Saturday, April 4, 2009

2007/ 2008 A Years Journey of Recovery, Pain, Questions, and Answers

Since I started this blog 2 years after I first injured myself it is hard to go back in time (well unless you are on the show LOST..cause they make it seem quite easy..(lost reference/fave TV show..had to do it. ;) Since this all started two years ago and I am just writing it now I honestly don't remember all the details..this is more of a "brief" description of my post surgery year to my current situation.

My recovery from my first surgery was a long process..3 months on crutches..1 month on a cane, and a hell of a lot of pain was only part of it. There is was also the situation of HAVING to be dependent for the first time in my adult life on others.. not being able to drive for 4 months (damn right hip..if it was my left hip the driving wouldn't have been an issue), being on crutches makes simple chores difficult like cooking and bringing a glass of water to your room, with both hands being occupied you need to get creative with sweatshirts that have pockets, kitchen aprons w/ pockets, having tables close together to move things around a room. Stairs are a nightmare as well as heavy doors (heavy doors are everywhere, restrooms, entrances to stores and restaurants..I never realized the difficulty of heavy doors until I was on crutches) I vowed to start a ban on heavy doors once I was off crutches..but I never did get around to that..and now I am on crutches again and I am dealing w/ heavy doors once again(I really should have worked on that ban). If I didn't have amazing friends and family I would have had a lot tougher time and I can never truly express the thanks to all the amazing people in my life who have helped me through all of this (If you are one of those people reading this..and you know who you are..THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART XOXO)

The other issue I had to deal w/ after surgery was the chronic pain. The pain never totally went away after my hip surgery which was the most frustrating component of the whole situation. Chronic pain messes w/ your head like nothing else I have experienced. When you are in pain constantly it is hard to not get depressed or to function normally. I believe partially due to the fault of my Dr and partially due to the fault of myself I had unrealistic expectations from my surgery. I really felt that I was somewhat led to believe that after surgery I would be back to myself and my hip would be like it was before I was injured. After 3 months on crutches and still a great deal of pain and not being able to be the active woman I was prior to my injury those expectations were crushed for me which made the experience almost harder to deal with. I learned from that moment you need to hope for the best but don't expect it will be that way. The human body is extremely complicated and you don't know how each individual body will recover from surgery. After my second surgery my mindset is now to deal w/ my hip and the pain on a day by day basis, and not to think so far ahead into the future and final outcome.

With all that said ..after being off of crutches and getting back to being the independent woman I was, the pain never fully went away. I did physical therapy for a long time but my body wasn't letting me work out the way I could before surgery which was beyond frustrating to me because I loved working out and it was a huge stress relief to me and not being able to do what I could before was heartbreaking and frustrating to me in many ways. Even silly things like wearing heals (and I love wearing heals) I couldn't do until almost a year after surgery. I also had nerve damage in my foot due to the traction table from surgery (if you have this surgery please ask your Dr to wrap your foot as much as possible so that the chance of damage to it can be reduced..I made sure my Dr triple wrapped my foot before my second surgery.)

Since I never fully recovered from the pain I knew there was something still not right..My Boston Dr said my pain switch just didn't shut off. The thing is that I am with my body 24/7 and I know when something isn't right w/ it and I knew it was more than turning off a pain switch. Dr's are great and helpful and I do place a certain amount of trust onto them but they are also human too, and are not always right. I have always went w/ my gut instinct and my gut (and my hip) was telling me that my Dr was not right in this case ,so I went for a second opinion.

After researching Ortho Dr's by asking around and searching online I made an apt to see my now current ortho Dr. I was so nervous about getting a 2nd opinion..feeling that Dr would think I was doubting the diagnosis of the first Dr and side w/ him. I don't know why Dr's intimidate me..they just I was scared he would be protecting the first Dr's diagnosis instead of listening to me( who am I..just a patient..doubting a Dr.) But my new Dr. was FABULOUS...not only was he nice and had a great bedside manner (quite the opposite of Boston Dr) he told me that he was glad I took it upon myself to get a 2nd opinion and that another set of eyes looking at a situation is always a smart thing to do especially when something doesn't feel quite right. So Dr. Fabulous asked me if Boston Dr did another Arthrogram MRI on me after I was still complaining of pain..I said he set up an apt to repeat my arthrogram MRI (wasn't thrilled to go through that procedure again but this time I knew what to expect and I was at the point that I would do anything to make the pain go away).

The results of the Arthrogram MRI was that I had another tear in my labrum..Dr Fabulous suggested that I should have the surgery again. I honestly was floored , I was happy to know where my pain was stemming from but I couldn't believe that I would have to go through all this again especially since the results of the first surgery were not very good. I decided to get a third opinion at this point because I was not ready to rush into surgery, so I set up an apt w/ one of the top Dr.'s at Baptist Hospital in Boston brought all my information (I have a Hip book w/ all my test results,surgery notes, pt notes, and a timeline of my hip situation,etc...very helpful to have if your are dealing w/ an ongoing health problem and dr's appreciate the helps them to help you) The Baptist Dr did his own testing and xrays and agreed w/ Dr. Fabulous that surgery was the right option for me.

I went back to Dr. Fabulous and I asked him what conservative measures we could do ,because I just wasn't ready to do surgery again and since I could still function in my day to day life, and I didn't have any signs of an infection in my hip,I didn't feel I wanted to mess w/ my body if I could hold off. We decided together that we would do cortisone injections to see if that would help w/ my pain as well as more PT sessions to help strengthen my body around my hip to see if that would help. I decided that was the course of action I felt comfortable w/ and that is what I did from Nov 12th 2008- Feb 17th 2009. I also did massage therapy for my hip and psoas tendon to help w/ pain. I spent a lot of time researching hips on the web as well as read blogs of other people who were going through similar things (thanks so much Susie:) ) and educate myself as much on possible about hips and hip problems so I could understand better what was going on in my body and how to deal w/ it as well as be an informed patient when I went to my apts w/ Dr. Fabulous.

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