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Moving on

A day or two before my freak-out moment, I talked to Keri from Dr. Mayo's office and got a bunch of questions answered. This train is really rolling now.

I don't need a hospital bed after all. Because I'm flying and because Dr. Mayo won't ship a hip-specific CPM (continuous passive motion) machine, I don't need the hospital bed to hook it up to. Instead, I'll be using a knee CPM, which won't give me the same movement that the hip machine would, but it will get my leg moving. And it's smaller, I guess, so I can just set it up on a regular bed.

I've been easing myself into the ferrous gluconate (iron supplements), and so far, so good. I still need to double the dose, but I think it's all going to be ok. I've also been eating more spinach, raisins, fish and steak and drinking more water. Trivia bit: Did you know that ferrous gluconate is used as a food additive when processing black olives to create a uniform jet black color?

I swapped my blood donation days because, yes, indeedy, my blood was going to be too old if I gave it up this week. The ladies at United Blood Services didn't seem too phased by this bit of information when I pointed it out to them. My advice is always, always be on top of your own medical care. Anyway, my donation days are now the 13th and 27th.

My sister booked her flight from Michigan to Seattle today. Tomorrow I hope to have some time to get mine and my mom's booked. The only tricky part is choosing a return date that will coincide with my discharge date from the hospital. Of course we'll be able to change tickets if we need to, but I hope we can cross our fingers and get the date right the first time around. Keri told me to plan for seven days in the hospital, but like I told my sister today: They don't know that I'm totally going to rock the surgery and be ready to get out on Day 5!


I told Millis when my return flight was and so he discharged me that morning. I booked an evening flight (6:30 pm) - so I had plenty of time for all the discharge paperwork.

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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.