Many of you know that Rob has struggled with his knee for many years. Three years ago he had his last surgery but it hasn't seemed to have helped much. Really to the contrary his knee is the worst it has ever been. But that surgery wasn't an easy recovery process and Rob has made it very clear that he won't ever go through that again.
A couple of years ago we were able to change his insurance from HMO just in case he changed his mind. This would give him the option to go to an incredible orthopedic center here in the desert to see if anything else could be done for him and his knee if anything.
Through a series of events, thankfully, that opportunity came a couple of months ago. Rob decided to explore his options. We went to DOC (Desert Orthopedic Center) and basically they told him there really wasn't anymore they could do for him. He is not a candidate for knee replacement because of his age, but they did suggest he make an appointment to see a doctor in San Diego, Dr. Bugbee. We were told by the doctor at DOC that the procedure that this Doctor does requires one year of non-weight bearing and one year rehab. That was daunting to say the least and Rob wanted nothing to do with that idea for many reasons. One being that we live in a two story condo where both the bedroom AND the bathroom are upstairs!!
We talked about it....the pros and the cons and we decided we weren't losing anything by just going to talk to the doctor. He made the appointment (the earliest they could see him was three months out!) and that brings us to yesterday.
The appointment just happened to work out with the conference that he was to attend in San Diego. So that was nice. The only bad part is that same weekend was his oldest brother Frank's 40th birthday. We really wanted to go up and surprise him for his birthday. Rob went back and forth trying to decide what to do (it was a hard call). But we decided to keep the appointment and see what this doctor had to say.
Dr. Bugbee was really nice. He took his time and listened to Rob and the steps he's taken to aliviate his pain. Then he explained our options. He told us about a procedure he does where he takes tissue from a donor cadaver and implants it into the knee. He of course cleans out all the bad parts of the knee before implanting the new tissue. It's a little more of an aggressive surgery as he opens up the knee (the other surgeries have been orthroscopic) and would require a couple nights stay in the hospital. He would also need to take about a month off of work. And now you aren't allowed to be on crutches at school so he would need to be in a wheelchair. We all know how yucky that would be. All in all though it looks like a 6month recovery process. That sounded WAY better than two years!! The other option the doctor gave his was to leave it like it was and his pain would continue and would just keep getting worse.
The doctor gave us a pamphlet explaining everything and told us that we could go home and think about it. My brave husband's mind doesn't really work like that. He doesn't much like to prolong things so he bravely said "Where do I sign up?!"
The next step and where we're at now is that they contact the insurance for approval and then he gets put on a waiting list. They give us about a 2-3 day notice to have everything in order and come down to San Diego for the surgery. It could be anywhere from a couple of days after the approval to a couple of months. It just depends on when a donor becomes available and the availablity of others on the list before Rob.
Please keep us in your prayers and this was not an easy decision for Rob to make. Recovery is not an easy thing and on top of everything else Rob is starting a new program this year at his school and he's the only one trained to facilitate the program at his school. He has some great colleages and I'm sure that Michele and Kelly May will be there to support him all the way. Stay tuned and I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest! (At least my wonderful husband gave me something to blog about!! Thanks honey! I love you!!)