Fractures, Fusions and Friends

Pattye Snyder Health Guide
  • In two short weeks I'll be having more foot surgeries, primarily due to my osteoarthritis.

    These will be my 7th and 8th operations due to this challenge. I wish I could say I'm excited and pleased, but not really (and I know many of our readers fully understand)!


    The hip surgeon, after looking at the x-rays, told me the reason I was having so many problems, is that my second hip was not installed correctly during surgery. I realize that this is major surgery, but the new surgeon says he doesn't want to put me through that again unless the pain becomes unbearable. It really makes me feel like I'm walking on the proverbial time bomb! The good news is that my left hip replacement is wonderful. It's been straight out of medical textbooks, much to my relief.

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    The foot surgeon will be doing a fusion of the main joint on the big toe as well as a dactylization of 2 other toes. Although the doctor didn't happen to mention it, I found later, in the paperwork his office mailed to me, that this surgery will lessen the flexibility of my foot. When I mentioned that several years ago I had the same joint replaced on the other foot with titanium and asked why he was doing a fusion instead, he said that he prefers the fusion.


    I realize that most surgeons don't stop to think about the questions or personal challenges a patient might face, but I think it would be beneficial to have someone available to answer these. I had this "service" as a workshop before my first hip replacement and it was very helpful.


    I'm TRYING to get everything "done" before surgery -- little things like figure out where to live for two weeks since I live alone and have a split foyer house with tons of stairs; finding someone to drive me to appointments post-op (I won't be allowed to drive for at least 6 weeks); trying to be sure that my insurance will cover everything; cancelling some appointments and scheduling the myriad others for pre-op. I haven't quite gotten to the urgency level where I'm cleaning closets and washing floors YET, but I will admit to being somewhat stressed!

    I am fortunate enough to have some special friends who would actually do most anything for me, but I'm not in the habit of asking for help. The reality is, I've found when someone asks me for help, I consider it a compliment, but I haven't been able to return the compliment to others, yet. So I really need to swallow my pride and ask. I realize, God willing, that a month from now I'll be well on the road to recovery. This is just one of the many challenges that osteoarthritis "offers." I really AM grateful that this medical help is available in America. I'm hopeful that, once recovered, I will again be able to continue my travel adventures relatively pain-free.


    I have a disease, not a life sentence -- I REFUSE TO LET OSTEOARTHRITIS CONTROL MY LIFE!


Published On: February 24, 2009