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Settling in; unsettling dream

Well, here I am in Montana. I got to my parents' place Friday night and was welcomed to a beautiful room to recover in. Mom spent a lot of time getting it ready for me, down to pretty paper lining the drawers and high shelves so I don't have to bend over to reach things. Thanks, Mom!

My folks live on 13 acres in rural Montana. Outside our windows are a few houses about a quarter mile away, but mostly the view consists of pine trees, yucca plants and lots of big blue sky. (This is Montana, after all.)

So I'm mostly unpacked and ready to fly out to Tacoma. My list of things to do has been whittled down to the following: giving myself a pedicure, loading new music onto my mp3 player, printing out my list of questions for Dr. Mayo (I'll post them later), buying some of my favorite snacks/foods that my folks don't normally have, and finding transportation from the airport to the hotel to the hospital and around the hospital.

The night before last, I had a dream about the surgery. It was the first time the thought has crept into my subconscious slumber, and it was unsettling. I dreamt that I missed my pre-op appointment but somehow had gone through surgery anyway. My scar started under my rib cage and I kept having to walk on the leg because my crutches were too far away and no one was around to grab them for me. Of course, none of this will happen, but it just left me with a weird feeling, you know?

Other than a little residual uneasiness from the dream, I'm still feeling calm and excited for the surgery. Some butterflies are starting to flutter in my tummy, but I feel strong. I feel good.

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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.