My Reluctant Surgeon continues to do things to gain my trust and confidence.
She has come through – a lot faster than I expected – with an appointment for me to be assessed by a more senior surgeon for a second opinion. I received a call from her office with a date to see the Second Opinion Surgeon in the next four weeks. My Reluctant Surgeon is sending me to him because she has significant concerns that the surgery I need might harm me more than it will help me.
I have a rare congenital condition that is detected by a single symptom: debilitating pain. It can only be treated by one thing: invasive abdominal surgery. My diagnosis was confirmed when my condition was very advanced and I had already been categorized as a chronic pain patient. The advanced stage and chronic pain are what make my Reluctant Surgeon so reluctant. She does not believe the surgery will eliminate my pain. At this point she and the pain specialists believe I have nerve damage, which may cause me to have greater pain after the surgery. And to top it off, I have a complicated form of this rare congenital condition. This exponentially increases the odds of me developing every known post-operative complication associated with abdominal surgery, and my Reluctant Surgeon is concerned that there may be unknowns that fall outside the scope of her experience.
So it will be up to the Second Opinion Surgeon to decide if I should have the invasive abdominal surgery. His additional years of experience are being counted on to find a surgical path to successfully remove the encroaching mass – that suddenly disrupted my life 18 months ago – without further harming my body. And, I’m hoping, those same skills will lessen my pain.
But I have to try not to get ahead of myself the way I did with my Reluctant Surgeon. Before my first appointment with her I had convinced myself that my condition was temporary – even with the knowledge of the known risks of the abdominal surgery. I was devastated when she told me surgery might not be an option for me and I might continue to be in pain for the rest of my life. Going into this appointment with the Second Opinion Surgeon, I want to be grounded in the reality that I could hear the same opinions. Although, a big part of me is preparing for the possibility that I will have to take a huge leap of faith toward and hope for the best.
George Michael – Faith (US Version)