I am almost at 14 weeks post-op and I figured an update was due before my London debut! 🎉🇬🇧
I’m still hurting with these damn wonky ribs.
In my last surgery this past December, Dr. Hansen sutured my 9th rib to my 8th rib, and my 10th to my 9th, with each rib moved forward, slightly up and above the previous rib, so that they would stop slipping under and behind each other.
In my follow-up appointment, my incision area was still swollen and puffy, so feeling the rib tips of those fixed ribs was near impossible at the time. We knew with the punctured lung and hematoma that I’d still be sore and healing, especially at 4 weeks post-op, so we planned for my next follow-up in June, at 6 months.
I had been putting off contacting Dr. Hansen again for weeks – since around weeks 5 and 6. I’ve been feeling sore, with tightness at my incision site and xiphoid process, and nerve spasms are becoming more and more frequent in my left side torso.
At first, I was getting nerve spasms when sitting, but they happen while standing now, too.
When sitting, I can feel my 9th and 10th rib moving up and behind the 8th again, meaning they are no longer in front of each other where Dr. Hansen put them.
I finally broke down and contacted Mrs. Lisa and Dr. Hansen’s office – I couldn’t wait another 12 weeks without letting them know I’m in pain.
I have resorted to taking one of my muscle relaxers from surgery each night to help me sleep, but I wake up constantly throughout the night, and sometimes I’m up for hours restless and hurting.
As always, Dr. Hansen’s office has gone above and beyond to help me with my Slipping Ribs. I emailed Mrs. Lisa and I got an immediate response with a phone consult scheduled for later in the week. I know that Dr. Hansen has done and will do anything to help my ribs, and he has told me that since I’ve had surgery with him – my ribs are his babies and he wants to make sure I’m okay.
At week 12, I had another phone appointment so we could figure out why my ribs are so anti-staying put.
Dr. Hansen knows my surgical history and he knows my ribs are just plain stubborn. He also trusts my judgment and he was very let down to hear that I’m still hurting and my ribs have shifted back.
Shit. Now I will need yet another repair to my ribs.
With the rib suturing method failing me twice under the care of Dr. Hansen, the next attempt to fix these ribs will involve reconstructive surgery and adding absorbable plating.
My ribs that are continuously affected will need to be cut back a little more – each surgery seems to chip away at my ribs – and they will need to be stabilized to their correct spot, again. This will be my 7th procedure for these broken ribs.
Dr. Hansen’s office is a busy one, with people across the world coming for his expertise – which means he is scheduling later in the year already.
As of right now, Mrs. Lisa put me on the surgery books for October and they’ll keep an eye out for sooner dates.
I never expected to need two procedures with Dr. Hansen, let alone a third. This will mark 3 cardiothoracic procedures in less than 2 years (19 months to be exact).
But, onward and upward. I’m trying my best to stay positive and not stress over things I have no control over.
I do have a lot of concerts and traveling plans for this year – plans that were made in hopes that I’d be healed by now – or at least 50% of the way. I feel like my body keeps moving one step forward and two steps back.
Either way, I’m ready for my London and Paris debut of 2022!
We leave in a few days and I know it will be rough on my body with all the walking, sightseeing, and going to Billy Strings shows – but I can’t postpone life for another 6 months while waiting for my next surgery.
It seems never-ending.
I can’t even schedule my degenerative disc disease surgery for my neck until these ribs are under control. (Yes, I already have yet another surgery to go after this rib ordeal.) I’ve had 14 procedures since 2015 with 2 more to go.
Damn these wonky ribs and each passing year that I have to deal with them.
For me, It Could Be Worse. I think. 🤣