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Thank you

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but what remains is my gratitude for a number of people in my life. A PAO is not a solo endeavor. I've been very lucky to have so many people pushing for me and helping me through this process. Without them, I truly wouldn't have been able to had have surgeries, which have translated to new opportunities and a fresh outlook on life.

To my Hip Sisters: You informed me about PAOs and taught me how to handle this surgery and recovery. We share a bond that no one else shares. You know my physical pain and emotional struggles, and I'll always be grateful to your invaluable advice and support.

To my friends: You're always there for me. Thank you for being willing to talk about my fears and for not forgetting about me while I'm gone! You are my connection to the life I want back. For the gifts, cards, flowers, texts, e-mails and phone calls, I am so grateful. Thanks especially to Donna for taking care of my apartment while I'm gone!

To my co-workers and employer: Thank you for picking up the slack while I'm gone and for encouraging me to have surgery even though it has meant more work for you. Josh, while you fall into this category, you really fit into the one above.

To my sister: Thanks for being my "bulldog." I could have used you the second time around, but I'm just glad I had you for the first round. You make me laugh when no one else can, and you were the reason I was able to motivate myself to get out of the hospital in less than five days.

To my dad and brother: Thanks for giving me a hard time. And for knocking my crutches over so much. And for helping me with so many things I can't do on my own. What would I do without you?

To my mom: From the beginning of this process, you've given me advice and supported my decision to take a chance on some complicated surgery with a funny name. You've flown across two states, stayed up late, listened to me cry, whine, moan and complain, put my socks on, put my shoes on, pushed my wheelchair, picked up my crutches, helped me shower, cooked and served me food, often in bed, cleaned up my messes, stood over me while I gave myself injections, carried my purse and brought me everything I needed but couldn't carry.

To all of you reading this: You've celebrated my victories and languished my setbacks. Thank you for being a part of this process and my life. I often realize that I am not lucky; I am loved. Who could ask for more?

My immediate family on Thanksgiving. I'm in the center ... notice the jeans at less than four weeks post op! And my nephew is sitting right on my op hip!


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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.