Writing – Update – Health Blues

Update

Don’t worry, I’m still writing new material for the e-Sc@pe universe. It’s not happening as fast as I would like it to. Life has thrown me a few curve balls with my health. I’m learning to deal with life from a wheelchair. I’m writing a separate journal with notes about that as well. Maybe one day I can turn that into a (rather funny) book or something. Writing about it keeps me from becoming completely depressed about it.

Health

Anywho, about my health… long story short, I have avascular necrosis in both hips. The docs don’t know the cause, but I need to get my hips replaced. I’ve also got bursitis in both hips. (I thought only old people got this stuff…) I get my health care through the Veterans Administration, so getting anything done takes a while. Fortunately in this case, they decided to outsource me, so it’s just tons of paperwork to wade through, constantly writing out forms, etc….

I had one surgery on my left hip called “core decompression with a vascularized bone graft” in an attempt to save it, as it wasn’t as damaged as my right hip. At the time of the surgery it was determined the right hip would need to be replaced, it was just a matter of when. But we had a shot with the left one, so I agreed to it.

Basically they took a bone graft along with some attached blood vessels from the iliac crest from my left pelvis, then drilled a hole into my left hip and hollowed out a little chamber, removing dead bone from the inside. Then they shoved the bone graft into that hole, and attached those blood vessels to the rest of my circulatory system, causing the chamber to fill with blood. Then they squirted some stem cells in there that they had harvested from my own blood earlier in the procedure to speed up the healing process, and sewed me back up. All in all, it was a painful surgery compared to past surgeries. The site where they took the bone graft from hurt more than anything else.

I was out of work for a week, so I did get some writing done. Though a lot of it was incoherent due to the pain meds, and pretty much useless…

About two months after the surgery, I had a bout with Shingles that involved several dermatomes. That is by far the most painful virus I have ever experienced in my life. It hurt worse than the surgery I had just had! I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. It left behind numerous scars that will probably never go away.  Fortunately, a few weeks before that happened, the VA began outsourcing me to a pain management clinic of my choosing due to the various pain meds all these docs had been putting me on.

My last visit with the orthopedic surgeon revealed the previous core decompression surgery was a failure. But they don’t want to go forward on any more surgery planning until they are sure I’m completely over the Shingles. So until then it’s take X-rays every 3 months to monitor the de-generation.

The pain management clinic is giving me nerve blocks and has me on a pain patch. If the hip surgeon delays too long, the pain management clinic will perform a procedure where they will go in and burn some nerves in my hips to ease the pain. If that works, I may not have to wear the pain patch for 6 – 12 months. Those nerves do grow back, just very slowly. Personally, I just wish they’d hurry up and replace the hips while I’m young enough to enjoy walking. I find all of it very frustrating.

Writing

Anywho, the important thing is I’m still writing. So don’t give up on me! The short story I started out writing to fill in the gap until the sequel to the first novel is finished has gotten a bit longer than I intended. I need to do a bit of trimming on that, but hopefully I’ll hand it over to my editor soon. Once I get to that point with it, things should start picking up.

I’m also involved in a collaboration project with a friend of mine. I can’t really say much about it yet, but as soon as I can, I’ll post about it here, including links, etc.