After my first visit with Dr. Sankar, I transitioned into routine trips into Philly. I’m typically a bit directionally-challenged, but I can (almost) guarantee I can give you (almost) perfect instructions for how to get to CHOP via public transportation.
My next visit, on September 4, was actually to a branch of Jefferson Hospital to visit the colleague Dr. Sankar recommended, an experienced ultrasoundologist (Dr. Nazarian) who could take a close look at the inner-workings of my hip and provide clarity on my situation.
The ultrasound showed a tear in my labrum as well as an abnormally shaped IT band. Yet again my symptoms and test results collided in confusion.
Dr. Nazarian proposed the idea of a “needle tonotomy” to help break up what appeared to be scar tissue on my IT band. A “needle tonotomy” is a minor procedure in which a topical numbing agent is applied and a large needle is repeatedly stabbed into the area of scar tissue. (Lovely description, am I right?)
I thought he was mentioning it as an option and prepared to schedule another appointment to see him. Nope. He said, “As long as I am in the room with you, you are still my patient. Let’s give it a try right now.”
Thank you Dr. Nazarian for going out of your way in kindness, for demonstrating the heart of what it means to be a doctor: compassion. I haven’t seen you again, but you played a key role in my story.
The main idea of getting the tonotomy was to follow it with 6-8 weeks of stretching and see if it alleviated my pain.
A few weeks later, I started physical therapy again (at Lancaster Physical Therapy) to work on stretching my IT band and overall strength in my hips.
Weeks went by and my body felt stronger but the pain remained…
So I returned to CHOP and Dr. Sankar on October 8.
I’ll let what I wrote in my journal that day tell the story.
“Today…the news I had been waiting for, waiting waiting waiting for… was shared…oh, God…here I am – I’m getting hip surgery again. AGAIN. again – Again… I’ve been in this pain for over a year and a half with no respite and now 1 surgery, countless PT sessions, needles stabbed, tests taken, stretches and exercise and tears – I must undergo another operation…”
I was overcome with fear, this all too familiar companion.
But, like Ann Voskamp says in one of my favorite books, One Thousand Gifts, “All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends.” And God’s love never ends.
Breathe deeply. Surgery #2 is necessary for true healing.
If you say “the Lord is my refuge,” and you make the most high your dwelling, no harm will overtake you… “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him.”