Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The State of the Bug, an Update

(Warning! Ahead there is something rarely seen on my blog: curse words!)

Well heck, I actually AM Iron Man. I got a call yesterday from my surgeon’s office saying that my blood work showed high levels of chromium & cobalt (the materials in my hip device). The recommended maximum for those metals is 3 (3 whats, I’m not sure). Mine was 5.9 & 23.9, respectively. I don’t know if I would be considered to have metallosis, but the probably is high. However, I don’t have any extreme symptoms, other than pain in my hip.

Next up on my agenda is a hip aspiration on Monday. From what I understand (and, I’m a little hysterical at this point, so take what I say with a grain of salt), they stick a GINORMOUS needle into my hip and draw out fluid to see if there is any sign of infection. I presume that if there is infection that would have to be treated before I have surgery. I think. Really, I shouldn’t be posting these health updates with such a sketchy idea of what is going on. But I overshare – that’s who I am as a person. Plus, I need some moral support by other people who would also be horrified by this needle business.

I have a wide variety of feelings about this whole situation. Dr. M is angry (that might be an understatement). I feel more conflicted. Should my original surgeon have performed this type of surgery on me? A resounding hell no. No question – I was not in the least bit the right candidate. And I even knew that, at the time, but I trusted his judgment. So na├»ve. The right candidate for hip resurfacing is a young, fit, healthy man. Not a sedentary, overweight, small boned woman. Added to that, it is recommended that hip resurfacing recipients have blood testing on a regular basis to ensure that their chromium and cobalt numbers are in a safe range. Was that even remotely mentioned to me? Again, hell no. All good reasons to be very angry at my original surgeon.

But, (and Dr. M is going to be annoyed with me for writing this), I am not a snowflake carried on the winter wind wherever it wills. I am a person with the ability to manage my own healthcare and I let my own self down. During all of these years of pain I assumed that I was the faulty one, so I didn’t delve too deeply into what might actually be wrong. But even dipping a toe into the internet within a year of my procedure I would have found this article.

But (again), you know, I did try to find out what was wrong. I went to the orthopedic office two years after my surgery (after my surgeon had retired) & asked why I had so much pain when I bent forward 90 degrees or more. And the basic response was “meh.”

So, I’m conflicted. Angry. Sad. Exponentially annoyed. And come Monday I get a big ass needle to the hip, which seems a very poor way to treat someone with so many issues. The biggest sigh ever.

Here – enjoy this picture of Roy. It cheered me right up. 


  1. I'm not ready to make nice mad, yeppers...

  2. On the other hand, I would like to give a shout-out to the Almighty...TBTG that we got moved to NC and found a surgeon and team that told us up front what we are facing. The price of getting the best available is that we have to wait our turn, but we think we are in good hands with this team. Prayers for patience appreciated.

  3. Love and prayers and bad vibes to the choctor (charlatan doctor) who did this to you. And yes, you are an adult who can manage your own health care, but don't take responsibility for this. It's on him!

  4. DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF!!!! Good heavens.

  5. If I gained anything from my years as a medical social worker, it was a pretty clear-eyed view of doctors. Most are dedicated, caring, and skilled. A few are inattentive, arrogant jerks who think their patients are barely sentient. So: thank God you got to someone who'll treat you with dignity, skill, and (we certainly hope) great success.

    You've reminded me of one of my favorite stories:

    A fellow died and went to heaven. St. Peter was showing him around when they met another man on the heavenly highway, dressed in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck. "Who's that?" asked the newcomer to heaven. "Jonas Salk?" "Naw," said St. Peter. "That's God. He likes to play doctor now and then."

  6. AS others have said, thank God you now have some good doctors. And it seems to me the old guy, even though he's now retired, should have some responsibility for his poor work. That's all I'll say about that.

  7. So sorry about your looong journey with pain!

  8. So sorry to hear what you're going through. Getting older is a BI*&#!

  9. Oh, hell.

    All of That is just terrible. Here's to things getting All Better, and Fast!

  10. What Nance said.

    I can say only as a long-time RN and the spouse/caregiver for a man who has had FOUR total hip replacements that you will be able to face whatever comes your way. I'm sure Mike will let go of his anger before long. My husband's first implant BROKE into two pieces after three years, requiring removal and replacement and associated with multiple complications to the extent that another replacement was required the next year.

    This is not written to minimize your problems and pain, but to give you some reassurance that this, too shall pass away. Think forward and let the past lay in the past. Hard to do but once you set your mind to it...

  11. I get more & more disappointed in the medical community we have anymore. its like its all going to hell in a handbasket.
    Praying for some relief for you.
    My dad has had both hips replaced & he's still in so much pain, he's going back to the doctor tomorrow to get it looked at AGAIN. Hip pain is some tough stuff.

  12. omg Dana, what a fucked up mess. your old doctor must have been senile. good thing he retired before he caused any more damage. I am very skeptical of doctors especially the ones that won't listen to you and think they know everything. your condition seems to have deteriorated so quickly I am surprised your new doctor put off the surgery for so many months. what was the reason for that? I wouldn't want a big ass needle stuck in my hip. wouldn't it be obvious if it was infected in there, like a fever and inflammation? well, as they have said, this will pass and you'll get your new hip but next time you go to a doctor about something, listen to your misgivings and if the doctor won't talk to you about them, find a new doctor. some of them are just in it for the money or prestige or they just don't keep up.

  13. Argh. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I can't blame you for being apprehensive about the needle. Hopefully they'll minimize any discomfort you'll feel. Who knows why doctors do what they do -- they're human too and they sometimes make bad choices. It's always easy, looking back, to see how you or the doctor could have taken an alternate route, but looking forward from the point of decision it's never that clear. I'm sorry you've had to suffer. Please let us know what happens. (I know you will, as a fellow oversharer. :) )

  14. Ugh...this whole scenario is getting more and more bizarre. I agree with what Scott said - that original doctor should have some responsibility.

    Looking forward, I hope that all the right things will happen and you can put this behind you soon (and successfully!). You certainly have my best wishes and prayers.

  15. I can understand why Mike is angry. It's horrible to feel helpless in this situation - wanting to help but not being able to fix things.
    Hoping the big needle does some good.

  16. I am so sorry. I know how it is to get the wrong doctor. I had a doozy for my cardio guy, but it feels good when you find the right one. My thoughts are with you. I hope you can put this behind you and build on good health for the future.


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