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 solely on today. Last week, I lost someone I cared about because he wanted a plan, a guarantee for certain things in life. Unfortunately, I can't grant this certainty, nor do I want to. As much as I hate losing him and being reminded of this "disability" of mine, I'm so lucky and so happy to be living my life in the present, trying all the while to make decisions based on what I want, not what I fear.
And one day, I'll meet someone to share this mindset -- and my life -- with.