Yesterday, I had my post-op with Dr. Shukla and Davis. I got to say goodbye to my “saddle bag” bandage and see the incision. It looks good (I’ll put photos and the xrays at the end, so if you don’t want to see them, don’t scroll down :-).
Yesterday was a celebration, a graduation, into a whole new chapter of my life. I finally have solid, strong, even hips under me for the first time and the cable that has held me back is gone! If I’m careful about what I do, these hips should last me for life. I hugged both Dr. Shukla and Davis and told them how very grateful I am to them for giving me my life and my body back. I couldn’t keep myself from tearing up, didn’t want to. For me, this is a miracle and I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do as I strengthen my right leg and restore balance to a body which has never been balanced on a solid foundation. I can already do so much more than I could two weeks ago. It was fun to be able to show them! (I promise I’ll make a new video after my physical therapy so you can see too.)
I also talked with them about the cable. I saw Davis first and gave him a printout of my last entry on all the changes I’d seen within a few days of its removal. I pulled out the brochure for the Kinamed SuperCable, which I’d given him after my second hip replacement, when I knew it was the cable that had been my problem with the first replacement.
Then he made my day with a wonderful piece of news: “We found something even better–flatter, smaller and smoother.” He drew a picture for me of the small, flat clasp that holds the new cerclage cable together. He explained that the challenge he and Dr. Shukla face is convincing operating rooms and implant manufacturers to provide these superior cabling systems. He asked if he could use the information on the changes I had seen when it was removed and refer to my blog when they are advocating for the newer system. Absolutely! Then, I would feel like my suffering has not been in vain and that this blog could be of value in preventing suffering for others. These cerclage cables are used in many orthopedic surgeries, not just in hip replacements.
I asked how often they have to remove them. He explained that most people are not bothered by the older cables, except for people who are more slender, fit and body aware. “But, yours was the second one we’ve removed in 4 months.” He also told me my cable had loosened and that’s why it gave me more problems over time.
Then I saw Dr. Shukla and we also talked about the cable. I told him I was so happy to hear that they are using a new system and trying to make it more available. I said, “It’s an insult to your beautiful work to put this cable in on top of it.” He nodded, smiled and blushed. He too requested permission to use my blog as a case study to advocate for change and possibly create a link for other Reno Orthopedic Clinic patients.
We wrapped it up with hugs and good wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for!
I went home and immediately felt a rush of relief. I realized I’d been bracing myself for the conversation about the cable. I wanted to express my concerns and implore them to change systems. But, more importantly, I wanted them to know how much I appreciated their skillful work which restored my body and gave me my life back.
How great it was to hear that they had already changed! This is how good medicine and strong doctor-patient relationships should be. We work together towards better and better outcomes. Every time I have a surgery, they have some new innovation which has made my life easier. For example, the DVT icing/compression unit I received for my second replacement and the Prevena bandage system used on this incision. I feel so fortunate to have doctors who listen and make changes based on what they hear from their patients.
Feeling heard is truly a salve for heart and soul. I cried and laughed and danced with joy and relief for the rest of the afternoon. I’m BACK! (Well, mostly, still have some rehab to do… I’ll keep you posted on that as I go along.)
Ok, here’s show and tell:
I thought you might like to see photos of my amazing surgical team…
God Bless the two of you! Thanks for saving my butt! See you in a year!