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Sunday, July 31, 2011

24 Days Post Op and NO MORE NARCS!

Last night was the first night that I didn't need to take my oxycodone to sleep. I was so darn tired from trying to walk. It is great to stop them. I assume that my evenings of taking the heavy duty meds are not done since I tend to over-do things. But, I'll take nothing as long as I can. Wahoo!!!!!!

I am still trying to get off these crutches. I can walk but it hurts my butt and my groin hurts when I stand on it. I can deal with the butt hurting because I assume that is from muscle weakness, but the groin pain....well, that makes me a bit worried since groin pain is what I had before my surgery and we are not very sure how successful this surgery will be. I have a gut feeling that my surgeon will want to send my file/images to Dr. Phillippon to review since I basically have a chunk missing of my labrum and I kinda need a labrum in my hip. But, I really think that this recent surgery has helped a little (at the very least) since I found myself accidentally internally rotating slightly; which is something that I haven't done in over two years! So, that is hopeful. I'll have my fingers and toes crossed until I hear the words directly from my surgeon that my hip will be good enough to live on without surgery. I hope that I won't be crossing them for much longer than the next two weeks!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And then she stood and (kinda) walked

Today, 3 weeks post op I:

....removed picture..sorry!


...removed movie...sorry!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 weeks (tomorrow)

Tomorrow marks the three week mark and also the time at which I can begin to weight bear. We won't tell anybody that I actually started today because I was really excited to try out my strength and (hopefully) fixed hip. One day early won't hurt anybody, right? :)

I tried to stand but my little quads won't hold me up. Honestly, my thigh is smaller than my knee! It looks really disgusting, but me walking will really help improve my strength. Give me a week and I'll be off them completely! Also, to aid in my learning how to walk again, I have borrowed a walker from my grandparents. Gosh, that sounds like I stole my grandparents walker! But, really, they only used it when my Grampa got his hips and knee replaced; so they currently aren't using it, really! :P

Today I went to the ice rink to say hi to the kids I used to teach and my partner coaches. It was really great to see them all again. Since I've moved back home and the rink is right on my way home from the hospital at which I will be working this upcoming year, I plan on teaching some to make some gas money. They are really looking forward to having me back since I've been gone for two years for the didactic portion of medical school. I am really looking forward to starting up teaching again. That is now my goal, to be able to teach again...on skates! That could be like my working out since I won't have access to a gym during my next years in the hospitals. Going really, really makes me want to heal up so that I can go back. I absolutely love coaching skating and hope that this past surgery really does the trick so that I can!

Whilst at the rink today, all of the people looked at me and just stared; they didn't know what to say. So, I piped up and asked them how they were, multiple times different people responded: "Better than you!" Really?! That is the best that a handful of fellow coaches could come up with? Staring and saying that?! Obviously in this hip brace and on crutches it looks like a huge ordeal. I suppose that it is a big deal having surgery like this, but all the staring really didn't make me feel very good. The worse was when I saw my old coach (with whom I teach now), his jaw almost dropped to the floor when he saw me. It really made me sad to see him so stunned at what I looked like. Really, the problem is that don't like the extra attention; it drives me absolutely nuts! Just ignore it and I'll deal with it myself. It doesn't mean be mean and run me over while I am using crutches, just be courteous, and continue on with whatever you are doing. I suppose that others would want to have more, but I can't stand the attention! Blaaaaaaah :S

How do you deal with the extra attention given by others? I CAN'T STAND IT!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

17 Days Post Op certainly has been more than two weeks and yep, I wanted to post on the two week date, but I didn't get around to it. Not that I have any excuses since all I do is lie around on my butt all day; it just didn't happen.

Quickie update: my incisions look great! (I'll post pictures sometime) :) They are quite deep scars though which is mostly because the sutures were not tight and the skin filled in with a gap. No worries though, I'd really rather have more impressive battle wounds! I will have worked hard for all 7 scope scars on my left hip and four on my right. Furthermore, my previous surgeon left very, very tiny scars and this surgeon's scars are gonna be twice as large (in both length and width). Twice as large for twice as successful surgery, right? :P

The last two days have really been a struggle. I was feeling fairly good prior to the last couple of days. The only thing that I can think that has caused this flare up is the fact that I had been feeling so good that I must have over-exerted myself. It is quite sad to think that going to Wal-Mart and beelining it to the womens section, grabbing a pair of leggings (and a shirt) and then checking out ASAP could have caused this. It is absolutely incredible how weak one can get after surgery. I feel like I could sleep all of the time and by 10 o'clock in the evening I am passed out on the recliner (my favourite spot in the world)!

One thing that is puzzling me is that my leg and foot tend to go purple if I don't have it elevated on a pillow all of the time. Honestly, yesterday I took a shower (with my fantabulous chair), and by the end I was purple to the knee. I immediately put my feet up on a pillow whilst in the recliner and it was gone in half an hour or so, but still annoying. It seems like a circulation issue to me but my Mum is horrified every time she sees it. Then I reassure her that it is not a DVT and act all cool, when I really can't figure out why my foot/leg started to turn purple when not elevated at two weeks out. I could call the doctor's office to ensure that things are alright, and i will call if it continues. It is more annoying than anything else.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hip Arthroscopy Tips

  1. eat lots so that you have some 'stores' for after surgery...there should always be an excuse to eat more! LOL
  2. nighties are essential for sleeping/living in after surgery...easy on, easy off
  3. sundresses...they functioned the same as the nightie during the day but a lot cuter
  4. recliner chair...SO comfy for afterwards
  5. travel pillow for when lying in the reclining chair
  6. shower chair...I just got one for this time 'round and LOVE it! It makes things so much easier
  7. frozen peas in large plastic ziplock baggies...they form to any place you want to put them. I made up several bags since I had to ice my ankle, knee, and hip since they were all under traction
  8. stretchy, small underwear...seriously the less that touches around the hip the better
  9. laxative for the inevitable post-op constipation that comes with taking heavy duty pain killers...just make sure not to OD on these because you'll have another problem on your hands
  10. tight fitting undershirts and those tights that everybody wears (I got some just to the knees)...I can't stand the plastic brace touching my skin as it instantly sweats
  11. have friends and family over after the surgery because being laid up and alone all day does nothing to boost your spirits.
  12. write about your recovery. I have found that keeping a blog is a great way to put down feelings. It helps with the recovery process and may, in fact, help somebody in the future. (that is, if anybody reads this LOL)
  13. do absolutely anything and everything that the surgeon tells you to do :)

Some Pictures

I thought that I needed to spice up the blog a bit so here are some pictures:


Driving home:

All bandaged and braced up:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Heart Sank

I am having a heck of a time sleeping these days. Seriously, you would think that being on oxycodone would just wipe you out and induce deep sleep. But no! I believe that I have developed a bit of tolerance since now I don't sleep whilst on the pills; I simply lie in a half-conscious state for about five hours...not really sleeping, but not really awake. This is not a good way to spend every night from midnight until 5AM! At least I am able to sleep in in the mornings so I am not too crabby during the day.

Anywho, last night whilst waiting for the pills to make me 'relaxed' I was trying to figure out where my pain was the worst, and I noticed that it was in my groin area. Now, I initially didn't think anything of it, until I remembered that right after my first surgery (the right side) I didn't have any groin pain whatsoever. All pre-op pain was gone and it was just the surgical pain that was remaining. And for my first scope on my left side I didn't get any groin pain relief and it failed to heal!

So now that I have groin pain, it really makes me wonder how much relief I am really going to get from this surgery. The success of the surgery really depends on what portion of the labrum is causing me grief and this issue has been eating away at the back of my mind since the surgery. I am focusing on being positive and am doing everything I am supposed to post-op in order for this surgery to help. But my heart sank just a little to realize that I still have groin pain. I tried to tell myself that perhaps it is the 2 anchors he managed to get in that were causing the groin pain, and maybe that is the truth, but it is hard to suppress the fact that I may need reconstructive surgery. The thought of yet another hip surgery makes my stomach tighten as I have no idea how I would fit it into my school schedule being that I have used up my vacation/medical leave from school for the next two years. I suppose I'll deal with that if further surgery is needed. I don't want to be borrowing trouble or stress but it is just so darn hard to not be disappointed that there is a real possibility that all of the surgeries to date on my left hip may fail. Gulp. I will know more at my 6 week follow-up with my surgeon.

On a happier note though, my best friend is bringing fast food over for lunch today and we are going to watch chick flicks all day :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stitches OUT!

Today I ventured out of the house to see my GP to get my stitches out. wahhooo! The fun outing of the day. The secretary was really nice and helped me into the room and up on the table and, as my Mum and I were leaving, she let us go out the back way so that we didn't have to do any steps if we used the normal entrance; I appreciated that a lot.

My family doctor on the other hand, was so gruff with me! I hobbled in and he didn't even ask what I had had done. I said that I needed my stitches out because I had had surgery 10 days ago and he moved me to another room and pulled out my stitches. I also got another prescription for Oxycodone because I was running out and I really wanted to ensure that I stay on top of my pain. I refuse to be a super-hero!

I digress, my family doctor asked if the three holes and six stitches were all that I had, and then just proceeded to yank them out. I piped up to let him know what had been done since I really do think that he should be aware of what is going on. All he said was that I was awful young to have hip surgery. When I told him this was the third time I have had this done he couldn't believe it! Ha, he was the one that took out my stitches each time! What a great doctor-patient relationship there.

Furthermore, as we were just outside the exam room he asked me how long this was supposed to last for me and I gave him the spiel about how by 6 weeks we should know if I need reconstructive labral surgery or not and he just shook his head and walked away. This was all on top of my doctor chewing out his secretary about the dosing of a medication for the patient previous to me right outside my exam room. I could hear every word he said to her in his condescending manner.

Basically, my family doctor is a crabby, over-worked practitioner whom I do NOT want to emulate when I become a physician. A little empathy can go a long way! Mind you, I didn't want him to feel sorry for me, but I did want him to acknowledge the seriousness of my situation since this is major surgery and may not even alleviate my pain; all of which is stressful.

Another exciting thing is that I got a shower chair! My Mum and I went to a home health store and we bought one. I am so pumped to take a shower within the next couple of days! I can't imagine how the heck I would ever take a shower normally with all of these restrictions. Yay for shower chairs! :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Outside my window... it is night outside

I am thinking... nothing - I am fairly foggy from my meds :P

I am thankful for... my family and friends

From the kitchen... there is nothing going on in the kitchen

I am wearing... nightie, hip brace, TED hose (lovely combo, I know!)

I am creating... aka knitting an afghan (will post pictures another time)

I am going... to sleep after I watch an episode of Modern Family

I am reading... Prayers for Sale

I am hoping... that I heal up quickly from my surgery and that this is the last hip surgery I'll ever have

I am hearing... the fan blowing in the living room

Around the house... there is dog hair everywhere (I suppose that is what you get when you have a yellow lab for a dog and it is 90*F + outside)

One of my favourite things... is eating

A few plans for the rest of the week... nothing! relaxing and resting up

It would be really interesting to do this in 6 months and then a year out and see how things change! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horrible Night

So up until yesterday and last night I would definitely say that this recovery has been easier than my previous two surgeries, but the last 36 hours (and continuing) have been quite painful. I haven't a clue what the heck I did differently, but man am I sore! I just throb all night, even when on my narcotics!

Plus, I have developed this irrational fear. I can't tell if it is the pills that have made me think of this or just boredom and an out-of-control imagination during the wee hours of the morning whilst lying awake in my recliner, but I am terrified of somebody breaking into my house. I am stuck in my recliner and basically not able to fend for myself and if somebody came in there would be no way for me to defend myself. Gall, writing this down seems so childish and odd that I would actually be scared of this. Perhaps it is the narcotics that are making me think oddly like this because I understand that the chances are slim-to-none that such a thing would happen, but still, during the night, I am fearful. Blaaaah.

It also doesn't help to be throbbing in pain even when pumped full of oxycodone! Last night I found myself holding my breath with each inspiration due to the pain in my hip. I bet this is probably just a bad day or so and things will get better from here. But having this blog and venting really, really helps deal with the recovery process (especially when there is the knawing thought at the back of my mind that all this might not even be the fix to my hip problems). So, if you made it this far through my rant and complaining, kudos to you and thanks!! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Week Post-Op

I am so used to being so busy that lying around in bed and in the recliner all day is boring the living day lights out of me. Seriously, I am not even one week out and I am bored of just sitting around. The past two days I have not taken any narcotics during the day so that I can have a clear head. It is worth it to me because I hate those stupid pills! But then, by the evening time, I am very much in pain, but that is when my family is home and I don't want to just sleep through the entire evening, so I just suck it up and take the pills at night. I can't tell you how thankful I am for the pills at night; it is like clockwork, four hours after I take two oxycodone, I am awake and need another one. I really can't imagine that I need them that badly at night, but the pain is definitely worse at night. So, I figure, why try to be a hero? So I take the pills and manage to get some sleep.

Sleeping through the night would be amazing. Like I mentioned, I get about four hours at a time. Which isn't bad. Some nights are better than others. Since I am in a hip brace, I think that I sleep better than if I didn't have one. Comparing my previous two surgeries, now that I am restricted to a very limited hip motion, I literally can't move, so I don't. This prevents me from being jolted from a sleep in pain every time I move during the night (this is what happened the previous two times). So I get more restful sleep and thus feel better. Also, I feel 'safe' in my brace. I thought that I would hate my brace, but I am actually thankful for it! (I never thought I'd say that!!!). The only bad thing about the brace (besides being bulky and hot) is that I can't move at night, which tends to throw specific muscles into spasm. My tibialis anterior and lower back were the muscles that freaked out last night. I actually had to have my Mum come and massage my tibialis anterior because it was so tight in spasm that I kept waking up.

The hip itself is definitely sore. Just last night it started to give me a sharp pain in my groin every time I increased my intra-abdominal pressure (ie laughing, coughing, sneezing). At first I thought "oh no, the two anchors that were placed in have come out!!" But I can't see how that would have happened since I have barely moved for days on end. Ah well, hopefully it is just part of the healing process.

So, overall, it is not that bad. I mean, it sucks to spend the entire summer inside on a recliner in a brace on crutches. But, I will do everything in my power to get this surgery to work so I can stave off reconstructive surgery for as long as possible; if not forever. I have been praying that this surgery works and could use all the prayers in the world for this surgery to be successful. So, if you read this, and do say a prayer - THANKS!!!! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

5 Days Post Op

Today marks 5 days since my surgery. I did not take any pain meds all day (except for my massive dose of ibuprofen, but the true purpose of the ibuprofen is not just pain relief). I only take oxycodone at night to help me sleep. Honestly, I do hurt more since I don't take anything, but I have a clear head; it is worth it to me.

My mum washed my hair today for the first time since the surgery day; it was glorious! Ahh.

I took my bandages off and re-did them myself yesterday. I have three hip scope incisions that are pretty close together and none of them penetrate any glute muscles or the rectus femoris, which alleviates much of the post-op muscular pain.

I am currently lying on my stomach on a bed trying to stretch out the hip flexors. It takes a few minutes to relax but it is well worth the effort because this will make the hip flexors less tight and thus less pain.

All in all, I am doing fine. I just wish I knew that all of this will be worth something. I may not get any relief or it may bring relief that I've waited 5 years for! The suspense is killing me. Last night I even dreamt about seeing a different doctor about my hip because the surgery didn't work. I think I may be a bit stressed over it. One thing is, that all of the pain pre-op proved to be an indication of what was inside the hip. Glad it wasn't all in my head! phew.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Washed Up

Today my Mum washed me all up whilst lying in the reclining chair. It felt absolutely amazing! I don't dare try to get into the shower at this point, but washing up and shaving really can make a girl feel better. I even got my nails painted!! I still have grimy hair, but that'll have to wait a couple of days before we try to wash it using a hose outside whilst sitting in a lawn chair - should be fun.

I have not needed the same amount of medication that I used during my previous surgeries. They gave me oxycodone that is half the dose and I am only using half of the prescribed dose right now. I am pretty impressed. And, my last pill was this morning at 4:00am - I have only had my indomethacin today (to prevent heterotrophic calcification as well as the added benefit of some pain relief). I didn't have any pain until we washed me up. Taking off and putting on the TED hose really can place a stress on the hip.

I also had to look at my incisions today. I just couldn't handle it anymore and had to know what was there. I have three incisions on the anterior portion of my thigh. They are a bit bigger than my previous scope sites and have two stitches in each. I will take pictures in a couple of days because I was forced by my Mum to tape all the dressings back on ASAP.

Everybody seems so uptight about the incisions. I stupidly told my parents that I could take out my own stitches which would save a trip to the family doctor here at home. Well, they mentioned this to the doctor and his nurse and now I HAVE to go to my family doctor because they want a fax from my doctor saying that he took out the stitches and did a wound assessment. I don't think that anybody trusts me now!

This is surprisingly easy compared to my last two hip scopes. I have one less scope site which might make a huge difference. Also, I didn't have too much done. Apparently when my current surgeon got into my hip joint he got so mad at my previous surgeon that he thought he couldn't operate on me and was going to close up. But he said he took a look around and evaluated the rest of the hip and found some things that he could fix. He was able to anchor down a part of the labrum with two anchors and shave down some bone on the acetabulum for the pincer impingement and some of the bone on the femur side for residual CAM impingement. Apparently my surgeon did a perfect job on one part of the femoral neck, but on two other areas he didn't do it properly. One area he shaved down way to much bone in the wrong place and another area he didn't shave enough bone away. He also debrided too much labrum off and now the majority of my labrum is the consistency of a cooked spaghetti noodle - which is not conducive to suturing together; it just broke apart when he tried to fix it.

So now the waiting game begins. If my pain was coming from the areas that this current surgeon fixed, then I should get relief. But if my pain is coming from the areas of the labrum that were not fixable, then I will have to be referred to another doctor who can rebuild my labrum from my IT band. This means another surgery which would entail me traveling across the country to get done because only a handful of surgeons do this labral reconstruction. So, I am in a similar situation to where I was before my surgery - but with a chance that my pain can get better. I am going to pray every evening that my pain is alleviated by this surgery. All prayers are appreciated! :)

I suppose that I can't worry about this too much since I could have my pain relief from the little he did inside the hip. I don't want to borrow stress! So, I'll continue to focus on getting better and see what happens and what the Lord has in store for me and my hips!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


After two days of traveling, I am FINALLY home! My parents drove me three hours on the day of surgery, 5 hours the next day and 3 hours today. Every day was fine traveling except for today. In the three hours today we had to stop 10 times. Three times in three exits because I decided that I had to puke in the car and we had to settle that problem. Other than that, it was alright. We stopped every hour to stretch and my Mum and I got really good at hobbling into handicap washrooms along the highway! lol

I am now in a hip brace and surprisingly not in too much pain. I am so happy that it is over! I will give more details about my surgery tomorrow or when I am less drugged, but things looked worse in the hip than he had anticipated and he hopes that what little he was able to fix was what was giving me the pain. There is still a lot of pathology in the hip that he couldn't fix; so if I still have pain in 6 weeks, then he will refer me to yet another OS for a labral reconstruction. Which would be yet another surgery. I certainly hope this isn't the case. I will post more details later when things are less fuzzy for me :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



So tomorrow is my surgery and I have started my period today. Honestly, this will be my third hip surgery and the second time I have had to have my period right before the surgery. It is more annoying than anything because of bad timing. I know that the staff at the hospital deal with this regularly, but I really was hoping to avoid the hassle. Ah, but no such luck.


I am getting kinda nervous today. I have checked into our hotel room and will spend my last day of mobility shopping and running some errands. My parents and I will go out for a nice dinner tonight for my 'last meal' lol

Still, I am kinda irked.

P.S. sorry if this is TMI; just had to get it off my back :P

Sunday, July 3, 2011

So This is How It Goes

I can hardly believe that it is only four full days until my third hip arthroscopy. On Thursday of this upcoming week, I will be able to have my hip fixed (hopefully forever!). Last week I wrote the first step of my medical board examinations which was a horrible beast and I am happy to get that out of my life. Whilst studying for this exam I had to sit for so long, that my hip detested it every single waking moment. To say the least, this extended sitting, made my hip life miserable.

Since the day-long study sessions are over, I get to move around more and, ha, go figure, my hip feels better. This always happens before surgery. It makes me doubt that I really need it. I know that I can't live and the pain from all this last semester is still vivid in my mind, but the brain has a fascinating way of playing games with the body and pain levels. This (feeling better right before the surgery) happened both previous surgeries, so I am not too alarmed, but gosh, it is annoying. Perhaps it is simply a manifestation of the normal human nature to not want surgery and to not want the pain that goes with it.

On another note, I woke up this morning with a terribly painful piriformis muscles as well as my SI joint hurts when I extend my lumbar region. I barely did anything yesterday except for read.....oh.....that might be it....I sat in one of those lawn chairs that fold up into a bag. They are pretty low and I am not used to sitting in one. Man, if that made me sore, I am seriously 26 going on 90 years of age!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Less than a week

Well, we have less than a week before the big day. I have been awaiting my hip surgery for a couple of months now and, although I am super nervous, I am so relieved that it is almost here and I can get it done and out of my life. Hopefully this will be the last hip surgery for me in a real long time; if not forever. (Mind you, I can't see never having problems again when I am older since I've had so much to do on both sides) but hey, if I can get several years/decades with functioning hips; I am all up for it.

I am off all NSAIDs now (which sucks) but I am coping alright. Also, I have had my pre-op physical and a finger prick to check my hemoglobin. The pre-op blood work is a far cry from last year. The surgeon ordered a PT, PTT, INR, chem profile, hemoglobin, hct, chest xray, EKG, etc. Phew! This time around - finger prick for hemoglobin. I think that is more suitable since I am otherwise healthy and not on any medications.

So, I am just waiting around, doing things with friends, etc., etc. until next week. My parents come down on Tuesday and then we are going to stay in a hotel until my surgery. My parents are going to be such a help. They are traveling across the country for my surgery and then are going to help bring me back home to their place where I can convalesce. It will be nice to have so much help post-op. Lord knows it is not fun!