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Showing posts from January, 2009

12 weeks post op RPAO

Three months post op on my right side. Just like the other one, sometimes I can hardly believe it's gone by so quickly and sometimes it just seems to drag on. Tonight as I walked by the gym as my volleyball league was in full swing, I just had to sigh. I hope to be playing in a couple of months, but sometimes (ok, all the time) it's hard to be patient.

Walking is 90 percent without any pain in the joint.No limp or stiffness what so ever.
Numbness is going away, already better than the left side.I can stand and walk for hours on end without pain.I can lightly jump, no pain.
Still working on:
Range of motion. I can't bring my knee to my chest like I could before. External rotation also is a work in progress.Getting in and out of the car, standing from a squatting position and any motion that involves raising my knee to move my leg (like driving) still take work. I can do all of these without using my hands to move my leg or pull myself up, but it hurts a bit.I haven'…

9 months post op LPAO

January 23 marked my nine month of progress from my left PAO. Has it gone by quickly? Slowly? The answer is both.

I found the first few weeks to go by quickly, followed by a stagnant period, picking up again at the eight-week mark, slowing down at three months, and so on. My RPAO, which hit at seven months, took the focus off the first recovery.

Here's how I feel at this point:
Good: No pain in the joint. I can walk for hours and not feel anything!Good: My incision is flat and continues to pale.Good: Strength and balance have returned to pre-surgery levels.
So-so: My range of motion is not as good as before surgery but not by too much. When I push it, I do feel some pain.
So-so: Numbness has decreased following the initial recovery, but I still get a very strange tingling sensation when touching any part of my upper thigh. It creeps me out.Bad: Deep groin pain (which is muscular/tissue-related) upon external rotation. This means no clam-shell type movement sans pain.Bad: Tailbone pain …


Celebrating 11 weeks post op, I returned to Body Jam. Woo hoo!

After a particularly stressful day at work, it was so nice to be able to sweat out the frustration again. I'm not doing any of the high-impact stuff, but most of the dancing is fair game.

My hip popped and clicked a lot, and it doesn't have the flexibility it used to, but it felt really good to be back. (And one week earlier than for my LPAO!)

My blood transfusion story

At 10 weeks post-op, I've decided to tell my blood donation/transfusion story. I tell it only to make the point that we as individuals have to be proactive and cautious about our medical care.

The day of my surgery, I had provided Tacoma General Hospital the paperwork that went along with my autologous blood donation. (I had donated two units of my own blood.)

On Day 1 post-op, the nurses came into my room and said I needed a blood transfusion because my hemotocrit numbers were low. "Great," I thought. "Maybe I won't be so tired."

They brought me a piece of paper to sign; it was a consent to receive blood. Drugged up and extremely tired, I scrawled my name across the bottom. The first unit of blood went in. As the nurse was hanging up the second unit, she mentioned something about making sure I wasn't having a reaction to the transfusion. My heart hit my gut.

"This isn't my blood?" I managed to say. We looked at each other, fear reflecting…

The hip bone's connected to the ...

In an attempt to fix my lingering tailbone and pelvic pain from my LPAO, I had an appointment with a new doctor today.

She kneaded and touched, poked and prodded. I leaned and twisted, pushed and pulled against her. She told me my case was a puzzle, "refreshing," she said. Then she confirmed what my physical therapist had already concluded: my uneven joints are throwing everything off, from my leg length to my posture to the way I sit.

After all, the hip bone's connected to the ... shoot, according to my doctor, it's connected to the sacrum, tailbone, pubic bone, a bunch of muscles, tendons and ligaments, and last but not least, the leg bone.

Dr. Connally couldn't tell me if the problems were due to the dysplasia, the surgery or the recovery. She did tell me she was hopeful we could straighten things out and make my pain go away. She wants to put me on Celebrex short-term to lessen the inflammation in the ligaments, but I don't know how long I have steer clear o…

Showing up is hard to do

My first back week at work was good, but more difficult than I had expected. Whew, I was tired.

Not used to standing and walking so much, my feet, legs and hips felt bruised. Not used to sitting so long, my tailbone was really aching. And not used to waking up at 7 every morning, I was sleepy. By the time I drove home, all I wanted to do was go to bed. I got about nine hours a sleep each night but it didn't feel like enough.

I only made it to the gym on Monday and Saturday this week, which makes me feel like a bum, but I'm trying to cut myself some slack. I only hope my motivation returns along with my stamina.

And it goes to say that no matter how great you feel two months post-op, it takes time to readjust to a normal schedule. This recovery is long, long, long.

I'm betting this week will be easier.

9 weeks post op RPAO

Since I missed reporting on eight weeks post op, here is my nine-week report.

Four words: I feel quite wonderful.
My hip joint is 95 percent without pain.My hip muscles and hip flexor are fairly sore as I get moving again. Nothing horrible.Incision is looking ok.Numb patch is getting smaller and less numb.Still am struggling with range of motion when bending straight over, like when putting on my socks.Getting into the car or standing from a squatting position are still tough.I'm easily sleeping through the night. When people ask how I'm doing, instead of reciting the above, I simply say four little words.

I feel quite wonderful. :)

See how I was doing at 8 weeks post op LPAO.

Work, pt and the gym

I made it back to work today after being away for nine weeks. It felt very good to be back in the office, and my co-workers marveled at how well I was doing.

My reunion with Jennifer (my physical therapist) followed. She, too, was in awe of how strong I was. Despite that, she was able to find a host of things that are wrong with my alignment and flexibility. Among the top:
My sacrum is uneven.The bottom of my pelvis is really uneven. Off by an inch. The muscles in my lower back are pulled too tight.Hip flexor is very tight.Jennifer chalked most of this up to my extremely sensitive, very painful tailbone. As the saying goes, misery loves company, and my tailbone is working hard to pull everything else into its crabby state. Therefore, she is lining me up with a doctor/chiropractor who specialized in coccyx and lower back pain. I'm crossing my fingers.

We only lined up two more physical therapy sessions, as I'm doing so well.

After pt, I made my way to the gym. Did 11 minutes on the…

The year ahead

Today, I was asked a simple question: "What do you have planned this week?"

As I ticked through a short list of menial tasks, I started thinking even farther ahead. It was then I realized something monumental. I started to cry.

For the first time in a year and a half, I have very little to plan in terms of my hips. No research to pore over. No phone calls to doctors. No packing for hospital visits and extended leaves from home and work. No diet changes to accommodate blood donations and blood loss. No special appointments. No trips to buy post-surgery items and mobility aids. No surgeries.

When I start adding up all the time I've spent either planning for or recovering from my PAOs, I understand just how much I've been consumed by them. The thought of the year ahead without the majority of my time and mental capacity being used on hips is hard to believe.

And so unbelievable freeing. My thoughts are boundless, as are the possibilities for 2009.

From two to none

I have to admit, I didn't think it was possible.

Walking on the moon, yes. Gasoline under $3 a gallon, maybe. But this?

After my eight-week follow-up appointment on Monday, I was given the go-ahead to drop down to one crutch and then to a cane.

I walked out of the office with one crutch and have not used it since.

No pain. Only soreness in my muscles as my legs return from a long vacation. I honestly can't believe I'm strong enough to do this. Or lucky enough. What have I done so right that I deserve such an easy recovery?

I have a slight limp, but it wouldn't be noticeable unless you were looking for it. I imagine it will be gone before the end of the month with a few physical therapy sessions.

Everything is like it was before surgery. I can go up stairs, get dressed standing up, shave, etc. I do have a little trouble getting my leg into the car, but that's getting better by the day.

I was really sore the third day after I started walking. Both legs, from my ankles to my…