There were days I thought what happened to day never would.
There were many excruciating days before my pelvic reconstruction surgery to repair diastasis symphysis pubis sustained during childbirth. And on many of those days in the months after our son’s birth in January 2012, my husband and I wondered if I would ever get better. That’s what drove us to seek the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon in the first place.
But today I heard the man who told me he could help us declare mission accomplished. Not in those words, but close.
Dr. John Sojka, an orthopedic surgeon at the KU Medical Center, came into the exam room today with an ER resident who was probably my age or younger. He told her, “You’ll like this case” and explained what happened, how I walked when I first met him, what he did to put me back together, and showed her the before and after x-rays.
Then he asked me: “So, how are you doing?”
I didn’t say a word. With my husband sitting next to me I stood up from the chair (no hands) and jumped from both feet straight in the air, like a jump shot without the ball. Their faces were pretty cool. And with that, Dr. Sojka said: “I’m here if you need me, but I don’t think you will.”
He said I could finish the two weeks of physical therapy I have left and that will be it. No more mandatory follow-ups. He even said if we wanted to, my pelvis looks strong enough, stable enough, to carry a child. That’s something we were told before surgery would not be possible. We had always hoped to have one child of our own and we will stick to the plan. For us, it’s not worth the physical risk. But it was a comfort to know that I have healed to a degree that he thinks it would be possible.
“You’re good to go,” he said today.
What an amazing thing he did for me and my family. I remember the awe that I felt when he said at our first meeting “I can fix you.” I remember thinking “I bet that, right there, is why people become doctors.” But I bet I was wrong. I bet “You’re good to go” is why people become doctors, nurses, physical therapists and the myriad other professions that help people get from their worst to their best.
Thank you Dr. Sojka. Thank you Christina. And thank you, Dr. Gilbert, for referring me to the right place. Next time I see you I hope it’s in a restaurant or a store.