If you were to meet my husband and I for the first time without knowing anything about us, you would probably form the opinion that we are a classic example of opposites attracting. He is talkative and hilarious in social situations, making everyone around him feel comfortable. This is really a huge part of why I married him, because I am reserved and sometimes awkward around new people, and I find it hard to make new friends. I like to bring him places as a kind of security blanket.
After meeting us, you might be surprised to find out that he’s actually a very private person. Too bad he married a blogger. I might keep quiet around large groups, but get me one on one and I’ll tell you my life story if you ask. I’d also tell you my husband’s life story if he’d let me – okay, sometimes I do anyway. I’m not embarrassed to talk about our struggles, because I figure we all have them and I could definitely use the support.
Anyway, I try to show David that I love him in many ways, and one of them is by NOT writing about him too often here. Or at least when I do write about him, it’s about how great he is – which is completely true, of course. But today he gave me the go-ahead to tell you about something we are going through that involves him, because it affects every part of our lives. Right now I can’t really think about anything else, so it was either this or nothing.
The month before David and I got married he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of both hips. What happens in this disease is that the bone dies due to lack of blood flow; it is progressive, irreversible, and incredibly painful. Our honeymoon was the last time I remember being truly active with him, because a couple of months later he had two separate surgeries, one on each hip, to try and halt or slow down the progression of the disease. It worked…for a little while. But there was still pain, and a lot of it.
After the initial two surgeries he decided to see a pain management doctor because the Vicodin that regular doctors can prescribe wasn’t cutting it. Over the last year and a half he has been on at least six different types of narcotics. The pain keeps getting worse, his body becomes tolerant, and there are side effects to consider. Boy oh boy, are there side effects.
The only real solution to his problem is to get his hips replaced. However, hip replacements aren’t permanent, and he’s still young. There is a long recovery and they only last about 30 years right now. His doctor had told him to hold off for as long as possible because a lifetime hip replacement is in development. Plus, there’s the fact that it’s MAJOR surgery, which comes with its own costs and risks, not to mention that it makes him feel like a geriatric.
Well, he held off as long as he could. Over the past week his pain has grown exponentially. He can’t get around without the use of crutches. He feels like he’s not on any pain medicine at all, when just one of the pills that he’s taking would kill me if I took it. Yesterday he went to his orthopedist and it was confirmed: he is having the surgery and as soon as possible.
I’m trying to keep the long-term benefits in mind. How this will bring so much relief to him, how he can wean off the meds and say goodbye to side effects, how he will be able to do so much more things with me, how in the end it will lead to a much happier and healthier home. The surgery makes me nervous, but in general I would be relieved to have it done, if it weren’t for one thing: the timing.
We have a vacation planned for two weeks away, and now we can’t go. I’m really, really sad about this, and David feels terrible. It’s not his fault, of course, and his health comes first. But apparently I thrive on having something to look forward to, and I had been planning this for months. I write about my job here from time to time, but seriously – it’s the kind of job where taking regular breaks is necessary for emotional health & sanity. Instead I’ll be using my time off doing a different kind of nursing. I’ll do it for him gladly, but it’s not exactly the break I was going for.
There are also financial issues to consider, which are unfortunately really stressing me out. Surgery is expensive, and we are scheduled to start fertility treatment next month which isn’t cheap. Then there’s our house refinance that hasn’t gone the way we planned, an issue with his medicine & insurance that resulted in a huge unexpected cost to us, and the consequence of all this is that I’m wallowing home alone without even the energy to make myself a sandwich. Anyone want to come do that for me?
I’m sure this is one of those blessings in disguise. It’s going to be a good thing, and we are going to grow as a couple because of it and when it’s all behind us we’ll be so much happier. Getting to that point, though, isn’t going to be easy.