Friday, April 9, 2010

What a way to start off the weekend...

I woke up this morning in pain. This time, it is the very upper portion of my back--my hump--as I lovingly refer to it. My back problems began there years ago when I was in junior high. At the time, we all thought that it was a mentally provoked problem because I have NEVER had any confidence in myself. Back then, only my family and people considerably older or younger than me were able to appreciate me. So, it made perfectly good sense that that was my problem.

Through the years, the problem got worse and worse. Nothing seemed to help it. My self-confidence has improved somewhat but the disorder did not. Finally, on May 23rd of 2002, we found out the TRUE cause of my problem. I had just had my heart surgery and my aorta and a heart tube of mine had had to be replaced. Since the doctors had no idea what had caused them to fail and for an aneurisym to form, the surgeon hand delivered them to a pathologist in the Denver hospital where the surgery had been performed. Come to find out, the VERY rare disease, Tachyasus, was found to have atacked my body. To my knowledge, only my brain and heart have been affected so far.

When my doctors investigated the not-so-well known disease, they discovered that one of the first outward symptoms is a humped back. Great!!! Now we know what caused it! Now what do we do to correct the problem??? Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do to stop it from happening except for a rod to be surgically implanted in my spine but that procedure is definitely NOT recommended for me!!! Because of the fact that my mechanical heart valve is very sensitive, I must spend the rest of my life on blood thinners so that no clots form around or in it. The clots would cause a heart attack or stroke. Not my idea of a good time! Mechanical heart valves are a fairly new creation. No one knows for sure how long they will last. So far, some have been around for 25 years and are still ticking away. I was 40-years-old when mine was installed. So I should be 65 at the earliest before it needs to be replaced. At that time, it would be up to me to choose another mechanical valve or a hog's heart valve. The reason that I could not opt for the hog's valve then was because I was too young for it. It would not have lasted more than several years. So, I would have had to go through the same operation sooner than later. Believe me, I don't want to go through that again anytime too soon!!! The pain was ATROCIOUS and the weakness lasted way too long as far as I am concerned.

Because of the fact that I live on blood thinners (along with a BUNCH of other daily prescription drugs), surgery is not as easy a thing for me as it is for most other people. For instance, a few years ago, it was decided that my gall bladder had to be removed before gangreen took it over. Most people could have had that done in Garden City. Not me. No one would have touched me there. I had to go back to Denver and my heart doctor had to be present throughout the whole thing and during my recovery period.

So, anyway, I just have to deal with the occassional pain and the fact that I don't look so great in my clothes! LOL!!!


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