Wednesday, June 19, 2019


I was talking to Terese today. We were comparing notes about each other’s various aches and pains. She has recently had a joint replacement, and while anyone who has had this procedure knows that there is a fair amount of pain involved, still she is doing great. What a trooper.

Me? Well. I haven’t posted much lately because, as I told Terese, “I have been cranky forever. No one wants to read that stuff.”

She replied that she disagreed. “Other people have the same attitude as you do. I think people hearing about crummy times as well as the good.”

Actually, I cleaned up this version of my language in that dialogue. But you get the idea.

So here I am. And it has been a crummy month for me.

I have posted before about my decade long battle with bilateral trochanteric bursitis. And the fact that the injections into the bursae have not been working as well and for as long as previously. So I recently had a MRI and x-rays to get to the bottom of the issue. And the results surprised me. Turns out that in addition to my inflamed bursae, I also have tears in my gluteus medius tendons on both hips. So I dutifully attended my appointments with Dr. Young Guy, and then finally, today, an orthopedic physician that specializes in hip disorders. I presented myself to him today fully expecting one of those don’t worry we’ll have you fixed up in a jiffy kind of discussions. Instead, I got a serious but empathetic this may be a tricky one conversation.


He told me that after he completed his own evaluation of my imaging studies, he felt that the underlying problem was actually in the hip joint itself. Oh, yes, I did indeed have tendon tears, (which would stabilize over time) and bursitis (but I was not a good candidate for a bursectomy and that even if I had the surgery, the pain issue would not be resolved that way). This was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted a date that I could write in my calendar on which I could have a quick scope procedure and  a speedy recovery and then move on with things. Pain free.

While sympathetic to my attitude, he told me that this was not in the cards for me. Instead, he envisioned a different therapeutic and diagnostic procedure: an injection into my hip joint instead of bursae. If I received significant relief from my symptoms, then we needed to have a conversation about a hip replacement.

Wah, wah wah.

To complicate my disappointing morning, I was also dealing with a very surprising and critically low white blood cell count. Last week, I felt really and truly crummy. My fatigue was crushing, I was nauseous, and had what Terese describes as “Mount Vesuvius” type diarrhea. I had no idea what was going on, so when I developed strange abdominal pain as well, I went in to the clinic for evaluation. The doc ordered a raft of lab work, which I had completed immediately. While I was driving home, I received a call from our clinic pathologist. He informed me that my whites were extremely low and that I should not go home, but instead over to the hospital emergency room. And so I did.

This is an extremely lengthy poor Julia story isn’t it? Blame Terese. She told me to share EVERYTHING.

So. Here I am back home. It’s several days since my ER visit, and a follow up CBC today showed no change in my whites -- specifically my absolute neutrophil count.  Also disappointing.

BICJ and I are tantruming together for a change. Usually I try to talk her off the ledge in moments like these, but today, I find myself joining her in her hysterics.

We’ll both get over it, I know.

I'll keep y'all posted.


Claire Callahan Goodman said...

So sorry and here I am feeling bad that my white count is elevated due to chronic left elbow bursa infection! I just had an appt with a surgeon who is going to completely remove the bursa, I hope, next week. I have had this infection for over 3 months now and am on home IV antibiotic therapy with PICC line. I sure hope that the surgery finally fixes my chronically high white count.

But a low white count is troubling especially since you don't know why. I hope they figure that one out AND FIX IT and you get back to worrying about hip replacement, soon!


Kelly said...

Things do tend to get more complicated don't they? Sending healing thoughts. Take care and keep posting...everything.