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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!!