Today and Tomorrow I Need Your Prayers
I've been facing a difficult situation for a few months. I noticed a little flank area pain around July of 2022. I went to the doctor in the Dominican Republic to see if it was serious and I was told that I had a very small kidney stone that would soon pass. I didn't really think it was a big deal so I continued life as usual.
My husband and I were invited to a conference in Nashville, TN in August where I began to experience intense pain. I still ignored it, just thinking perhaps the kidney stone was passing. My strong tolerance of pain has never been a good thing! We had an 11 hour layover in the Miami area on our way back to the DR from the conference so we decided to spend the time at our son's house. While at his house, I was extremely exhausted and really could not get up to go back to the airport.
Ruben decided to head back to the DR without me. He and my children felt I should stay in the states to go back to the doctor to see what was going on. Thus began my journey of doctor visits, tests and pain.
After all of the tests came back, my doctor realized the IVC filter that was placed in my Inferior Vena Cava 18 years ago was broken and penetrating the vein. The filter was placed because I have a condition called May Thurner Syndrome that can cause blood clots in the leg. These blood clots can travel to the heart, lungs or brain and cause death. Since this condition had caused dangerous deep vein clots in my body, my doctors felt that stent placement in the Iliac Vein, IVC filter and blood thinners were necessary.
The filter really should have been removed 18 years ago right after it was placed, but the new retrieval filters had just surfaced and radiologists and vascular surgeons treated them the same way that permanent filters were treated. I asked them to remove the filter back then, but they refused because they believed it was better for me to keep it. I trusted them.
Unfortunately, as time went by people began to experience problems with these retrievable filters and vascular surgeons realized they made huge mistakes by leaving them in their patients. Scar tissue grows around the filter which makes it difficult for a vascular surgeon to remove it. It would be an extensive surgery accompanied by many risks. For this reason, the vascular surgeon that I see every year refused to remove my filter when he saw it was broken.
He told me that the pain isn't due to the broken filter that has five prongs poking through my inferior vena cava. He said it was best for me to leave the filter there forever and learn to live with the pain because the surgery would be too risky. He referred me to another vascular surgeon who told me the same thing. He even said the filter wasn't broken and looked great to him and told me to never allow anyone to touch it. He was very rude and made me feel as if I was making up the fact that I've spent the past few months in pain and exhaustion.
I went back home that day feeling defeated. I had spent weeks going back and forth to the hospital for the tests they kept asking me to take. I read the results myself and could clearly see a broken filter with a broken piece embedded beneath my right kidney. Yet, he said it wasn't broken and that I was not in pain. It took me some time to get over that. I finally found the emotional strength to continue to fight for my body.
I went to google and searched for stories of others who have had broken IVC filters and found out that I am not alone. I also learned that the company who manufactured my filter knew it was defective the year they sold it to the hospital that placed it in my body. I learned that there were doctors who would listen and understand so I made appointments with another health system 3 hours away.
I've had to take these three hour drives to get the help I needed because the doctors in the health system in my area would not help me. The vascular surgeon I met with in Alexandria, VA was amazing. He took the time to explain what was happening to my body and he even apologized to me for what the other surgeons had done. He explained that a vascular surgeon should not perform this surgery for me but an Interventional Radiologist could. He referred me to another doctor who could help me.
One appointment with the Interventional Radiologist and a General Surgeon confirmed all of what I knew. The filter can be removed. It is broken badly. Five struts are poking through one of the most important veins in my body. One broken strut travelled to an area below my right kidney. All of this is real. It hurts. It needs to be removed.
So this is where you come in. I will have surgery tomorrow morning. Pray for me please. Pray that God will guide the hands of the surgeons. Pray that each strut will be removed without difficulty or delay. Pray that angels will be in the room to fight for me in any way needed. Pray for peace for me and for my family. Pray for a smooth recovery. Pray for no problems whatsoever. Tomorrow morning, please pray for me. Thank you!