I finally had an appointment with an Army Doc yesterday. I fought hard to get this appointment, and it was even with an oral surgeon-it was with a periodontist. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure she's a great person and an amazing doctor, but seriously, I spent the last 2 years in the care of oral surgeons, and now I get a periodontist. Ok. Fine. Whatever.
The doc started off asking a question about my surgery, and I said, "Which one? There's been three." At that point he told me to just go ahead and tell him the history. So I did.
Then we got to the point where he looked at my xray, and said, "That's a large defect, we'll have to do a bone graft, probably from your hip since it's such a large area."
I have to say, I was not very encouraged. I mean, I knew that I needed to have another bone graft, but in my head, I was doing the Dr. Closmann way, where you know.. you just go in there and do a graft. Not seriously considering the issues of it. But to hear the meekness in the doctor's voice, and to hear him say, "large defect," just wasn't very comforting you know?
I tried to make my point very clear. I was not for having another hip graft. My last one was in Mar '10 and it took a year to get to a point of being able to run without pain. A little more than a year. I'm stationed with the Army now, and although I'm not going to go try Airborne school or anything like that... I would still like to FUNCTION and deploy. So I told him in order of ranking, I prefer cadaver bone, BMP (bone morphogenic protein), and then the hip graft. Or at least the BMP and hip graft were a close second. BMP is questionable right now, it's not been tested on women who have had kids afterwards. They say you can't get pregnant the first year after having it put in, but after that... no one has tried it really. Or at least published it. Rabbits who had kids the first year of a graft, had fetuses with bone abnormalities...
The doc mentioned going down to Vanderbilt University, which is about an hour away from here. At first I had no preference, I just want to get taken care of. Then he asked if I was opposed to having another incision on the outside of my neck, again-whatever. I just don't want staples again.
Needless to say, I left the appointment frustrated. The doctor really wanted to do a hip graft, I really didn't want to. And he didn't seem very confident in his ability to do my case, when I asked him how many ameloblastoma patients he had, he's had none in the last four years. :/
Plus side, he gave me some more flexiril as I was about to run out of mine from Hawaii. He said he'd call me in about 5days.
Marcus met me at the clinic and we talked in the car. I cried. I didn't know if I could go through with this... AGAIN. I didn't know what to do. I felt so against the hip graft, what if that was the only option. I didn't know what to choose.
The more I thought about it, I didn't know. Would our God ask me to voluntarily say yes to more pain? Why would I have to go through this, again? When would it ever end?
Some things popped into my head. Not sure if it's God or not... but these were the thoughts.
Why? Why so much all over again.
-Job went his whole life NOT knowing why all those bad things happened to him. He didn't know how much God loved his heart and his commitment. Job never got to read the first two chapters of Job during his lifetime.
Fine. I don't need to know why. But seriously...
A song came on while I was driving home, "no matter what's in front of me, still I will sing hallelujah."
Can I still sing hallelujah (praise God) knowing what is ahead of me? Potentially another hip graft? One that takes a long time to heal?
I don't want a hip graft, the pain-even though other people heal fine, I did not...
-Let Me show you good I can be.
I tried to believe how good You could be. The first time I believed in a miracle, that I would be healed... and then the second time...and third- but where were You? Where was that miracle? There was none.
During worship at church... a song came on that reminded me of home (Hawaii).
"At the cross you, beckon me. Bring me humbly, to my knees...and I am, lost for words so, lost in love. I'm sweetly broken-wholly surrendered..."
I dropped to my knees and cried.
Would You really ask me to walk through the fire with You?
-What about Shadrach, Mechak, and Abednigo?
(remembering a song from Shane & Shane..."Burn us up" They say, "You are able to deliver from the fire of affliction, it's the declaration of my Lord...but even if You don't..."
I don’t know what to do. I got a call back from the doctor, he’s going to refer me to Vanderbilt, so for sure I’ll be getting treatment down there. Now I just wait for them to call me so I can schedule an appointment. The plus side is it’s supposed to be a really awesome medical treatment place…so I can’t really complain. It’ll tack on two hours to my drive to my appointments (there and back), but- it should be good.
The scary thing is, what if they’re willing to give me BMP. Then what? What do I choose? If they seriously give me the choice- hip graft, cadaver bone, BMP—which one do I go with? It will take serious prayer and seeking the Lord in this matter. Each one has its own pros and cons… each one requires faith.
+ Most likely to be accepted by the body
- Another area of major pain and healing
+ No second surgical site that requires healing
- Not as high a chance of acceptance from the body for grafting
+ No second surgical site
+ Quick healing and regeneration of bone
- No studies on how it affects women who have had children after surgery (within or after the first year)