As we all know, last Wednesday I posted my pity post of frustration. Nothing was going right at that point. I just needed a day or two to vent, be sad, frustrated, and what not. That evening I had gotten the CT Scan done. I was told that the surgeon would call me with the results the next day. Let me remind you that I was fully prepared for the following: The scan would not show anything, the next step would be to kill the nerve around the rib, that experiment would fail, and I would be left with nothing. Even during the meeting with the surgeon, he said if the CT Scan showed something he would maybe consider operating, but that was not even a high chance that his consideration would turn into a yes. So what an unbelievable surprise when the call came and it was the complete opposite of how I thought.
The radiology report came back normal. There was nothing out of the ordinary or anything to bring alarm. It was a healthy normal looking scan. However, the Surgeon for some reason studied the scan some more. His eyes saw something. He called the radiologist to come look at the scan with him to make sure he was not seeing things. Sure enough, the radiologist agreed. There was an abnormality on my rib. The 7th rib on the left side showed up thicker than the right. There was no muscle or tissue swelling, it was the cartilage. It was shaped exactly how you see it on the outside of my body. Not only was it thicker, but where the bone and cartilage meet, it does not fit properly. Interestingly enough, the scar from the biopsy 8 years ago did not show up. The conclusion of all this? There is definitely something there on that 7th rib that is not supposed to be there. The surgeon also did more research on SAPHO SYNDROME and found in some cases, when pieces of the bone lesion was cultured, they found bacteria. So an infection living inside the bone. The treatment for that? A heavy duty antibiotic for 6 strait months. Not everyone tested had that issue nor did the antibiotic work for everyone tested.
So why the change of heart from the Surgeon? I do not know honestly. All I can think of is that after researching and seeing me cry as I blew up at him the day before, he felt this was the best option for me. That is only a guess on my part. Yesterday morning we met with him again, to view the scan and to go over what he will be doing. Sure enough I could see on the scan the abnormality. He will not be removing the whole rib. Only that portion where it shows swelling. About 3 to 5 inches of bone and cartilage. He will then still shoot the nerves around the area with nerve blocks and I will still be put on the antibiotic for 6 months. The reason for that is because he cannot see infection. So he can remove the affected area but that does not mean the infection is not spreading down if there is an infection. There is no guarantee this will work. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks. At that point I will know if it worked or not. If it did not work, then they will still go in and kill all the nerves around that area and see if that works.
This is all happening so fast. Just a few days from possibly having surgery to there will be surgery. It is a pretty noninvasive procedure. Risk for bleeding is low, not around any vital organs, and where he will be going in, there is not a lot of muscle or tissue to go through. He wanted to see the scar from the biopsy. He was surprised at its location. Now, he did not say out right or in so many words, but what he did say left us with the impression that when they did the biopsy years ago, they got the wrong rib. Our other theory is that this abnormality has been there all along and because there was nothing really obvious like a tumor or something, it went unnoticed by other radiologists.
In any case, it showed up now. The surgery that I have wanted and felt it needed to happen for so long is finally happening. If it does not work then at least that possibility will be closed. If it does work then wonderful. If it comes back somewhere else then we have a better idea of how to treat or prevent from getting worse. Like I mentioned before this will be an outpatient procedure. So any and all visitors are welcome to visit me at my parents place. Bring Diet Dr. Peppers and Chips if do. Just kidding. Just come and visit. I would love visitors. Even if it is only for 2 minutes.
I cannot even describe to you the feelings of joy that I am having. This is proof and such testament that prayers do get answered. I have waited 10 years for some kind of help. The countless prayers from others on my behalf, I thank you. It worked. Never ever doubt that God hears you or answers prayers. Because I am proof right now that he does. It was not on my time line but it was on his. This is the miracle I have been waiting for to know either way. Everything has fallen into place so perfectly. Including insurance. That is another miracle in and of itself. Autoimmune diseases are tricky. This SAPHO SYNDROME is tricky. I am about to embark on a new health journey with this disease. I will continue to update the recovery and any changes that may occur. There is still the dizziness, hand closing, and other issues. Will that go away once the rib is fixed? Who knows. Is there something else going on as well? Perhaps. They are all things I can handle at a better rate if the biggest crippling part can be fixed. So stay on this journey with me. Never lose faith in whatever struggle you may be going through.
Miracles happen. They exist. Never ever give up on yourself. Keep fighting. If you have a bad day, have it and then pick yourself back up again like I did. You never know when the answer to your prayers will come but they will. Thank you to everyone for all the love and support. The donations have been so helpful. Your continued support through all of this is truly amazing. My focus of prayer now is that this procedure will work. I have faith that it will. I am not scared to have this done. I feel completely at ease. That only tells me more, that this is the right thing to do. I know that the surgery pain is going to hurt like a beast. I recall that pain just from the biopsy 8 years ago. But I know the only thing I will be out if this does not work is a few days of more intense different pain. That is it. Pain is nothing new to me so I know I can handle it.
So if there are questions that did not seem to be answered in this post then make a comment with your question and I will try to answer it. The most important part of all this is that my miracle is happening and it is all thanks to your love, prayers, and support. Thank you will never be enough to express how much it has meant to me.
Now it is time to turn on the road of a new medical journey. Bring on the ups and downs.