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I only look normal

I'm finding that I can't talk to many people these days without them mentioning or asking about my surgery. I've slowly started to tell more people about it, but only those who will notice I'm missing for two months. I've always been a strong person physically and emotionally, so this whole hip thing is not only hard for me to swallow, but it's also confusing for others to understand.

I mean, I look normal, right?

Take last night. My volleyball team and I finished our match (victorious!) and then headed to our familiar watering hole. Over a couple of pitchers of beer, my friends joked about me possibly meeting a guy in the hospital (um, weird). The ultra cute new guy on our team didn't know the situation (which was fine by me, thanks, friends!) so I had to fill him in. His response was like so many others I've heard:

"You sure seem to move around the court okay."

To which my awesome friend Adrienne said, "She hides pain really well." I simply smiled.

I totally get Steve's comment. I really couldn't expect anything else. It was flattering and inquisitive without being insulting. The complete opposite of, "I call B.S. on the bad hip story," which I heard in December after an especially fun round of hula hooping. Even though it was supposed to be a joke I think it was a little harsh.

Which brings me to my favorite part of this post:

The most interesting responses I've heard regarding my surgery
          • "Don't take those painkillers, you don't want to get hooked."
          • "Not sure how you'll be doing after your surgery, but want to go to a Cubs/Rockies game in May?"
          • "Are you excited? My dad just had his knee redone."
          • "How often do you think about the surgery?"
          • "I have bone spurs in my toe."

My "hip sisters" may be the only people who find these as amusing as I do. The comments came from people who really mean well; they just don't know the whole gist of a PAO. I love that they care enough to talk to me about the surgery, I and look forward to many more comments like these!


Lauren said…
I have to say my favorite is the bone spur in toe comment. It's as absurd as when I first moved to this country from South Africa. We got everything from "Do you have salad in Africa?" to "I have a cousin in Kenya, do you know him?". No kidding, people never cease to amaze me.
Hang in there and keep smiling because most of the time the joke is on someone else.

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Questions for surgeon pre-op

Below is my list of questions to ask Dr. Mayo pre-op.

About pre-op care and my dysplasia How many degrees is my dysplasia?How’s the other hip? When will I need surgery on it?What are my chances for a successful surgery?Should I be following any special diet or medication restrictions?
About the surgery
How long is the surgery?Will you be doing the entire surgery or do other surgeons help?Chances of finding FAI or tears in labrum? Then what?Worst-case scenario while in surgery? Any chance of THR or no PAO?Will I be intubated?Do you do a bone graft?Where will scar be?What kind of stitching?When will the catheter go in?What are the screws made of?Will I lose much blood during surgery? Should I donate my own blood prior to surgery? If so, will I get that blood back? About post-op care
What can I expect during my hospital stay? How long will I be in the hospital?How will my pain be managed in the hospital and at home? Will I get an epidural? When will it go in? What items do I need at home to he…

4 months post-op/scar pic

If there's one blanket statement I could make about having a periacetabular osteotomy, I would say this:

It's a long recovery.

When friends, family, co-workers and strangers have comments or questions about the surgery, it's usually something like: "That sounds awful!" or "Was it really painful?" or "Scary."

Truth is, while it was awful, painful and scary at times, this whole time, it simply has been long. At four months post-op, I still feel remnants of surgery in my hip. I still can't lie on my op side for longer than an hour or two without discomfort, and I still have to help my leg in and out of the car on occasion. My hip is still tender to the touch, and of course, that tailbone ...

Don't get me wrong. I have SO much to celebrate, and I can't imagine myself happier with my left hip. I have recovered smoothly and quickly. I'm not asking for anything more. That being said, I have made the following progress in the past two …

3 years post-op LPAO

A surgery can change your body. Two surgeries can change everything.

Today, on the third anniversary of my LPAO, I inevitably think back to my first operation and the years leading up to that day.

Everything has changed.

I am an outdoors enthusiast and exercise nut. I can stay on my feet all day. My new body has freed my soul, and my heart responds in kind.

The breakdown is exactly the same as it was at two years post-op: zero pain with a couple of exceptions, great range of motion, same tingly patch and itching. The one difference is that my tailbone pain has waned considerably, which gives me much, much relief.

I'm a different person today than I was on April 23, 2008, and I'll be forever thankful.