Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pain Sucks

As promised, here is the bad news I was talking about a couple of posts ago.  For those of you who don't know, Jessica has a horrible right knee.  To be more specific, she has a degenerative joint disorder.  Not much she could have done to prevent this, it's just part of genetics.  But this genetic misfortune has led to her having basically zero cartilage in her her knee so that she is bone on bone.  Imagine your bones rubbing against each other with nothing to cushion them and occasionally, they even catch on each other.  It's horrible just to type and she is the one that has to live with it, while working 12 hour shifts as a nurse who is always on her feet.  It sucks and she lives in constant pain.  She has been dealing with it for a couple of years now and even went to a couple of doctors who misdiagnosed her.  It wasn't until about a year and a half ago that we found a great doctor who found out the true cause and came up with a treatment plan.  So, a little over a year ago, she started the process towards a better knee.  Step one was a minor surgery where they went in and scraped some of the cells around her knee so that they could be shipped to Boston to grow.  That surgery kept her out of work for about 6 weeks. 

So, a little over a year later, she was ready for step two.  The cells were grown so that the cartilage being inserted into her knee were her own cells and not something they got from a cadaver.  After all, what better to insert in your body than your own cells, even if they were grown in a lab.  Why so long after the first surgery was the second?  Well, this second surgery was to keep her out of work for up to 6 months and it takes a long time to build up that much time off.  We were all ready to have the surgery, to start Jess on the road to living a pain-free life, even though the recovery promised to be long and arduous.  However, the day before surgery, we got a call that the cells, in their final step of growing, did not grow as needed in time (it was something that needed to be done right before surgery) and the surgery would have to be cancelled.  She was DEVASTATED.  Imagine constant pain, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and having it taken away at the last moment.  It was even hard for me to take so I can't imagine her feelings.

So where do we sit now?  Well, they are trying that last step a second time and seeing if it works this time.  The rep from the company talked to her on Monday and said in his 9 years with the company, he has never seen it not work so Jessica was a first for him.  I am sure she is not happy about having that distinction.  But for now, we keep fingers crossed that this second attempt works and in 11 more days, we are supposed to find out if we are on track to give this surgery a second try.  If we are on track in 11 days, we will have another 2-6 weeks for the actual surgery and in that time, we give it a go that nothing goes wrong.  Until then, we just sit, wait, and hope.  She doesn't deserve to be in pain like this.

Until then, I guess I will just keep kissing that knee and hope it does something to ease the pain.

March 22nd, 2011 - Day 81


Miss Sassy Pants said...

I've dealt with a lot of loss and disappointment in my life, but I think Sunday night's call topped them all. I was devastated; like you said, to have relief in sight then to have it ripped away... Living in pain every single day gets old real quick and really wears on you. I can't remember life without being in pain. It's something I'd like to experience soon. This photo is a wonderful depiction of how loving and supportive you are each and every day. I am so thankful for you - I could NEVER survive this without you.

Tara said...

I am so sorry.

I'm going to cross my fingers too, and I hope this second time around is successful!

Nani said...

Hoping and praying for the best possible outcome Jess. Hugs, Nani

laura b. said...

Can't even imagine what that must be like. Awful.

I know that if wishes were horses then beggars would ride and all that...but still sending good thoughts that the second push is successful.

Mom said...

What a beautiful way you wrote this Manuel, with so much love and respect for MY daughter-in-law.

I have seen first hand how much pain she is in and I am so sorry this didn't work (this time).

Beautiful picture. You can absolutely see the love in your eyes while kissing her knee.

Love you both!

Churlita said...

So sorry to hear that. I hope it works the second time. Being in pain all the time sucks. Sweet pic, though.