Well on my recent admission to hospital, I got the results of the MRI scan of my pelvis and hips I’d had the week before. I knew before I’d got the results, what the likely options where. It was either Avascular Necrosis, a worsening of my Osteoporosis or torn cartilage. AVN is caused by long term steroid use, so I was preparing myself to be told that it was that, but that they’d be able to treat it with medication, or minor surgery. The realities weren’t so rosy. My respiratory consultant was the one that actually told me, because the orthopaedic consultant was on annual leave, and I knew it was bad from the moment he walked in. I have Advanced Avascular Necrosis with oedema and labral tears in my right hip, and moderate AVN in my left hip. We’ll call my cons Dr R for easiness, told me he’d never seen the severity of necrosis and degeneration in the hip as he had in mine. Bearing in mind Dr R has been a consultant, all be it a respiratory consultant, for about 30 years, that wasn’t good. Because AVN is primarily caused by long term steroid use, which is a treatment for asthma, he knew quite a lot about it and had seen it before in many patients. So for him to tell me it was that severe, was a major blow. And as soon as they actually realised I wasn’t just addicted to morphine, or experiencing a low pain threshold or going through withdrawals, they put me on stronger painkillers. This being after they’d left me all weekend without my proper painkillers, and the ones they did give me made me feel incredibly odd. Dr R was not impressed by the treatmeent I’d received by the oncall team over the weekend. I’d been led to believe he was on call that weekend but apparently not. Stopping an asthmatics nebulisers in the middle of an acute attack was stupid, and he agreed. The pain I was experiencing was nothing like I’ve ever experienced. Being off painkillers with an avascular hip was agony, and I’m not afraid to say it.
But anyway, with the diagnosis now definite, we can start to do something about it. From what I believe, the most likely treatments are either Core Decompression or a total hip replacement. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. CD is only an option if the necrosis is only in a certain area of the femoral head, but it’s the one they’re more likely to want to do, because hip replacements are not something they like doing in people of my age. They will only last 15-20 years and if I need a second one, they’re less likely to do it and it’s less likely to be as effective. So CD is the more chosen route for someone of my age. I’ll know more about what their plan is though when I see the orthopeadic surgeons. That appointment hasn’t come through yet, but I’m hoping I’ll be seen in the next few weeks. To be honest, I just want it all over and done with now. I’ve had joint problems for nigh on 3 years now with several diagnosis’, including it all being pyschological, thrown around. To now have them tell me after all that, that infact it is something “major” so to speak is just rude.
This week is going to be a difficult week. On the 20th February we lost one of our dearest friends, Kat, to a terminal condition called Auto-Immune Vasculitis. This Tuesday is her funeral. It’s going to be a very difficult day. Kat wasn’t ready to get her angel wings, she was too young and too much of a fantastic person to have gone through the pain and suffering as she did. But she’s no longer suffering, which is a consolation to us all. She was a great support to me over the past few months when things where difficult with cookie. She would come up from Sheffield when I needed a hug. She stayed overnight a few times to make sure I was OK aswell. She was a very selfless person. We all have our faults, and Kat ackowledged hers and would always attempt to make sure that if she had ever upset anyone, that amends were made immediately. But she had far more amazing traits than faults and she was someone who was always trying to spread love and hugs. She’d give even a random person a hug and would do everything she could to help. And this is the Kat that we would all remember. The person who would bring KFC up to the hospital and demand cutlery from the nurses, who would steal the O2 taps in the bays of people she was visiting so she could stay longer. My friend Kira is coming up on Monday, and will be staying until Thursday. She’ll be going to the funeral with me on Tuesday, along with our friend Dorri, who is giving us a lift and being an all round star as always.
It really is times like this, difficult ones, that we realise just what we have. When I got told about my hip, I was a complete mess. I needed a hug. And there is no family near by to call on in situations like that. But I’m lucky. I have friends. Friends who, that when they heard I was having a bad day, came up to the hospital with sweets and crisps, and would cheer me up with some nutty talk and games of UNO. At the moment, I’m struggling to get around the flat and keep the place clean and tidy. I’m meant to be on complete bed rest. As it is, I’m refusing to keep that one up. I’m too stubborn and independant. But when there’s things I can’t do, like carrying the washing out to hang, or doing the shopping and carrying it in and out, my friends rally. They can’t do enough to help. And it’s amazing.
I’ve started drawing again. It’s giving me something to do when I’m bored in bed or hospital. Cartoon characters are one of my favourite things to draw. But I’m trying other things too, like human portraits and grafitti writing. I’m not Walt Disney yet, but I do enjoy doing it, and it’s burning some time.
But anyway, will try and post again soon. I’m really not good at the whole regular posting thing. I’m considering doing a review blog about books I’ve read. A friend has sent me his book of poetry to review, so I’m quite looking forward to reading it and reviewing it.
Alternate career path maybe?