Showing posts from April, 2008

Coming home!

I haven't been able to post much because of bad internet access here at lovely Tacoma General, but I was able to get through today to say that I'm coming home tonight!

I just became more stable on crutches during PT today. I also went up and down a couple of stairs, which was ok going up and very scary coming down. I'm glad I won't have to conquer those anytime soon!

We're using some sort of medical cab to get to the airport; I'll use a wheelchair once I'm there and once we land in Billings, and then just a little crutching to do once I'm at home. Our flight leaves at 8:50 p.m., and we land in Montana around 11:30. That puts us back home at 12:30 or 1 a.m., which makes for a tired Cassie and Mom. I'm the most scared about how small the plane is and how my leg is going to fit in that seat. Wish us luck!

Looking forward to posting more details, along with photos. Don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but my incision looks really good. Longer …

Day 4

Today started out with no hope. I had a huge emotional breakdown because I was so discouraged and worried about how I was going to get home. To sum it up, thanks to a pop in my hip and one really good physical therapy session I feel fantastic and want to have have a drink to celebrate. (Mom is going to have one for all of us)

They took my urinary cath out this afternoon despite my fears of not being able to make it to the bathroom. My physical therapy following cath removal was fabulous! I walked out to the hall, turned around, saw the view from my hospital window (very pretty) and then came back to the room and sat and stood several times. I still have problems advancing my bad foot forward but I'm hoping that will be better tomorrow. I am using the bedside commode.

Ever since my hip popped, my pain has been much more manageable. My sister leaves tonight, which makes me sad. We are hoping I will be leaving on Tuesday.


This is Jamie the big pain in the hip sister. I wanted to post a little something about today because after reading yesterdays blog I think it is ironic that today ended with me sobbing so much I couldn't talk to anyone. I am just really tired and miss my kids and husband and it was kind of a slow day because it was a Saturday and with Mom here also I guess I just went stir crazy. Too many cooks in the kitchen! Enough said about that. I will let Cass elaborate about her progress but just want to say she STOOD UP today and walked a couple of steps. Just want her to know I love her and am very proud of her and know she really Rocks! And I just know that that things are only going to go up from here! Love you sis!

Day 3

Day 3 has been much better than the second part of Day 2, which ended with me sobbing so much I couldn't even talk to my mom on the phone.

I think it was simply a tough day, mentally and physically, and it all just took a toll on me. It started with the nurses forgetting to bring in my lunch (not a big deal, really, just the start of the chain of events). Then, during my blood transfusion, the catheter site started to hurt really bad (we think because the vein was small and blood is thick.) So we pulled that catheter and added a new one. Again, no big deal. Plus, everyone said I got my color back afterward. Cause I was really worried about my color.

Later that night , one of the nurses inadvertently pushed an ice pack into my incision, which made me cry out in pain and then start to cry uncontrollably. "Oh, are you still sore there? Is that where your incision is?" she asked. Yikes. So I was hurting and upset at that point and then my sister noticed I was violently trembli…

Day 2

This is being typed by my wonderful sister who is unappreciated and overused!:-)

Today has been a pretty good day despite the fact that I only got 2 hours of sleep at a time last night. I'm hooked up to the hip CPM, and thanks to the epidural, my pain hasn't gone higher than a 3. The physical therapist came in at 8am which I thought was going to be torture. Wende was very gentle and got me sitting and my legs swung off the bed. I had a very strong shooting pain in my groin that lasted a couple of seconds, but the rest of it didn't hurt more than a 5. Unfortunately my right leg (good leg) has a motor block from the epi which means I have no feeling from the ankle up. Which means no standing until the epi is out which in turn, is slowing down my progress and motivating them to take me off the epidural by sometime tomorrow. Yikes. I'm just worried about the naseua I may feel from the oral medication they want to start me on after the epidural. I am currently getting …

In the room finally

It is now 7pm, 6.5hours post surgery. It took 3 hours in recovery before I got to see her and that was actually the longest 3 hours of the day! I am so impressed at how coherent she was when I first saw her. As far as her condition, she has 0 pain when not moving. So far, because of the epidural, maximum pain would be 3ish. They will be bringing in the CPM machine shortly, so that may change. So far not much nausea but the only pain management is the epidural. Her biggest complaint is her sore throat which we are trying ice water and soft things. She has actually been able to eat a jello and yogurt. Resting comfortably so far. Not looking forward to tomorrow when they insist on making her move.

Finally hear from the doctor

At about 1:20pm Dr. Mayo came to talk to me and let me know Cassie was out of surgery and on her way to recovery. It can take 1-2 hours before leaving recovery for a room. Details of the surgery I will leave for Cassie to elaborate on but I will give my layman's rendition. There was some sort of cyst in the joint space that needed to be removed, which would account for some of her discomfort. It was sent to pathology but Dr. Mayo said there was really slim chance that it would be anything but benign. Also her labrum was torn so that was repaired. When I asked about the debridement of that joint space, he said it wasn't needed once he got in there. So that is the gist of what I know so far. I am so worried about her in recovery. I am dying to go in there!

...and she's off!

Okay this is my first attempt at blogging, we'll see how I do. So after a nice quiet dinner and drink at our hotel we prepared for the big day. We didn't get the best night's sleep due to a couple of false starts, one being at about 1am when Cassie had a nightmare that we woke up at 6:30am as opposed to 4:15am as scheduled. So back to sleep, and then up again at 4am due to me having the same panic attack! So we were up!

As we were walking through the hallways on the way to surgery check-in I linked my arm around hers because I was afraid she would make a run for it. But after we made it through the surgery doors she did great! We found ways to amuse ourselves right off the bat and woke Mom up with a pic of us with surgical caps on! But let's get serious...Cassie did awesome. She wasn't nervous at all. Very silly actually. I got to see her victory dance that she uses at volleyball 'Fast Feet, Slow Hands' is what I believe its called. What a geek! I told her…

Here we go

I've been up since 3 a.m. Pacific Time, and I'm so tired. Flew out to Seattle at 7 a.m., caught a bus to Tacoma, walked to the hotel, ate an early lunch, took a taxi to the hospital for my CT, walked over to Dr. Mayo's office, and then had my lab work and pre-admit appointment. Took a cab back to the hotel and now here I am, about to shower with the special anti-bacterial soap, but there's no hot water.

My sister missed my appointments after being delayed in Michigan for almost four hours. But I was so relieved when I finally saw her, and I'm so, so grateful that she's here.

Up at 4:30 tomorrow for my 5:30 check-in and then Dr. Mayo will work his magic at 8.

I'm exhausted and nervous.

The good news is that I was really impressed with Dr. Mayo today. He was friendly, knowledgeable and explained things thoroughly. I even got him to smile (mission accomplished!) when I said something to him about not sneezing during surgery. I do not need a femoral osteotomy (whew…

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…

Settling in; unsettling dream

Well, here I am in Montana. I got to my parents' place Friday night and was welcomed to a beautiful room to recover in. Mom spent a lot of time getting it ready for me, down to pretty paper lining the drawers and high shelves so I don't have to bend over to reach things. Thanks, Mom!

My folks live on 13 acres in rural Montana. Outside our windows are a few houses about a quarter mile away, but mostly the view consists of pine trees, yucca plants and lots of big blue sky. (This is Montana, after all.)

So I'm mostly unpacked and ready to fly out to Tacoma. My list of things to do has been whittled down to the following: giving myself a pedicure, loading new music onto my mp3 player, printing out my list of questions for Dr. Mayo (I'll post them later), buying some of my favorite snacks/foods that my folks don't normally have, and finding transportation from the airport to the hotel to the hospital and around the hospital.

The night before last, I had a dream about the …


I just love my friends. I really, really do.

Tonight I invited a couple of people over for a little time together. A little goodbye. I just can't believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful group of people pulling for me.

I leave tomorrow for Montana. I saw Adrienne, Sarah, Tammy, Donna and Craig tonight, and we had, as always, lots of laughs and just caught up. I've never known such giving, loving, fun people.

Last week, my group of friends (the above group plus Joy and Erik, Trevor, Eric, Dylan, Schuyler, Barry, Jana and Marcus), surprised me with a bunch of gifts to keep me occupied in the next six-eight weeks, including: Play-Doh, Nintendo with Mario 1-3, Tetris, books, the entire Friends series, a beautiful photo of "the girls" and much more.

I can't thank them enough. Not only for the material gifts, but for the thoughts, prayers and support. I know they'll push me, help me, motivate me, love me. You guys are the best.

P.S. Today was my last day of work.…

One week to go

Another crazy busy week. I've had a gajillion thoughts that I've wanted to post but just haven't had the time.

I truly can't believe my surgery will be over this time next week. I've been planning so many details for so long and I'm really, really looking forward to getting on with it! My hips have really, really been hurting the past couple of weeks, so I'm really, really hoping that I can only go up from here (after the initial recovery, of course).

I don't feel at all the way I thought I would right now. Which is: emotionally detached.

A couple of months ago, I would tear up at the thought of leaving Colorado, leaving my friends and giving up the activities I love. Now, I just don't feel much of anything, except tired. I'm tired of hearing myself talk to people about the surgery, tired of planning, tired of pushing myself through major pain so I can be in shape for my recovery, tired of the thousand thoughts running though my head, tired of myse…

Insurance comes through

For the past couple of weeks I've been nervously awaiting news on whether my health insurance company was going to see the PAO as "medically necessary" and authorize the op.

Because my patience extends to the equivalent length of a mosquito's eyelash, I couldn't wait any longer yesterday and called both my insurance company and Keri in Dr. Mayo's office. The good news is that they have declared it as necessary; bad news is that a teensy weensie part of me was hoping that both the world-class surgeon and my pain-ridden self were imagining that I needed this silly surgery. Ha ha.

So I guess we're a go. The insurance has only okayed me for 1 day in the hospital, but according to Keri, that's just the insurance's way of keeping track of patients. The nurses will update the insurance company once I'm in the hospital that I need to be there longer. "Don't freak out," Keri said.

I'm not. With the exception of having lots to do before I…

Tearful goodbye

Last night was my last volleyball match. On my walk home — scratch that — on my limp home, I shed a few tears over the loss I will feel in months to come and over the uncertainty of when I will be back on the court. Then, I forced myself to laugh over the fact that instead of crying over the searing pain shooting down my leg, I was crying about giving up the sport that was causing the pain. And finally, I settled into the realization that in order to get rid of the problems, I have to go through the pain of surgery and heartache of letting certain activities go. And then, one last tear may have escaped.

Talk about mixed emotions ...

It may sound silly to some, but volleyball has been a constant in my life. From ultra-competitive training in high school to exciting intra murals in college to super fun work and gym leagues, I've always known that one day a week, I'd be playing a sport I loved with people I loved to be with.

I think it would be less difficult to give it up knowin…

Weekend getaway

Holy crapinola.

It's been a busy week. Not really sure where to start ... hmmm ... how about with the good stuff?

I spent a lovely weekend in Winter Park, Colorado, where my good friend Tammy got married. I almost brought my computer so I could keep up with work, but I'm SO glad I didn't. Even though we were kind of busy, it was such a relief to get away from it all. I would highly recommend to anyone with an upcoming surgery to plan a small getaway before the op. It was a dream to be distracted enough to forget about all the serious stuff for awhile. Plus, I danced and danced and danced at the reception, and even though I was sore for the whole next day, it was worth it!

Speaking of being sore, I wanted to make a note of the pain I've been having. Note: there's lots of it.

I'm amazed at how quickly my pain has progressed, and how many more types of pain I'm having. I used to only have problems with the left hip, deep in the groin area. (I'm self-diagnosing…

Load 'er up

I used to think that because I had so much time before surgery, it would be easy to get my work and my life ready for a two-month hiatus.


I'm lucky that I get to take a lot of paid time off work, but I'm unlucky that I'm the only one in my office who knows my job. Both jobs, actually, since we haven't found anyone yet to replace the one I just left. When I tell people I'm leaving for surgery in 10 days, they think it's an invitation to give me as much work as they can before I leave. Not exactly what I had in mind. And because of what I do (web content editor) they assume that I'm going to be working from home after surgery and give me work to do then. While I do hope to get some work done from home, I really don't want a waiting list of things to do to distract me from the recovery. Sigh.

I have less than two weeks before I leave Colorado. I have lots done, but lots left to do, like spring cleaning my apartment before I leave, packing and picking u…