Email Me

Email me

Monday, July 30, 2012

44 Days Post Op: Faith & Reassurance

I really don't think that I've done justice to this blog lately.  Sure I keep a running tab on what I can do and voice my immediate concerns and worry.  But I really have a lot more to be thankful for than I let on in my regular updates.

I have such an amazing family and amazing friends, although, my friends that seem to help me through this difficult time have come from many unexpected places.  You know who you are, and, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me, listening to me, and simply putting up with me.  Without the help of friends and family I wouldn't be sane, I wouldn't be where I am.

In addition to my immediate support network, I know that the Lord Christ is there with me through this entire journey.  He has chosen this path for me and it is not my place to feel self-pity and wonder why me.  I know the answer to "why me", it is because He chose it for me.  Plain and simple.  This is one extreme learning experience that was given to me by the Almighty Lord, whose perfect plan for me here on earth is panning out.  I have absolutely no doubt that the experience of repeatedly failed hip surgeries will make be a better person and I strive to have my circumstances draw me closer in my personal relationship with the Lord.  I will be the first to admit that I need to spend more time growing my relationship with the Lord.  I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He is there for me, beside me every step of the way through this hip journey and for the rest of my life.  I take comfort in knowing that this is what is best for me.  I put all my faith and trust in Him.  I have so much reassurance that this will work out just as He has planned and that I will have the best hips possible this side of Heaven.  In glory, there will be no more pain, no more bad hips, pure bliss.  I am so incredibly thankful to know Jesus as my personal saviour.  All my trust and hope is in Him, and Him alone.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 
--Isaiah 40:28-31

Friday, July 27, 2012

41 Days Post Op: WALKING!!!!

Today was a HUGE day for me.  I, to this point, have yet to use my crutches at all.  I mean, really, I walked all day alone.  I'm not gonna say that it was great gait, but I am really, really stoked about this.  It feels so great to walk as my left needs to gain strength and my right needs the rest.  I'm so happy at how much better my left feels walking compared to pre-op.  Honestly it is thousands times better than it was before surgery, although it is still has a pinching pain upon flexion (which slightly concerns me).  I am thrilled, it is a BIG day in the world of hip surgeries.

As far as pain goes, the left side is great and the right side isn't so great.  If I only had my left to deal with, I wouldn't need to take any pain pills.  Really, it is mostly soft tissue pain at this point.  My flexors are quite inflamed and the butt muscles are pretty weak.  But that throbbing groin pain is GONE.  woohoo! On the right side, I have the constant throb going on inside the hip which is definitely worse at night.  Often times, well, let me change it to every evening I must take a pain pill.  Norcos plus Benadryl really seem to complement each other nicely to induce pain relief and drowsiness.  I feel like a drug user, in fact, I am, but, you know....I still don't like to have to continuously take pain medication to get through the night.

Perhaps I'll post a video of my walk later on since I did video tape it on my phone.  Woot woot!  Small steps forward in this darn long hip journey!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

40 Days Post Op: Baaaack Aaaack

I am now 100% weight bearing now and, well, ran into a bit of a setback.  Two days ago was my first day of full weight bearing.  I was feeling great.  I could stand with all my weight on one foot for a couple of seconds and could do a few horrendous appearing steps.  I was thrilled.  But yesterday, when I was getting out of bed, my back caught me and, whoa!, did it hurt.  I couldn't stand or walk with any weight on my left leg yesterday.  Extremely uncool.  I ended up taking muscle relaxants and taking it extremely easy.  I had no choice to take it easy since half of my exercises hurt me.  I think this was definitely my body's way of telling me to slow down and be careful.  This morning it feels a bit better.  It is still there but it isn't taking my breath away.  I already tried taking a few steps and it was decent.  Well, I wouldn't even call it decent, but I could do it without horrific pain in my back.

I'm still not sleeping great as I wake up every single time I move.  But this is par for the course at this point and I cannot wait to get the other side done so that I can move on with life.  My left hip has pain with flexion at the 110 degree mark, but I push through it, as instructed, and can reach 125-130 degrees of flexion.  Albeit, with pain.  I hope that a simple injection at my post-op check will do the trick.  I'm really paranoid about scar tissue, but, I am doing everything possible to keep this hip from developing scar tissue.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Astalavista Baby!!!!!!!!!!!

Astalavista! Ciao! Later! Good bye CPM and leg puffers!  Hallelujah, they are gone, out of sight for at least 9 weeks.  Although this is not a permanent departure from my beloved CPM and leg puffers, it is a welcomed  lengthy break.  What will I do when I don't have the caring caress of the CPM and the oh-so-gentle puff of sweet air against my calf skin all night?  I haven't a clue!

In all seriousness though, I am extremely happy that I made it through these last 5.5 weeks relatively sane.  It's been hard at times, but I've made it.  And in one piece.  I'm still standing tall, even though my right leg hurts like the dickens.  He is not happy about taking over total weight bearing.  At all.  But he'll get his turn to be fixed...all in due time.

I am now 75% weight bearing and will graduate to 100% weight bearing tomorrow.  I can't really stand at 100% yet though, my soft tissue just won't allow it.  I can do a kinda waddle-walk while hanging onto things like counters and such, but it still is light years behind last surgery.  Although we are taking it more conservative (ie add a week onto everything plus more in some areas), I still want more.  Don't we always want more?  I will walk, but I don't expect it to be crutch free at least until the weekend, if not longer.  Slow and stead wins this race.  Grrr....  I do this every time, I tend to do too much to 'strengthen' my leg/butt/hip and then make it sore, let it calm down for a couple days, then repeat the same process.  I should be more gradual with my introduction into walking since I really have no timeline at this point.  Just to get better is my main life goal at the moment and why must I push things? I mustn't do this.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

5 Weeks Post Op

Yesterday  marked the 5 week date.  Wow has time flown by.  It seriously feels like I was just being wheeled into the operating room.  There is nothing really new on the hips.  I am now 75% weight bearing (although I can take a few steps unaided....shhhh, don't tell!). I do many exercises, bike 40 minutes each day, and pool every other day.  It's a full time job to get everything in during the day.  All totally worth it though!  I am also technically done with the CPM but return it tomorow and plan on using it the 6 hours as prescribed today so as to prevent scar tissue right to the last minute.  The SCDs are also done but, I will not be using those tonight as I will most likely not develop a clot now nor can I stand them for one more possible minute.  So hot and noisy in which to sleep.

Yesterday I went out for dinner and then over to a friend's house for a movie.  It was partially because I wasn't able to make it to her Bachelorette next weekend (Burlesque dancing and bar hopping are next to impossible for me at the 6 week mark) and also partially since one of the other bridesmaids (and my 'friend' as well) didn't want to do what was planned for the Bachelorette and felt guilty.  Ah well, we went to a great burger joint.  Mmmm... Except I didn't last past 10 o'clock and had to head home.  It was nice to get out, but it is just so difficult to have the energy to be the real me. It will come soon enough.

It really worked out well that they thought that having surgery on the right hip at 6 weeks post-op would be too soon.  Because I can't, in my wildest dreams, imagine that I would be able to have surgery again in a week.  I mean the left may have been a success and may give me pain free function after it settles down, but that's the thing, it's not settled down and I truly believe that if I had planned on having surgery in a week, I would have irritated the hip so badly that it would have compromised the healing.  Having put leftie through four surgeries already, I am not about to make him take unnecessary risks.  So, I wait until the end of September, which is slightly long since this right hip of mine is getting more and more sore each day.  Ideally I would have had surgery a couple of weeks earlier, but due to the surgeon's travel schedule September 25th is the earliest.  Beggers can't be chosers, so, that's the date.  The date of, lets all pray, my final surgery for a very long time!!

(200th post)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

33 Days Post Op

Words cannot describe how happy I am that I slept last night.  Although it wasn't extremely easy to get to sleep but I was thankful.  It was the first time since Sunday that I had fallen asleep before 3AM.  I cannot wait to get rid of all of my gear too:  CPM and calf pumps are done this Saturday.  I am returning them on Monday.  I cannot believe how fast time is going.  It's exciting and painful all at the same time.  It can't pass fast enough though as I really need the right side done as well...only 67 days before I'll hopefully be done with hip surgeries for a very long time.  It almost feels wrong to be excited for surgery.

I remain at 50% weight bearing and using the CPM 6 hours a day and puffers at night.  As far as PT goes, I think that he is a bit worried with the anterior capsular pain pattern.  All I can hope for is that this is par for the course at this point in the game.  I have a hard time determining what is normal since I have never actually had a successful surgery.  Don't get me wrong, my left hip is MUCH better compared to before surgery, functionally I am thrilled and can still wash my own feet, cut and paint my toe nails (on my most recently operated side, this is still a struggle on my right side, but that will be fixed in due time), I just have a heightened concern during this recovery as now I have something to lose, and want to keep it!!!

Pain levels are doing alright on the left and not wonderful on my right.  My left side has a lot of soft tissue that is angry, tight, and knotted but the deep groin pain is gone.  I still have, what I beleive to be, anterior capsular pain.  I hope with every fibre of my being it is not getting thickened with scar tissue.  My right side has the deep groin pain that throbs intermittently throughout the day and is worse at night.  I also have lateral and posterior butt pain, which is different compared to my left since my left only had anterior groin pain and decreased ROM.  It will be interesting to see exactly what is going on in my right hip.  We didn't get further in our last appointment than the angles for impingement are still extremely large, especially for having had a previous surgery.  This was partially my fault because the surgeon had proceeded to explain that I will need something done on my right side but when the real problem and concern of the appointment was my left, I then asked immediately what about the left.  And the left has been the focus of everything since. 

And so the hip journey continues.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

31 Days Post Op

Again, daily updates are failing but I am determined to keep them coming regularly, even if they aren't every day.  So this morning I was researching possible etiologies to my chronically externally rotated right leg.  It has been like that for years, even before I had hip pain.  And it is always like that, even when I walk.  To flex my hip it naturally goes out to the side, externally rotating.  My initial instinct was that I have a tight piriformis or another external rotator, but then the thought crossed my mind about acetabular retroversion.  This could be the culprit too.  Oh, and I just thought of another one, plain and simple hip instability.   A previous orthopaedic surgeon had mentioned me having some retroversion, but that is was mild enough that scopes would be my answer to relief.  I hope that Dr. P will shed some light on this at my next appointment and perhaps help my leg straighten out with my next surgery.

Monday, July 16, 2012

4 Weeks Post Op

I have missed a couple of days, I suppose that daily updates are unrealistic despite the fact that I basically stay home all day doing exercises.  But at one month I am happy with the improvements.  I am not nearly as bad as I was post op, although I still have some pain and a strangely similar pain to pre-op as far as end point feel goes with flexion.  When I practice my hip flexion exercises I dread them, they hurt.  They didn't always hurt which makes me worried about more scar tissue.

Otherwise my home exercises and PT are going well.  I am faithful and keep at my ROM exercises each day so as to maintain my current range.  I certainly notice a difference in my level of stiffness from the first and second sessions of my exercises.  I have a feeling I'll be doing ROM exercises for a very long time. I am currently 50% weight bearing and it feels pretty good.  I have a lot of inflamed soft tissue going on, but hopefully that settles soon.  My hip flexors are as angry as they come but we have been laying back on some of the those exercises that irritate the hip.  

I hate to sound pessimistic, but HOLY SMOKERS does my right side hurt.  It hurts just to weight bear these days.  I am throbbing right from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed.  This is exhausting.  And to add this on top of my paranoia that my left side is still forming scar tissue really makes for emotional times.  I was supposed to, initially, have my right side fixed in two weeks.  There is no way physically or mentally I would have been prepared to handle another surgery.  Maybe my body would have just barely held up, but emotionally, I would have been a mess.  Furthermore, not sleeping is really getting to me.  I can barely make it through the days without feeling an overwhelming urge to cry.  I go on several day periods of not being able to sleep before 3am and then get a day or two in before I go back to not sleeping.  This has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world:  insomnia.  I feel for those who suffer from this on a regular basis.  I haven't slept well in months, but to have this a chronic issue can be debilitating.  

My view 6 hours each day

Friday, July 13, 2012

27 Days Post Op

I have to admit, yesterday's conversation with the PA really makes me worried about scar tissue.  We know I form it like there's no tomorrow, but, having had four surgeries on the right already, I can't afford to have this interfere with my recovery.  I wouldn't consider myself a nervous Nelly, but I am becoming one this time around.  I suppose repeated surgeries and being repeatedly let down with no prior positive results to speak of will do that to a patient.

But, this concern is not the purpose of my post.  The intent with this post was to emphasize the wonderful support I have been getting while recovering from this last surgery.  It has come from unexpected places, from people whom I have just recently been placed in my life.  I am so thankful for you!  I am now living at home and, although I have several friends here with whom I have been friends for more than 10 years, they have proved to be quite shallow.  To their credit though, they have been attempting to be more empathetic.  To me though, actions speak louder than words.

A couple of days ago, a fellow hip friend sent me a package that, to say the least, brightened my day (or rather week).  She sent me the following:

Chocolate chip cookies with appropriate napkins :)

"Sometimes its the smallest decisions that can change your life forever"
-Kerri Russell

My new motto heading into my next surgery

I am extremely lucky to have people like this in my life to help me get through these tough times.  Somebody to understand.  In addition, I have been communicating with another fellow hip patient who had surgery with my surgeon a week or so before me.  We have texting sessions while we do our CPM shifts.  It's pretty great!  Definitely helps pass the time, builds a friendship, and helps to know that your temporarily sucky life activities aren't in solitude.  I would have never imagined that I would have such support from people who are going through similar situations.  I really appreciate the untold understanding that comes with this sort of relationship.  Everything need not be explained...they just get it.  Plain and simple, they understand.  I don't expect others who haven't gone through similar situations to understand, nor do I wish them to, but what I do wish, is for people to care.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

25 & 26 Days Post Op

Yes, I missed yesterday.  It'll combine both yesterday and today for completeness.  So the last week and a half or so I've felt a tightness at the end point of flexion that was not there before.  This pain also comes when I do cat-camel.  It is strikingly similar to the pre-op adhesion pain.  Needless to say I emailed a PT at the clinic in Colorado and called Dr. P's PA.  The PA said that it is likely adhesions and that I need to continue to aggressively continue my ROM exercises and is isn't overly concerning so long as my actual range does not start to decrease.  Words cannot describe how much I hate scar tissue.  Seriously causes a pit to form in my stomach.  I'll probably have to make my PT measure my hip flexion each week to make sure.  I'm so paranoid!!!!!  I hate the pain associated with adhesions too.  Let's hope this is as bad as they get.  I would assume that I'll get the hip injected at my post-op visit (which is the pre-op visit for my other hip) to reduce the inflammation.

My adductors and hip flexors are as angry as anything.  My hip flexors are barely firing and yet, when they do, they hurt so bloody much that it makes my brain scream.  So we've had to reduce supine abduction and adduction as I tend to fire the hip flexors on that.  We aren't too worried as last time was much worse, they are just so inflamed.  And the swelling, oh the's HUGE.  It appears as if I have a third butt cheek that extends completely anteriorly onto the thigh.  I was lying in the pool yesterday and while on the float I looked down and it was crazy and appeared to have a bulbous amount of swelling.  I'm a blow fish, and I'm okay with that....gotta step up that effleurage though!

Yesterday I tried giving myself acupuncture.  My PT taught me how to do it.  It's pretty neat.  I was afraid it would be hard putting needles into myself, but it didn't hurt at all since the needles are so small.  I'm not sure if it helped, but it was worth a try.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

24 Days Post Op

Even though I have just got up from my restless night's sleep, I thought that I have some time whilst in the CPM that I could cook up a post here.  These last couple of days have been a little bit more difficult dealing with the whole being off school for 8 months and graduating later deal.  I know that the sick people will still be there, but I can't help feeling as if I'm stuck in life, stalled because of my hips.  I truly know I had no other choice.  Regardless, it still is disheartening to know that all of my classmates are out there moving through their medical education while I sit at home and paint by number!!

This week was to be my planned transition from third to fourth year medical school.  Meaning that I was expected to go back to campus and take several tests, simulations, standardized patients this week for preparation for the upcoming board examinations.  All of my friends are back on campus and stressing out.  I wish I was stressing out with them!  They are amazing people and I miss them so much.  Although a couple of us Skype every few weeks, I miss studying with them, stressing with them, decompressing with them.  I would lie to say that I would be missing the exams.  They are expected to be undoubtedly stressful, but at least I would be working towards something.  I would be learning.  My email inbox keeps flowing with information and instructions for the week as I am still on their email list.  It makes me sad.  I even dreamt about this last night.

Having said all of this though, I know I made the right decision.  I was not functioning.  I couldn't stand for 5 minutes nor could I walk for more than 10 minutes.  Things were pretty bad and I am still sorting out my hips.  Dealing with this intense pain and inability to function whilst on medical school rotations was next to, rather, definitely impossible.  Hence, here I sit: in the CPM hoping this surgery is the last surgery on my left hip for a very long time.

Maybe I'm just seriously paranoid, but my anterior hip is getting more sore.  Not the excruciating pain, but definitely tightness and pain.  Mostly at the end point of flexion and when doing the cat portion of my cat camel exercises.  I am a bit concerned and will bring it up with my PT and perhaps with the PA when he calls next.  He calls every other week to ensure things are still going alright.

My plans today:  CPM (x6 hours), read, ice, exercises (x2), pool (no exercises though, can't handle doing two days in a row), circumduction.

Monday, July 9, 2012

22 & 23 Days Post Op

Oops, forgot to update yesterday.  So thought I'd throw it in today's post.

Day 22:  Nothing much different.  I'm super not stoked about this lack of sleep.  Last night I was up until 4:30am.  Needless to say, I had a small nap, maybe an hour or so, this afternoon.  It was glorious and much needed.  Other than that, simply just did the usual: CPM, exercises x2, bike-40 min, circumduction.  Nothing too exciting.

Day 23:  Got my sutures out.  Oh, it is so nice to have them babies gone.  They were certainly thrown tightly!  I loved that the knots went under the skin!  They had to dig them out.  This happened the last time I had surgery with Dr. P as well.  I suppose the fellow really likes tight sutures.  I got all four stitches out.  I called them my belly buttons as, they were puckered up and then dipped in where they caught the skin laterally.  I am happy to get rid of my 'belly buttons'.  One more thing about the sutures, I am also happy that Dr. P used the same scope sites as last time.  Yay for no more additional scars!!  13 is enough.  And I'll be getting more in September.

Before suture removal:

After suture removal:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

21 Days Post Op

Drum roll please........Today marks the day of no more hip brace and no more need to bolster my feet together to prevent external rotation.  I can now externally rotate and extend.  I have tried both motions and external rotation feels quite nice, not restricted very much.  Extension is another story.  It is quite tight just to stand up straight and tuck my pelvis under myself.  But, I can actually extend a little bit.  It will be intriguing to see how much extension I have at my next PT appointment.

I get my stitches out on Monday at my family physician.  I really could take out my own stitches as I've done it before (to other people), but if I take my last surgery's suture removal as any indication of how deep they place the sutures, I'd prefer somebody else induce that pain on me.  I almost passed out last time.  So, I figured I should have my doc do it.  I needed to see him anyway as a follow-up from a previous appointment with him, so no harm in getting it all done at once.

Otherwise, the CPM in the day is much better.  Although, oddly, I didn't sleep well last night despite not being strapped in the CPM.  Perhaps it is the bolster?  I don't know, but tonight I am just going to use the calf pumps and see how things go.  My back muscles, glutes, and abductors/adductors are all quite tense this evening so I took a muscle relaxant in hopes of alleviating the tension.  Plus I took a Norco simply because my right hip is throbbing and, if I have pills that will help this, why lie awake at night suffering?

Friday, July 6, 2012

20 Days Post Op: CPM & Insurance Changes

Today I can say that my left hip is simply the normal post op stiffness with absolutely no joint pain.  The incisions with the stitches are pulling a little bit.  But this will be fixed on Monday when I finally get the stitches out.  21 days with the stitches in is a bit long in my opinion, but hey, I'll listen to the doctor, he's the MAN :)  My right hip is quite sore today, I feel the throbbing in the groin mostly.  It's annoying but will most definitely get better when I can weight bear on the left hip.  Funny how things are complicated with two bad hips.  Let me rephrase that:  one hip post op (which is my 'good' side but I just can't use it) and one bad hip.

I have officially converted to using the CPM during the day as I have been sleeping horribly.  Horribly. I am going to do three sessions of two hours each. I am currently in this dreadful machine.  It feels great on the hip joint, and I'll do anything to prevent adhesions.  But man alive, words cannot describe how much I dislike sitting in this darn machine.

The final insurance policy guidelines came out today.  Not impressed.  I have no choice but to switch to this insurance plan as I am in medical school and an international student, but if I had a choice this is a plan I would NOT chose.  It is seriously concerning given that it states that if multiple procedures are done through the same incision or in the same operation period, then they will only cover 50% of every procedure after the first procedure.  I read this as that I will be responsible for 50% of everything done after the first thing done in the next hip scope.  This could be problematic as I literally have no money.  How will I pay for all of this?  I am seriously concerned and am thinking of having a pasta dinner or some sort of fundraising to help pay for the medical bills, accommodations, etc.  I really hate asking for help and try to keep my medical problems from being advertised, but I don't see any other option at this point.  I've looked into online fundraising options but am leery about signing up for an online donations.

19 Days Post Op: And the journey just got longer

I don't know if I should be relieved or just flat out disappointed.  I am leaning towards the latter.  I finally got a hold of the PA regarding the timing of my next surgery.  When I was last in Vail, everybody was in agreement that we should do it in 6 weeks.  Well, during our conversation he said that I could come to Vail, get the left hip checked out, and if they thought it was strong enough, have surgery the next day on my right.  But this would be unlikely due to my extensive hip history and that it would more than likely end up that I would be told to wait 6 more weeks to get the right hip done.  And that "they" advise to wait 12 weeks post-op before I do the right side.  Now I couldn't tell if he was simply expressing his opinion or if they actually discussed my case with the surgeon.  Either way, we decided that would couldn't run the risk of irritating the joint as adhesions tend to form ridiculously dense and quickly in me.

My heart sank.  I think that I could actually be ready for surgery in a couple of weeks, but, it wouldn't be fun.  Although this 10-12 week deal was the original plan before surgery, I had my hopes up that this (hopefully) last surgery would be done and over with and so I could begin my recovery.  When I was speaking with the PA I could feel myself get tense.  Like I didn't want to hear what he had to say next.  I don't understand why Dr. P would have been so adamant about getting it done so soon and now a complete turnaround.  This makes it very confusing for me as a patient.  I get told one thing and then, poof, in a matter of minutes, get told another.  I am not going to lie, I am disappointed.  My hip journey just got that much longer.  I hope this is the right thing to do.  I mean, the LAST thing I want to do is mess up this left hip.  I've had four surgeries on the sucker, and good grief would I curl up in a hole and die if I messed it up simply because I had surgery too soon after.  But, having your hopes up and then dashed is quite unnerving and not too easy to swallow.

I had a meltdown today.  Literally.  I cried and cried.  I know it has to be the combination of everything:  drugs, lack of sleep, pain, change in plans, lack of motivation to do anything....just everything.  It certainly is hard to keep going.  Keep recovering every few months for years on end.  Absolutely exhausting.  I try to put on a happy face, suck up the pain, and live life with a smile and not complain, but one can only do that for so long.  How much do I long to get my life back?  To be able to finish school, to be able to stand, walk, heck, maybe even jog!  I feel like my standards have fallen from when I first began my hip journey.  At first I had surgery on my left and right to allow me to return to full workouts, to remain active.  And now, all I want to do is walk without pain.  I will never, never, never take walking for granted.  I can't wait to get out of bed in the morning and not be in pain.  It will come.  I have an amazing surgeon working with me to help get this straightened out.  Just its a long hard journey that has put my life on pause for the better part of a year.

Financially this is a strain as well.  I am not currently working, paying interest on my buttload of loans from school, and now this.  Since my surgery will not be before August 1st, I will be on a different insurance plan, with a new deductible, copay, and higher out-of-pocket-maximum. It sucks as it will now cost me thousands more dollars.  I may hold some sort of pasta dinner or some sort of fundraiser with the help of my skating friends.  This may help offset the cost.  I know one can't put a price on health and I have to get this done to function, but man alive, money is tight and I need another surgery.

So as it stands:  pre-op/12 week post-op check up on September 24th, 2012 with right hip scope on September 25th.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

18 Days Post Op

Frankly, I hate sleeping....err, rather, lying there awake staring at the ceiling listening to music....until 3:30 in the morning.  After every surgery I have problems sleeping, but this is the worst, by far.  It makes me crabby and annoyed at every small thing.  I hate being like this.  Life's too short to be like this, but, I just can't help it.

Another thing I have noticed is that I cannot stop eating.  I literally have an appetite of two grown men. I usually have to eat two dinners as I won't make it through the night if I don't.  I don't know what is wrong with me.  I was texting with another Dr. P patient who had surgery a week or so before me and he said he has the same problem with the appetite.  It's voracious!  I'm gonna end up on Biggest Loser soon. When I return back to school from my medical leave I'm gonna be a two ton Tessy!  Ahhhh!  I seem to chalk it up to the fact that a) I'm bored and home all of the time b) I'm in a protein deficient state and this is my body telling me that I need to eat more protein.  I suppose this is no reason to shove nachos, ice cream, chips, chocolate down my throat.  But, I still do it anyway!  I love eating so much that it may become problematic when my metabolism slows down in the future.  Until then....bring on the cookies!!!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

17 Days Post Op

Today was the first day in about two years that I have cut and painted my toe nails all by myself.  Many people don't understand what an accomplishment this is, but if you've ever had a hip problem, you'll understand the magnitude of excitement this carries.  Incredible.  Thrilling.

My ROM was amazing and my left hip is feeling amazing.  At PT today I was asking for more exercises as I feel as if I am totally able to do all of the exercises that is prescribed for my week post op. Craziness.  I am so incredibly thrilled with my left hip.  My PT can't believe the difference in my hip as well.  It makes all the worry and difficulty getting surgery so, so worth it.  Now I want my right hip done ASAP.  Speaking of my right hip, I am thoroughly getting worried that I am not going to be able to schedule the surgery before my insurance changes.  Like really worried.  I was going to call tomorrow, but I realized that nobody would be working since it is the 4th of July.  Sigh.  I guess I will be making some phone calls on Thursday to both the PA and the surgery scheduling person.  But, I truly need the surgery done and I hope that we can get it in in time.  Rather, I should be wishing for any surgery date, but it would save me so much money.  I suppose if it doesn't happen before my insurance changes, it means that it is too soon and I should wait a little bit to get it done as my left hip did just get done.  Either way, it is concerning that I don't have a date since a) he books so far out b) I am struggling using my right.  C'est la vie!

16 Days Post Op

I forgot to post yesterday, so this is the post for July 2nd.  I am attempting to log each day to keep a running tab on things.

I am feeling pretty good hip wise.  A bit of muscular soreness on the left and the usual pain on the right.  Nothing new on that front.  I am though, having quite the difficulty sleeping.  Last night I was up until 3AM simply lying there.  It is problematic since I am confined to sleeping on my back and I don't normally do this.  When I used the CPM for my previous surgeries it rocked me to sleep....this time, very different.  I dread getting into that thing.  I dread it A LOT.  It's just not natural having your leg bent and rebent all night long.  And I haven't mentioned this yet, but the calf pumps are HORRIBLE as well.  Slightly bitter about all of these machines lately.  I swear the surgeon has no idea what we go through to use all of these machines and keep up with all of these rehab exercises.  I truly think that Dr. P should have his hip scoped too.....get a taste of his own medicine.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 Days Post Op

I know that two posts in one day is a bit much, but I really am trying to keep daily updates and record how I feel each day.  Not only to help me gauge my progress, but also to help me compare between the different surgeries and, perhaps, somebody will stumble across the blog and find it useful.  I really don't think many people read this, but if you do, yay.  I used to look at the stats for the blog, but that has proven to be inaccurate as there are those blogging troll people who set up repeated 'views' from random places like Slovakia, Russia, India, etc.

Today has not been a good day at all.  My incisions feel like they explode every time I stand up and my lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is all freaked out.  I believe that it was numb in the cutaneous area of this nerve prior to today and now it's waking up and giving me the pain signals that I am oh so used to. This stupid nerve is all jacked up and has been for more than a year.  Pain and paresthesia-like sensations on a regular basis.  For months I would think that my phone was vibrating on my leg (when I would keep my phone in either the opposite pocket or in my white coat pocket).  Uncool.

Besides this nerve and incisional pain, I just don't feel well today.  My right hip is throbbing and the left hip has that 'uh-hello-remember-me-I-just-had-surgery-think-of-me-too' pain that comes and goes, and is totally expected, after surgery. Thank goodness for Norco!!!!! Sometimes I forget I'm only 2 weeks out.  Seems like I've been home an eternity.

Here's hoping that I get some answers tomorrow from the surgeon.

Rewind: Appointment Before Leaving Vail

I was reading my previous post and noticed that I had mentioned that I would detail my appointment with Dr. P that I had prior to leaving Vail.  And, although out of order, I thought I'd do it here.  

So my Mum and I hobbled up to the clinic on the Thursday morning of the day we were to leave to come home.  I was to be seen at 8:30 am.  I was brought back to the examination room by the PA.  I really like him (not his notes, but whatevs, we'll get that sorted out soon).  I had x-rays done of the left hip.  To be honest, I don't know how useful they would be as I barely had any bone work done.  I mean, I know they have to check for HO, but still, $40, poof!  Not to mention the cumulative amount of radiation from the x-rays I've had on my hips is enough to last a person a lifetime.  That's besides the point.  I then had my hip ROM measured:  120* of flexion baby!!!!!!!!  (on the left side).  Still only 90* on the right side.  The PA couldn't believe it.  I then proceeded to wait for the surgeon to come in. 

After 45 minutes of waiting he finally came in, along with his peanut gallery too: the fellow, athletic therapist were also close behind him.  He came in, did a hip exam and was beaming.  He said that he has never seen a hip so bad get so great ROM so early; it seems encouraging.  He said that he absolutely knows why I hurt so much before surgery.  Now to figure out whether or not to inject.  See, we have a problem that recurs, every time I have surgery I develop scar tissue.  Over the last 5 months I completely scarred down my hip and Dr. P was figuring out if he wanted to inject my left hip (we were already going to inject the right one at this appointment.)  He decided that he had to think about whether or not he wanted to inject.  So he sat down on the chair and we all just stared at him.  I feel like every appointment I have with him makes him 'sit down and think' while everybody in the room stares at him.  He didn't necessarily want to inject the hip since it was doing so well and didn't want to upset the area since the allograft was so newly placed (and wanted it to attach).  When he asked me if I could come back in two weeks, he said he would inject it then.  I said I would if I had to, but I have no money, so it is extremely difficult.  He said I didn't have to and he would inject both sides right then and there since to not do something to reduce inflammation would be too risky given that I form adhesions like its going out of style.

Okay, so I've had three arthrograms and two diagnostic injections prior to meeting Dr. P.  And yes, they suck, but these previous injections were nothing compared to the injections Dr. P does.  Ugh.  Last time I saw Dr. P three months ago, he decided to inject my left hip, he had just whipped out an injection, and poof, I was being injected, no guidance or anything.  And when we decided that both hips needed injections, I just knew what was coming.  He did my right hip first as he was still thinking about what to do with the left hip.  He placed a plastic pen lid-like contraption on the skin for 10 seconds or so, and then took a way-too-large gauged needle (I swear it's so large you can see through it!) and just jabs it into my hip.  I don't think he'd describe it as 'jabbing' but that is what it feels like.  All the while he keeps saying 'excuse me, excuse me'.  He and his French-Canadian accent are too cute. I think he knows it hurts (or at least I hope he knows it hurts!)  Then he did my other side.  Now that hurt a lot more since I was still all swollen and tender.  Heck, more than a week later and I still have a nice bruise on the injection site.  The injection proceeded the same as the other hip.  The needle was placed 2.5 cm away from each of my scope sites.  I'm happy I didn't call Dr. P a jerk while he injected really did hurt.  I really don't ever get much relief from the injections, but as long as it reduces inflammation on the left side, I'm cool with it.  The right side was injected just to appease the insurance company.

The Plan....
Since the surgery went so well and I had so much ROM and pain relief, Dr. P expects a positive outcome.  At this point, I should mention something that is a bit concerning, although he hasn't said anything to me directly, but rather my Mum (kinda uncool, but I don't even want to discuss this at this time anyway).  But after surgery, Dr. P spoke with my Mum for several minutes.  He said the surgery went well, but I have shallow anterior hip sockets and that he couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't need a PAO in the future.  This is something that I can't even let into my head right now, there is no room for me to think of this.  I just won't entertain the idea currently as I can't imagine more surgery.  I think I'll crawl to a hip replacement rather than to have more hip preservation surgery after we get the right side scoped this summer.  I digress.  

So the plan as of now is to have the right side done at the 6 week mark. When I questioned him about the left side being strong enough, he said that it shouldn't be a problem.  I then spoke with the PA when everybody left the room and he said that we could probably get it done prior to August 1st, but ultimately when I have surgery is up to me.  

Here we go, the (hopefully) last round of hip surgery for a very long time.  (So long as I can actually schedule the darn surgery).