Friday, September 28, 2012

If you could, would you choose the same path?

These questions has been swirling inside my brain for the past few weeks.  The question of, "If I could, would I have the surgery again?" or "Do you wish you had the surgery sooner?" and "Would you advise your surgery for another person?"  My simple answer...yes.

I definitely would choose surgery again, and I do wish I would have had surgery sooner despite the pain, frustration, tears (oh so many tears), and feeling like an broken unanswered science project; I feel better- not great but better.  I wouldn't even blink or skip a heart beat, I would do it all over.  Would I listen to my heart more saying have the surgery, your friends and family will understand eventually, definitely.  I spent so much time going back and forth, thinking about the pros and cons, asking myself did I do everything in my power to be better, and how much longer can you hide/overcome the pain.  I remember thinking, what would it be like if I died on the operating table or  had to have a chest tube; would the world that I lived in change - maybe?  I was terrified of dying and I was disappointed in myself for agreeing with those who said I had given up, said I was weak.  My heart was heavy, my body hurt, and my mind - my mind was tired; tired of focusing on something that was only getting worse.

My PT told me yesterday, you know it is really hard to decide lets remove a rib from my body, let alone 2 a young age.  I'm glad you got the surgery, I'm happy you don't cry during the entire PT session anymore and I can see you smile.  I couldn't agree more!  When is the right time in your life to say, "Enough is Enough.  I'm done, I've tried everything in my power and I keep  getting worse" - you'll know that moment when you get there.  TOS presents itself in a variety of ways, maybe you were born with it, maybe it was caused by repetitive movements, or from a traumatic injury.  Whatever the case may be- surgery is individual, your disease is individual, its misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and mistreated.

My advice for 1st rib resection surgery for TOS is this:  The decision is yours.  Surgery is long, you'll wake up in extreme pain, and recovery is a slow process.  However, you'll see a change in symptoms despite the pain and discomfort that the surgery caused.  There will be highs and there will be lows- hearing others stories will provide comfort and emotional distress (why are they healing faster than me {childish I know, but it's part of the mental game})  

1st rib resection surgery changed my life forever.  I feel my spark coming back to life and am excited what the future holds.  It's been hard.  I still feel broken and freakish some days and I still cry.  It is all part of the process.  I was told to slow down, had I broken my arm I would have just gotten my cast of and Christine you've  had this your entire life, what made you think recovery was going to be immediate without a lot of hard work?  They were right, I got so excited I forgot - surgery isn't an easy fix, it takes work to heal properly!

There have been a lot of rough very rough days, but this is me, this is my story, my disease, my life and I'm owning it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey
    From one TOSer to another and only 2 weeks post op I def would do the surgery all over again and wish I found a surgeon soon. I suffered for two n half yrs. So far so good. I wanted to email u but my comp crashed n I lost ur email. When u get a chance throw me a email... Hope ur feeling ok.... :0)