Saturday, August 29, 2015

4 surgeries - 1 year

In 47 days I'll be going for my fourth surgery in one year and my seventh in six years. How the hell did I get here?

Surgery #1 - 2009 - total shoulder replacement, left, resounding success
Surgery #2 - 2011 - humeral head replacement, right, success
Surgery #3 - 2013 - glenoid bone graft with crushed cadaver bone, right, failure
Surgery #4 - 2014 - glenoid bone autograft and humeral head re-replacement, right, success
Surgery #5 - 2015 - screw removal from surgery #4, right,  partial success, infection discovered
Surgery #6 - 2015 - removal of all hardware and insertion of cement bone spacer, right, success
Surgery #7 - 2015 - removal of bone spacer and reinsert hardware, right, TBD, scheduled for October

No wonder I'm so angry. April was an utter shit show of a month. I had minor, arthroscopic surgery in late March, found out I had an infection from my October surgery in April, went on IV antibiotics and had a central line inserted (which is a much bigger, life-encompassing deal than the small words "IV antibiotics" and "central line" lead you to believe), had an allergic reaction to said antibiotics on and around my 40th birthday, landed in emerg, went on more IV antibiotics for 6 weeks, had a major surgery, and then recovered. Oh, and I've been flaring on and off. It's nice the root cause of my surgeries - RA - continues to rear it's ugly head just in case I tried to forget why I'm going through this hell in the first place.

I've not written about this yet. I've put myself on emotional autopilot to ensure that I don't really think about it, motivated by self-preservation I assume. It wasn't until I wrote this post and listed all my surgeries did I realize that I'm going on surgery #7. I thought it was #6. I guess somewhere past #5 I stopped keeping track.

I've managed through the past couple months one step at a time. That's all I can handle. With the final surgery looming in October, and summer on its way out, I don't think I can dodge the inevitable any longer. My countdown app tells me 47 more days until I'm in for surgery and I feel my veneer of happiness slipping away in the time it's taking to write this post.

I referenced the movie "Cake" in my last post and the movie (and music) have stayed with me. It's the closest representation of my RA journey I've seen so far on the big screen. The song played during the credits was an acoustic cover of Beyoncé's song "Halo". I can't seem to find anything positive from my past six months, but this song reminds me to try.