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The ASR, just when I thought it was over, its the gift that keeps on giving!!
Well, the second opinion is in and to say I am pissed off is an understatement! More than ever I implore all of the patients out there to take heed, ask the difficult questions that you know you don’t want the answers to but you need, no you deserve to know the truth! I am angry at Johnson and Johnson, their Orthopaedic wing De Puy, (and all the other Orthopaedic prosthesis companies that jumped on the failed technology that MOM implants represent), the regulators in every country that let this just happen to us the patients they are supposed to protect and of course the surgeons who either knowingly or ignorantly placed these toxic and faulty implants in each of us.
I want all of you to gain as much knowledge as you can, become hungry for information, access as much truth and evidence as you can, spend each moment of your life ‘living’, not feeling sad, but I do also urge you to harness the anger, because as these companies come before the courts, we have to make them pay.
I am not just talking about financially, they have to pay morally and ethically as well! I challenge each of you to find out what other products these companies are responsible for and boycott them, tell your friends to do the same, this may be seen as a small gesture but the only thing these bastards understand is ‘the bottom line’!! I would almost rather their accountants come crying to them more than their lawyers!! Please think about it!!
So, the story I know quite a few of you have been waiting to hear, and thank you to all of those who have contacted me and expressed your best wishes. Well I am now up for hip replacement number 4 in less than 5 years! I was told by my previous surgeon (he doesn’t know it yet) that I could never have another hip implant again because he had to put ‘the biggest available implant’ in me he could. Well, what he didn’t tell me was that he ‘may’ have fractured my femur ‘placing the implant’, that is not the fracture that was intentionally done in splitting my femur! This certainly answers the pain I have had in my lower thigh, the fracture is ‘only’ 8cm long and I now have 3 separate x-rays (since November) that show it however my surgeon and the radiographers all didn’t mention it to me by way of report or heaven forbid pointing it out to me.
My second opinion took a 10 second look at my x-ray and asked me what the plan had been to deal with this obvious fracture! In addition, my acetabular cup is loose and has so much degradation behind it that the only way I will be able to have another of these is if it is screwed in as I am sure many of you have suffered yourselves. This is in addition to 5 out of 6 metal bands ‘holding’ my femur together being obviously separated and sticking into the muscle around my femur, again which the radiographer failed to report in his written assessment of my x-ray!
Apparently the good news is that ‘if’ I have the current prosthesis out quickly, my femur can be plated and screwed (the length of the bone as it is now too damaged to survive without ‘metal’ help), my femoral core will be filled with cement and a ‘smaller’ prosthesis put in and held in place by more screws, which if I am lucky will ‘allow’ me to perhaps have a future hip replacement, which at my current rate should be in a couple of months!
The dilemma is this, I know you will all be with me here, do I trust this new surgeon??
I must say that my faith and belief in the Orthopaedic profession is far from unwavering!! As my wife and a number of close friends have said, what choice do I have??
I am in pain, which I know I am not alone with!! My femur is degrading at such a high rate I have very little chance of it ever recovering to the point where I can ever walk or possibly stand with comfort. My loose cup makes sitting a far from pleasant option and I haven’t had a decent sleep for months!! Which I am sure that many of you relate to!
So indeed what choice do I have? I know that there are many more of you out there doing it a lot tougher than I am, those that are in wheelchairs, those whose entire life revolves around pain relief medications, those that no longer even have a hip at all!!
My heart goes out to each and every one of you as my confusion and frustration, let alone my anger has built over the last couple of days, for god sakes, I didn’t plan to spend my early 40s dealing with this shit, as I know none of you chose to have to be dealing with what you are now suffering thanks to a lot of pathetically moralled and ethically challenged corporate medical companies and surgeons. I just hope that all of their wealth is not enough to save those bastards when their time comes!
So as I approach this Thursday, I am seeing my ‘previous’ surgeon in the morning at one hospital and my ‘potential new’ surgeon in the afternoon at another hospital on the other side of town! He will ask me to trust him! Think about that for a minute, the simple act of placing your trust in another human being, we do it all the time, but how many of you could honestly say that this would be an easy decision if it were you! I will go in there armed with my nuclear bone scan, blood test results (the usual Cobalt and Chromium levels, CRP to see if I have an infection and full blood count to see if I am still anaemic as I have been since my ASR) and of course a very healthy dose of cynicism and caution that only any of you who have experienced this nightmare will truly appreciate.
A dear friend once told me that we all have to trust someone sometime, which I appreciate greatly as I have asked people to trust me when they are under my care every day of my nursing career, but can I stretch it this time. I suppose I will have the answer for you all on Thursday night! Until then, be safe, follow the medical journals on-line, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet have both regularly published articles in the past weeks (most of which have appeared on this blog) about all sorts of issues with MOM implants. We are no longer just those poor buggers that got a dodgy hip, we all must be united, vocal and above all else strong for ourselves and each other!
By the way, for the Birmingham patients, watch out for a study which is being finalised in the UK about that particular implant and is damning from all reports (I had been waiting on a copy but may not be at work to get it), it was probably funded by Johnson and Johnson to try to blame Smith and Nephew, but as we know now they are each as culpable as each other!
Thank you all again for your kind thoughts, I can rave on but it is somewhat therapeutic!! I just want everyone who has been touched by this horrible mess to be able to know that they are not alone and that they have friends and colleagues all over the world who can understand and support you, no matter how bad it seems, because more often than not, we have been there too!