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I just love my friends. I really, really do.

Tonight I invited a couple of people over for a little time together. A little goodbye. I just can't believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful group of people pulling for me.

I leave tomorrow for Montana. I saw Adrienne, Sarah, Tammy, Donna and Craig tonight, and we had, as always, lots of laughs and just caught up. I've never known such giving, loving, fun people.

Last week, my group of friends (the above group plus Joy and Erik, Trevor, Eric, Dylan, Schuyler, Barry, Jana and Marcus), surprised me with a bunch of gifts to keep me occupied in the next six-eight weeks, including: Play-Doh, Nintendo with Mario 1-3, Tetris, books, the entire Friends series, a beautiful photo of "the girls" and much more.

I can't thank them enough. Not only for the material gifts, but for the thoughts, prayers and support. I know they'll push me, help me, motivate me, love me. You guys are the best.

P.S. Today was my last day of work. WHEW! The VP of IT dropped by my office today to give me this piece of advice: "Don't come back to work until you're ready to hit the ground running." Great advice, but I'm afraid I won't be running for a long time to come. I think one of the hardest things is to get people to understand what a long recovery this is -- especially after needing both hips done. I may not run again, but I'll try my hardest!

Some of the girls: Tammy, Adrienne, me, Sarah and Joy


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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.