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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.

Comments

German Shepard said…
Monumental is right - congrats on reaching such an amazing milestone. At some point in 2009, I hope to have that same realization - after 20 years of pain, 4 years of wondering what to do - that hip pain will no longer define my life.

It's the ultimate end-goal.

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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."

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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.