Monday, December 10, 2012

a little surgery here, a little surgery there

WOW!!  it has been a crazy last two and half months...and i used capital letters, so you know i'm serious.

doug and i made our trip to california.  we were so blessed to have mia's grandparents and then her aunt come to keep her.  california was, i believe, beautiful for that time of year.  i wouldn't really know, not regularly being there that time of year and because my view of california primarily consisted of the hospital and a hotel room.

here i am, hoping for the best, right before being drugged and dragged wheeled away.

the good/great news is that it seems the surgery worked!  i confess that there is this little knot of fear in me that, once the surgery pain is gone, i will find that i still have the nerve pain.  i keep trying to make that fear go away, but it is rather tenacious! 

if you are squeamish at all, i wouldn't recommend reading further...or looking at the pictures! 

dr. chen cut into my left side and cut tissues towards my back in order to blow up a balloon the size of a small nerf football to have room to work.  that back area was quite painful for long time.  several times i was actually concerned that i had ripped out the stitches.  that being said, look at what a wonderful job he did with the incisions!

now comes the really interesting part.  dr. chen burrowed all the way down to where the mesh was put in three years ago (i had bi-lateral inguinal hernia repair, which is very rare for women, especially young women), and where i have had chronic pain and two other surgeries not counting the initial surgery and this latest surgery.  back to the point...he burrowed down behind the mesh.  by doing this, he was able to not only avoid all of the scar tissue from the previous surgeries, but he was able to sever the three nerves above where the nerve damage had occurred.   he was also able to see and photograph the work done in the initial surgery.  in the picture below, you can see a thin, very straight line (crease) above the silver instrument.  that is the top of the mesh.  now, do you see that thick cord going directly under and into that mesh?  THAT IS THE NERVE.  let me translate...the first surgeon anchored the mesh directly atop the nerve.  again a translation...nerve damage.


a friend of mine asked me if it was validating to actually be able to have proof of why i have had chronic pain and surgeries for the last three years.  the answer is yes.  i want to take the above picture to the original surgeon and say, "see, i'm not crazy."  well, okay, i am not crazy about this, anyway.

so, where am i now?  i am healing, but very slowly.  i thought it would be a quick healing, but it has proven rather difficult.  dr. chen did tell me that healing would take my body longer simply because it has been through so much.  but, we think it worked!  i can't run right now, of course (which i desperately long to do), and i can't deep clean my house (aw, shucks), and i can't grocery shop (a pain, actually), but...

i can now care for mia by myself, i can run errands cautiously, i can get through my days without hydrocodone (well, most of them), and i can tell that the pain is from surgery healing and not continuing nerve pain!

i am so very thankful for dr. chen, my incredibly patient husband, helpful friends and family and the prayers from all over the world that were said on my behalf.

so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.