By BJ Reyes
"So far, everything's coming up negative."†
And with those words from my doctor's office, the second surgery is on!
It's ben 10 -- TEN!! -- long weeks with this spacer in, but hopefully the massive doses of antibiotics delivered to my leg both through the temporary femur and the intravenous line have done the trick. But the samples of fluid withdrawn from my knee and hip have come up negative, i.e., no bacteria has shown up, so that's as good an indication as any that we are progressing and this long, surgically-imposed isolation can end!
I think I may have mentioned it previously, but surgery sucks! However, in this case I'm looking forward to it, because if it goes well and they do not encounter any surprises, then it will be the last surgery ever needed to deal with this infection. Not to mention, this new knee/hip/femur prosthesis will be the state of the art 2013 model, replacing the vintage 1985 hardware that saved my life from cancer back in the day.
This surgery will essentially be a repeat of the procedure from Sept. 25, but they will replace what they take out with the new hardware. It is expected to last 5-7 hours, depending on what they find. There still is the chance that when they go in they find traces of the bacteria that don't look right. If that happens, we may have to start over from the beginning, with a new spacer and a new, different course of antibiotics. But let's not think about that possibility, however remote.
So far, all has gone according to plan *knocks on wood* and my surgeon says he does not expect to encounter anything out of the ordinary.
The surgery, of course, is only the first obstacle of Phase II. Afterward begins the long, arduous journey to mobility and functionality that hasn't taken place at this level since 1985. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but if the surgery and recovery for this spacer is any indication, the rehab should go smoothly.
Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. While there won't be a live online stream of the procedure, I'll try to provide an update here once I'm able. You could also follow my Twitter feed, @BionicReporter, which I'll try to keep updated while recovering in the hospital.
† - For anyone who's wondering how I reacted to the news, click here.