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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 Weeks Post-Op

I am two full hands worth of fingers in weeks since my last surgery.  Ha, I don't even know if that makes sense!!  Time certainly does fly, and I wish that I was feeling a bit better.  I realize that I am like the world's slowest healer (which I don't understand because I feel like I should be able to will away my hip issues), but I do think that something is a bit off.  I know that I am waiting to have my abd/pelvic US done in two days to figure out the extent of my vein issues, but wow, PUFF do I go after doing activity (like pool work or two full sets of my exercises).  I really don't get it.  Increasing my activity shouldn't be this difficult.  I have developed some nice IT band snapping on my lateral hip too...on the side that was released.  Weird.  All this inflammation and swelling is so uncool.  I think it may be related to my vein issue (since the dilatation is on the same leg/butt as the annoying swelling).  It is just such a long road.  I am annoyed.  My left still has groin pain too.  I see the surgeon in exactly two weeks, and I need to see him to get some of these things answered.  I hope hope hope that this will be my last trip EVER out to Vail!  How wonderful would that be to say "astalavista Dr. P!!"???  I mean, I love the guy, but I would rather not need to see him every couple of months.

Tomorrow ain't gonna be fun....pretty much clear liquids and certain veggies/fruit for me all day to get my system clean before the US on Friday.  NO CAFFEINE either I get crabby when I don't get my coffee.  Watch OUT!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

9 Weeks....9 Hectic Weeks....

And only getting more hectic!

So many things are happening at once.  It is craziness.  I am in the thick of studying for my board exam.  And let me tell you it is stressful and tiring.  So. Much. To. Learn. And. So. Little. Brain space.  Wow. I will be so so so happy when it is over with.  Then I will only have one more Step to finish (plus a standardized patient exam) before I am done with boards until I get board certified in a specialty of my choosing (hopefully OB/GYN or Family Medicine!)  I basically study for 10 hours a day, alone, at home.  What a brilliant life. Very exciting, lemme tell you!

I have, officially, a surgeon-crush (in a healthy, not creepy way).  He never ceases to amaze me how much he cares for his patients and their care.  I got a call today saying that he wasn't going to be working and that his schedule changed, and I won't be able to see the surgeon for my follow-up as planned in two weeks.  I have flights, hotel, and a rental car all booked.  And I don't think they are refundable or able to be changed, but the surgeon (or, prolly the clinic) is going to pay the extra amount it costs to change all of my accommodations.  They are taking care of the hotel and car rental and I have to do the airline.  Incredible.  They wouldn't let me see the physician assistant for a follow up and wanted to make sure that I get my follow-up in, especially with the issues I have been having lately.  I wonder how often they do this for patients?  It could get very expensive for them! I guess that's where my tens of thousands of dollars go. But yeah, I had to reschedule my ultrasounds and am going to Colorado for a follow-up for December 19th. So, I take boards on Dec. 17th, go to Vail Dec. 18th, see the surgeon Dec. 19th, and home Dec. 20th. I bet Vail will be beautiful at Christmas time!!!!!!!  And I can't wait to get some answers for both my hips.  They are stubborn suckers!

My hips are still pretty swollen.  But sloooooowly getting better.  The past three days I can say that I am not worse off than I was. So that is a step in the right direction.  I'll take anything since the hips aren't happy right now.  My walking is getting better too!  I hope to not limp when I see the surgeon in three weeks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

8 Whole Weeks = 2 Months

Yuppers, 2 months since my last surgery.  Weeehhaaa.  Incredible that it was that long ago because it feels just like yesterday.  I have come so far since surgery and am happy that it has been a success.  My joint is amazing!  I have a lot of other stuff going on though.  My lateral hip is still swollen for some odd reason.  And my other side has some issues:  psoas not working and hurts when he tries, bursitis, and a bit of decreased flexion motion.  It will be interesting to see what Dr. P thinks and does about these issues.

I finally got my ultrasound dates:  Dec. 7 for the abdomen and pelvis and Dec. 19 for both legs.  I can't have any caffeine or fat the day before my tests.  So I get to eat fruits, veggies, and clear liquids.  I'm gonna be starving, not to mention going into withdrawals from no coffee.  I am not looking forward to that bit, but I am looking forward to figuring out how big of a deal this next surgery is going to be.  I see the surgeon on Dec. 28 and we will go from there.  I am going to beg, beg, beg to get this done in time so that I can heal myself up real good before I return to school in the middle of February.  Having all this going on, plus sucky hips, makes for an exciting end to 2012: a doctors appointment every single week until the end of the year (bar one week).  Since I've had three surgeries in 2012, I figure I can deal with just one more.  No biggie, right?!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Latest Developments

This past week has been insane.  Literally a roller coaster of ups and downs.  I am proud to say that I have not used crutches for two whole days!  Yup, you read correctly, I haven't even touched them once.  Woohoo.  I am getting stronger.  I promise, promise that I will never ever take walking for granted.  I love having my hands free and able to carry things.  Plus it really helps my glutes get stronger with all the walking I am doing.  I am so happy!!!  My right hip joint still feels wonderful.  It has no pinching and amazing range of motion.  I am thrilled at the results of the surgery so far.

Now, I wish I could keep going on and on about how great things are, but it really has been a stressful week.  First of all, I generally haven't been feeling great, just off.  It's weird.  My most recently op hip has been extremely swollen for three weeks now and it is not going down.  I have tried everything to get it down: ice, rest, elevation, effleurage, taping, compression shorts.  Nothing works.  I called my surgeon's PA and sent him a picture of my hip because it was swollen and painful.  After several phone calls and me seeing my relatively useless gp, we have started Keflex to ensure that I don't have an abnormal presentation of an infection (although nobody thinks it is an infection).  Other possibilities that were discussed where lymphatic drainage and pelvic DVT.  Although my gp refuses to believe that I could have a pelvic DVT (me being post-op, swelling, vein issues, and on birth control, why wouldn't you think about ruling it out?!) But after discussing with my surgeon's PA I was told that I had to agree with my gp's treatment and hold on until I can see we can figure out the swelling issue.  I certainly hope that it's all just inflammation from having surgery.

To add to this, I had an appointment with a vascular surgeon this week too.  I had what I thought was a varicose vein and wanted it treated because it repeatedly becomes inflamed.  Dealing with phlebitis every six weeks is not exactly what I want.  I have had it injected two times before by a different doctor, and thought this was going to be the same deal.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  It ends up that this dilated vein is coming, most likely, from my pelvis or abdomen.  He ordered abdominal, pelvic, and bilateral leg ultrasounds and doppler studies + mapping to see how big of a dilatation I have and how big of a surgery I will need.  At the very least I will need the area that is giving me pain cut out.  It will be a welcomed procedure as it will give me relief to one last thing I need to get taken care of before I head back to school.

I am so thankful that I have such a great support system and a great team of doctors (at least in Vail) backing me up and helping organize my health out.  I'm really not digging all of these problems going on at the moment, but I will get through this...hopefully feeling better soon!! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 (almost) Weeks!

Time flies when you are having fun.  Or so they say.  These past weeks have not been what I call "fun" but they certainly have flown by.  I cannot believe that I am seven weeks post-op tomorrow. Incredible. 

Having said this, I am recovering veeeeery slowly compared to all of my previous surgeries.  My right hip joint feels great, but I am so incredibly swollen that I have a hard time walking.  It is worrying me a bit because it seems to get bigger and bigger each day.  I know that I am trying to get off crutches, which is a lot of work and is expected to induce some swelling, but of this amount may be unnecessary.  I may call/email the doctor's office soon if it doesn't improve.  I have tried everything to reduce the swelling and it is being quite stubborn.  This, I believe, is the sole reason I am not fully off crutches.  I was supposed to be off of them two weeks ago. 

I have one week left until I am allowed to lie on my tummy. Woohoo!  I am pumped.  Problem is that tomorrow I am going to have to lie on my tummy for an extended period of time at the doctors.  I am sure one week early won't be too problematic!  I am going to a vascular surgeon tomorrow to get a vein treated.  It's a long story, but I've been dealing with this for years and years and it really does hurt and need it taken care of (properly, as I've had it unsuccessfully treated twice before).

I also got my insurance letters requesting a bunch of documents to process my claims.  This has added SO MUCH stress!  I hate hate hate having to deal with this crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, that's the scoop! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

6 Weeks, 42 days later...

Yesterday was officially my 6 week mark and woohoo for this past surgery being a complete and total success.  I haven't had a hip feel like this in years and years.  Absolutely incredible.  It can bend, rotate, twist without any pain or catching.  I wish I could do a happy dance, but I am still on the sticks.  I don't seem to be able to get off them just yet. I did two days ago, hobble around the house without crutches for a few hours, but this landed me with a lovely groin pinch when I decompress weight.  So back onto them.  It will come, sooner rather than later.

I'm already getting a bit antsy about my upcoming appointment in a month (I can tell because I had a dream about how my surgeon may react at my upcoming appointment...although in a very unrealistic and weird way!)  I know that I am gonna be a doctor in a few years, but I hate (HATE) going to doctors.  Especially surgeons!  Every time I go to an orthopaedic surgeon, they tell me that I need more surgery.  Considering my track record, I would say that it would be normal to be apprehensive going back for a follow-up.  Especially since my left hip is still not perfect.  I don't expect it to be perfect, but I need it to be able to hold me up, without pain, for very long days when I return back to school in February.  I really think it needs a bit of (non-surgical) help.  I don't know what the surgeon has up his sleeve...I hope something good :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Walking = Hard Work!

Walking is very hard work.  This is a video of my first steps alone without crutches after 5.5 weeks of crutches following my reconstructive hip scope.  Not great, but it's a start.  I am a teeny bit better now, a couple days later, but I still basically need the crutches to do anything of significance.  I managed to hobble around my house holding onto counters and walls until about noon today.  I was proud of myself.  Then I did the afternoon on one crutch and after I got back from the pool, I was back on two crutches.  I just want off of these inconvenient sticks!!

With respect to the pool, wow, it has really stepped up a notch.  My PT had called the surgeon's PA to discuss what to do about my left hip as we have kind of hit a wall.  I can't activate my psoas without pain, my range isn't as good as my most recently operated side, and I have bursitis.  Awesome.  So the PA had called me and he said to increase my pool workouts to 3 - 4 times a week, and he added exercises so that it actually takes me an hour in the pool.  The entire pool experience takes a whole two hours.  And what a tiring two hours this is.  It is very good at helping me walk properly, but wow, I really feel it afterwards.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This Past Week in Picture Form

CPM put to good use.

My jack-o-lantern.  I decided to go to the dark side this year and make him scarrrry!!!
My birthday cake:  red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  Another year older and hopefully another year wiser. Everybody kept asking me if I felt older.  I kept thinking, well, I feel older than I should while I am still in my twenties. I hope that this upcoming year I feel less old than this past year! ;)  I can't wait to feel my age again!!
The LAST time I'll ever be in a CPM!!!  This was the best birthday present of all!
An absolutely lovely sunset.  It was glorious.  What a way for God to showcase His beauty.  It was breathtaking.
I tried on my old boots and found that I was slipping off my right side.  This was the result of my previously outwardly rotated foot!!!  It had bent the boots asymmetrically.  And now that my foot is kept straight by having my last surgery, I thought it would be wise to not wear these crazy boots any more.  My parents actually already bought me a new pair. (I am so spoiled!)
While dropping off my SCD and CPM machines, I got my refill on my doxycycline.  This is a whole months supply of nausea after I finish up 10 more days of my current bottle.  No, really, I have been tolerating the medications pretty well.  I still get my "doxy attacks" but I have been throwing up a lot less than last time.  woohoo!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday / 5 Weeks Post Op

I had had an update planned yesterday since it was officially my 5 week date since my surgery, but my day ended up with a melt-down/freak-out session and I thought better than to update here status post melt-down.  But here I am, one year older, and (hopefully) one year wiser, and totally looking forward to getting on with my next year of life.  This is the second birthday in the past couple of years on crutches recovering from surgery.   My family and friends really made it special though.  My Dad's parents took me (and my brother) out to lunch, where we all had burgers.  It was good!  I'm not the burger-ordering-type-of-girl usually, but they were on special and thought I'd try it.  It wad good, but waaay too full of meat.  I like ground beef, but not THAT much ground beef.  It was really nice to get out of the house and see people!  I then slept all afternoon (well, only a couple hours, but it constitutes the majority of my time from lunch to supper).  And then I went to my other set of grandparents, they gave me their gifts, and then we ate supper: chicken wings, ravioli, and egg rolls.  Yummy!  But, I ate all day and barely had room to eat my dinner.  Ah well, I'll have a bit for a snack with my pills tonight; no boring granola bar before sleep time for me today!

I got a bunch of wonderful things, but the best present was my completing my CPM torture time.  No CPM or puffers for this girl for a loooooong, time, like forever (pray to God!).  I'm pumped about this as it has freed up 6 hours of my day.  Which is a long time.  And now I can sleep in silence without having to hear my puffers go off every minute.  I can now leave the constant battle with the CPM - we've exchanged many words in our countless hours of time I spent in it.  Also, happy birthday to me: my insurance sent me a letter stating that the bill for my CPM use after my June surgery will not be covered and I owe $1100. So, I got the appeal letter together and we will be fighting it.  And all of my other stuff for this past surgery has been changed to "in progress" on my webpage account.  Please pray that my surgery is covered and that all of my procedures will be covered.  

As far as my hips go, my right is getting pretty good, the joint feels like it's my elbow, but the swelling is ridiculous.  I didn't do myself any favours by standing up as Maid of Honour on Saturday and standing, sitting, moving, shivering too much.  I've blown up like a blow fish.  Wow.  But the joint isn't hurt, just the soft tissues.  My left hip has me a bit worried as my groin pain as increased.  He's got less flexion and less internal rotation the he did before my right surgery.  He's probably just stressed out, but I am worried.  He clicks and clunks, and my psoas refuses to work.  My PT is calling the PA for Dr. P to see what else we can do to get it working. I'm just paranoid!  Ah well, Dr. P will have to figure out something because I am so over surgery! I'm done!!! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 Weeks Post Op (for the 6th time)

I am proud to announce I am four weeks post op.  And I have survived so far  My right hip is doing amazing as far as ROM goes.  The flexion feels like it's my elbow bending:  easy, smooth, painless, not restricted, internal rotation is amazing as well with absolutely no pinch.  The external rotation has limitations due to muscular pulling but nothing we can't iron out with some clams and FABER slides.  Extension is coming along, but we can only do it side lying in PT since I still have four weeks of not being able to lie on my tummy.

I started my 50% weight bearing today.  It is wonderful to stand on my two feet while I brush my teeth. It is still a bit sore when I stand due to the swelling I decide to keep for quite some time.  My legs are thinner and thinner due to atrophy.  And my calf is squishy and just hangs off my tibia; it looks like a boob hanging off my bone. :O

Lefty is still pretty smooth inside.  ROM is more restricted and painful compared to the right and my strength in flexion isn't as good on the left as the right.  I can already flex up my leg more on my post-op leg....I really kinda wish my psoas wasn't released.  Grrrr.....

No information on the insurance front.  Everything has been received but no decisions made.  I pray each and every day that the surgery is covered.  I hate the suspicion and worry that my financial situation could change dramatically.  It isn't something I would like to deal with....but it's coming and I hope things are covered.  Lord knows that all the procedures I needed were medically required.

I am now gearing up for my huge weekend:  I am Maid of Honour at my good friend's wedding. The rehearsal dinner is on Thursday and the wedding on Saturday.  It should be a beautiful wedding and I am so happy they are getting married, I just wish that I didn't have to crutch up the aisle, sit on a stool beside the bride, and go to the reception crutches.  Absolutely no dancing nor drinking for this lady :(

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inflammation, Shiminflammation, I Hate Inflammation

I am not sure what is happening with my body.  On Friday evening my lower cervical/upper thoracic region of my neck became sore so that I couldn't turn my head.  This occurred over a period of minutes.  I thought, ugh, and nothing more of it. I went to bed and didn't sleep very well because of the pain in my neck.  Yesterday was a complete washout as I couldn't move my head at all because of my stiff neck.  I went to PT and he said that it was so inflamed and swollen that he didn't want to mess with it, and decided to do a simple adjustment and we will work more on it this upcoming week.

Today is a bit better considering I can move my neck slightly.  Although I noticed some other strange things.  I may call my surgeon's PA tomorrow and just run it past them since my hip got all hot today and swollen most concentrated around my graft site.  Plus, I have a tooth that bothers me only sometimes and it now hurts to bite down.  This whole inflammation deal is not cool.  It seems to me that this is a flare of some sort.  I'm not sure how to describe it.  Odd.  I didn't have any fever but I was extremely cold on Saturday that I had to use heating pads to make my feet thaw.  Saturday was a washout, I lied on the couch, not moving.  Although I did drag myself to PT midday.  All of this doesn't add up to much.  And maybe it is a coincidence that all of this happened at once, but I haven't a clue how to put it together.  I've been checked for RA, HLA-B27 and come back negative.  It seems systemic to me having several body parts flare up like this.  So this is the paranoid side of me.  Maybe it's just par for the course at this point in the recovery process:  using crutches for several weeks, adding external rotation exercises into my regimen.  And I'd rather not call the PA, but I think I may, just to ease my mind.  In the mean time, I've started taking 440mg of naprosyn BID to help calm the inflammation.

My hip joint on the right feels great. I have wonderful ROM that is pain free in all directions.  Far better than my left hip.  This makes me ecstatic and worried all at the same time.  So happy because my right hip feels the best it has in years and I really believe it will stand up for a while now.  But unhappy because having my right hip feel like this really makes me notice that my left hip is still not perfect.  Perhaps time will be my friend and that is all I need to be able to get my hip to a place where it will be good for my future education and residency.  I certainly hope so!  It's just still hurting and the lateral ITB flicking, bursitis, and psoas issues are the majority of my concern, although all motions gives me a pinch at the end point (which is not there on the right).  I know, I know, the left has had four surgeries and the right has had only two, but still, the fact that it still hurts is concerning.  I betcha it will calm down once I'm more weight bearing on my right side, although I do wonder what my surgeon is going to say when I see him next (Dec. 10th)....his last words regarding my left hip were: "...the pain is unacceptable...we will inject during the right surgery and go from there."

On a more positive note, my Mum is teaching me how to crochet.  I learned the single stitch today and am making a bright yellow scarf for my grandmother for Christmas.  It is a lot easier to learn and faster to do than knitting.  I love learning new things and will force myself to finish this project as I tend to start many things and never finish them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

20 Days Post Op

Twenty freaking days!!!  Wow!!!!

Today marks two days in a row in which I have not taken any pain meds during the day.  Go me!  It feels great to have a clear head, now if I could only get any motivation to do anything.  This will come with time, but I have to drag my butt to the pool and get a-movin' ...I had every intention on doing it today, but I had a visitor in the afternoon and no car in the morning.  Also, I accidentally slipped on the ONE step down into my living room and wham, stepped full weight onto my surgical leg.  This was uncool since I am still supposed to be 20# weight bearing for another week.  Let's say that I am not ready to do any sort of weight bearing on my leg yet.  It hurt just to touch the ground lightly for an hour.  So stupid!  So annoying!  I know better than to rush up/down stairs.  I'm sure I didn't do any damage, but it really didn't feel lovely.

I can shower, get dressed, in and out of my CPM (depending on how tired I am), and all sorts of things now.  Having the pain reducing is well welcomed, I appreciate not being so throbbing and exploding all of the time.  Although I know my set of bad and good days are ahead of me, I'll take any sort of improvement and cherish it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

19 Days Post Op

I can finally see some improvements in the pain levels.  Which ROCKS!  I still feel like my hip is going to explode out the side with pain when I stand up near the end of the day, but this is slightly less breathtaking and doesn't start to occur until suppertime.  This means that I have been taking pain meds just to get me through the evening time to bed.  And now I have cut out the Valium and replaced it with Robaxin at night.  This combo seems to work, although the Valium works better and allows me to get more time in the CPM without having to get out due to a sore back, but the less drugs the better at this point.

Functionally I believe I am doing pretty well.  I can put my own socks and shoes on (as I have no flexion restrictions) without pain.  I can shower without having to get my feet lifted in (I can hoist my feel up and over the ledge myself).  I can get dressed (but this takes about 3 times longer than it should).  I can get in and out of bed myself if I'm not in the CPM (getting in and out of the CPM is still kinda difficult because it requires a lot of hoisting and I am not looking to hurt my hip flexors (which are super finicky these days).

My right hip joint feels great though.  It has so much smooth, glorious motion! Flexion and internal rotation, and abduction.  I can't do much adduction due to the swelling from the ITB and my external rotation and extension restrictions get lifted Tuesday.  I only have incisional pain on the right side.  My left hip isn't feeling wonderful.  Before my surgery I thought my left hip felt so good, and it did compared to what it had before and compared to my right hip.  Now seeing how great my right hip feels, my left is still not perfect.  Maybe it never will be.  And I'm okay with that, but it needs to be functioning enough to get me through school (and preferably residency).  I hope this groin pain, getting stuck is all just inflammation from being the sole weight bearing.  I am sure that it what it is!  And my psoas!  My PSOAS!  Ack!  That says it.  I kinda wish it was never released.  I've had so many failures, it's hard to trust the hip.  I must trust!

I had a conversation with my mum the other day, made me think.  I was talking about my hips and how seeing Dr. P isn't a waste of money/time because he is the best in the world with some of the best success rates.  My mum then said that she hasn't seen his results come through.  I thought for a second, and she is right, he has operated on my left side twice and I still haven't a hip that I can trust.  I really believe my right side will be amazing once all healed, but this left.  Makes me worried.  He promises me not to give up on my hips, but I refuse more surgery at this point and need a left hip that works relatively pain free.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Swelling & Pain

Alright.  After surgery everybody expects some pain.  To a certain extent it is reassuring as you can know that things have been fixed and you are healing up.  Well, I'm over it.  I had planned on updating every day or every other day, but I decided to not update yesterday as it would have been, simply put, depressing.  It was one of my worst pain days so far. I couldn't believe it.  My ITB was so uptight and rigid it made my knee hurt like the dickens and radiated all the way down to my ankle.  The muscle spasms were horrible.  Then, after supper, my hip flexor freaked out.  And that was it.  I had had enough.  I took another Norco ahead of schedule, took a whole Valium and went to bed.  Taking that amount of medication seriously knocks me out, but I didn't care.  I slept all night and was thankful.  Ha, I wasn't gonna post yesterday to avoid being negative and there I go, writing all about it, being negative.

I am continually doing my home exercises, which are minimal at this time, but I am faithful and do everything I am supposed to, including my two 20 minute sessions of biking each day, 6 hours of CPM per day, 20 minutes of circumduction each day.  All very helpful and small things to do considering how much I've done for my hips thus far.  My right hip joint itself feels amazing.  Seriously amazing. I can flex and internally rotate like it is my elbow (maybe not exactly as my elbow is all loose and my hip is stable), but, point stands, it feels great.  My muscles on the other hand are very sore.  In the packet I was given, it stated that after 21 days one shouldn't need narcotics anymore, that means that in a couple of days I shouldn't need any form of narcotic?! It worries me because I can't get through until supper-time without taking a Norco.  I am expecting a call from somebody on Dr. P's team in the next couple of days and will ask about the pain.  I remember hurting more when they messed around with my ITB in January, but it wasn't this bad.  I will have to check back on my posts from then to see how I felt and when I stopped my meds (which may not be fair since that surgery was a blow and made me worse).  Dealing with the pain is exhausting, but it will decrease soon.  Until then...I love drugs!

It's been a bit difficult to see all of my classmates moving on and getting interviews for residency.  I started my medical journey with all of them and now they are moving on.  I am so happy for all of my friends since they deserve every interview and residency program they desire, but I am not going to lie to say that I am not a bit disappointed I am not there with them.  I know everybody has their struggles and life does not stop because one is in the thick of their medical training.  I realize this, but it is crazy how much has changed since a year ago.  Last year at this time I had just found out that Dr. Philippon had agreed that he could help me and that he would operate on my left hip and I was just getting into the swing of things in the hospital.  How much has happened since then? I have had two left and a right hip surgery and have taken off school for 8 months.  I would have NEVER thought this would have happened to me!  But it did, and here I am, recovering and making the best of it.  I really think that because I was in pain that I would not have been able to chose a specialty in which I wanted, truly wanted, because I would have chosen something that was easier on the body.  Now I will be able to rotate through a couple more areas before I have to make my mind up, and I will do so with functional hips which will allow me to be able to make a better decision on my future.  At least that's how I currently see it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

14 Days Post Op

Today marks two weeks since my surgery.  It has gone by so quickly!  I can't believe that I am all fixed on the right side and am simply healing.  I really feel that my right hip joint is fixed and is going to feel wonderful once my surgical incisional pain dissipates.  Compared to my left hip, the right is already feeling much smoother.

 I really can't believe the swelling and scaring that I have experienced this time around.  Very, very impressive.  My pain is still a bit much for my liking.  I mean, I can deal with surgical pain, but my goodness, the throbbing and exploding every time I stand up.  I am still taking Norco at least twice during the day and Valium or Robaxin at night for the muscle spasms.  I am thinking that it is all the IT work that I had done.

I don't believe that I have listed everything that I had done during my surgery yet.  So, here it is:

  • CAM removal
  • Rim trimming
  • Labral repair
  • Labral reconstruction (ITB autograft)
  • Labral reconstrution (allograft)
  • Synovectomy
  • Iliofemoral capsular plication
  • Ischiofemroal capsular plication
  • Chondroplasty
  • ITB release
  • Bursectomy (greater trochanter)
Let's hope the insurance company decides that all of these procedures were medically necessary!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada.  Although it is not as publicized or blown up as big as in the United States, we still celebrate with full turkey dinner's, family gatherings, etc.  It is usually a fun time for all.  Fall is full of changing colours and festivities: Thanksgiving, Halloween, my birthday.  All very festive times.

As a family tradition, we used to always get together with my aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents on my mum's side to have a humongous turkey dinner at my grandparent's house.  I remember the days of stuffing my face full of food until I thought I was going to explode, and then I would leave dinner early to go skate.  I never remember skating very well on that day. why?!  The last couple of years though, it has become too much for my grandparents to host our entire family and we have sort of had our own dinners with our own families. Some parts of the family would get together, the ones not busy or in town, but I miss the days of 25 people packed in my grandparents basement eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing. Mmmmm!

The last couple of years I have been in school in the states and because they don't celebrate Thanksgiving until November, I tended to work and do school stuff on Thanksgiving.  I missed dinners and family gatherings, but then I got American Thanksgiving off which was a longer vacation than we get here in Canada, so I didn't mind so much.  This year though, it is much different.  It kind of reminds me of old times, with a twist.  This year I am off school until February to get my hip ordeal under control.  My family was invited to Thanksgiving dinner, but I am not able to go feeling the way I currently feel, so my brother came in from out of town, and my mum is making a full blown turkey dinner for my family.  I am so incredibly lucky for her kindness and love.  Since I am basically still stuck on the couch or in bed at this point, we are going to have a full dinner and everybody is going to eat on the couch and in the living room with me.  My family is the best!  Seriously? I doubt, but would hope, that other families would do this for somebody who was recovering from surgery.

I am not going to lie when I say that I have certainly had my set of challenges this year, but, despite the difficult times, I have so so so much to be thankful for....seriously....I am blessed.  I am thankful for my family who has stood by me and supported me as I faced the most difficult year of my life.  They never gave up and helped me after every single surgery this year; going above and beyond what was expected. I am thankful for God, as He has provided the strength and is my rock.  He gives me hope and the strength to keep on.  The sovereignty and love he has shown me this year has been mind boggling.  I am also thankful for the new friendships I have developed and the ones that have grown this year.  My medical school friends really stood by me this year, we had many heartfelt and tear-filled Skype chats about serious situations and they helped me come to terms with my health situation and that it was okay to take time off from medical school.  All the friends with whom I have made because of my hip journey has been incredible.  They just get it.  Plain and simple.  The number of texts, emails, messages I have received from all of you have are worth their weight in gold.  I wouldn't give up the support worth anything.

It would so easy to sit around the house these days in self-pity, wallowing in my currently sucky situation.  And, I am not going to lie, it happens.  I have moments where I can't believe I'm recovering from another surgery.  This past surgery really is taking a toll on the pain receptors, and it is so difficult to not let it consume me.  I don't get many visitors these days, which does place me in a situation that is quite socially isolated.  But, this is only temporary and I will get through.  Once the pain subsides and I can get off of the narcotics, I plan on studying quite a bit which will lend a wonderfully welcomed distraction.  Until then, I have to count my blessings, making this Thanksgiving day and the meaning behind it, especially important this year.

Thank YOU!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Surgery Pix

All my lines and bracelets.  

The entrance to the hospital.

Due to my several capsular repairs, external rotation is forbidden for 21 days.
Shoe laces tied together does the job whilst waiting to board the plane.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rocky Mountain Pictures

I have been out to Vail in every season this year for either surgery or for a follow-up appointment.  When I went in January I was in amazement of the mountains as I had never seen a mountain before.  It was glorious, magnificent.  Then I went back in the spring for appointments and landed back in Vail in June for another surgery.  Then, I thought I loved Vail most in the summer with the lush, green landscape, wild flowers, flowing creeks.  I was mistaken.  Coming back in the fall was, hands down, my favourite time to see Vail and the Rocky Mountains.  Breathtaking.  I only took pictures with my camera, so they aren't the best, but they can still share some of the amazing landscape.

Driving from Denver to Vail.

Driving from Denver to Vail.

Notice the haziness in the backdrop which was the left overs of the smoke from the wildfires.
When we arrived in Denver you couldn't even see the mountains because the winds were blowing the smoke from the wildfires in Oklahoma, Utah, etc.  Initially it was an eerie scene until the sun came out and the wind blew the smoke off the mountains.  

View from Wal-Mart.

View from our condo.  At times the rain clouds were so low they covered the top of the mountains.

One of my favourites.  Happy 50th Birthday Vail!!!

Another view from our condo.

Rock formation.

Driving back from Vail to Denver.  Right hip all fixed up.

I wish the reflection of the window wasn't there. :(

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Right Hip Scope Surgery 9/25/2012

After a restless night's sleep, I was able to drink clear liquids until 10:00 am.  This was a blessing since not having anything to eat or drink past midnight really does stink.  I had stopped eating the night before, but the Gatorade really did make me feel better.  We got all of my paraphernalia ready (CPM pads, hip brace, SCD puffers, crutches) together and basically waited around until 12:30pm before we headed to the hospital.  I was to check in at 1:00pm since I was his last case of the day because he expected it to be complicated (or so I was told).

When in pre-op all the regular things happened.  Johnny shirt goes on, IV in, electrodes on.  They also removed blood for PRP injections into the hip once done.  They then had to scrub down my hip.  This caused an ordeal because in in the summer they used chlorhexidine and I had a reaction to it so they had to use betadine for a scrub.  Also, I had to wear a bracelet with an allergy alert.  When the fellow and OR nurse came back to see me prior to wheeling me into surgery, they all were very concerned about this allergy as it is standard to use what I was allergic to.  Anywho, after this, the anesthesiologist came and talked to me about the epidural and the type of sedation.  Dr. P doesn't use general anesthetic anymore as they were having too many complications.  Fine by me!  We talked and anesthesia was going to just use some light sedation with the epidural and I would be good to go.  I agreed it sounded good.  

I really didn't have to wait too long before they were wheeling me back.  I got a shot of Versed which makes everything all better.  Once in the OR, I was sat up and had an epidural placed.  This time it actually hurt a bit.  More than I had remembered from June or January.  Then, another OR nurse (the same one that did my work in the office) came in and was all excited that she made it.  She was not scheduled for my case but wanted to be there anyway.  She asked the anesthesiologist if it would be okay if I stayed awake if I wished.  I totally took them up on the opportunity.  We had to wait for Dr. P to see if that was okay, and when he came in he said it would be fine and that now he would have to be on his best behaviour.  The fellow then took out a remaining stitch on the left and did an intraarticular injection into the left hip.  By then I was feeling a bit sleepy and I don't really remember much from that point on.  I remember talking with the surgeon as he did my scope, but I don't remember much.  I remember him pointing out that I had a bit of arthritis on the acetabulum, but nothing that necessitated any treatment.  I also remember asking to be "less out of it" as I really did want to see what was going on.  The anesthesia team switched half way through the case, and the new guy was really good about letting me be more aware.  He stopped all medications and then I remember fully everything from the graft removal from the ITB to the end.  Only thing is that the new anesthesiologist decided that he would quiz me during my surgery.  Really?!  He was asking me things, and then Dr. P piped in saying that I probably didn't come to have surgery and be quizzed at the same time.  The questions stopped coming.  I remember Dr. P leaving my side to prepare the auto and allograft.  Apparently the allograft was huge and he couldn't possibly see a reason for it being so large.  Before he put the allograft in, he dangled it above me so that I could see.  It was an inch by an inch and very wiggly.  How cool!  He then put it into my hip.  I should mention that when each of the anchors were placed, I could feel them hammering my hip and I shook.  Also, every time I had traction, I was pulled under the sheets (they had taped the drapes to my neck so that I could see the monitor they had set up for me).  The traction was the craziest thing, I could feel my own legs being pulled out of the sockets and I didn't care, it didn't hurt at all.  They also had to tighten the capsule because I was so unstable, this was interesting because I had so much scar tissue that he had a difficult time passing the suture through the tissue and he kept leaning on me with all his weight and grunting trying to get the capsule closed.  After all the procedures were done, they inserted the foley catheter and I was rolled to recovery.  

I was completely aware and talked to everybody in recovery.  My mum came back and it felt so surreal.  I remember everything from my surgery and was not sick or anything because I didn't have to wake up from anything.  I was numb from just above the belly button to the toes.  It was amazing.  I spent then next several hours simply chilling in my hospital bed.  In fact, Dr. P came in at 11:40pm to see how I was doing.  That man never sleeps!!  When the time came, the nurses loaded me up with pain pills before they were going to shut off my epidural.  With that, I slept until they had to get me out of the CPM, change my dressings, and then shut off my epidural at 3AM.  I slept until about 5:45am when I woke up because, guess what, my hip hurt.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pre-Op Right Hip/Post-Op Left Hip Appointment

After an extremely uneventful travel out to Vail, we had a day and a half to spare before I had my appointments with Dr. P.  On Saturday, it was a washout, because when I arrived in Vail, I decided, against my will, to get a migraine.  I am assuming it was the perfect combo of stress and pressure changes in the mountains.  This landed me in bed with the curtains drawn and a moist towel on my eyes for several hours followed by several hours of sleep.  Essentially the entire day and evening were shot.

Sunday came and it had simply turned into a headache.  Which is something I can totally handle.  On Sunday we went to Wal-Mart and got all the food we needed for the week, plus some other small things. Then we walked around Vail Village.  It was so incredibly beautiful in the fall.  I can say that I have been to Vail in all the seasons, but, autumn by far is the most beautiful.  We walked all through the Village and farmers market.  It was a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed every single minute of the day (with the exception of having the nagging hip pain, but that is completely expected when you are actually there in Vail to have your hip fixed).  In the evening we watched several shows on HGTV and a couple of Intervention shows (I haven't a clue why I like watching this show as it gives me cognitive dissonance!)

Monday rolled around, and this was the big pre-op day.  At 9:00AM, I had a sports endurance test. This started out with single legged squats on the right side.  I did about two minutes of it.  Then came jumping laterally from my right side onto my left with an elastic band doohickey around my waist.  It wasn’t great, but at least I could do it.  Next was the same thing but lateral jumps.  My left hip would not allow me to do it without pain, so we stopped.  Then I  did (aka tried) some lunges.  I attempted both hips and then looked back at the dude doing the test, where he said that they didn’t count and we stopped the test.  Needless to say, I failed.  But not unexpected.

At 10:30AM, I had measurements with the athletic therapist and PA (plus some additional help with the OR nurse).  We measured strength and ROM.  Both sides were similar, but my left side hurt a bit more.  My FABER was 21cm on my right side and 22cm on my left side. The only thing that stood out between the two sides is my left side flexion was much weaker than my right and my ROM was still less on the left compared to the right side.  Ugh to say the least when the left is going to be the sole weight bearing side in a matter of hours.

This appointment continued on with the OR nurse having me sign consent and have me fill out a post op questionnaire, and a whole bunch of other papers.  Gross.  She is so, so, so nice.  She definitely has the mother figure of the Steadman Clinic going on!  Then the fellow came in, did a very rough hip exam on both sides.  He came to the conclusion that my left side was still unstable!  I made it very clear that I had had that capsule tightened twice this year.  He said that it must have loosened up again.  WHAT?!  He then proceeded to flex my right hip up to max flexion which is about 90*.  When it was there he kept pushing and asking if that was all it did.  To which I replied YES!  In my mind, OUCHIE.  Then the fellow went through my MRI and radiographs.  I have slight dysplasia (CE angle of 26* on the right and 28* on the left).  We discussed the chances of having an osteotomy.  To which he replied that it could be a possibility, but that it isn’t a concern until the CE angle changes to the teens.  This could happen, but this does not contraindicate my chances of having a successful hip scope.  We will keep an eye on the angles in the future and cross that path if/when we get there.  He said that I we would definitely need to repair the labrum, maybe a labral reconstruction/augmentation, CAM and pincer impingement removal.  And my acetabular rim is fractured off just a tad and they will remove the bone and fix the fracture site.

Then I waited for an hour and half for Dr. P to come in.   When he did, the first thing he said was, “oh yes, I remember you, you are a very difficult case".  He proceeded to explain to the fellow that I had a very extensive history with less than optimal surgical outcomes using standard rehab protocols. When Dr. P did the more gentle hip exam, he said that it felt much better than before.  The fellow piped in saying that they were both still tight.  Dr. P said he should have felt my previous left hip stiffness and that I have the stiffest hips he has ever seen.  And that tomorrow they would have to be very, very careful with any tissue manipulation because of my response to surgery.  

He had me walk, and he was very happy considering my lovely hips. I said that I think that the pain is muscular, and he said that although he is happy with the functional improvements, the pain concerns him and that it is not good enough for him and that we have to try more injections and see if the pain resolves.  So in surgery tomorrow he will be doing an intraarticular injection into my left hip, removing some left over suture from the last surgery.  Then he will do a right hip scope with the aforementioned procedures (although I signed for a bunch more procedures that include microfracture….hope I don’t need that).  Then we discussed injecting  my right hip after surgery.  He is going to give a talk at a meeting out of town, but he has taught another doctor to give US guided injection on Friday (three days post op).  He said he wishes he could be here to inject but that it isn’t possible.  And that I need it done because we have seen what prior surgeries have done, that we have to take every precaution to reduce inflammation. 

I then got a pregnancy test, dropped off my scripts, and saw the preop nurse, took my vitals, and, DONE.  It's GO TIME!!!!!

PS. Since I am writing this post several days after the fact, I should mention that October 2nd is my 4th year hippiversary for the right side.  10/02/08 was my very first hip surgery and the last time somebody was inside my right hip.  This most recent surgery was exactly one week shy of four years.  It is crazy how much has changed since then.

Friday, September 21, 2012

4 Days Until Surgery

Wow, yes, I am nervous.  Yes, I am excited to be fixed.  I am so thankful for how everything is shaking down at this point.  Lets hope the positive vibes continue on for many moons.  In fact, I have raised just over $2600 for my medical bills.  That is incredible!  I can't believe how the people around me have been so generous to give money towards helping pay for my costs.  Stupid insurance companies.  Being on your own with an extensive medical history is not the most ideal situation in which to find yourself.

In four days I will have a new labrum with a fixed hip (exact procedures will be discussed on Monday).  The thought of that is super exciting (and nerve wracking).  I am so so so ready to get this over with.  Surgery is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night.  It is kinda overwhelming me at the moment.  But, it will come and go and I'll be stronger for it.  I am not looking forward to going to the clinic, I am sure everybody will be like "you again?!"  In case any of you didn't notice, it is the cool thing to have repeated surgeries every couple months.  Although, I don't recommend trying it since it has a tendency to flip your life upside down and stalls it for a year.

I leave tomorrow for Colorado.  *insert stomach flip here*  We have all day Sunday to sight see and hopefully attend the farmers market in the main village.  That will be neat!  Take some lovely pictures.  And then Monday, measurements at physical therapy at 9:00 am and then pre/post op appointment at 10:30 am.  Which means I'll see the athletic therapist, physician assistant, and fellow in the morning and then probably the surgeon in the afternoon.  Mix in there getting my scripts for my medications and a pregnancy test, it makes a full day!

Here's to fixed bodies and health!!!!!!!  woot woot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bring It ON!

I have made up my mind to go into this surgery with only positive thoughts and hopes.  I will put the entire situation in the hands of God and trust that it will work out for the best for me.  Being worried, scared, sad, or any other negative thought really takes a lot of energy and, I feel, can actually bring me down a few notches.  Yes, I could be worried out of my mind, but what good does that do?  Nothing really, except for making this next week full of stress and worry.  Totally not worth it.

I have all my ducks aligned so to speak.  I even picked up and cleaned my room so that when I can't get up to my room, I don't have to worry about the mess.  Also, I cleaned out my drawers and closet so that all my clothes are easily found by others when they go up and get my clothes for the day.  I didn't actually think to clean my room last time and phew, it was an ordeal trying to find my clothes off the floor.  In my defense, I only had a week to get things organized, but this time I figure I'd be more prepared.  I have all my medical devices too:  hip brace, SCD leg pumps, CPM pad (yes, I kept them from last time so that I wouldn't have to pay the $20 for them again when they were still in perfect condition.)

So, in a week from now I could already be done my surgery.  Wow!  I am thrilled to think that I will get my right hip fixed up and be on the road to recovery.  Although this hip surgery deal is a long and slow recovery, I really think (and hope) that this surgery can give me some relief.  Thank goodness I am seeing one of the best hip preservation surgeons in the world.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Coming Up Quickly

Wow, surgery is quickly approaching and I can't put a stop on IS going to happen SOON.  Part of me is excited as I am certainly expecting this to be my last for a long while.  Insert happy dance here!  All accommodations and everything is set up now.  All flights, car rental, condo are organized.  As far as the insurance goes, I am paying just over $13,000 on the day of surgery and hopefully will get my surgery covered.  The clinic has seen my insurance provider go both ways from not covering anything to covering everything.  I will have to sign before surgery that I am willing to pay if the insurance company decides not to cover my surgery.  I don't intend to go down without a fight if they deny my surgery.  Who the heck has another $34,000 just sitting around to pay for a surgery.  This insurance deal really makes the nervous.  I have to remember though that there are always ways to make this work financially and that no matter what, having functional hips is worth it.  I am hoping that this next surgery will allow me to get my life back, and one can't put a price on that.  Plus I have the reassurance that in 2 years I will start to make ok money, and then after 3-5 more years I'll be making a sufficient amount of money.  It will be okay.

Hipwise things are about the same and unchanged since last posting.  I won't re-type everything.  I do know that I need surgery though as this right side is feeling similar (but with more ROM) to how my left side was feeling in December prior to the first Dr. Philippon surgery.  I hate that I know everything that is going to happen.  I keep reliving my previous two surgeries with him, over and over.  I mean it really isn't THAT terrible.  I could handle it.  January's surgery was brutal, but I got through that too.  I think it's the whole: "let's pull you leg out of the socket and jab pencil-sized instruments into your hip where we are going to grind and stitch thing together" doesn't thrill me.  The reason I am doing this is the get the eventual pain relief I anticipate, so that I can return back to medical school with two decent hips.  That's quite exciting.  I am ready to move on.  I am sick and tired of being the "hip girl" :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

11 Days Before: LOVE/HATE

When compared to 11 days before my last surgery, this is completely cool, calm, and collected.  Last time at this time before my surgery, I still didn't even know I was having surgery!  I was getting bilateral MRIs, seeing my surgeon the next day, and then ten days later was in the OR.  Phew.  Looking back on it, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Although I was heartbroken that I had to stop school for the time being, it was without a doubt, the right decision.  Although my left is a bit off still, it is so so so so much better than before this last surgery.  In my mind, coming out of a surgery not worse than going in, should be deemed a success.  This last surgery was the first time this has happened!  Woot woot!

I wish I could forgo this upcoming surgery.  No aspect of this surgery is fun.  Nothing.  Most of all I am really dreading being locked into the CPM.  Gasp, I just said the "C-word!"  I won't say it again.  But yuuuuuuuucky.  For anybody who has used one before, you know exactly what I am talking about.  I am also not looking forward to the attention that comes with having surgery.  I hate that all of the people in Vail know me by name.  I hate making a scene in the hospital (invariably this will happen because anesthesia and me do NOT mix well).  I hate having to lug my sore and swollen body to PT twice a day while in Vail.  I hate having all these doctors appointments & injections.  Having said all this though.....I WILL LOOOOOOVE TO HAVE MY RIGHT HIP FIXED.  So that makes all the things I hate worth it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

2 Weeks Left of Walking

I cannot believe that there is only two weeks left before I go in for another surgery.  I am really not digging having another surgery.  After repeated surgeries, I have found that many people, especially my extended family, feel as if it is no big deal. Oh, yup, she's having another one.  I think that to others it becomes old hat.  When in reality, it gets harder to handle and this is the time I need the most support.  After my first surgery I had people send cards, call, visit.  This next surgery, I don't expect any of it.  I didn't have one visitor for at least a month after.  Although I probably wouldn't remember half of my visits if I got one anyway, still, it sucks to have surgery become mundane to those around you when it becomes more and more frustrating each time I have to go in and have my hip repaired.  Blah.

Enough negativity.  Sorry.  As of now I truly believe that my left hip is strong enough to withstand having the other hip done.  It isn't perfect but is a heck of a lot better than before this last surgery.  Which was kinda the goal.  I do wonder what he thinks about the longevity of these hip scopes he is doing.  I wonder if I am done with surgery for years and years or if I should expect more to come.  Having said this, this upcoming surgery will be the last surgery for me for a while regardless of what the surgeon expects as I simply cannot handle any more currently.  This has to give me enough relief to get through medical school and ideally residency.  My body is tired and completely exhausted from having to recurrently recover from surgeries.  So this is it for a looooong while.  Woot woot!!!

I am currently only taking Aleve during the day and my birth control at night.  No other narcotics at all since I want them to work the best possible after surgery.  In doing this, I am not sleeping wonderfully, but it is a small price to pay to get maximum post op pain relief.

Now, I have the final countdown to a final surgery for a very long time.  That idea that I am going to be done with hip surgeries for a long time is truly helping me through this next chapter in this freaking hip saga!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This Hip Deal Keeps Getting Uglier & Uglier

Good grief, I am officially sick to my stomach with nerves and wonder how the heck I am going to make it work financially.  Yesterday I got an email from The Steadman Clinic stating that my insurance company will not provide a pre-authorization or pre-determination for my surgery and because of this the Clinic will be needing $10,000 down payment the day prior to surgery to help pay for the surgeon's fees.  And IF the insurance company decides to pay all of the surgery will I get some of it back, but there is a distinct possibility that the insurance company won't pay for it and I will lose the $10K and will be required to pay the additional $28K to pay all of the fees out of pocket.  I for sure do not have access to this amount of money for the down payment, and absolutely cannot afford to pay the entire thing.  My parents will be putting the money for the down payment on their credit card, but they don't have the money either and I feel absolutely horrible to have to have them fork out the money.  They pinch pennies to begin with, never going on vacation or anything, and now all of this....I am very, very, very worried.  I have raised nearly $2000 on my website, but this is not nearly enough for what I am currently facing to pay.

Today marks 19 days until I have surgery on my right hip and the 81st day since my left hip surgery.  I wish that my right hip wasn't as bad as it is because then I could forgo surgery for a couple of years (~3 years) and then get it when I was working and probably under a different insurance company.  But, this is not the case and we will deal with it.  Everything is all in place:  flights, car, condo.  I even have two sets of new SCDs and a right hip brace (thanks to a fellow Dr. Philippon patient) and I kept my CPM pads from last time.  All of this in hopes of saving some money.  And given all of this, even the slightest thought of having this surgery fail is painful.  So, I don't let the thought cross my mind very often.  I don't have the best track record with successful surgeries so it is definitely buried in the back of my mind.

I also have a pre-op appointment with my primary care doctor this morning.  I'll have to have a surgical clearance physical (so silly since I had just had a full medical in May and nothing has changed since my last surgery).  Plus labs:  PT, PTT, CRP, ESR, CBC w/ diff, UA.  All the fun stuff.  I am thankful that my family doctor could fit me in since he was booked solid for the next three weeks.  So that is where I am off to in a few minutes.

Last week I had a friend come from out of town.  It was nice to have company and just chill and relax and hang out.  We did get to go to Niagara Falls, and it was her first time there, so it was really exciting to see her reaction to the falls.  We went on Maid of the Mist and had a blast.  It was so incredible that it gave me goosebumps.  She left yesterday and had to get back on with life.  It was great to have company since I am usually at home all alone the majority of the day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

4 Weeks Before Surgery

Wow, time is flying by, and I want it to since I am extremely sick of staying at home with no real schedule.  I basically do nothing all day and attempt to study for a couple of hours each day (which may or may not actually happen).  Otherwise, I am simply putting in time to heal before the next surgery.  I dislike the fact that I am living surgery to surgery these days, but it is what needs to be done.

I am getting stronger on my left side and now feel confident that it will be able to hold me up after my right hip surgery.  I am actually really looking forward to getting my right side fixed up so that I can move on with life.  Having said this, I am worried too as I am physically and mentally exhausted and the thought of having another surgery makes my stomach flip.  This upcoming one will make it 4 surgeries in 14 months.  Something I wouldn't wish upon anybody.  I now have the peace of mind to know that I have an extremely reputable surgeon and have all my trust in him to fix these stupid hips!!!

At the moment I am trying to figure out my PCP pre-op appointment.  Apparently he is booked solid and they are having to 'slip me in' sometime next week.  All I need is for him to fill out three papers and order some labs.  Nothing much.  In fact, before the last surgery we didn't even fill any of this out because it happened so quickly!  All I had was blood work the day before surgery.  Having looked back on the past surgery and that experience, I am still amazed at the whirlwind it was.  One day I was attending medical school rotations and the next I was canceling everything have planning surgery for the next week.  Craziness!

The left hip is feeling pretty good, the flexion and extension pinch is still there but my ROM is not decreasing.  I am thankful for that.  I still bike everyday and do exercises every day and PT twice a week.  The left is still a bit finicky as far as the soft tissue goes, but, that is improving slowly.  My right side as the distinct groin ache and then, intermittent lateral troch pain and butt pain.  It sometimes catches when doing my exercises for my opposite hip and while rolling over/stretching in bed.  I definitely know that it having this surgery is needed, although it is not nearly as bad as my left was prior to the last two surgeries on it.  I hope that Dr. Philippon is pleased with the results of this surgery and the small little kinks can be worked out with time and, maybe, injections.  We will see in about a month.

I had a big weekend!  I went out of town with my family to visit my brother where we were outside for 6 hours sitting on picnic tables (which are very hard if you haven't ever thought about it) while we watched my mum skydive, then we walked around a Peach Fest and the next day we walked around Niagara Falls.  It was so incredibly tiring.  I mean, I am very glad I did it, but I am so exhausted I can barely do anything.  I haven't slept very well these past two nights either.  Which is due to me doing too much and then not being able to get comfortable in bed.  Totally my fault since I probably shouldn't have been walking around like that, but sometimes I feel like you just have to live. Go out and do things regardless on how much it hurts.  Because if you don't, you could be stuck in the house staring at walls all day living an extremely boring existence.  Speaking of doing things, I have a fellow hip friend coming to visit me for a week.  In fact, she is en route right now.  Her flight gets in later on today.  It will be fun to hang out with somebody who actually understands what life is like, especially having limited mobility.  I look forward to great times with her!!!

As far as insurance goes, we are still waiting on pre-authorization.  I pray that we get it or else that $10K down payment will have to be made, and I'd rather spare this if possible.  I am still trying to raise money for my medical bills.  As of now I have raised ~$600 (give or take a bit).  I am still praying to get a bit more as these medical bills are gonna be HUGE coming up.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Here. We. Go. Again.

I totally missed my 8 week post op post.  Whoops!  It is basically the same as I feel now almost 9 weeks post op.  I suppose I can give an update as to my current status.  The left hip is feeling pretty darn smooth, and the flexion pinch is a little less. My extension when I walk still hurts, which is the most bothersome of the motions for me.  My internal rotation bites a bit too, but I am hoping all of this is expected at this point.  I do wish that I could see my surgeon now as it would definitely help ease my mind (or necessarily worry me), either way, I'd love to know if this is expected of me at this point.  I've never had a successful surgery so I'm unsure of what 'normal' is!

I am sleeping terribly still.  Not that I am pounding full of pain, but that I am unable to get into a position that is comfy enough to actually fall asleep.  This, added to the fact that I do not do normal activities of a person living life (no, sleeping in and lounging all day with the one to two sets of hip exercises are not enough to make me tired).  I still take the odd half to full Norco depending on my pain levels.  I took one tonight because I had to go to the mall to get some flat shoes for the wedding in which I will be standing in October (yes, I am going to be the Maid of Honour on crutches...sweetah!)

I got my pre-op package in an email today.  Eek!  It is actually happening.  I have to get my PCP to get some labs done and a urine analysis.  All very expected, what wasn't expected is the fact that if my lovely insurance company does not want to provide pre-authorization for either my revision surgery or a labral reconstruction, I have to pay $10,000 down payment to the Steadman Clinic prior to my surgery.  And what ever is NOT covered, they will take the money out of the down payment, and refund me the rest.  Because yes, everybody has $10K lying around!!!!!!  Not!  I am going to pray and would appreciate it if you could pray as well that we get pre-authorization granted so that I do not have to worry about this for much longer.  We submitted for pre-auth in the last couple of days, 6 weeks early, to try to deal with the unexpected hiccups should they arise.  I know you can't put a price on health, but whoa!  Money is extremely tight and I want my life back and want functional hips.  So, let's pray that this works out the best possible way.

Oh, and my website has now raised 23% of my $2000 goal.  That's pretty good.  I'm excited because any amount helps.  I wish that I new somebody who was filthy rich and they could simply donate enough money for me to have my at least $7500. Ha.  Wishful thinking!  I really do hate how I get so stressed over finances.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach thinking about all of the money I have been spending.  Not to mention I am $100K in debt from school.  I know one day I will be able to make some money, but until then, I do have to make my limited finances last.  So no shopping sprees or buying extras for me for a very long time.  Boy I will have to appreciate having pain free hips after all of this.  I know God will provide.....mind you, I'd appreciate a break right about now.

Friday, August 10, 2012



And yet, don't have the energy to do anything.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Black Clouds

Honestly, if something can go wrong with the hip, I am pretty sure I can make it happen.  I mean, maybe not everything has gone wrong but this sure has been a long haul.  And it keeps going, and going, and going.  My Grampa today said that it is as if I walk around with one heck of a dark cloud regarding these hips.  Thanks Grampa, thanks.

My hamstring attachment hurts a lot.  I mean, as if recovering from the fourth surgery on the left side isn't enough, I get to deal with this too.  And leftie has to become the good and strong guy in less than 7 weeks.  He, right now, is NOT strong enough or happy enough to do his upcoming job.  I know 7 weeks is a long time and he'll settle down, just doesn't make this any better at the current time.

Yesterday in PT I cried when he palpated the hamstring and figures that it is partially torn.  It take a lot for me to cry because of the pain.  I think it is because it is so acute that it hurts so badly.  I have been icing like crazy, we KT'd up my hammy and will retape tomorrow differently since it is still sore.  Apart from adding on ultrasound, I suppose time is my buddy at this point.

Today I needed  head to the mall to get something for my hair for the upcoming wedding in which I am standing.  It was fun looking at all the sparkly hair pieces and earrings.  And I got some super sparkly earrings and hair piece.  I am thrilled to wear them (although not thrilled with their price $$).  I could make it to the store but had to stop and sit on a bench in the middle of the mall because I couldn't make it to the car and then had to push the buggy out to the car.  I thought I was stronger and better than this, but then I remembered that my Mum and I had just gone to the library to figure out their less-than-ideal-for-the-technologically-challenged system where we stood, err, hung on the counter, for 15-20 minutes.  This was too much for me and my hips.  The pain in both sides reminded exactly of how I felt every single day whilst on rotations in the clinics and hospitals.  Something that is just not healthy to do an something that I never want to do if I don't have to.

To end on a more positive note, I FINALLY slept last night.  I praise the Lord for this, as I really felt like I was going to go off the deep end if I didn't get a decent night's sleep.  Now I am going to drink some relaxing tea before I drug up and then go to bed in a couple of hours.  Oh the joys post op from hip surgery with a pending surgery on the horizon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pre Op Day 52 & Pre Op Day 48

Sleeping is horrible.  Literally horrible.  I tend to lie there awake and then when I finally do fall asleep, I wake up every time I move.  This is partially due to my left but mostly due to my right, it is probably a good idea to continue to take my pain meds despite not wanting to keep taking them.  I am utterly exhausted.  My hamstring attachment and psoas are no better than they were on Saturday and it's really aggravating.  I am sure they will settle down, but it is so uncool as my right is so sore.

Walking has been pretty good.  The latest muscle strains make the left hurt to weight bear, but nothing that I can't handle.  And overall the joint feels good.  I have some groin pinching upon full extension still, but otherwise the left is managing.  My right is quite aggravated and feel that it won't get any better until Dr. P fixes the joint.

Today was the first time I didn't use a shower chair!  I was thoroughly proud of myself.  I even shaved my legs. Shaving the left leg is easier in that I can bend forward but...standing on the right leg for that long made the joint throbbing increase in intensity for an hour or so after the shower.  I'll have to focus on the positive aspect that I don't have to contort myself to shave the left leg as before I had to do so in order to prevent myself from getting hairy manly legs because the joint wouldn't move very much at all (the left hip was so tight that Dr. P said it was the tightest hip he's ever felt...I remember kidding! It HURTS!)  I digress.

I am trucking along these days doing waaay more home PT exercises than I can handle.  I am wondering if I am doing too much?  I am going to speak with my PT today as we may be able to tailor the program to cut back on the number of things I do each day to reduce my pain levels.  We will see later on today.

Monday, August 6, 2012


It's like my golden birthday (as a fellow hipster called it), but in the countdown, countup world of hip surgeries....well, I suppose "yesterday" was, since I am writing this post at nearly 1AM.  But still, point stands, I am (or was) 50 days post op from my left hip surgery and 50 days pre op for my right hip surgery.  I am super excited that the left hip is most likely fixed, knock on wood, and that my right one is completely coming up quickly.

I have had a bit of a set back yesterday and today as I was doing one of my exercises called the 'dead lift' (? I think ? binder is downstairs and I am NOT getting out of bed to go and check the actual name), but I was doing it yesterday and I usually get a good snap out of, what I hope is the psoas, but it was way huge compared to normal.  And it HURT...a lot.  So much so that it made me jump backwards on my left hip.  He didn't like that so much, and in the process managed to irritate the hammie in its attachment to the ischial tuberosity.  So now I have a lovely pain in the groin and a pain in the butt every time I walk and even at rest.  I am sure it will go away in a few days, but it doesn't make it feel any better now.  Currently I am lying on ice and have ice on the anterior aspect of my hip hoping that it will alleviate the inflammation.  I've put Voltaren cream on my hip/butt for the last couple of days too hoping to settle things down.  Just a minor bump in the road towards good hips.

So, Happy 50/50 Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And don't mind my atrocious grammar on this post. ;)