Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Well, I Lived...

I made it through the ankle surgery with no complications and then promptly caught the flu and ended up back in the Emergency Room a few nights later.

Looks like the immune system just couldn't handle the one two punch of surgery and flu and it's kept me down for the last few weeks.

I'm less than 2 weeks post surgery and even with the flu I'm doing pretty well and I'm so damn thankful.

It's not all good news. My first ankle fusion was not a success. The last surgeon used bone marrow aspirate instead of using cadaver bone and it seems that I didn't fuse well at all. Dr Foot came in before I even had surgery and told me that I would most likely need a second surgery. Yeah, not the news I was hoping for.

I chose to do the subtalar fusion and revise the triple fusion at a different time in the future. It's a good thing that we went in when we did. I had a lose screw in my midfoot that Dr. Foot tightened and there was a lot of dead bone in the hindfoot that he scrapped out and replaced with cadaver bone. I also have a 4 inch screw going through my heel up into my foot.

I have a bone stimulator and the cadaver bone also has something in it that will respond to the stimulator to give me more of a chance of fusion. If my midfoot continues to hurt after I heal from this surgery then I have to have it revised, if not, then we wait until it does become a problem and revise it then. In the meantime we pray for FUSION...in all the foot (and the back wouldn't hurt either).

I do have some good news. I won't be having surgery for at least 4 months. That's how long I have to commit to giving Orencia a try. Yes, you read that right...I'm starting Orencia in the next few weeks pending insurance approval. This is the medication I have been fighting for 2 years to try. Everytime I think about it I cry because it's been such a battle and it's finally here.

I'm optimistic and scared as hell that it won't work. Knowing something like a remission could be right around the corner fills me with so much hope I can hardly stand it...and the flip side that it could work but not as well as I'd like scares me to death. I have so much riding on this drug.

I have a new rheumatologist and SHE is awesome. Not once did she look at me like I was crazy or anything I said was anything that she hadn't heard a million times before. It was awesome. I have a lot of doctoring to do that I have put off to have so many surgeries these past 5 months but for the first time in a long time I am optimistic (though about $3000 poorer).

For the first time in a long time I don't feel as if my life is in dire need. I feel like I have a chance to have a second chance and after having a long remission on Enbrel I thought that was to much to ask for. But now I'm starting to believe that my life may not need to be surgery and pain meds for the foreseeable future. For someone recovering from the flu and surgery that's pretty darn impressive.

So, no surgery for 4 months. Everyone I say that to looks at me like I'm nuts...I'm not sure why but that is such a load off my back that I just want to take out a billboard on the expressway. NO SURGERY FOR 4 MONTHS. Can I get an AMEN!!


Cathy said...

Yay to no surgery for four months!

I can truly understand where you are coming from with the Orencia. I fought Enbrel like crazy. However, once I committed, I was able to relax and let it do whatever it was going to do. For me, it worked well. I hope this works for you. Keep that positive attitude!

just_karyn said...

Amen!! So glad you will get to try Orencia, I hope you have fabulous results!

Melisa with one S said...

AMEN! So things are looking up. Yay you! :)