This is a post of updates . . . .
Yesterday was my trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to the VA Hospital for the MRI to see if I qualify for the femor replacement surgery yet. It was a day of trials on every level.
First, because there were storms throughout the surrounding area, from 7am Thursday until we left for Fayetteville I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep. I was already uncomfortable, and it was only going to get worse. Just after we passed through Joplin, MO, we drove into a torrential downpour that we continued to drive through the rest of the way to Fayetteville. However, by slowing down and driving carefully, we made good time overall and got there safely.
When the MRI was started, the machine they wanted to use wouldn’t work – something about the coil for the magnets. So, they had to use a different machine that was slower and far less comfortable. The first machine would have been able to do the 4 images they wanted in about 2 hours – the one they had to use took about 45 minutes for each image. That may not seem like much of a difference, but it’s huge when you’re already in pain, and the area that hurts is the area you absolutely can’t move if the images are going to be useful. I got through the first image alright, but after starting the second, I had to take a break for a bathroom trip, and that ruined what we already had of the second image. By the time we finally got the second image finished, I was in such pain I couldn’t repeat them with the contrast media. The technician was polite and understanding, but I felt like I had totally failed. Still, there wasn’t any way to change the outcome.
Fortunately, we had good driving conditions for the trip home, and concluded our day eating supper in our own home with our cats happy to have us back. I did a little bit of more searching on the internet, and discovered an article on PubMed summarizing recent research into Total Femur Replacement (TFR) surgery (it was published in 2015) which indicated very strongly that I’m almost certain not to get the surgery. There are significant risks of life-threatening infections post op for patients over the age of 50, and I turn 57 next month. Combine that with my history of a bone tumor and already compromised immune system, and I’m simply not a viable candidate.
I sort of wish I’d known that a month ago. I wouldn’t have wasted the time and resources.