By BJ Reyes
For anyone who is particularly interested in what the past five months have been like, you are cordially invited to watch this very poor quality, 40-minute video that is mostly darkness, with below-average audio:
Production qualities aside, the video is of a presentation I gave to the Kiwanis Club of Olmsted Falls, Ohio. One of its members, a former English teacher at my high school, asked me to give a presentation on health and medical issues that I cover in this blog, but also to talk about the recovery process from the various surgeries I've endured. As best as I can recall, it's been 18 surgeries total, including the four in 2013 (three on the leg, plus the thyroidectomy).
Good luck trying to make out the PowerPoint presentation, but here was perhaps the key slide† from it:
There you can see the evolution of the artificial femur. At the far left, you see what the hardware looked like at the beginning of this five-month journey. September 2013 is an image of the antibiotic spacer that was placed to kill the infection. And the December 2013 image is what it looks like now, with the state-of-the-art prosthesis.‡ (The image of my left leg is there simply for comparison purposes.)
If you can somehow get through all 40 minutes of that video, the point I'm trying to make is that surgery does not have to be a terrible experience. There are ways to adjust, cope and come out better. Among the keys is communicating with doctors every step of the way.
With any luck, I may be able to give this presentation again, and if that ever happens, I'll try to be armed with better audio-visual equipment =)
† - This is actually a variation of the actual slide, which contained an image that may or may not have been copyright protected.
‡ - For anyone wondering, yes, it sets off the metal detectors at the airport, federal buildings and courthouses.