On November 16, my surgeon agreed to cut out a portion of my rib that day. Previous to that date the CT scan I had done came back as normal. He however, took a second look and found something. He brought in Radiology to confirm and they did. It was supposed to be a simple Outpatient procedure. The surgery part went great, the recovery did not. I was prepared for even worse and a different type of pain but to the extreme at which I felt. So after a few hours of agony, they decided to keep me at the hospital for a few days until I could get on top of the pain. It was absolutely miserable. I had a pain pump hooked for 3 days, but by day 2 I could already tell the difference that removing part of the rib was working. The surgeon came in and told me everything looked normal. The bone looked healthy, so he hoped this procedure worked. It was never a guarantee. By that Thursday my voice had come back. It had been nearly a year since I heard my actual voice. It felt amazing! It also was amazing because I was going home that day. My mom had brought the car to the front, I got out of the wheel chair and just stepped in the car when the phone rang. It was my Doctor telling me to come back to my room because Pathology came back and it was serious.
To the surprise of everyone, Pathology came back with a Staph infection hiding inside my rib bone. It went undetected. No labs showed that any type of infection was going on. The bone was perfectly clean. This news meant that I had to stay at the hospital for a few more days until they knew what type of Staph it was. Some Staph infections are resistant to certain antibiotic's. By that point I was so miserable at the hospital, because I was feeling so wonderful. I was even walking faster than before. It was really hard to stay put when I was doing so much better. However, as soon as they started the antibiotic my dizziness started to get better and my hands and feet were back to normal. I was assigned to an Infectious Disease doctor to take monitor my infection.
Naturally my parents and I had lots of questions. How long has it been there? Has it really been there the past ten years? How do we know if it is gone? The answer to those questions are simply a not sure kind of answer. It is not impossible that it has been there for the past ten years but also seems really unlikely. Then again, I was never a typical patient. So it is a guessing game and a new type of case study because, it went undetected. I was told by both doctors that had they not gone in and removed part of the rib, they never would have found the infection.
Treatment now meant getting a picc line put in and having a continuous antibiotic for six weeks. I figured I could put up with that if it meant I would be better. And I am still feeling better than before however I have had a few bumps down the road to recovery.
The picc line was put into my right arm. It hurt. I could never put it down and the medicine would burn. I also had fevers. After a few weeks of fighting that it was decided I did not have a choice, the picc line had to be moved to my other arm, a blood culture would be done, along with a CT scan. At this point I should not be having fevers. Once they changed the line, my arm was instantly better. I can hardly feel the new one so I know that infection or not, it needed to be changed. Well a week has passed since the change and the fever are still there. So today, they switched the medicine. It will take some time getting used to. The bad part to it is that if this does not bring down my fevers, I am most likely going back into the hospital. I have a few days to get the fever down. On top of that, I can feel a flare coming back in my rib. Farther down the line.
With all this new info, it would be easy for some to feel discouraged or disappointed. Did I expect to feel better than I am? Certainly. But I also know my body and I know when it is telling me something is not right. So no, I am not discouraged or disappointed. Regardless of what happens health wise I am eternally grateful to my surgeon for a taking a chance on me. Because of him, my life was brought back. Even though it may be a small portion of it, he still helped in giving me a miracle that I desperately needed. I know more than ever that prayer are answered on the Lord's time. I know that miracles do exist. I am proof. So how can I be discouraged or get down on myself that I am not making much progress when I was given a miracle? I cannot. I will not. My faith cannot be shaken. Each day I learn something new. I am grateful for those learning experiences.
Right now my body is trying to tell me something. I will do all that I can to keep fighting to be well. I am no good at fighting if I have already accepted defeat with my discouragement and disappointment. I know that I have been very blessed so I will keep fighting to be deserving of those blessings.