The Uncertainty of a Good Thing

My legs were stronger than they had ever been, I hadn't fractured my tibias in years, and aside from lugging on leg braces - walking was effortless for me. I could be in my leg braces and walker for most of the school day, no complaints.

That was me shortly after my first rod operation in the third grade. It had been many months of debating and talking it over with my orthopedic, but in the end it was clear that inserting a rod into my tibia would be the best course of action. My bones would be stronger, I would stop having micro fractures from the bowing, and best of all - I'd be able to walk more comfortably! 
As with any operation though, rod operations come with their risks. At the time the biggest risk for me was migration of the rod - because I was still growing the bone could easily outgrow the rod and it could then slip elsewhere. But we were told that we would keep an eye on the rod, with well-timed x-rays every six months or so to ensure that nothing was in total disarray. 

Fast forward two years: I was now in the fifth grade and had just come out of the shower. The front of my leg was bleeding, I saw a metal tip poking through the scar tissue of my leg. I realize that this scene probably sounds incredibly painful, but I assure you that I felt nothing. In fact I was still in the mindset of going to school, I thought I'd be able to show my friends the cool piece of metal sticking out of my leg. Instead my parents whisked me off to the hospital, and I underwent surgery that same day to have it replaced. 

There are many take-aways from this little story that I just recounted. For starters, yes, every operation is going to have its risks and your healthcare providers will be the best folks to discuss what these are. However, even when we know about the risks we can't always count on when they'll happen or be prepared in the event that they do. Good things don't always have neat bow-tie Happily Ever After endings. This is especially true in medicine, I don't think there's ever any fail-proof procedure or treatment plan that fully intends on treating the patient well - but doesn't come with its weaker points. 
With that said though, it's important that when we are presented "good options" that we take them and run with them - go as far as we possibly can with it! I've had many re-rodding procedures and I've never regretted the decision to insert rods into my legs. The gains I was able to make, for my specific purposes and abilities, far outweighed any risks and potential dangers that I dealt with many years later. 

We make the choices about what happens, no life event is capable of being inherently good or bad. Just remember this -- what we make of the options and opportunities we are given determine whether or not they are good or bad. 

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