Thursday, December 19, 2013

4 weeks post op RPAO!

Well, today is 4 weeks post op.  I kind of thought that at this point I would be further along in my healing process I guess.  Compared to my scope around this point in time, I am still getting a lot of pain, which is frustrating.  I have pain when standing and walking almost all of the time.  Usually in my hip flexors, groin and deep in my glutes.  I still have at least another 2 weeks on crutches at 20% weight bearing and then most likely I can work on weaning off of them.  I have been doing PT 2-3 times a week and thats been going well.  I can definitely see progress, its just all a lot slower than I anticipated.

And of course, because my life is not interesting enough with surgery, finally there has been movement on the adoption of the 3 foster kids my parents have.  The adoption petition was filed last week and is set for finalization in Feb.  Our family is beyond elated and we could not have asked for a better Christmas present!  As well, my husband and I are moving back to our home town.  So in the next few week and months we have a lot of personal things happening which are exciting, not to mention the prospect of getting of crutches soon!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two Weeks post op

Hey Everyone!

So in a few hours I will be 2 weeks post op.  It seems odd that I am so far out from surgery in some ways as I am still stiff and sore, but in other ways I see how much I have improved.  The two days I was in the hospital I could barley push myself upright!  Now, I move in and out of bed pretty well, I can lay on my non-operated side for a bit as well as my stomach.  It feels sooo good to be able to move around a little bit.  I had my first physical therapy appointment yesterday and that went well.  The PT just covered basic stuff like ROM, health questions, etc. and then gave me some isometric exercises to do.

Other than PT, I do not do much.  I do the basic after surgery, at home alone, protocol, which is watching Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond (who does not love the classic sitcoms!), as well as some reading and keeping people updated on my surgery.  So far the pain is not too bad, although the last day or so has been worse than normal, but even these 'bad' times are manageable.  I got my surgery report and I got 5 screws put in.  Dr. Buly was able to change my anterior central edge (CE) angle from 11 degrees (normal is 25-40 degrees) to 37 degrees!  I was lacking a LOT of anterior coverage, so hopefully thats all fixed now.  Other than that, the surgery report did not say much other than they had a hard time getting my socket loose to move it, but after some extensive cutting, it came loose.

So I just wanted to do a quick update.  Things are going well and pain is well controlled.  I should be getting a CD with my images from the hospital soon and once I do I will post before and after pictures of my hips.  Hope everyone else is pain free and enjoying some nice winter weather (ie, snow!).

So yesterday I got my CD from HSS with my images, so here is my post op x-ray

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A week post op

So, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get an update here, its been a long week, but good, week post op!  I guess I will just start from the beginning as far as what I remember immediately post op :)

So my surgery was scheduled for Nov. 21st at 8:30 am at the Hospital for Special Surgery.  We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am!!  When we arrived I checked in and got signed up and then pretty quickly they took me back for surgery.  In the surgery waiting room I changed into a gown, put on those lovely socks with the rubber on the bottom so that you do not fall sliding around, and then I was suppose to try and give a urine specimen to make sure that I was not pregnant.  Well, of course I could not pee, after an hour and a half of trying, I finally gave up and they tried to take blood instead.  I am notoriously bad at giving blood, so of course this turns into an ordeal of poking me three times just to get some blood.  Finally they do and that part is over.  Also during this time a nurse (who had a British accent and insisted on calling me Sarah Jane) was getting me prepped with an IV and 2 PA's came in to get some history and check my range of motion, etc.  Then the good stuff started, Dr. Buly showed up as well as the anesthesiologist.  Dr. Buly signed my hip and my wrist band and then after a few minutes we were off.  I was taken down into the OR (which is freezing) and I moved over onto the operating table, was asked a few questions by the anesthesiologist, medicine the stings was put into my IV and I was out.

When I woke up I was in the recovery area, which was basically like a really long, extra wide hallway, with something like 50 beds in it and a curtain separating each bed.  I woke up pretty quickly but in a lot of pain.  I had a pain pump that I could press a button and every 10 minutes it would give me medicine.  At the time every 10 minutes seemed like a lifetime!  I was surprised by how much pain I was in given that I thought that I was suppose to have an epidural.  It was unlike my last epidural with my scope that literally had me numb from the waist down when I woke up.  It took about an hour for my pain to get under control again.  My mom and Adam were able to visit me every 2 hours for 15 minutes while I was in recovery, which was nice, but did not seem long enough.  There was some trouble finding out if I would be able to get a room or not that night because I guess they were all full, but luckily around 9PM I got a room and was taken upstairs for the night.

The first night my pain was well controlled with the pain pump and I slept fairly well.  The next morning I was up around 6 am because thats when the hospital staff starts to really check on you and get things rolling for the day, like allowing you to bathe, etc.  I had a bunch of different people throughout the morning come into my room for various things, checking vitals, my pain pump/epidural, my wound drain, etc.  I tried to press the pain pump as little as possible because I wanted the epidural out as soon as possible because once that came out I could get my urinary catheter out, which was annoying me.  So I was started on oral pain medication later that morning and that evening, around 6 PM the epidural came out.  By late evening the first day I had everything unhooked except the urinary catheter, which was scheduled to come out the next morning, early.  I also had PT the first day too, which I was REALLY scared about getting out of bed and walking, especially being hooked up to all the machines that I was.  But it really was not too bad, my PT was amazing.  I was able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom that first afternoon, without too much issue.  My mom and husband were there during all the visiting hours, which were from 11 am to 9 pm.

On the second day, I got my catheter removed at 6 am and at that point I was officially off all the machines!  I was able to sit up and eat breakfast in a chair that morning, as well as lunch, which was quite an accomplishment.  Most of the pain that I had was trying to sit up and scooch my butt over to the edge of the bed.  Whenever I tried to lift my pelvis off the bed, it felt like my right side was going to fall off!  Once I was standing I was fine and good to go.  Surprisingly enough, on the second day I passed PT (which consisted all of walking down the hall, going up and down some fake stairs, and then back to my room.  After PT, the ball started rolling for me to get discharged!!  We were super surprised how early I was getting discharged considering we were told it could be as many as 7 days in the hospital!  So about mid afternoon on my second day post op, I was released from the hospital!

I rested on day 3 at the apartment in NYC and then on day 4 we started our travels back to Michigan, which was about a 14 hour drive, since we had to stop every 2 hours for me to get out and walk to prevent blood clots.

So this post is getting pretty long already, but needless to say, we made it safely back home on day 4, just in time for my mothers 50th birthday and Thanksgiving, which is today :)

In the few days that we have been home, I have felt really good for the most part.  I have been getting some back headaches from some of the medication, but we were able to switch it up and the headaches seem to be getting better.  I am sleeping a lot and drinking a lot and thats about what my days consist of so far.  I will update more after I see PT later this week.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The day before surgery with Dr. Buly at the Hospital for Special Surgery

Hello Everyone!!

So tomorrow is the day, I will go under the knife for my first PAO and my 4th right hip surgery.  I am still in shock with how I got here, it all kind of seems like a bad dream, but in the end I hope that my long hip ordeal can provide a learning experience for anyone else suffering with hip pain.

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointments which were no big deal.  Basically they went over all the usual stuff with me (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.) and then I had to get some blood drawn.  I was worried that my surgery might be cancelled again due to high CRP and Sed. rates but the pre-op doctor that I saw said that my numbers from the end of Oct. were no big deal and he was not concerned so that made me feel better.  The only think different this time from my other pre-op's was that they did an EKG which I thought was pretty neat.  I guess it did not show anything bad cause I got my surgery time.....8:30 tomorrow morning (Thursday, Nov. 21st) and I have to be to the hospital at 5:30 am!  I am glad that its early though cause otherwise I would be up all morning just worrying about surgery.

Today my husband and my mom and I, we went on a boat tour of the statue of Liberty and lower Manhatten.  It was really amazing to see all these sights!  Its stunning the amount of people and the history that is here!  We had a great time, but its about 2 in the afternoon and my hip is pretty much done with sight seeing and ready for a rest.

So, thats the story so far.  New York is amazing and so far our trip has been great!  I hope surgery tomorrow follows that trend as well.  I will update my blog as soon as I get a chance after surgery.  Until then, safe hip travels everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1 week from PAO surgery!!

Here we are a week out from my PAO surgery with Dr. Buly at HSS in NYC!!  I thought that I would be getting really nervous, but I am not.  Life here at my parents house just keeps rolling along with the kids' basketball games, home work, and plays so there is not much time for me to freak out.  Adam (my husband) has been working a lot so I have not seen him much and he is normally the one that I would complain to about being nervous.  I suppose its a good thing that I have not had a lot of time to focus on the surgery itself!  Too much thought about things like this will drive a person mad.  So, in 4 days we will pack up the van and be off to NYC!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When the worst in life brings out the best in people

Its kind of funny how some of the worst things in life turn out to show you the best in people.  This upcoming PAO on the 21st will not be the worst, nor the hardest thing I have ever gone through in life, but its one of those really hard things that makes you wonder, why me?  Why is it that I am going through all these surgeries and all this pain?  But its also these moments that shows you the best from the people in your life.  I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on earth when it comes to family.  I have known my entire life that my family will always be there for me, no matter what.  Wouldn't matter how big of a mistake I made, or how much I hurt the people I loved the most, they would always be there for me.  I know that not many people in the world can say that, so I am beyond lucky to always have this support system.  Then you add in my husband and his family, plus friends, and compiled are some of the best and most amazing people on this planet.

The prep for this surgery alone has brought out the absolute best in all the above mentioned people and I have not even had surgery yet!  Since my house in Houghton, MI is an older home with steep stairs and the bedrooms and bathrooms on the top floor, my mom and I knew as soon as we were told about needing a PAO that I would not be able to recuperate at my house.  So that meant moving in with my parents, for 3 months!  Now, for a normal family this would not be a big deal, but my family is far from normal.  Four years ago my parents took in three foster children who were left by their parents at the preschool my mother used to work at.  For the past four years my parents have cared for a loved these kids as if they were their own.  My sister and I too have welcomed them into our lives without missing a beat as if they were always our siblings.  To us, anyone in need was welcome, and these kids were in desperate need.  So obviously with 3 kids, my parents have a full house, but that did not matter.  Without missing a beat my mother started planning for my husband and I's stay at their home for a few months.  Moving around furniture, making 8 hour trips up to Houghton and back home with our clothes and dog, you name it, my parents did it.  Another saving grace for my husband and I is that my in-laws own some hardware stores in the area, thus my husband is able to work while I recover.

If these things were not enough to make you thankful for wonderful family, the next piece of amazing news will make you thankful for friends!  After I called my friend Chelsea, who lives far away, and had a good cry with her on the phone about my surgery situation, she also got to work seeing if some of her family's friends had a vacant place for us to stay in during the week of my surgery in NYC.  Amazingly enough, her father has a friend who has an apartment in NYC that she offered to me, my mother and my husband while we are in NYC for my surgery, FOR FREE!!!  I was literally in shock when Chelsea told me about this amazingly gracious person.  I mean, who offers their home to complete strangers for an entire week?!  I pretty much just started crying.

Since that time I have been in contact with the owner of the apartment and she is the nicest lady, even sending me pictures of the apartment and the view!  Its times like these that I realize, I am the luckiest person on earth.  Yeah, these surgeries suck and yes, I am not happy about it, but if there was ever a lesson to be learned here its that I am surrounded by one of the best support systems ever.  So this post is a shout out to all those in my life who have cared for me in ways that I can never repay.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Friday, October 4, 2013

When life gives you lemons...

So these last few weeks have been really difficult.  It was such a shock hearing that a need the ultimate hip surgery to fix the real problem with my hips.  I feel betrayed by the medical community and frustrated with the surgeons I had seen.  For so long I was told that nothing was wrong.  For example, the first surgeon that I saw in Marshfield, WI after I got my diagnosis told me that since I had good range of motion still that I did not have FAI and that if I continued to have pain that I should go back to my general practitioner.  Well of course I was going to continue to have pain, I had already been in pain for 5 years!  The blatant dismissal without any further investigation was heart breaking for me at the time.  I did not give up on my hip though and pursued a second opinion with the surgeon who would eventually do my first scope.

Looking back at all the surgeons I saw, all the PT that I did, and all the general practitioners that I went through, all the while hoping that maybe, just maybe, this surgeon or doctor or PT would make it all better, once and for all.  Because of the lack luster care from the medical community, my distrust in doctors has gown exponentially.  I always want second (or third, or fourth) opinions about things.  I do a ton of research about everything now before I trust anything a doctor says to me, which really goes against everything I was taught growing up.  I was taught that the doctor knew how to fix you when you were sick and that was the end of it.  There was no questioning him/her, it just was.  Which is why I think that this was all so hard from the beginning.  To question that a surgeon could be wrong was just not something that I had heard of, but it is now something that is second nature to me.  Which, when you think about it, is a great thing.  Critical thinking should always be used in all things, but to have to question someone who is suppose to make you feel better, who is suppose to be on your side, seems maddening.  Add to that the hundreds of dollars you get the privileged to pay for their 'opinion' and I sometimes feel insane!  If I wanted to discuss opinions then I would just have a heated conversation with certain family members and that's free.  But to pay for the privileged of someone to tell you that your wrong about your pain and discomfort seems barbaric in our modern society.  But I shall digress from this conversation seeing as I could go on forever about the American medical system and the insanity of it all.

What I really wanted to write about tonight (or early this morning) was how much I have learned and how I want to share what I have learned with everyone!  I never want someone to suffer like I have.  I never want someone to think that they are crazy because some untrained doctor or radiologist cannot find the correct diagnosis for their pain.  In the past week I have been sharing my story high and low, in all corners of the internet trying to get the word out about FAI, labral tears, femoral anteversion, etc.  I see posts on Reddit about groin pain and how they are told is a hernia or a strained muscle and I can only shake my head because I know that at least 10 of those 20 posts I saw are going to be misdiagnosed and most likely have either FAI or labral tears but they will suffer in pain until someone somewhere down the line makes a correct diagnosis.

What happened to me should have never of happened.  Doctors, PT, nurses, etc all have a duty to patients to not give up on them until finding out the true reasons for someones pain.  For $500 for an initial consultation with a surgeon, patients deserve more than 'I do not know, see someone else' and pass the buck onto a different doctor.  Its maddening!  And its awful that its allowed.  Everyday people are passed off and shoved away when answers are not easy to find.  Is that was med. school is teaching students, how to pass the buck without follow up?!  I find this unacceptable.

But, given my situation I want to make the proverbial lemonade out of lemons.  I want to share my story in as many places as possible, with as many people as possible to get the word out about FAI, labral tears and how finding a well educated and trained surgeon is the single most important thing you can do for your care.  It does not seem like a big deal when you are looking at your first scope because if your are anything like me, you'll think 'I am not special, I do not need a "top" surgeon to fix me, I just need someone who is a surgeon', but I beg of you, please do not fall into this trap.  While I did not have any glaringly obvious done deformities, like dysplasia, I have a ton of rotational issues, none of which were found by my first two surgeons because a rotational study was not done.  Imagine how much pain and money and heartache would have been saved for me if my first surgeon had the training and forethought to order a rotational MRI or a CT scan?  I even had family members encouraging me to see the hometown surgeon because "You don't need the best, you just need someone who can get the job done".  Oh how wrong they were.  I think that hip surgery is often mistaken for knee surgery, especially scopes, in the sense that its easy, its done routinely, and often has very little complications.  But the hip is a very DEEP and hard to reach joint, something that the knee is not.  Thus access is tricky and limited.

So to wrap up this late night rant, PLEASE go to the best surgeon you can afford.  Find a surgeon who has trained at top hospitals like the Hospital for Special Surgery, or who has done a fellowship with top scope surgeons like Dr. Philippon, Dr. Kelly, and Dr. Byrd.  ALWAYS ask for a rotational study to be done either through an MRI or a CT scan (this is more accurate).  Then get a second opinion and a third opinion.  Many surgeons like Philippon and Kelly do free film reviews, take advantage of this!  Send in your films.  And last, but not least, please educate yourself on these things.  Know what would make you a good scope candidate and what would not, know what your angles are (alpha angle, CE angle, version angles are all important) and if your surgeon does not know, run for the hills, run as far away from that surgeon as possible!

So I will leave you all with that note.  I will be spending a lot of time on the internet these next few weeks, trying to spread my story far and wide so that I can hopefully help just one person avoid the heartache and pain that I have endured due to the medical communities error.  If your reading this, please share with anyone you might know suffering from hip/knee/lower back pain.  You may just save their sanity!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Consultation with Dr. Buly at HSS

Its been a while again since I have updated my blog because I was waiting until after my appointment at HSS with Dr. Buly which was a week ago today.  I consulted with Dr. Buly originally for my femoral anteversion which was found on my pre-op MRI in Dec. of last year.  I was told that it may or may not cause continued issues, that only time would tell.  Well, before I had surgery in Jan. I told myself that I would not wait longer than 6 months to get this checked out.  Dr. Philippons team wanted me to wait a year before consulting with someone, but I had already waiting long enough for answers, I was unwilling to accept waiting any longer than 6 months from surgery.  So when I was still in some pain in August, I booked an appointment with Dr. Buly.

The few weeks leading up to my appointment with Dr. Buly I was not in a lot of pain and even contemplated cancelling, but I didn't as my mom had already set up time to come with me, etc. so I kept my appointment.  My mom and I decided to drive out to NY seeing at plane tickets were almost $500 per person.  Add that too a cost of cab fares and hotels and for a 2 night stay in NY city it would have cost about $2,000.  So driving and staying north of the city at a campground was the cheapest.  It was a beautiful drive out to NY and the campground that we stayed at was perfect.  Since we are not city people, it was nice to be able to leave the city after a busy and exhausting day at the hospital.  So we left Traverse City (where my parents live) and drove out to NY on a Sunday as my appointment was on Monday.  It was a beautiful drive and PA is so pretty!  We got to NY around 6PM and had just enough daylight to set up the tent and then fall asleep.

We left for the city pretty early the next morning even though my appointment was not until the afternoon so that we could look around the city a little.  So driving into the city was not nearly as bad as I thought that it was going to be and we got lucky because the president was at the UN, only about 10 blocks away, but FDR drive was not shut down, so we were not effected at all.  We got a little lost coming into the city, but the GPS put us back on track and we got to the hospital without a problem.  After parking we walked around a little through some of the neighborhoods and saw a cool collection of Buddist art at Sotheby's, even though scary looking men in suites follow you around.

After looking around for a bit, my hips were getting tired so we ended up back at the hospital early so I just got checked into x-ray and had those done as well as my CT scan.  After that we went to Dr. Buly's office to wait for my appointment.  Dr. Buly and his assistant Elaine are so nice and personable, it was unreal.  There were no fellows, or nurses, or other staff, it was just Dr. Buly and Elaine, it was so nice to spend so much time with the actual surgeon!  Dr. Buly, after looking at my x-ray and CT images, recommended a PAO (periacetabular osteotomy) and an FO (femoral osteotomy).  I was really shocked by this recommendation because never before had hip dysplasia been mentioned to me, which is usually what PAO are used to fix.  But I guess after all these surgeries, the rim trimmings done had actually made my hip slightly dysplasic, which when combined with my femoral anteversion means that there is not enough acetabulum to cover the top of the femur head.  Dr. Buly then called his colleague, Dr. Helfet, into the exam room so that he could look at my images and examine me to get his opinion.  He agreed that a combination PAO and FO would be the best course of action.  Dr. Buly also wanted me to consult with Dr. Sink to get his opinion about the PAO.  So we stayed in NY an extra day so that we could see Dr. Sink on Tuesday.  Dr. Sink basically agreed with Dr. Buly and Dr. Helfet.

Today I got the results of my MRI and CT scan as well, which shows excessive femoral anteversion on both the left and the right, as well as excessive tibial torsion externally.  The combination of these is known as miserable malalignment syndrome.  I also have a labral tear and FAI in my left hip with will have to be taken care of at some point.  My MRI showed a lot of cartilage wear and tear on the front of both hips, although the right hip is so much worse.  I was told that if I do not go through with surgery for the PAO and FO I will most likely be looking at a total hip replacement in 5 years.

So, now that this post is getting really long, I am now in the process of booking my first surgery with Dr. Buly for the PAO and FO.  I am really just super disappointed and scared.  3 years ago when I had my first scope, this was never suppose to be an issue, but here we are, staring down the barrel of at least 3 more surgeries to fix all of these issues.  I am still in shock I think, but time will help me get over it I am sure.  Anyways, no good news this time, but I will keep everyone updated as surgery gets closer!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So, its been a while...

So, its been a long time since I have updated my blog just because this recovery has been so emotional and physically hard that one day I was feeling great and the next day I could barley move, nothing seemed consistent from one day to the next, which makes it a little hard to tell others how you are doing.

Since my last post my recovery had seemed to progress well, although slowly, with often setbacks.  But, by the end of May I was doing some light jogging.  In fact, the last week of May I was able to jog 3 days in one week and it felt amazing.  I had stopped physical therapy about 2 weeks before this, although I was still doing exercises at home.  I would still get occasional pain just above my groin while lowering myself down stairs or something similar, but overall, I was feeling pretty great.

Then...I had some family things to take care of which sent me home for a week in the beginning of June.  Its an 8 hour drive to my parents house and then another 4 hours to see other family in another part of the state.  I was home for a week before coming back to my house (another 12 hour drive).  I was only home a week when my grandmother passed away so back home I went (another 2 12+ hour drives).  By the time I came back home at the end of June, my hip had suffered some pretty significant set backs, I was in daily pain again.  I figured it was a short term flare up and did not think much of it, but after 2 weeks the pain was only getting worse.  I was taking 2 summer classes at Michigan Tech so I was sitting for 3 hours a day plus trying to work at my old job at the law office a few times a week.  The combination of a lot of driving plus sitting at work and school was causing things to only get worse.  I was getting a lot of groin pain, pain in the front of my hip, and knee pain.  After a few more weeks of this, I became concerned and contacted the surgeon in Colorado again.  While waiting to hear from his team I decided that it would be best to get an opinion on the femoral anteversion issue.  I called a surgeon that was recommended to me that's based in New York and scheduled an appointment for the end of September.  Dr. Philippon does not deal with femoral anteversion so he cannot really tell me much more about it other than I have it and it might effect the outcome of this surgery.  I feel like until I get an opinion from a doctor that does these kinds of surgeries I will never know if this pain is caused by the anteversion or if its just a part of this healing process.  Its been about 2 months of constant pain so far though, so I don't feel like I am making any rash decisions, even though I am tired of all this hip stuff.

So that's the update for now.  I currently have two weeks off from classes before I start taking some more classes this fall.  The break has been nice for my hip.  I am still trying to get on the bike a few times a week as well as doing some stretching that was given to me by Dr. P.  So far, the groin pain has calmed some, but the pain in the front of my hip and in the knee is still bad most days preventing me from being on my feet for any length of time.  Hopefully I can get some more answers from this surgeon in New York.

For anyone else out there suffering, I hope that you too get answers soon and that everyone has pain free days ahead!

Monday, April 15, 2013

WOW...3 months (or 12 weeks) out from surgery

So today is 3 months out from surgery and I am getting better and better each day it seems like.  Today I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the elliptical, as well as the lunges on the treadmill and other PT exercises with minimal pain afterwards, just a little ache.  I am getting so antsy to get outside and do some yard work and walking, but alas, the weather here has not cooperated yet.  Yesterday we got about 5 inches of snow again.  Luckily its melting pretty fast by the next day but it certainly makes for sloppy, wet ground, not ideal for walking on with a newly operated hip.  So I am trying to be patient, planning a garden and such instead.

This last week has been pretty uneventful, the hip has felt good and my stomach seems to have settled down which is a huge relief as it was really getting in the way of me attending PT. Well, not much to report on this week, I just cannot believe that its already 3 months out.

Hope everyone else is pain free :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

If its not one thing, its another!

Today is 11 weeks post op!  I am in shock how fast the time has gone.  Physical therapy is still going well even though I have not been able to attend as much as I would like.  Recently my stomach pains have become the real issue, preventing me from going to physical therapy as much as I should.  Last week I was only able to attend one day.  But during that one session we really pushed the hip hard.  I did lounges on the treadmill for 2 whole minutes!  I thought that I was going to die!  I am doing 3 sets of 10 of lounges on the ground with 2lb weights as well as side leg lifts and back leg lifts.  Its crazy how much I can do and the progress that I can feel.  But I can also still feel a lot of weakness.  My pain has been minimal for the past 3 weeks, which is really promising considering I cannot take any NSAID's.  I still have numbness along the outside of my thigh and under my knee cap.  My scars seem to be healing up well, but I can feel a lot of scar tissue underneath my outer most scar.  I have been using Vit. E oil on them and massage to break it up.

My stomach on the other hand seems to have a mind of its own.  I have been taking Prilosec now for 2 weeks at the increased does yet on Thursday I had horrible stomach pains again.  Is a combination of nausea and actual physical pain.  I am not sure if anything sets it off in particular but it usually starts in the evening after having dinner.  I have tried taking Pepto and Tums but both of those usually just make things worse.  I was in pain for about 6 hours until some pain medication I took finally kicked in.  Friday was not much better, although I was able to sleep a little more.  I had a low grade fever all day which had me worried.  I called my doctor but he was out of town and the fill in doctor only suggested that if the pain got worse I got to the walk-in or ER.  Well Friday night the pain got worse so I went to the ER.  They were not able to do much for me, they basically just suggested that I call my primary care doctor about setting up an appointment for a scope of my stomach.  They were able to prescribe some antibiotics in case it is an infection, plus some pain pills to take when the pain gets really bad.  So for the past few days I have just eaten toast and drank water because of the nausea.

So overall, the hip is feeling really good, minus some aches and pain here and there but this stomach thing has really put a damper on my progress.  On Wed. I have a follow up appointment with my doctor regarding the stomach issues so hopefully then we can come up with a game plan for the next step.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

10 weeks - Hope

On Monday I will be 10 weeks post op.  Its really hard to believe considering originally I was not suppose to even have surgery until this month (April).  The past two weeks have been amazing!  My hip feels so good, I don't even have words to express how excited I am.  This week I walked my dog, about 1/4 of a mile, 4 times, as well as climbing some snow banks out at Lake Superior to watch the stars.  The snow was giving out underneath my leg as I was walking and I had no pain!  Plus the physical therapy that I have been doing has stepped up intensity each time we are adding strengthening exercises without any pain!  I have not had this happen in years.  This week we even added wall squats!  Full wall squats!  Its crazy how wonderful it feels.  I feel like I actually have hope for the future, something that I have not felt in a long time.

I am so grateful to Dr. Philippon.  I really believe that he is the best surgeon in the world to do these kinds of things.  Without him and his team, I know that I would still be feeling helpless and frustrated.  I read stories of other people struggling with the same things I was (continued pain, frustration, etc.) and I just want to recommend to everyone to see Dr. P.  After years of struggling with this and seeing many different doctors, the best advice I give everyone I talk to is to get a lot of opinions from at least one local doctor (if available) and an opinion form one of the top doctors (of course its my personal opinion that Dr. P is the best).  Checking out who your doctor trained with is another really important thing.  Before I had a first hip surgery failure I thought that I would not be one of those who had to have multiple surgeries, that those things happened to other people, but this whole experience has been very humbling and taught me a lot about hips. There are a lot of underlying factors that go into whether someone is a good candidate for a scope surgery and many untrained doctors do not know how to look for these things.  Looking back on my experience, I wish no one would ever have surgery with a surgeon who has not trained under the best doctors in the world as it seems their success rates are much, much less and people suffer needlessly.

So this week the only downside that I have been experiencing is that my left hip has really started to increase in pain.  Its bothered me on and off ever since after my first surgery in 2010 but was brushed off by the surgeon as compensation pain.  With my second MRA I was diagnosed with a CAM impingement on the left, but I was hoping that once the right was fixed that it would become asymptomatic again.  So far, no luck with that, but I really don't want to think about the possibility of needing another surgery, so unless it really starts effecting my every day activity, I most likely will not pursue anything with it.

Thats the deal this week :)  Feeling really great about life and the hip situation.  I feel like my fears of needing the surgery to fix my anteversion are reduced daily and that this might be the end of the road for the hip pain in the right.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

9 weeks!

So today is 9 weeks post op!  Its crazy to think about how far out from surgery I am now.  This past week I have been feeling better and better each day.  My pain has been minimal and my range of motion is better as well.  On Saturday I walked my dog with no problems and no pain (other than I slipped and fell in my driveway, luckily nothing serious!).  I am very excited about all this!  But of course when one thing is going well, something else falls apart.  I have been experiencing intense stomach pains for a few months now and on Saturday night my stomach started giving me intense stomach pains.  It was horrible.  Nothing was taking the pain away.  So today I made an appointment with my primary care physician to see if he could help me figure out what the problem was.  I had a feeling that it was an ulcer because of my high use of NSAID's for the past few years.  So today I went to see my doctor and the end result is that tomorrow at 8 am I have an appointment at the hospital for an ultrasound of my stomach area as well as blood work.  The doctor is concerned that I may have a gallstone as when he did the physical exam on me, I was really tender more toward my gallbladder than anything else.  So, worst case scenario  I need my gallbladder removed, best case scenario, I have an ulcer and will be taking lots of Prilosec!  I have had to stop all NSAID's though, which in the past few days has made my hip ache a little more and give me bad headaches.

Physical therapy has really picked thing up a lot this past week.  I started doing the elliptical, which has felt good as well as adding some 2 lb weights to some of the exercises that I had been doing that have gotten pretty easy for me.  It feels good to start strengthening things and see some progress and things get easier and easier with each physical therapy appointment.  The best part is the pain afterwards has been minimal (except in the past few days, when I have had to stop taking NSAID's).

Hope everyone else is doing well and pain free :)

EDIT (3/28/13):  So I wanted to edit this to update the results of my ultrasound and blood work.  Everything came back normal so the likely culprit of my intense stomach pains is an ulcer.  I am on Prilosec, 40 mg's for 2 weeks and then I go back to the doctor to reevaluate to see if its working.  Its really early in the morning here but I cannot sleep because of my stomach pains so I hope that this regimen of Prilosec works fast!  Most likely the ulcer is from my NSAID use all these years in dealing with the hip problems.  I was taking about 600 mg every 4-6 hours for about 2 years straight so its no wonder I developed an ulcer.  I would recommend talking to your primary care physician if you have been or will be on NSAID's for any long length of time and see if you can get one a Prilosec as preventative measures for ulcers.

Monday, March 18, 2013

8 weeks today

Sorry its been a while since I have updated my recovery.  Last week my husband and I had to go back to our home town for a week for some family things.  I was suppose to have my 6-8 week follow up with Dr. Philippon but had to cancel to be able to go home this week.  Currently my appointment got rescheduled for April 21st.  Today its 8 weeks out from surgery and I wish I could report that things are going really well, but I can't.  My hip has been really painful and sore for the last 2 weeks.  I am having increased groin pain, pinching in the front of my hip when bending, and the infamous deep ache that is relentless.  I am having a hard time walking up stairs, doing stretches that had not been a problem, and in general, a feeling of instability.  I keep getting a feeling like my femur is slipping in the socket and all my muscles and tendons are sliding around and snapping when it does this.  Its happened a few times and each time its really painful.  I am afraid to walk far as I feel like I my leg will give way.

All of these things have me really concerned but I am trying to keep a positive outlook and not assume the worst, but thats becoming harder and harder to do with each surgery that fails.  I am assuming that part of my pain is from sleeping on a pull out couch and over doing it last week while at home, plus not having any PT, but part of me keeps thinking, its 8 weeks out and I cannot go a week without PT?  My mind keeps screaming that its the femoral anteversion causing these problems, but I don't know for sure and I am trying really hard not to assume the worst.  I have PT today for the first time in a week so I will let them know of these problems and see what they say.  This is becoming harder and harder to accept that things may never be right and I will always be in pain, but I am hoping thats not the case.

Well, I wish I had a better, more optimistic outlook for this post, but maybe that will be next time.

Edit 3/20/13:  So I just wanted to edit this post quickly because I called Dr. P's physicians assistant yesterday about the pain I have been having.  He recommended that I change up the physical therapy protocol to focus more on the outer hip muscles and glutes.  He said that once your off crutches, the muscles in the front of the hip are baring the brunt of the weight load and don't really need the focus of strengthening this far out from surgery.  So I am going to start using the elliptical before PT for 10 minutes instead of the bike, focus on strengthening the side and back of the hip muscles (which I started on Monday as my PT is great and on top of this stuff), and I am going to start trying to make it to the pool 5 times a week.  Getting to the pool that often will probably be difficult, but I love to swim!  So as soon as the weather cooperates (we are getting a snow storm at the moment) I will be heading to the pool much more often.

I had a rough night sleeping last night, but mostly because of pain in my left hip.  Its becoming more and more concerning, but I really hope that with time and strengthening it will settle down.  I am also going to look into some ART massage therapy to see if it can help break up some of the scar tissue that I have.  More updates to come!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 weeks post op

So today I am 5 weeks post op.  Last week was really hard, I was having increasing pain with each day that passed and I was trying to work myself off of crutches.  I felt like I was falling behind in my rehab as even the basic PT exercises were becoming more difficult instead of easier.  BUT...on Friday, I woke up and felt a ton better, I was able to do my therapy exercises in the morning without any trouble at all.  I was so happy and surprised!  It finally felt amazing!  So for the past few days I have been continually feeling better and better, doing my therapy exercises 2 times a day without any issues.  Yesterday and today I walked without crutches at all, all day.  My back today is sore though as I am twisting my pelvis as I have a slight limp, so I am working a lot harder at stabilizing my pelvis with my core, which means I really have to think about every step I take, but it will be worth it as my leg needs this to get stronger.  I also went to the pool today for the first time.  It felt good, albeit different.  I didn't realize how much and quickly I adapted to the feeling of walking in the water without so much weight on my hips until I got out of the pool and the limp was back.  So I think I am going to try and get to the pool on the days that I am not in PT.

In PT I have been working on a few new things, like external rotation, which feels weird as my capsule is really tight, but each day, my range of motion gets better and better and its always nice to see results!  I have started doing abduction exercises with my left leg, which means I have to stand on my right (operated leg) to start some more strengthening.  I was really afraid to do these exercises but they turned out ok, as I did not fall over!  We have also upped the resistance on the bike, so I feel like I am getting a slight cardio workout, which is something new.  In the pool I can start doing some aqua jogging and laps, as well as the normal exercises which just use the resistance of the water to help strengthen.

My pain has been minimal the past 3 days or so, after I got over the awful flare up that I had.  I am already on less drugs than I was before, which is promising!  I am suppose to have a follow up appointment with Dr. Philippon on March 11th, but I have some family issues that need attending too so I will be cancelling this appointment and rescheduling.  I also want to push it out a little so that I can try and fly out there myself and save some money on plane tickets as its starting to get a little too pricey flying out there every 6 weeks!  So, thats about all for now.  This week in PT we will be adding some new exercises, so we will see how the hip does without crutches and some more strengthening!  Each week brings something new, its exciting to see the changes happening!!

Stay pain free and have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Two weeks post op

Good Morning all,

Its a cold, snowy day in northern Michigan today (again!).  We have been home a whole week now and its been great.  My mom left about 3 days ago to go back home and since then its just been me and my husband, plus my giant baby, which is some might confuse with a German Shepherd.  I went to physical therapy every day last week and its been going really well.  My hip has been feeling great.  I feel like my range of motion is really good, although I still can't do any external rotation.  I am able to sleep on either side,  if only for a short period of time, without much pain.  There is still some swelling that I can see and feel, but overall, its not bad.  My incision sites are looking really good, I have an appointment to see my primary care physician next week to get my stitches out.  The pain that I am having I believe is left over from traction.  My IT band is really tight and the area that PT has been working on the most.  I keep getting pain around my knee and ankle quiet a bit.  I am still having to take one Norco every 4-6 hours as well as a muscle relaxant. Yesterday was Saturday and I since I didn't have PT I went to the gym and rode the bike for 20 minutes and it felt great.  Overall I feel pretty good, I have been able to sleep well the last few nights which has been amazing!  I am a little worried about pain management because Dr. P's office only does pain management for the first 10 days, then they want me to make an appointment with the pain clinic again.  Its a little frustrating, but not much I can do about it.

Below are some pictures from the surgery :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post OP

Well, it actually happened, surgery really happened!  Today I am 9 days post op and overall feeling pretty good.  I actually got to go home the day after surgery, after the epidural wore off.  I came out of surgery around 2:30PM and was feeling pretty good.  I was told that I could go home after I got on the bike in physical therapy but the epidural was taking a very long time to wear off and I could not move my feet until about 6PM, which was after physical therapy closed, so no bike for me.  I was in some pain once home and walking was difficult at first but I was happy to go back to our condo instead of having to stay in the hospital.

As for surgery, I was told that things went well.  They did a lot of work.  I had a labral reconstruction with a cadavar, an osteoplasty with rim trimming for combined FAI, thermal chondroplasty on the femur, chondroplasty on the acetabulum, plication of iliofemoral ligament, thermal treatment of the ligamentum teres, a synovectomy, and the removal of a lot of scar tissue.  I was in traction for 127 minues.

The physical therapy protocol is very intense starting the day after surgery.  I had to be at physical therapy first thing in the morning.  I rode the bike for 20 minutes then one of Dr. Philippon's fellows came down and explained to me a little bit about what they did, showed me pictures and then the nurse changed my dressing.  Each day I had physical therapy twice a day which includes 20 minutes on the bike, some simple movements and exercises and some soft tissue work, and then 20 minutes of icing.  Also, each day I have to use the CPM machine for 4-6 hours, wear my brace while walking around, use the DVT preventative boots while sitting for more than 20 minutes, use the anti-rotational boots whenever I am sitting or sleeping, and of course crutches.  It a lot to keep track of, but so far, I have been feeling great.

The plane ride home I was very worried about, but went well.  Both of our flights were on time, which I was very grateful for as I was worried about getting delayed in Chicago.

We got home 4 days ago and its been wonderful being back.  I was so happy to sleep in my own bed, even though sleeping has been difficult for me.  I have been going to physical therapy here at home once a day this week and its been going well.  There has been a small problem with getting the CPM machine home to Michigan, seems as though UPS mixed some things up, but hopefully we it will come tomorrow.

Overall, things have been going well.  I am feeling good and able to get around pretty easy.  I get tired easily, but that's about it.  I am looking forward to this rehab process as I can't wait to see how things progress!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The day before surgery with Dr. Philippon

Its the day before my hip surgery with Dr. Marc Philippon and I am getting pretty nervous.  Its odd to be here again since my debacle of a trip last time, it almost seems surreal.  I won't actually believe surgery is happening this time until I wake up in recovery.  Seems like any little thing will cancel surgery, which before I never had any issues with.  I have been wishing for this day for weeks and weeks now, but now that its tomorrow, part of me just wants to be home, cuddling with my dog, watching the snow fall.  But I know that this is the first step to getting my life back as I knew it before.  I have struggled for a long time now, coming to peace with the fact that I cannot do many things in life that seemed so easy before.  How many people have to think about how long and when is the best time to do laundry to create the least amount of pain as possible.  I want to ride my horse again, I want to take my dog for a walk and not worry that I will hurt to much to walk the next day, and I want to run.  I want to work on being a fit person, as person who is proud of how they look and feel.  So in some ways I am excited, hoping that this is a turning point in my life, putting the days of chronic pain behind me.  It will be interesting to see how this recovery goes compared to my previous ones, but I know no matter what, I need to keep my spirits high and listen to my body.

So pre-op instructions so far have been pretty minimal, really only consisting of making sure I drink a lot of water or Gatorade.  I have also had to wash for the past 2 days with Hibiclens, which is this awful pre-op soap that they make you wash with.  I say that its awful because its not like normal soap, it has no soap like qualities.  Its pink, makes you smell funny, and does not even suds like soap should.  I have to shower tonight and tomorrow morning with it as well (EWWW).

Our travel this trip was overall very smooth.  We were able to actually fly out of Houghton/Hancock airport yesterday on time, which I really did not think was going to happen, because we were getting some intense lake effect snow so the inbound flight from Chicago had been cancelled, but somehow, by the grace of God, they had just fixed a plane and we were still able to leave.  We got to Chicago on time, had dinner, walked around then boarded our flight to Denver.  Once in Denver we got our rental car and we were off to Vail.  We got in late last night, about 11 PM MST only to find that our condo we were renting was missing the key to get in.  So we decided to get a hotel room for the night until we could get a hold of the condo owner the next day, but ALL the hotels were booked, I mean, there was not a single room in all of Vail.  So we had to go to the next town over and stay in a hotel there.  We finally got to bed about 12:30 AM MST.  Luckily this morning we worked things out with the condo owner and were able to finally get into the condo and unpack.  I love this condo though, its really nice because it has 1 1/2 baths, which I know will come in handy after surgery.  The bed is huge and it has a nice fireplace.  So this afternoon me and my husband are just relaxing, watching some football.

So, tomorrows the big day!  In some ways I feel like it has not even really hit me yet, but in others I feel like its happening too fast!  Here's to new and improved hips!!!  See you all on the other side!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Almost there

Well, a week from today we fly back out to Colorado for surgery on the 21st.  I called last week and talked with Dr. Philippon's PA and he said that all tests have come back negative for any infection in my hip, which is what I, plus my husband and GP, already knew, but I understand why they wanted to make sure that there was no infection.  I am a little worried though because I was unable to get a hold of the surgery scheduler to confirm my surgery date and get a time, but I am assuming that will happen on Monday.  Of course, the more I think about going out there for surgery, the more nervous I get.  I want to be able to plan everything to the very end, but I know that I can't.  I have planned and booked as much as I can and now I just have to let the days tick by and wait.  So far it looks like the weather will be nice to fly, which is a blessing because living in the northern most part of Michigan, you just never know what the weather is going to do, especially in January.

So, not much to report on.  I have our condo booked as well as our flights, the only thing I still need to book is a car rental, which the last time we were there, it worked out better to just get a car when we got into Denver.  My pain has been steadily getting worse over the past few weeks.  Sleeping has become very difficult as well, which does not help things much.  Last night I only slept for about 4 hours before my hips just became too painful.  I am trying to calm my nerves by doing things around the house but I have a hard time balancing being able to do things around the house and not putting myself in a lot of pain :/

Overall, just nervous.  I would feel a lot better if I had gotten a phone call or email from the surgery scheduler to confirm my surgery, but I don't see why surgery would not be a go considering the PA told me that from his end it was.  Anyways, I will update again once we are in CO!