Saturday, March 30, 2013

More Wound Vac Stories and More

After leaving the radiation consult with the rudest doctor I have ever experienced, we made our way home. After getting back home, I contacted my surgeon's office and inquired about having a different radiation doctor be able to see me. My surgeon's nurse wanted to talk about why I wanted to change doctors, so I explained the entire story to her and let her know how uncomfortable my parents were as well as how upset I had been by the treatment I received from this doctor. She saw the need for a change and was going to make the recommendation to the surgeon. We would need to wait to hear back from both of them as to when I would meet with the new doctor.

We had been working with my surgeon and the orthopedic brace maker (Tim) in finding something that was going to relieve some, if not all, of the pain I felt when I would sit. We had been working on all different kinds of solutions for weeks on end. Tim brought various cushions and back braces for me to try and test for a period of time. But, none of the options Tim brought for me to try seemed to have any affect at all. My surgeon finally said it was time to see a neuropathic surgeon who would check my spine for any abnormalities.

Dr. Jandial, Assist. Prof., Neurosurgery,
Graduate School of Biological Sciences
I had still been seeing Diane twice a week for the Wound Vac changes when I was referred to Dr. Jandial. He was such a kind surgeon and really had a heart of compassion for the pain that I was experiencing. He could clearly see that my pain was more than just a nerve out of place or something made up in my mind. He ordered an MRI so he could see everything that was going on in and around my spine. Every nurse we spoke with in any of my appointments always said how lucky I was in getting Dr. Jandial as he was "Sooooooo gorgeous!" Apparently the nurses all had a crush on the good doctor. Mom and I found it funny how they all reacted when told he was my surgeon.

When the appointment came for the MRI, I tried to get in the conventional machine, but my claustrophobia was so intense that I didn't make it all the way in the machine before I was panicking and asking to get out. Unfortunately, we had to reschedule for the"open" MRI, which was much better. I was still nervous until I got in the machine and saw how the back was open and I could see through. That made me feel much, much better.

We finally completed the MRI and got back with Dr. Jandial. He looked over the imaging they took and noticed I had a collapsed disk, which would require surgery to fix and get me feeling better. His hope was that this surgery would remove all the pain I felt on the right side.

Before we could have the surgery, I needed to complete my time with the wound vac. Diane spent time measuring the cavity each time we changed the dressings to see how the healing was progressing. We kept a log of the numbers each week so she could report back to Dr. Femino and the insurance company. Mind you, the wound vac was started in January. We were now closing in on April with the wound vac still needed.

The day had finally arrived. The wound vac was coming off! It was April 9, 2010. This meant that we could now schedule the back surgery and begin moving toward a more pain free life. At this point, we were able to schedule surgery for April 28. It was pretty late in the month, and time was getting much closer to the end of my leave from work. It was beginning to become an issue and was making me a little nervous as to how I was going to make it through surgery and still get back to work in time. I was beginning to get the feeling that this was going to be a problem.

Sure enough, the morning I was going to have my surgery, I was called by the company and told I either needed to be back in the office on May 7 or I needed to voluntarily give up my position. Knowing how my healing had been with the last surgery, I explained my situation with being ready to go into surgery in a few minutes. But, I was told I needed to make a decision so they would know what to do. I told them I wasn't sure when I was going to be released from the hospital.

My employers main building.
Can you imagine having to make that kind of decision as you are waiting to be called in for surgery in a few minutes? As it was, they called my name as I was still on the phone with work. I finally just said, "I am being called back for surgery right now. I don't know that I will make it back to Colorado in time, so I will just have to give up my job."

That was that!

I was resigning over the phone to an HR Rep as I was walking into surgery. Here again was another trial in my life where I was going to have to trust fully in the Lord for every need. And, how sad it was that there was such a lack of compassion from a Christian ministry, for someone going into surgery having to make such a life changing decision, because they had to make a business decision? My heart hurt as I followed the nurses back to the pre-op area. I was in a state of shock and didn't know if I should be upset or if I should cry.

I didn't have time to think about it. I just had to get ready for surgery.

Next..."Surgery, Recovery and The Finale"

"Be kind to me, God; I’ve been kicked around long enough." Psalm 9:13 (The Message)

Having to give up my job at the time I was walking into surgery was more than I could handle at the time. I felt just as betrayed as I did when my boss told me about promoting my co-worker over me just before my January 2010 surgery. The first several months of the year seemed to be some of the worst emotionally. That is why I picked this verse from The Message. Cancer wasn't enough for the devil to throw at me, he also needed to hit me where my identity in life was as well. I would later realize where my identity really lay.

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