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My fresh perspective

How do you measure gaining a fresh perspective on life?

Is it with footsteps? Absolutely terrifying at first, one crutch in front of the other. Gradually, they turn into confident strides, and eventually, the pain is gone. Every single step I have taken since April 23 has proved that pushed to my physical limits, I only become stronger as I push back.

Maybe it’s with peanuts. Throwing shells on the floor and cracking open a beer each Friday night at a local bar with my parents and often, friends, too. It is the scene of possibly the only real conversation I’ve ever had with my father; where I laughed with old friends and where I made new ones as I rediscovered my roots.

Perhaps it’s with words. On get-well cards, in text messages, over much-needed phone calls. From family, friends, co-workers and Hip Sisters, those words of encouragement were my connection to people I love and the life I wanted back. And they proved no matter how much I can handle on my own, the support of others is invaluable. 

But mostly, I think it’s time. Nearly six weeks in my hometown. Nearly six weeks to get to know my mom again, to spend final moments with my grandma, to breathe the soothing Montana air, to accept the fact that my body may try to fail me far too early in life but that I can be happy anyway.
How do you measure a decision that lets you draw a deep breath completely absent of regret and fear? There is absolutely no price to place on it all. A walk in the park. Conversation with friends. Return trips to Montana. They all have new meaning, and I’ll forever be grateful for the summer of 2008, when I fixed my hip and healed my spirit.


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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.