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Showing posts from September, 2008

RPAO, here we go

Like night and day. Miss Piggy and Kermit. Misty May Treanor and me.

That's how I describe my experiences preparing for my PAOs. The first one I agonized over, meticulously planning every detail, not letting a moment pass without thoughts of surgery. For six months, I did this.

And now here I am, six weeks from my second surgery. I've thought about it, yes, but never for longer than a minute at a time. I shoo those thoughts away as quickly as possible. As much as I'm okay with having the surgery, I just don't wanna deal with it!

Alas, the time comes to make plans to put your life on hold. Keri e-mailed me my pre-surgery info yesterday, and today I made my appointment for autologous blood donations. Next will be the flight and hotel reservations as well as buying the few things I'll need post-op.

Haven't I done all this before?

Stop hurting!

Ahhh! Today I'm really frustrated at the pain in my tailbone. It hurts, lots. Why!?!? And how can I fix it?

I'm okay with pain on a short-term basis. Hurting for four months I have problems with. I just want it to stop. Most days, I get relief when I go to sleep (as long as I don't sleep on my back), but this week, there's been no reprieve. Any contact to my derrierre feels like a giant bruise.

I'll be interested to see if Dr. Thomas has any helpful suggestions when I see him Oct. 16 or if the X-rays will show anything. I really don't know how I'm going to get through the second PAO, lying on my back or sitting all day.

But I will, somehow, someway.

End rant.

Hip thoughts

I still think about my hips a lot.

Maybe you don't care what I'm thinking. But maybe you do, so I'll continue.

At five and a half months post-op, I think I'm probably 85 percent of how a woman my age without hip dysplasia/reconstructive surgery feels. I think I'm 90 percent better than I was prior to surgery, my tailbone and a grindy pain on the underside of my pelvis/inside of my groin causing the point deduction. I think I have less severe pain overall, but a few more minor annoyances on a daily basis than pre-surgery. Probably that will get better in time.

I know I'm very happy with my decision to have the surgery.

And I know that thoughts of my hips, my pains and my gait will continue to fade into my subconscious. Just this weekend, I walked around downtown Denver for a Rockies game and then to a few bars afterward without a second thought. Last year I tried to do the same and was in a huge amount of pain. What a difference a year makes.

Play music and dance

I know many of you* reading this are preparing for surgery. I know you're scared sh#%less. I was too, and it's not easy.

I guess I just wanted to say that beyond the fear lies a life you never thought possible. There is a great chance that after your surgery, you will feel better than you have in years. Your body, and therefore, your mind, will heal faster and stronger than you imagined.

Focus on that, if possible. Play some of your favorite music. Loudly. And dance, or sing. Free your mind as best as you can before your surgery, and know that you will be on the other side soon. Soon, you too will feel as carefree and painfree as I am.

A PAO (or two) will only make us stronger. And in the end, happier.

*Specifically for Acy and Michelle.

What a tease

It's hard to remain committed to the idea of another surgery when there are days I experience what I like to call "hip brilliance."

A couple of weekends ago, I had zero pain in my hip that's scheduled to go under the knife in six weeks. Yesterday, I walked almost three miles, lifted lower body weights and played volleyball with very little pain. Brilliant, I say.

But alas, I usually find, as I have today, that my hip is simply a tease. Today I'm sore sore sore in both hips, reassuring my decision to get PAOed again.

This is how it has gone with both hips for many months, years really. Back and forth, day to day.

No guarantees

Before my surgery, few people knew about my dysplasia and subsequent hip problems. I didn't talk about it much and tried to hide my pain as best I could. As my surgery approached and I was forced to face everything head on, I chose to make light of as many aspects of dysplasia and PAOs as I could.

Today, I still brush off questions about my hips and don't get into too much detail about how things are going. Maybe this is my way of coping ... to pretend dysplasia is nothing more than an ache in my hip, not a condition that threatens my active lifestyle and dreams for my future.

However, I can't always pretend. I can't forget that my hips aren't as strong or as stable as they should be. And I can't plan that I'll always be as active and pain free as I am today. I've learned to be thankful for each day that I can run around and play, knowing full well that tomorrow may be different.

Last week, my dysplasia reminded me that not everyone can pin their hopes sol…

Return to volleyball

About six months ago, I walked home from my last volleyball match with tears in my eyes and stabbing pains in my hip, not knowing when or if I would return to the game.

Tuesday night, I walked to the first match of the season with a cheesy smile on my face that I couldn't make go away. (I actually tried.) The great thing was, I walked home with that same smile.

Going in, I wasn't certain I'd be able to move around well enough to play. But I had two blocks, no missed serves and about five hits. There were a few balls that I couldn't get to cause I'm not going to dive just yet, but that's fine by me.

I did have a strange pain after my first hit that ran from my hip down to my knee, but it went away pretty quickly. Though I was a little sore the next day, I actually feel a little looser than I did going into the match.

I've learned so much through this PAO process. Mostly, you can't plan for anything. For better or worse, life changes at the drop of a hat.…

5 months post op

Today marks my five-month post op mark. I'm doing a smidge, yes, a smidge better than I was a month ago, but no significant turn of events.

The only issues I'm having:
Tenderness on the outside of my hip. Is this ever going to go away? Pain deep in the joint only when doing certain things. Like getting in and out of bed, or trying to do my "clam shell" exercises (lying on my un-op side with knees together and bent a bit and then lifting my op leg at the knee), among others.The smallest bit of stiffness in the joint, especially after a hard workout.
A couple of numb patches on my thigh.A very sore tailbone. A very sore Cassie! This is the thing that concerns me the most about my next surgery. I'm going to be on my butt a lot, and am cringing at the thought of all that pain!

Scheduling my six-month

Today I made my appointment with my Denver doc for my 6-month follow-up appointment. On Oct. 16, Dr. Thomas will take some new films and report back to Dr. Mayo.

I was a bit cautious about scheduling the second PAO so close to my 6-month follow-up, considering I've been having a few issues. But I talked to Dr. Mayo last week over the phone and he's confident that the left hip is just fine and will hold up okay while I go through the recovery with the right hip.

I'm sure I'll feel just as confident once those X-rays are shipped to Tacoma and Dr. Mayo can make extra sure everything has healed as it should.