The good news. The doctor is optimistic that my spleen can be repaired and saved. The bad news. He's a surgeon. And I need surgery to repair the damage. I am scheduled for next Tuesday, May 3. Two days after Anika's birthday. So while she talks noisemakers and party hats, I try not to worry about complications and reactions and recovery. Quite a juggling act. If you've read for awhile, you know that I discovered problems with my spleen last September. No one sees any connection with CMT. It seems to be a random, co-existing challenge. Right now, the doctors think I had an injury, either recent or years ago, that injured the spleen and it never healed properly. This type of problem happens a lot for athletes (ha) or after car accidents. But I don't remember any rough landing or impact. Who knows?
Anyway, for those just hearing the story. I scheduled a routine physical late last summer. I'm great at my yearly neurology appointements, I thought. Not so good at physical checkups. My bloodwork was wacky and my doctor could feel an enlarged spleen. We tried a less invasive solution but that didn't work. So now we need to solve the problem once and for all.
I'm just grateful to get some closure. And I'm grateful that we signed up for COBRA coverage at a major expense to our family budget. We hoped that it would stay asymtomatic until summer, but it's getting worse. I have constant pain in my side now, like I've run a mile and have a stitch in my side (though I can't remember the last time I ran a mile :)). I'm taking my meds to manage this ache more than my arthritis right now.
And of course I am completely overwhelmed. They think at least three days in the hospital. Maybe four, because any splenic surgery requires monitoring blood levels closely for awhile afterwards. Anika will not like that. She still complains about the one night I was gone when Ian was born. And Ian's only spent one night away from me, once. So it will be a big challenge for them.
Even though I have chronic health problems and have had surgery recommended a number of times for my high arches, I've never had a surgery. I'm a little freaked out about it all. I just keep breathing deep and trusting in quick healing :).
On the positive side, my co-teacher can be my substitute in class, hooray. I will be away from work for at least two weeks. And I'll get to be back for our Pater Pan show and the end-of-the-year festivities. I get my summertime.
And it's fixable. That's where I keep returning. This is totally fixable. And when you live with a disease that isn't fixable (like my CMT), you really appreciate fixable problems. Worst case scenario, they may have to take out the spleen if it's damaged beyond repair. But it hasn't been working right for who knows how long. And quite a few people live long, healthy lives without a spleen. I'll just get flu shots and be careful about infection. I don't have a choice, really. I can't go on like this.
And perhaps some of my CMT problems can be helped by getting my wacky blood levels back on track. I'm hoping :)
I'll keep updating here. Thank you for your good thoughts! Everything will be just fine, I'm sure. Better to know and fix things than to pretend they aren't there :)