It almost seems surreal that in 2 days I will start the long recovery process (up to one year total time). I think anytime one undergoes elective surgery there are always doubts about whether it is the right decision, but especially when you have tried multiple treatments (and failed) and when you have a very complex case like I have. Sure, I can't do what a normal 30 year old can do by any means, but I am able to do some things, so do I want to risk getting worse? Maybe this is just God's will for me and I need to accept my disabilities and try to manage the pain as best I can? What if my hips aren't really causing as much of my pain as I think/hope? And the list goes on and on.
I have always been an indecisive person, but at the same time growing up I was always a risk taker (until I had what felt like a near death experience white water rafting the Nile River!). The truth is I don't know what the outcome of surgery will be - no one ever does. But we have prayed for God to give us wisdom and at this time we feel this surgery is a risk worth taking. Even if I do not have any pain relief overall, if I am able to preserve my hips and prevent the need for a total hip replacement in the future (arthritis is often the end result for people with my condition, especially at such a young age, and it is hereditary as my father has this same condition - though he did not have it corrected and is currently biding his time before a replacement will be necessary ) then it would be worth it.
I really have accepted the fact that I will most likely have chronic pain, but I am still praying that God would give me a better quality of life/management of my pain. Even for my pain levels to stabilize would be wonderful because I seem to continue to get more debilitated year by year as I lose more muscle and my pain becomes more widespread.
We definitely need your prayers as we begin this new journey. Please pray:
- For post-op pain control. This is my number one concern as I'm not sure how much of my pain is coming from the central nervous system sensitization that I have spoken of before. Unfortunately the infusions I had in November did not provide any relief and only increased my pain. I have considered traveling to see a doctor who specializes in this type of infusion, but from my research it doesn't seem like these drugs help people such as myself with biomechanical causes of pain that have not first been corrected (and I really believe my pelvic pain ultimately stemmed from a biomechanical cause - most likely bad hips or sacroiliac joint dysfunction or both). I am very concerned about the inability to get up and move around much at first as lying in bed often seems to increase my pain and I cannot lie comfortably on my back - this means that for several weeks the only position to rest may be on my right side. Pray that the anesthesiologist & surgeon will have wisdom to know how to best control my pain during and after surgery.
- That I will be able to get the PT post-op that I need. My experienced PTs are 2.5 hrs away and I will only be able to see them occasionally. Pray that my local PT will be able to help me and that in combination with warm water therapy/massage/home exercises will suffice and help me get to a better quality of life.
- My mom has to have an unexpected surgery one week after my surgery. She will have restrictions for several weeks so caring for my 3 year old daughter will be a little tricky as I will be on crutches for 2 months or so and it will be probably a good 4-6 months before I start to feel some relief. We have a lot of extended family help and church support, but pray for my daughter (and husband/father) during the first couple of months as life will be pretty tough for us all. Pray for my mother's surgery and recovery as well.
- Pray that I will not get worse from this surgery and that there will be no complications. Pray that I will be patient as this recovery takes a long time (especially for someone with very complex chronic pain like myself) and that I will fight against my ever-present temptation to be negative.
- Continue to pray for my GI issues. I had an upper endoscopy 3 weeks ago that was normal (showing mild/moderate gastritis). I've continued medication to help with reflux and have been trying to modify my diet some. My symptoms are a little better than they were 2 months ago, but I am still struggling with burping, especially with drinking. My GI doctor thinks this may be more of a neuromuscular esophageal spasm, but unfortunately there are not many treatment options for that. I do wonder if it is just another part of the central sensitization, but I pray it is not. Please pray that I will be able to drink enough post-op to help with healing and that my GI issues might go away on their own as quickly as they came.
- Pray that God will keep me healthy going into the surgery as I am pretty tired from trying to prepare for and celebrate Christmas and get things ready around my home for surgery. Pray that God will calm my fears as well.
- Pray for peace and that no matter the what happens we will continue to trust in God - not for what He can do for us, but in who He is! Pray we would seek Him even more in the coming days and weeks.
Thank you for faithfully reading my blog and for praying. May we take hope in our Savior who was born on Christmas Day knowing that He holds our future!