After eight weeks of being under the assumption of ligament/meniscus damage in my leg (and, subsequently, six of those weeks walking on it), I finally got some imaging done. I got an MRI around 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and by 9:45 a.m. on Thursday morning, I was being called in for prep to have emergency (and my very first!) surgery first thing Friday morning.
The surgery went well, only about 90 minutes under the knife, and I left the table with a metal plate and eight screws in my leg. I spent two nights in the hospital with the best care team anyone could ask for, and I kept busy by entertaining visitors and broadcasting updates on Facebook Live.
And now, after the surgery, I have ten weeks (TEN WEEKS!) of non weight-bearing recovery, followed by a few months of physical therapy.
A new diagnosis.
During the procedure, the surgeon found that my bones were more fragile than they should be, and that he should have had to put a little more elbow grease into re-breaking my tibia.
And so, after a ton of blood work, 24 hours of urine collection, and a bone density scan, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. At 33 years old.
As anyone with a new diagnosis does, I frantically scanned through my brain, analyzing every decision I’ve ever made, hoping to pinpoint that moment when I did something to cause this. After much dissection and conversation with my rheumatologist, we came to the conclusion that, being that I’m a slender, small-boned Caucasian woman, I likely had low bone mass to begin with…and the light and infrequent steroid use (for MS relapses) in the past was juuuuuust enough to flick my bone density over the edge.
An additional hurdle.
During this time, I also got my annual brain MRI out of the way. The report came back and showed multiple new active lesions. Super. So now not only am I having to decide between available osteoporosis meds, but I’m also in the process of switching my MS medication…again (click here to read about the MS treatments I have already tried).
I was given the options of Tysabri, Lemtrada, and Ocrevus, all of which have terrifying potential side effects (Seriously. They’re bad.)…and all of which require steroid infusions prior to each dose…which will not do my bones any favors.
Risk vs. benefit, I guess.
But! I am trying to find the silver lining here, and it is this:
This, all of this, sucks. Badly. But, had I not tripped over that doggie gate, I wouldn’t have needed surgery. Had I not waited eight weeks before getting surgery, perhaps my surgeon would not have needed to re-break my bone. Had he not needed to re-break my bone, maybe I never would have known that I have low bone density. Had I not known that I have low bone density, maybe I would have gone into Tysabri, Lemtrada, or Ocrevus without knowing that the steroids before each dose would only make things worse.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: Whatever your current situation might be, even when it’s far from ideal, it’s important to be aware and open to the course of events–there just might be a reason behind all of it.
Okay! Now that all of that is out of the way, I wanted to announce a couple of new opportunities have been presented to me.
Be on the lookout for upcoming content from me on AboveMS (as well as posts on their social media) and in the Spring 2018 issue of Momentum magazine (the largest MS-related publication in the world!)!
I hope you all are well, and I will keep you all posted on which medication I choose!