To Laugh or Cry?


Yesterday I had a really interesting appointment with my Orthopaedic Surgeon.

 An interesting appointment indeed! It was one of those when you just don’t know whether to laugh or cry. My husband and I have a great relationship with my Surgeon and he knows I understand the ins and outs of my bone disease as well as he does..Basically neither of us or the rest of my medical team have a clue what’s going on and there we have it…the reason for not knowing whether to laugh or cry!

So the short version of a longer story is that I discovered yesterday that my x-rays on my broken femur, taken a week ago, show that the bone graft surgery I had 5 months ago in an effort to encourage my non healing broken femur to kick into healing mode, has completely dissolved. The bone has disappeared. It should have adhered to the broken bone and helped it to heal. X-rays 3 months ago clearly show it was there, clinging to the broken bone but now… leg looks as broken as it did 21 months ago with no evidence  that any attempt at a bone graft ever existed.

Not good news and my Surgeon is scratching his head. This idiopathic bone disease is just crazy.

We did confirm though that the surgery 3 months ago to place the rod in my other leg was definitely needed. He explained there was a fracture in there that hadn’t shown on the MRI that was ready to snap my leg like the other one did. The only evidence that something was wrong with the leg was my pain levels and  the MRI  showing  Bone Marrow infiltration due to the bone disease, so we are so glad we acted on that before another major emergency erupted. He also told me that the right leg has dead bone through the entire length of the femur. He explained it will take another 6 months at least for me to recover from the onslaught of all the surgeries & that my body is constantly draining as it tries to heal which is leaving me in a  state of constant exhaustion. Nice to know there is a reason for that at least!

Of course on top of basic surgery healing tiredness, we have to factor in the ongoing battle with the bone disease, its unknown prognosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. My RA is in a massive flare due to stopping a range of meds in the hope that doing so might have had a positive effect on bone healing. It hasn’t, so I will be spending the next few months getting my RA medication up to speed again. Hopefully that will mean on some level there will be some pain relief in sight and that any side effects from starting the drugs again will be short lived.

Back to the bones….My Surgeon now needs time to have a good think about what to do with my non healing break. The main danger at the moment is that the existing rod in the left leg could snap under the strain of supporting a break for over 21 months and counting.  However I am physically not strong enough for more surgery so we both agreed to wait for another 6 months before any further intervention to give me time to heal & have a holiday from it all. I need that emotionally more than anything else. I am just so so tired. Oh, did I mention I was tired??? 

 While I’m not happy with my body and this rampant bone disease, I am relieved not to be going under the knife for a while. My crutches will continue to be my friends  for the next 6 month.

So to laugh or cry…it’s a bit of both but I’m determined not to lose my sense of humour. Laughter just feels so good, don’t you think?

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