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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.