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!