
I left the doctor’s office, of course, canceling the surgery–still in severe pain and with trouble walking–however, “scared straight” to make the best of this for now, but also afraid of what lies ahead.
I have to have faith that the L-rd who made the miracle to hold off on the surgery for now will continue to guide and protect me through this illness that today has no cure.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)