Monday, March 17, 2014

A debilitating sneeze

I had just gotten Lex to sleep on Thursday night when I felt a really powerful sneeze coming on.  I wanted to do my best to not wake her up, so I did everything I could to restrain it.  Once I did sneeze, I felt my bad ribs pop and move around like crazy.  Needless to say, I've been in almost debilitating pain ever since, and have not been getting much sleep.  If I had to rate the pain, I'd call it a seven or an eight, and you have to keep in mind that I have a very high threshold for pain.  I can't get comfortable unless I'm sitting up, and then it has to be on something soft like the couch...not the best way to sleep.
This made us decide to do some research on possible corrections.  One thing we found is that there are very few surgeons that will actually re-do the procedure I had on adults.  And of course we also found that in general, insurance companies won't cover it, and the procedure runs $10,000-$30,000.  We don't know if a complete re-do would be necessary, because we were having trouble finding surgeons who even had any idea of what they might be able to do for the pain, and the one we did find was a quack and a half.  Once I'm insured again, we will renew the search.
Also in our research we began to wonder if my procedure had been screwed up.  Even all those years ago, it was typical for a surgeon to insert a bar to support the sternum, and given that I had the worst case my surgeon had ever seen, I'm forced to wonder why this bar wasn't inserted.  Yes, it would have been another procedure two years later, but maybe that would have helped me avoid all the pain I'm in now.  I'm sure no doctor will say that because they'd worry that I'd sue my surgeon, but he wasn't all that young at the time of the procedure, so I'm not even sure if he's still with us.
For now, I just have to try to deal with the pain.  The 800 mg of Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours just isn't doing the trick anymore.  No matter what, this is an awful place to be, and so far we haven't found anyone that might be able to help me out of it.

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