Monday, September 30, 2013

This is it!

My resolve remains strong.
I will see the plastic surgeon at 1:00 pm today.
I will sign on the dotted line.
I will pay the 10% booking fee deposit.
We will most likely arrange the surgery date.
I will pay the surgical fee in full two weeks prior to the surgery date.
And the next time I see the surgeon will be outside the operating room at the hospital.
It's going to happen.
Probably very quickly too because I live within fifteen minutes of the hospital and can take pretty much whatever date he offers me.
Here we go ...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yikes, I'm gonna do it!

I booked my appointment to consult (again) with the tummy tuck doctor.
Next Monday -- September 30th -- at 1:00 pm.
I'm actually gonna do it.
Mine's a tad more unsightly than the photo depicted above but I'm essentially going to go from the photo on the left to the one on the right.  (Or close to it anyway; this model was a much younger person than I!)
Finally, after 30+ years, I'll be rid of this horrid "apron" as it's known in the business.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My next surgery is wait listed

It's official.
I am now wait listed for right total hip arthroplasty.
I didn't actually see my surgeon yesterday.  He had been called away to a family emergency (a possible car accident?) so a resident took his calls.  Our visit was most informative indeed!
Once we established that there was a need for the surgery, we discussed some of my issues.
I want anterior approach.  Done.
I want the bursa to be removed.  There ensued a most interesting discussion indeed.  Apparently, they can't get at the bursa using the anterior approach.  Now that's confusing -- my surgeon had told me that he "incises through but does not excise" the bursa when I asked about what he had done on the left side.  How could that be if it can't be accessed by the anterior approach?  I can see now that he must have been referring to those patients on whom he used the posterior approach.  When we were talking, he "forgot" that I had requested the anterior.  (Apparently, he only uses the anterior approach in select circumstances.)
The resident told me that I need to discuss that matter further with the surgeon.  He actually took the time to examine the mysterious lump I still have on my left side and he agreed that it is very curious indeed.
Anyway, back to the right hip.  He agreed with my concerns about fibromyalgia and the likely wisdom of using the anterior approach to hopefully avoid further problems in the trochanter area in the future.  BUT, if I truly want the bursa removed, I need to discuss the options with my surgeon.
So, I signed the consent forms which put my name on the waiting list for the surgery.  He advised me to make sure to book an appointment to see the surgeon before the surgery date to discuss the bursa / anterior approach issue.
And he told me to keep my November appointment to see the surgeon, which is a follow-up for the left hip.  It will give me an opportunity to raise some of these questions with the surgeon.
Oh, and he sees no issue about the timing of a tummy tuck in relation to the hip replacement.  The choice is mine.  We agreed that I may as well then go ahead and book that tuck now because it could be over and done with before this next hip surgery is likely to happen.
I will call the tummy tuck doctor this morning to make that initial consultation appointment.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I'm Shrinking!

My weight loss efforts seem to be working.
My waist is five inches smaller than it was back in April.
My hips are three inches smaller.
My neck is only one inch smaller.
Not sure how that works, but obviously one can't lose five inches off one's neck -- there might be nothing left of it!
In the scheme of things, I guess the shrinking is proportional.  But what do I know?
The interesting thing is, I don't look at me and see a much smaller person than I was.  I know that I'm smaller because the scale tells me I must be.  (I still have some to lose but I have reached my first goal.)
Truth be known, as long as I have this damned excess tummy that I have carried around for the past 35 years, it won't matter how much weight I lose.  I'm simply not going to be happy with how I look.
Which is a perfect segue into my being conflicted about this whole tummy tuck issue.  I mean, I want to have it.
But I'm deathly afraid of surgery.
And to line up for an elective surgery that clearly is not necessary -- it's simply something I've wanted for a very long time -- seems kind of silly to me.  Especially when I have a required surgery waiting in the wings.
Counter intuitive, if you will.
One doesn't and shouldn't necessarily always get what one wants in life.  And just because I've wanted this for so long is perhaps not enough justification to go ahead with it.
My family doctor suggested that if I really want to have a tummy tuck, perhaps it should be done and I should be completed healed and recovered from it before the next hip replacement surgery.  She was thinking in terms of infection risk.  She told me that I should discuss the timing of the two surgeries with both surgeons.
Well, on Tuesday of next week I'll be seeing the orthopaedic surgeon and will raise the topic with him.  (He'll probably think I'm nuts but perhaps he already thinks that?)
Once I've seen ortho guy, I'll book an appointment with tummy tuck guy and see what he has to say. In any event, I'll not allow the tummy tuck to happen before February 2014 because I'll want to wait until at least two years since the previous hip replacement.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I am a redhead

The other day, my little chickadee sent me a link to a most intriguing news article.
As I read it, I started to understand why I have had so much difficulty with anaesthesia over the years.
This could explain why I woke up during my hip replacement surgery.
I've also wakened during previous episodes of anaesthesia but the doctors and attending nurses insisted that I had not.  (I knew that I had!)
Obviously, it was only because I was talking about it coming out of the hip surgery that the anaesthesiologist was called in to discuss the matter with me -- so she had to admit to me that I had in fact wakened.  They're not used to patients remembering such incidents.
But remember I did.
And remember I do.
One does not forget traumatic encounters in one's life.
So now I can apparently blame the colour of my hair for this phenomenon.
And I can alert the anaesthesiologist for future surgeries that I WILL need more of that juice than a brunette or a blonde might need.
Doesn't matter that my hair is now grey.
It used to be red!

See?  Just 'cuz I'm old and grey now doesn't change the fact that I AM A REDHEAD.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Celebrex experiment is over

I broke down last Wednesday and saw my doctor again.
Just couldn't take it any longer!
She took one look at me and didn't even wait for the question to be completed.  (I was telling her that I was hoping she would agree to my stopping the Celebrex.)
"Yes, definitely," she said.  "It obviously isn't working for you."
She said she would have to come up with something else to address my pain.  I told her I wasn't willing to try anything else until I recovered from what this poison had been doing.
I was with her for less than two minutes.  Even her staff was surprised to see me exit so soon after going in.
So that evening, I didn't take the 200 mg capsule.
And the next morning, I woke without the pounding headache that had been plaguing me for the previous weeks.  (That headache had worsened when we doubled the dosage.)
It took a couple of days before the residual headache totally disappeared but I clearly felt much better off the drug than I had been while on it.
And by Friday, two days off it, I could honestly say that Celebrex was definitely having a negative impact on my life.
The generalized all-over malaise had lifted.  I no longer felt like I was in a mini fibro flare-up.  Like I'd been beaten up by several thugs.  For some reason, the Celebrex had clearly added to my inflammation rather than reduced it.
Now, I'm back to my normal level of isolated arthritic pains.
And frankly, in comparison to how I felt while taking Celebrex, this is heaven!  I might be able to move mountains.
If my  hands didn't hurt so much!

Monday, September 9, 2013

I don't know about this

Today marks week three of Celebrex treatment -- five days at the double dose -- and still no benefit is being felt.
In fact, the headaches continue, although not as severe.  Does that mean there's hope yet?
The leg cramps seem to have disappeared though.  That's a good sign, to be sure.
But  I tell you -- I am in a fog and filled with all-over body aches as though I'm in a fibro flare-up.  Can't describe it any other way.
Yesterday, I felt like I had been beaten up by a dozen thugs.  Was not pretty.  I slept the afternoon away again too.
I'm still managing my 20 minutes on the treadmill, but can't do my weight regime.  My elbows and shoulders are simply too sore to endure that workout.
So the question remains:  Just when should I start feeling better?
I have a friend who has used Celebrex in the past and she said that whenever she went on it, she felt better within 24 hours.
Go figure!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Celebrex Update

I saw my family doctor yesterday and presented her with the problems I've been having since I started taking Celebrex.
She was surprised to say the least.  Even suggested that perhaps something else was going on to cause the issues.
Eventually (and it really didn't take long), I convinced her that since all the issues had an onset with the introduction of Celebrex, I felt it was safe to blame the drug.  I'm familiar enough with my body and my medical history to be very confident of that.
When I suggested breaking out the dose to two 100 mg capsules a day instead of the one 200 mg capsule, she instead felt that I should take two 200 mg capsules a day.  That's the maximum dose of the drug and it's not unreasonable to expect that that is what I need to be taking.
So, we agreed that I would try the higher dosing.  
We also agreed that if the headaches, poor sleeping pattern and increased leg cramps continued, I would stop taking the drug altogether and call it a failed experiment.
But we are both hopeful that the newer dose, providing me with a continuous level of the drug, will give the drug a chance to get the inflammation under control and eventually I'll begin to feel its benefits.
Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My beautiful daughter (again!)

My little chickadee recently won a make-over at a local hairdressing salon as part of a national competition for hairstylists.
She quite enjoyed the experience of meeting with the stylist, discussing treatments that would/could be done on her unruly hair, and what the end result would be.
The whole thing happened on a rather tight time-line and culminated in a final styling (with many changes of plan along the way), a make-up session and the photo-shoot.  There were hundreds of photos taken, several of which highlight her natural beauty.
This is the photo that the stylist chose to submit.
If the stylist wins the contest, Natalie's photo will be featured in a future edition of the magazine "Loulou," (Canada's shopping and styling guide).
Of course, I haven't seen the other entries, but (in my humble opinion) how could any of them top this one?

Monday, September 2, 2013

How long does it take?

Today marks two weeks that I've been taking Celebrex.
Still no "benefit" being felt on this end.
Shoulders are still terribly painful if I raise my arms above my head for more than 30 seconds. They also hurt way too much with chopping and stirring motion.
Hips are still a problem after walking a mere ten minutes.
My hands are swollen and sore every morning, almost more so than they were before I started taking the damned drug.
And now I can add to the mix a marked increase in my leg cramps.  Oh such fun!
Last week I saw that first allergist (the one who wouldn't try the aspirin desensitization in his office so he referred me to the second guy who put me on the Celebrex).  Turns out it's a good thing the first guy wanted to see me again.  He was astounded on hearing my report.  I'm not desensitized to aspirin, as was requested.  I can now safely take the Cox-2 family of anti-inflammatories (of which Celebrex is one).  But I absolutely cannot take aspirin or other anti-inflammatories any more than I could before.  Since the second guy achieved what my doctor wanted (to allow me to take Celebrex for my arthritis), we decided to leave things as they are and not pursue further desensitization.
My family doctor said it could take up to two weeks before the benefit is felt.
The allergist (the first one) said it could take from four to eight weeks! (The second allergist didn't offer a timeline.)
On-line reports give a range of immediate relief (it's often used post-surgery) to two weeks.  
So when exactly might I start to see some benefit from this treatment, I wonder?