Email Me

Email me

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pain Meds and Drug Tests

So sometimes I still need the odd narcotic at night and I absolutely refuse to take oxycodone since it makes me anxious when it wears off so I decided to make an appointment with my family doctor to get some Tylenol #3. As well, I conveniently need a drug screen to be able to work at the hospital.

All of this said, I couldn't get into my family doctor so I decided to go to the clinic. Well, that doctor doesn't know me from the drug-seeking patient and he was very reluctant to prescribe me any pain pills at all. I suppose that is a good thing because doctors can't be prescribing narcotics at the drop of a hat, but I legitimately need them and it was certainly hard to get. And I only got 15 pills.

Given the fact that I take narcotics and need a drug test could cause some problems as well since I will definitely be positive. I have to call the hospital today to clarify this issue. It isn't like I am sitting around on vacation taking narcotics, but rather, I am on medical leave which may help them be a little more lenient and give me a bit of time before I have to pass the drug screen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Small Gains

So it is the little gains that really help you to realize that things are improving. For me, I have now gained some extension in gait! Also, I can now go up and down stairs with one foot on each step. That is a great accomplishment and makes me happy that I don't go up and down the stairs so slowly now.

Furthermore, I have slept for the last 4 nights in a row! Only two of them have been augmented with pain killers. In any event, it is still great to finally feel human. Before these past few days I hadn't slept well in about 6 days. I could sleep a little but I had a terrible time falling asleep due to pain and if I took oxycodone, I'd fall asleep but wake up all anxious and wouldn't sleep the rest of the night. Needless to say, restful sleep is much appreciated.

I am certainly going to make an appointment with my family physician to get some Tylenol #3 to help me when I start working in two weeks. As well, I need to get a 10 or 9 panel drug screen to be able to work in the hospital.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dry Run

Today I had a PT session and then I did a dry run to the hospital in which I will be working the next year. I drove all the way there, went out to lunch, went to the hospital, and then looked for iPhones at two stores at a mall and drove back home.

This landed me on bed with a heading pad taking Tylenol #3 with codeine.

I have a long way to come to be able to put in a full day at the hospital in two weeks. eep.

Having said all this though, I have gained some extension which makes walking a lot easier! woot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Weeks Post-Op

Today marks the 7 weeks date since I have had my surgery. I can hardly believe that it has been almost two months! I really wish that I could say that things are going smoothly and I was happy I had the surgery, but I can't do that. I still have more groin pain than I did before surgery and my muscles are so weak and sore all of the time that the compensatory pattern really does a deal on my gait (and back pain). I wish I could also say that I am advancing and making gains. But, I am so thankful that I have PT on a regular basis now since I felt like I was just sitting around stiffening up for the last 6 weeks. I need this to help me recover.

The thing that bothers me the most is the nighttime pain. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in 6 days. It really makes me feel miserable and crabby. I think that it is a combination of inactivity (not doing enough to make me tired) and pain. I have significant groin pain that throbs and prevents me from finding a comfy position in which to sleep. I have tried everything and last night I was tired of throbbing so I took an oxycodone. It took my pain away within 35 minutes and it was much appreciated! Although my sleep wasn't natural sleep last night, it was good to not lie there throbbing. I really hate to take such heavy drugs, but if I will help the pain, I suppose I should break down and take them. Gosh, I hate that this hip is still acting like this. Hopefully I will turn a corner soon and start to get some progress.

So sorry for the rant. I believe that makes two negative posts in a row. Perhaps I'll have better news in the near future with me doing PT.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When PT Starts

Yesterday I had my first PT session. And I think that I'll stay with this guy for the remainder of my rehabilitation; 3 months and counting!

As of now I have very limited ROM and a very inflamed/stiff hip. I can't flex to 90* without groin pain, I have 0* of internal rotation, 30*of external rotation, and 0* of extension. It will be interesting to see how I am able to increase the motion as I progress through the PT protocol.

Also yesterday my brother sent me a balloon and a package of chocolate covered fruit (strawberries, apples, and oranges) to brighten my day! He is too sweet and thoughtful and really made me smile. He's so cute, I went to his place for a family BBQ this past weekend and I wasn't feeling great and he noticed that so he sent something to make me feel better. He did the same thing after my first surgery with flowers. What a great brother! I miss our shenanigans when we went to undergrad together!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Must. Take. It. Easy.

Seriously, I have to take my own advice and take it easy. This past week and a half has been incredibly busy and now I am paying for it and feel like I have gone three weeks backward. To summarize what I have done this past two weeks is: traveled to Niagara Falls, walked around there for a good 8 hours on crutches, drove back home, drove to school (11 hours drive), hung out with friends, drove to neighbouring cities to do things, drove another 4 hour (one way) to visit my brother. Needless to say, way too much sitting and standing makes for an unhappy hip.

This is fairly foolish of myself since my hip and I are standing on thin ice as it is but, I had figured that I have to live and after 5.5 weeks of lying around doing nothing I was up for the challenge. Now, I am paying for my lack of self control in limiting my activities. Seriously, I should have known better.

I am 6 weeks and 5 days post op today and here is an idea of the things I can and cannot do:

Can do:
shower and have a bath
walk unaided
not take any narcotics at all (day or night)
go up and down stairs unaided
wear normal shorts
dress myself (some modifications necessary still)
shave my legs (again modifications necessary)

Can't do:
put socks and shoes
bend past 90*
make it through the day without a medication (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Muscle relaxants)
walk without a limp
bend over at all
do stairs one at a time
paint toe nails
walk more than a block
make it through one minute without thinking of my hip
move in bed without waking up

As far as pain levels go, I think that I am still worse than before my surgery. Not only do I have the nagging groin pain still (2/10 on a pain scale) but I also have the muscular pain (and spasms) that go along with having surgery. Plus, my hip feels inflamed and I am still very swollen (I have developed a pooch of swelling on my butt/hip area that looks like a half of a baseball has been placed under the skin)....lovely. Also, the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was moved during surgery so it has lead to a patch of hypersensitivity on my lateral thigh.

I apologize for being so negative, but I have not found any improvement at all and am hoping that this surgery was not all for not. I realize that I have to have another surgery to really get fixed, but it is hard to keep a positive attitude towards recovery when you aren't expecting a full recovery. After putting that into words, I really realize how negative I sound. Man! But, there IS a chance that this surgery could help my pain levels. I guess I'll have to pour my energy into rehabbing properly so that I can make the most out of my current hip situation. The PT quest begins today at 3pm :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When it rains it pours.

So this has been one of the hardest weeks in my life. All within 3 days I:

a) had to leave my friends at school who I will not see for a year because I am doing my clinicals far away from my school
b) was given the news that I will need another hip surgery
c) my boyfriend broke up with me.

Not only do I have a broken hip; I have a broken heart.

I think that I'l go soak in the bath for a while.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Will this ever end?

Warning, vent may proceed.

Seriously, my hips are trying to make my life more and more difficult. It is exhausting to always be thinking and worrying how much pain I will be in and if the surgeries I have had will help alleviate the pain enough to function. Sigh.

Yesterday I had my 6 week follow-up with my orthopaedic surgeon and it went exactly how I feared. By now I should have had some pain relief and I do not :( So, my files are getting sent to Dr. Philippon to see if I am a candidate for labral reconstruction using my IT band. The OS was great and fully explained everything in detail and answered all of my questions. This was a stark contrast to his PA who I originally had in the appointment. Initially the PA came in and asked how my pain levels were and how I felt, I told him and he replied that it was normal for 2 weeks post-op. I quickly told him that I was 6 weeks post-op. He proceeded to say that it was normal to be stiff and we could start PT and see him in 6 weeks and, that was it! I was stunned. I explained how my surgery went and that the pain levels at the 6 week mark would be an indicator of whether or not I need reconstructive surgery, etc., etc. To which he replied that he would get the surgeon for me to meet. Seriously, I traveled all the way back to school (11 hours drive) to have this appointment and I wasn't even going to see the surgeon; I think not! It ended up that my surgeon spent about 20 minutes with me explaining the pictures from surgery, the next options, the future of my hip, etc.

So, as it stands, I am going to need reconstructive surgery. I am going to try and suck it up and get it done in two years time after I am at the end of medical school and before residency. But, if this past surgery didn't alleviate any of the pain and I can't stand long enough to do well on my rotations in the hospital, I will have to get it done sooner and take a year off from school. At this point I am sick and tired of having sore hips. So I am currently waiting to hear back from Dr. Philippon and I suppose we will go from there. I HATE HIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pumped For Some Action In Life!

It is official, I am so over this lying-around-doing-nothing deal. Phew. It feels like it drags on forever and ever, yet goes so quickly. I am now almost 5 weeks post op and am looking forward to moving on, out of the hip brace, and hopefully cleared to start physiotherapy after my OS appointment early next week.

I have found a physiotherapy clinic right near my house which has a physiotherapist that has worked with people with hip scopes and even has office hours on Saturdays. Having Saturday appointments is essential, especially when I get back to working in the hospitals since my hours will be unpredictable and am more likely to have a Saturday or two off which will help me get my appointments in. The only downfall is that I am going to be paying out of pocket since I have health insurance in the States and not in Canada. $40 a pop! But, worth it if it will help me recover. And, it can't be worse than the last physiotherapist I saw for my previous two surgeries: $45 each visit, 25 minute drive, to see the physiotherapist for ~8 minutes - not cool.

I already know that I have three months of physiotherapy if I follow my OS protocol (which I intend on doing to a T). But that brings me into a very busy rotation and I seriously wonder how I will fit it in whilst putting in 12 hour+ days at some points. But, health is important I will make it work.

On a happier note my boyfriend is coming into town this evening and we are going to have a fun filled weekend full of friends. I think that we might even go and see Niagara Falls! I'll probably have to crutch around since I am only just managing to gimp around without crutches inside the house for the last three days and I don't want to over-do things. But it will be great to get out of the house and do something fun. We then are going to road-trip it back to where I went to school where I'll see friends there and have my follow-up since my OS is affiliated with my medical school. The 11 hour drive will stink since I'll probably get stiff, but I am totally looking forward to hanging out and doing fun things.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blessings - Laura Story

So going through health issues and surgery after surgery, year after year, it can be difficult to live with a healthy positive attitude. I don't know how many people who have hip problems actually read this, but I thought that for any of you fellow hip patients out there, or anybody for that matter, who is in need of an extra boost of wholesome goodness and inspiration, you should watch this video.

Good things come out of every experience no matter how hard they seem. Keep on keeping on! You all are in my prayers! xx

Monday, August 8, 2011

Look Ma, No Crutches!!

Today marked the first day I didn't even touch a crutch! woot, woot!

I made it all day without using even one! I have a lovely Trendelenburg lurch, but I think this stems from my inability to extend my hip at all. I hope that physiotherapy can fix this.

I also drove down the street to visit my grandparents. It was just fine driving too.

Also, last night was my first night in a week that I actually got a decent night's sleep too

Sunday, August 7, 2011


4 Days Post-Op

1 Week Post-Op

2 Weeks Post-Op
(the day I got my stitches out)

4 Weeks Post-Op

Overall the incisions are healing great! I am really pleased with them. They are bigger than my previous scope sites and the sutures where not placed as tightly as previously so my scars are going to be bigger, but that just means that they are going to show more; gotta <3 your battle wounds :)

Today both my brothers were home and I went to the pool with them. It was great fun! Although I couldn't go into the pool, I stood on the steps and got all cooled off. It was inevitable that I was going to be splashed by my two younger brothers. We joked that I was going to be squeaking like the Tin-man when I go back for my follow-up because I will have rusted up. LOL

Thursday, August 4, 2011

4 Weeks Post Op

Today marks the one month post-op date. Wohoo! Actually, I can hardly believe that it has been a month. It seems to have gone by so quickly, yet, at the same time, so slowly. I am fairly impatient now but things seem to be improving. Slowly but surely.

I can now walk unaided for about half a day but then I have to resort to using one crutch. My gait is by no means normal looking at all (I have posted a video of my walking to document my increasing ability to walk more an more normal). The hip sometimes catches and when I sit down (most of the time) I feel it clunk down and crack which, in turn, alleviates some of the pain. Very odd, but I am assuming that it is just the hip healing away. Although I will run this by my OS when I see him in a couple of weeks. I can do almost everything myself, except for putting on underwear and shorts because I can't bend that far in the brace. I still have trouble sleeping but after a couple nights of bad sleeping I end up getting a good one in that will last me a few days. I think it is a matter of being able to relax. I have groin pain still and am severely guarding the hip which makes it difficult to sleep. I don't take any pain meds anymore, just my prescribed Ibuprofen.

Overall, I am far behind my previous recoveries, but this was a repair and not a debridement, and I was much longer on crutches. I think that having the revision really makes the recovery longer as well. I have my fingers crossed that this is all worth it!

I really have to stop thinking about the worst though; it is making me stressed. Yesterday I stumbled across a blog about a lady who had a labral repair and the OS found that her labrum could not be repaired and he just took part of her IT band and rebuilt it right then and there. Gosh, I wish I could have had her surgeon doing my surgery! Then I would for sure be out of the woods for further surgery. Don't get me wrong, I really trust my OS and really think he knows his stuff but he doesn't know how to do the reconstruction and he wasn't going to make me his first. So, I live on the fence until I have my appointment with him on August 16th.

Anywho, another week down and several more to go. I start up working on Sept. 12th, which gives me plenty of time to get doing physiotherapy (once cleared from my OS) and have the hip settle down enough to function on my feet all day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Walkered-it-up Today :)

My grandparents live about 7 doors down from my parents house so I decided to take a 'walk' and I used the walker I borrowed and took it all the way down the street. Although only 7 doors down, it felt great to walk outside. I could walk better with the walker than using the one crutch; it didn't hurt my back at all and I could feel the hip capsule stretch. Overall, I was pleased. :)

It probably looked ridiculous: a young chick hobbling down the street using a walker in a hip brace. But I don't care, it worked and felt great!

Scope Pictures

I totally forgot to post some pictures that my surgeon took whilst inside my hip. He took three pages of them and gave them to me. Pretty amazing! Last time I had to ask for copies and they just photocopied the, this time I've got them in full colour and the originals!!

I really don't know exactly what the pictures show, but I'll definitely get an explanation at my next appointment.
Not sure the details of these pictures.

The bottom two pictures show the 2 anchors he could get in,
and in between the anchors is the mush of a labrum (?)

I think the top row show the bone that was wrongly r
emoved by my previous surgeon

Bone removal in the second row (?)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Had a Bad Day

I am proud to say that I have not gone into self-pitty mode once since I have had my surgery. Yes, thre have been times that I feel like crying but a pitty-party does nobody good. I preface this post by mentioning this because I am afraid that this post might sound a bit more negative than I had originally anticipated.

Today is the first day back for my fellow medical student friends. I wish that I could be wearing my short white coat and following around doctors and learning medicine. Instead, I am lying on the couch with heating pad on my back to control my back spasms, frozen peas on my hip, all the while wearing a bulky hip brace. Pretty ideal...not! I don't know why this is so hard for me today. I've been dealing with hip issues for going on 6 years now, you would think that I'd be used to sitting out on things; it never gets easier.

Last night I slept horribly and flipped and flopped in the recliner chair so decided to flip and flop in my bed half way through the night. Neither place was conducive to sleeping. I really can't believe how much pain I am in still (being almost a month post op) plus my walking off of crutches doesn't seem to be improving. Hopefully it will get better very quickly. I haven't taken any oxycodone in two days but this evening before bed I will have to take some because it is a bit much.

To add on top of things, the support group Hip Chicks has gone to a pay-only access which means that I have to pay a fee to be a part of the group. I really loved the support I attained there, but I am not in a position to pay for 'extras' and the website group would be an 'extra' so, I have lost those connections. I suppose I could pay for it, but I am so in debt from school that I vowed to not spend any money on 'extra' things that I don't really need. I suppose if I find myself in a hip predicament in the future and need some support and some questions answered, I may rethink things, but for now, that is not the case. I did believe that I could still read the website and just not post but it seems like to even browse the website I have to pay. :(

I hope that I am on track to healing, it just seems so slow at the moment and I hurt right now. I totally wish that I didn't have to deal with all of this pain. I can't imagine others with more major surgeries. Phew. I know my hip was in kinda bad shape, but I only had a hip scope and I still feel crappy. I generally think that I have a high pain tolerance (being a former national athlete I know how to deal with pain) but man, this stinks. My heart goes out to those with major, major hip surgeries!

Hopefully I'll be less blue tomorrow, again, I apologize for the depressing nature of the post, but I needed to vent some. Thanks!