Sunday, December 30, 2012


So sometimes you just need to do whats better for your mind than your body because as I have learned over the past few years, it seems like those two things do not always agree.  I went for a walk with my dog today, which is something that I have not done in at least a month.  We live in a beautiful area of northern Michigan and it has been very disappointing to be up here surrounded by amazing trails, wildlife, and Lake Superior, and not be able to enjoy any of it.  This past summer me and my husband went swimming a lot, which was fun and something that did not make my hip hurt too bad.  But obviously, summer turned to fall and fall to winter which means no more swimming in the lake, but left lots of time to enjoy the trails close to our home.  Unfortunately for me, it was around fall that my hips started acting up really bad again and I was unable to go for many walks.  Being cooped up in the house though has been hard.  Its difficult to want so bad to do things but know that if you do them you will pay the price and be in a lot of pain either during or after.

So today I went for a walk with the dog in the snow on the trails.  It was great to be out in the woods playing with my dog, who loves snow.  It was good for my mind too as I am about three weeks away from surgery and am beginning to get really nervous.  I am not so concerned about surgery itself, its just the uncertainty of it working and the hard recovery that comes afterwards.  I am trying to be as prepared as possible, but at the same time, there is only so much that you can do until its just time for surgery and what is will be.

I was also doing some research on antroverted femurs and how it effects people and found some articles that basically state that having this condition often makes your feet and knees point inward so making them point outward is very hard and causes stress on your hips.  Well, of course, when riding horses you are suppose to ride with your heels down and toes outward, putting as much of you calf as possible on the horses side for stability.  I don't wonder if 1) falling off a horse and landing on my hips when I was 16 caused some of these problems because I was young and still growing and 2) by always pushing my heels down and toes out that there was lots of stress on my hips, which did them no favors.  Its very frustrating not knowing exactly what caused all this to happen, so how do you know what to avoid in the future?  These are just some of my theories anyways.

So, really, nothing new, just some thoughts.  Hope everyone is well and pain free!  Its almost a new year, a time to turn the page and have a clean slate, right?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lets try this again...

So, here we are, 3 weeks out from surgery (hopefully).  I had called Dr. Philippons office last week and talked with his PA about the femoral retroversion that I thought I had, but as it turns out, I don't actually have a retroversion,  I have an antroversion, which is what I described in my last post, I just got the name wrong.  I had called to get some reassurance that surgery, which is scheduled for January 21st, would actually happen this time as I don't have the money to fly back and forth from Colorado a lot.  But when I called I really did not get much reassurance at all.  I was told that my antroversion was at such an extreme angle that even after this surgery they believed that I would need to visit this doctor in CA to have this fixed.  He said that in the next year he sees me needing at least two surgeries to help with my hip problems.  Needless to say, this did not make me feel very good about my situation.  Luckily, I only have 3 more weeks until we fly out to CO for surgery, but I am getting really worried about the flights back home considering the flight from Chicago to Houghton (where I live) is in a really small plane and often gets cancelled.  I just hope that its not too overwhelming for my husband!

This conversation with the PA is really the first in a string of problems that happened last week with my family.  My sister is applying to vet school and got two rejection letters plus my parents, who are foster parents to three children found out 3 days before Christmas that they had to send the kids with their grandmother for Christmas.  It was devastating news for my family considering me and my husband traveled 8 hours to see the children and have Christmas with them and the rest of my family as well as my in-laws.

Overall, this Christmas 'vacation' was pretty much a bust.  My hips are very sore from sleeping on a pull out bed at my parents house for 8 days plus the 8 hour car ride there and back.  Then there was all this drama with the foster kids, it was just not the kind of holiday that you would normally plan on having with your family.

On the up side I got a new computer to play games on while recovering :)  Hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas and a pain free New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The surgery that never happened...

So there was a hiccup in my planned surgery with Dr. Philippon on December 4th.  On December 1st me and my husband flew out to Denver and rented a car to drive the rest of the way to Vail, CO.  We did miss our flight from Chicago to Denver because of a delay with our flight out of Hancock, MI but in the end we made it to Vail just around midnight.  We settled into our condo that we rented for the week and went to bed.  Sunday we just hung out, went to the store to get food, explored Vail a little.

Then on Mondy I had a bunch of appointments to go to.  When you schedule surgery and a pre-op appointment at the same time, the day before surgery you have a ton of appointments.  First I had an MRI, then I met with a physical therapist at Howard Head Sports Medicine, then I had my appointment with Dr. Philippon, his fellows, and the athletic trainer.  Everything was going well until I met with Dr. Philippons PA who told me that some of my blood work came back high in two areas which test for an inflamatory response in the body.  They were afraid that I had an infection in my hip.  So I was told that it was a possibilty that the surgery would not happen because they wanted to be sure that there was no infection in the hip joint.  Then I met with one of Dr. Philippons nurses who told me that I had whats called a retroversion, which basically means that the angle in which my hip sits in the socket is no correct and my femur is constantly trying to push out the front of my socket and dilocate.  So at this point I just felt like crying.  I was told that again, Dr. Philippon may not want to do the surgery, that he may want me to go to a doctor in CA who fixes retroverted hips.  It was becoming more clear to me that at this point it was pretty much a no go for surgery the next day.  I was devastated.  Then I met with Dr. Philippon who is the nicest man ever.  He said that he wanted to make sure that there was no infection and then after that we could reschedule surgery.  First, he wanted me to get my blood tested again, just to make sure, then he wanted to asperate my hip (take some fluid from the joint).  My blood test came back high again, so they were going to asperate it.  They did this in the OR to make sure that nothing would contaminate the sample that they took.  But wow, did it hurt a lot!  I was under the impression that it would be like an way!  Its hurt so much worse!  But luckly it was over pretty quick.

So now we just wait.  They said that it would be about 4 weeks before all the cultures came back with results, but that preliminary tests are looking good, there is not infection yet.  So I am working on getting my surgery rescheduled for the beginning of January.  The good part being I dont need any of the pre-op stuff done, all I need is surgery!  So while I am pretty disappointed, I am happy surgery will be sooner than April!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

In 2 days...

So this is an odd post for me to be writing because honestly, in some ways, I thought that I would never be here.  Even though I had a surgery scheduled for April, it seemed so far away and surreal, I guess a small part of me thought that it would never happen for me. I am, in Vail, Colorado with surgery in two days.  My husband (Adam) and I flew into Denver last night, rented a car, and drove the hour and a half to Vail.  The day started a little rough with a delayed flight out of Houghton, MI and a delayed landing into Chicago, which caused us to miss our flight to Denver.  When we got off the plane in Chicago though, United Airlines had already re-booked us on the next flight out.  Unfortunately, it was a 3 hour wait, but we made the best of it and got some dinner and picked up a few Chicago suveniers.  The plane we were on to Denver was awesome too because I guess it was originally suppose to go overseas, but the flight got cancelled or something, so we ended up with a hugely awesome plane that had blankets and pillows for you, as well as everyone got a small TV.  So the flight was really nice for us :)

Once we got to Denver we had a little trouble with the rental car, but after a short delay we were on our way to Vail!  We rented a condo so we did not have to check in or anything, just walked in and threw our stuff down and slept as it was quiet late and with a 2 hour time change we had been up and traveling over 14 hours.  I woke up this morning and looked out the windows to see the amazing Rocky Mountains. Even though we were just here this spring (not hip related, just drove through on a road trip), its easy to forget how beautiful and breathtaking it is here.  I went to the grocery store early as we had no food in the condo and just the short drive to the market was amazing.  On the way back to the condo from the store I stopped by the hospital to just see where it was and such.  Vail is such a neat little town.  Its set deep in a valley and the rising mountains on all sides makes you feel very small.  So currently I am sitting in front of a fire, watching some football, trying not to obsess to much about the surgery.

Its odd to think that this time last week I was fussing about how frustrated I was about how far away surgery was and how much pain I have been in.  This hole situation happened very fast and when I originally started this blog it was to give some insight into what life was like for me and my wait for surgery, but seeing as my wait was shortened a lot, I guess this blog may end up being a lot shorter than I planned, which is good for me, but I had really wanted to give those out there who are also struggling a story that they could follow and relate to and my story has become not as long as planned.  So for those out there who are reading and still struggling, please keep your spirits up.  Hopefully this it the end for me, but who knows, I thought that with my last surgery.  I will keep everyone updated as to the outcome of my surgery and what recovery is like, which will hopefully help anyone out there also looking to have surgery with Dr. Philippon.

So tomorrow is a day filled with appointments.  I first have an MRI at 8:15am, then I meet with someone form the Howard Head Sports Medicine for a physical therapy evaluation, and last but not least, I have some appointments with Dr. Philippons team and then the hip guru himself!  The whole process will take about 6 hours.  So it will be a long day of people poking and prodding I am sure, but in the end, it will all be worth it!

Will post tomorrow (if I am not too tired) with an update of how the day went!