Friday, April 24, 2009

What my hip is worth???!!!

OK so I was going through all my insurance paper work tonight (yes don't be jealous of my Friday night fun...oh whatever I will be in Cali in a few days making up for it) and I started getting curious about how much it costs to have something happen to you that is physically beyond your control. I did not injure my hip/ have an accident just a case of bad luck w/ an "abnormal" body part.....well how much does that bad luck cost....let's just say I feel very lucky to have insurance.....very very lucky!!! So here's the breakdown......

Initial ER Visit: 3,932

New patient Dr. Apt: $537
x-rays: $537
cortisone injection: $763
Arthrogram Mri:$2,129
Dr visit: $288
Dr visit: $288
Nerve Testing for my foot (damage from surgery): $3,100
Pain Clinic Dr Apt: $205
Pain Clinic Dr Apt: $437
Hip injection w/ Anesthesia: $2,291
Anesthesia for surgery: $1,595
Hospital fees for supplies.meds, and tests/labs: $5,192
Respiratory Supplies/tests: $951
Hospital Stay Plus Surgery: $30,953
Dr visit: $236
Another Mri Arthrogram: $2,129
X-ray's $76
Dr. visit @ Baptist: $350
x-ray @Baptist: $314

Initial visit w/ Dr. :$373
Cortisone Hip injection: $1,888
Office Visit# 1: $96
Lab Work:$ 105
Cortisone injection: $1,717
Cortisone injection: $1,888
Dr. Visit: $145
Arthrogram and MRI: $2,129
Dr. Visit:$165
Anesthesia: $1,430
Lab Work Day of Surgery: 162
Hospital Stay: $8,456.42
Surgery $5,500

Physical Therapy (so far) $10,093
Tens Unit/Estim Kit: $832

GRAND TOTAL (so far): $91,358...woah seriously for that much money I think my hip should have super powers...seriously!

**This amount is not including Visiting Nurses, Pt, and OT as well as my stay in the Nursing Home (have not received those statements yet), or all my out of pocket co-payments,all my meds,or how much work I have missed due to all of this. Crazy! Not really sure what to make of all this info....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 Weeks Out...come along for the ride

It has been a weird week this's been a roller coaster ride that I would like to get off!. My emotions have been all over the place. Frustration that I am still in a lot of pain as well as the feeling of sadness that I just spent the last 60 days in pain and on bed rest( It feels like I just lost 60 days of my life)...I know that in the grand scheme of things 60 days isn't a huge amount of time, but being in pain constantly as well as not living your normal daily life can do a number on your psyche. I decided at the end of the week that I have grieved my circumstances, and my 60 days lost ,and now I need to suck it up and move on.....bring on the positive vibes!

The reason I am even mentioning this is that I feel when people go through surgery the physical pain is always the topic of discussion not the emotional pain, and trust me it is a blend of both that has made this week a rough one. I want to stay positive ,but constant pain can wear you down . Also losing a lot of my independence do to being on crutches (just showering and making lunch becomes a whole production that can tire me out. I am sick of feeling like I am 80 years old..(not that there is anything wrong w/ being 80 but at 34 you don't strive for that 80 year old feeling...that time I am saving for my future ...down the road...way down the road). Also I am feeling angry at my hip..pissed off that it is messing w/ my life! I don't want to be having a pity party for myself, because that doesn't get you anywhere ,but i think it is OK to grieve your situation ,be angry at it ,but then you got to move on, so i feel that is what this past week has been for me. Also being on pain medication ..while very helpful for my actual pain (and has got me through the past 5 weeks) can also mess with your emotions it just make you feel not like yourself which adds to the roller coaster ride I talked about at the start of this post. Bottom line: surgery #2 recovery has just been more painful for me physically and emotionally..I hope the final results will be worth the pain!

Well now the positive parts:

pos #1: I have definitely gotten faster on my I am not just saying this to show off that I am super stealth on crutches (which I am ;) )....I feel being faster on crutches means my hip is healing and that is why I can move around better....which in turn may be that my time on crutches may be getting closer to coming to an end!

pos#2: I am showering w/ out help...having strangers shower you is not as exciting as one might think....please trust me on this;)

pos#3: On our one nice day outside I did get to sit on the bench in front of my house to catch some much needed vitamin D and I did some walking w/ my crutches on my sidewalk..which felt damn good! My new "vampire chic" look may be coming to an end! Don't get me wrong I mean I am still keeping my hair black I just may start to actually not look like death anymore.

pos#4 Finished my last sessions of visiting PT and OT and I am now released into the world of outpatient PT..which means I am inching closer to getting back to getting off crutches, working, and driving again/ aka my normal life.

I want to give major shout-outs (do you do shout-outs on blogs..well whatever.. it's my blog I can do what I want ;) ) to the people this week who have been listening to my venting via phone or email, and the peeps who have come over to hang out which in turn took my mind off my hip as well as put a smile on my know who you are and I GREATLY appreciate it...Thank you sooooooo much!!!!!!

As one of my favorite quotes goes "The secret to life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times." Thank you to all the people who have been helping me get up and stay up this time hasn't been easy, but I feel I am very lucky woman to have so much love and support from amazing people ,and for that I am doing my best/my part to be my strongest cheers to the upcoming week and hopefully a lot more progress!

Monday, April 13, 2009

4 Weeks Out

Wow..seriously has it already been a month! In some ways this has been the longest month of my life, between surgery, hospital stay, nursing home, crutches and extensive bed rest but on the same note I also feel like I can't believe it has already been four weeks (maybe it's the pain meds).

So it is a little disappointing that I am still in soooooooo much pain 4 weeks out, but on the same note I am putting more weight on my hip/leg and I am moving faster on crutches w/ the partial weight bearing, and reduced my pain med intake that my friends I guess is I should be happy about that! I think I will be smiling more once I am getting out and about, driving, working, and lacking pain. I go back to the Dr's at my 6 week mark, and I am also going on vacation on my 6 week one day mark(planned prior to hip falling apart round 2) keep your fingers crossed for me that I will be ok to do this, and maybe with even extra luck I will be doing it off crutches..a girl can only hope:)!

Still Chillaxin at home this week and having visiting OT and PT coming to my house ,and then the following week I will be starting outpatient PT and HOPEFULLY going back to work part time (never thought the words " I can't wait to go back to work" would come out of my mouth but there you have it..I really want to get back to work..I actually miss working.... A LOT)

Sleep is still difficult...hence posting at 1am..again. Just can't get comfortable..I cannot for the life of me remember how long it took me my last hip surgery to be able to lie on my right side when sleeping..hopefully soon I will be able to ,because I don't think I will be getting the sleep I need to heal until that can about a crappy catch -22.

The actual incisions are healing nicely, they are much bigger than the first surgery incisions ,but in the grand scheme of things they are still relatively small and the least of my worries because they are healing..yay! Not much else to my progress report at this moment is healing slowly but surely...but they do say good things come to those who's hoping they are right! Cheers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

3 Weeks Out

Is it possible to get runned down while you are on bed rest??? Answer= yes in my case, which is quite frustrating. It is so hard to sleep when you are in so much freaking pain. It seems like the pain has gotten worse the past few days. It is not just confined to my hip is my whole right leg. Hip and groin hurts from surgery,but it feels like I have the flu in my leg(especially thigh and calf area..really achy), and pins and needles in my foot (hopefully it is temporary nerve damage from the traction table during surgery). I actually have increased my pain meds due to all of this. I have been doing more w/ physical therapy this week which could attribute ..does the saying "no pain ,no gain" apply here??? I hate complaining, but it is just one of those days ,and it is my blog so I guess i can vent if I want too ..heehee;)

I think the hardest part I am struggling w/ is that I have already been through this actual recovery once before, and here I am again not even two years later having to go through this whole process again..double ugh!!

I am still on "bed rest" (going on 6 weeks 3 before surgery/ 3 after surgery)meaning I haven't left my house (can't drive yet), haven't been outside (seriously when will this rain stop!) and I am not physically able to work yet, so I am pretty much been confined to my home ..thank god for friends/family who have come over to chillax w/ me and/or watch a movie and keep me in touch w/ the outside world! I just hate wasting time ,and I feel like sitting around "recovering" is just that..I know that sounds very negative, but I like being active and having no choice but to be inactive is truly frustrating! I wish I had some advice for myself on how to get past this frustration, but I don't, so I am doing my best to try not to let it get to me.

ok..on a positive note...I have read 23 books so far while I have been on bed rest, so I finally have caught up w/ a lot of reading I have wanted to books make my mind focus on the story at hand and not on my hipster! I have a vacation planned for 3 weeks from now that I still will be able to go on (I do hope I am off of the damn crutches by then ,but what will be will be, at least I get to still go..see..stayin positive ;)) and I am doing better w/ the partial weight bearing, I did couple laps around the house today and the stairs 4 times. I think I will stop writing for this evening and end this post on a positive note..goodnight:)

Monday, April 6, 2009

2 Weeks Out

I am a little over two weeks out from surgery...the first week was spent mostly in the hospital and the nursing home. I was on such heavy duty pain meds and had ice packs on my hip constantly that I don't recall much pain in my actual hip. It was mostly pain from surgery..swelling..sick from sleep/exhaustion due to not being able to get comfortable in the hospital bed as well as being woken up by nurses, loud noises etc.. =hospital stuff.

After I was finally released from the medical community (rescued would be a better term) my bestest friend (Thanks N) took me in since she had a one floor condo..easy access to bed, kitchen, and bathroom. Through my insurance I have received care from visiting nurses , visiting physical therapist , and visiting occupational therapist to come to the condo as well as to help me out w/ my recovery. I did not get this help my last surgery, because no one told me I could actually get theses services. Having the visiting nurse, PT, and OT come to the house is very helpful, they check my stats and meds, they change the dressing from my surgery ,and help me to get around better on crutches. I feel this help is making my transition back to the "real world" a lot smoother..less chance of injuring myself (which is always a possibility when you are using crutches).

I had my two week check up w/ Dr. Fabulous and he was happy w/ the results of the surgery. He told me that I had an impingement of my cartilage (again) so the flap of cartilage that was caught in my bone which was causing me the bad sharp pain and the deep ache he removed and debrided. Also I had other tears he debrided and my hip lining was inflamed so he cleaned that out as well (I will have the official medical jargon for my surgery once the official surgery report gets mailed to me) I also got pretty take home pics of the inside of my hip and surgery..which I actually thought was pretty cool.. So I have been doing a lot of show and tell w/ my friends w/ the pics;)

I got my stitches out too..yay(stitches out =real showers more sponge baths for this girl...ever!) I was told that the pain from the 2nd surgery is worse than the first..wish I knew that piece of info ahead of time, but now from experience I can say that piece of information is very true. I still am on my my pain meds because the pain is still pretty brutal. Dr Fabulous said the pain can last up to 3 months or even longer..ugh! The good news is that he said I should be feeling significantly better once the pain dies down and my hip starts to heal..yay! He said my hip will never be 100% since it has missing cartilage and is now considered "abnormal" but I could be 75% better. He also told me that my Psoas tendon may or may not be better from the surgery (first surgery irritated my psoas tendon so much that it has been tight and swollen for almost two years..they talked about doing surgery to release it but I was like "hells no").. so now it's a wait and see situation..if it does not get better his next suggestion for my tendon would be to inject botox into it....hmmmm..not a place I ever thought I would need botox but and interesting idea nonetheless..but that is down the road...we shall see. I go back to see him again in a few weeks so I should have more info then..I am still in the "recovery phase" for now.

I am now doing partial weight bearing on my hip as tolerated (so still on crutches..on the positive side my arms are getting super strong) As of tonight I am officially back at my house, because I have been upgraded to do stairs... VERY CAREFULLY.

Pain currently: While I am resting in bed I can have pain free moments but I am also still taking pain meds, as well as aspirin, and will be starting a prescription antinflammatory med tomorrow (still lots of swelling). I think I am handling the pain better this time due to the fact that I have been here before so I was somewhat prepared mentally to know what it would feel like. It is interesting how your hip effects your lower back ,your knee, and your calf ..all these areas have been giving me a little trouble on my right side (which is normal I have been told). Plus I get these weird electric shocks throughout my calf and where my incisions are..I was told those are my nerves that have been "injured" during surgery..hopefully that will start to go away soon as well. The incision area is now less sore to the touch than it was a week ago. ICE IS NICE..literally the best thing for the pain is a very cold ice works wonders! Sleep has been hard since I sleep on my right side and I currently can't. If I even roll over on my right side while I am sleeping I wake up in a huge amount of pain then it is hard to go back to sleep. The time I feel the most pain is when I am sitting (sharp pains in groin/ hip area and achy) or walking(just pain- hard to describe..different pain from pre surgery). I pushed myself more today by doing the stairs a few times, walking outside on my driveway, and sitting outside for a bit, even though it was uncomfortable I felt I could do it..something I would not have been able to do last improvement..and that is all I am looking for.

Well I am tired from my first actual long day so I am off to bed.. and hopefully get some much needed sleep! Nite;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My 24 hours experienece in a nursing home/aka Welcome to" Happy Acres"..please enjoy your stay!

One of the first things I did when I arrived I called up my 88 year old grandmother to let her know that I made it to a nursing home before she did. Talk about a surreal experience ..this one was for the books.

After 3 days in the hospital I was transferred to a nursing home..I was told it was a rehab facility, but when I was brought there my roommates were two 90 year old was talking to her doll and the other was screaming at the nurse accusing her of trying to kill her. This place sure looked like a nursing facility my ass! I begged the ambulance drivers to bring me back to the hospital or just let me ride around w/ them at this point anywhere but here. I saw the sympathy in their eyes, but they couldn't do anything about it..they did tell me if I could find an alternative setting they would have no problem bringing me back.

Backtracking for a second..I spent 3 days in the hospital due to my hip, lungs, and not being able to tolerate any food, but due to insurance companies (a whole other issue that I should blog about) the hospital wanted me out of there asap, but since I was still pretty sick and could not return to my home due to the stairs- a rehab facility was the option that was picked. Unfortunately I had no choice in the place I would be going to according to the nurse/case manger of the hospital floor...if I wasn't so drugged up on meds I may have been able to stop this situation, but since I was and didn't have anyone w/ me at the time in the hospital..I was packed up and shipped out to "Happy Acres" (not the real name ..protecting the identity of the real place) . After the fact I found out that there were many other places that would have excepted me and my insurance. Somewhere that would have been geared more to someone my age, but that is now in the past. I can't change what happened so lesson learned but I will be making a complaint to the hospital so hopefully it won't happen again to someone else.

So "Happy Acres" was honestly out of any nightmare you would have about a nursing was quite dirty, one nurse to a floor, screaming old people who were scared. I really thought maybe I was having a drugged out nightmare from the morphine, but since I could feel the pain in my hip I knew it was for real. To add to the pain meds as well as my other meds for nausea and allergies were not transferred so now I was suffering physically as well as mentally (I finally received them at midnight). Then the kicker was the fact that I also have celiac which means I cannot have any food w/ Gluten in it which this facility was not prepared for. Then for the icing on the cake was the bed I was in was making my leg and hip first I thought "Houston we are having a problem here, something was seriously wrong w/ my hip", but then I realized the bed they put me in had my hip in hip flexion, so it was making my whole hip situation worse causing more swelling and pressure. I told the nurse this and she said it was an old bed and that they could maybe get me another one in 24 24 hours I think I would have to have surgery again if my hip stayed liked that..literally my whole leg was numb. Thank goodness for the friends who were there w/ me that night ..two brought me gluten free food and one of them fixed my bed by unscrewing the bottom so it stopped crushing my hip. I need to give a shout out to my peeps who were with me that day..Mom, M, N, N, and D....not sure if I would have survived that experience w/ out you..seriously! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After everyone I knew left me there..I put on my ipod and tried to pretend I was somewhere was hard with the lady next to me reciting her life story throughout the whole night by a different situation I would have probably started laughing or sat down w/ her and asked her questions ,but pretty much 3 days w/ out sleep and extremely bad pain I was in no mood to find anything funny so I just try to tune it all out..thank you Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams.

That morning my friend N informed me that I could stay at her place for the first two weeks of my recovery since she didn't have stairs and that they were breaking me free from the nursing home...YES! The Charge nurse came into visit me shortly afterwards and told me that she didn't feel that me leaving was the right thing to do and unless she deemed it medically ok..I couldn't go. Well that wasn't going to I explained her the situation as carefully as I could..I may have added a few tears in as well...she agreed to let me go and send visiting nurses and Pt to where I was going. So for the rest of the day I had to endure one very awkward sponge bath, and then by 4pmish I was rescued...YAY!

I really hope the only time I will ever return to a nursing home is if I volunteer in one (which I think would be a good idea at some point ,because it sure looks like they could use the extra help) It just wasn't the place for this current was definitely the strangest 24hours in my life thus far.

Surgery Day... .again! March 16, 2009

Well like any other day I started out by waking up ,but this day was a little different than the norm..NO FOOD OR WATER till surgery..ugh! Well surgery is called for 6pm and I have to be at the hospital by 4pm..I can do this. Seriously by 10am I was already dying of thirst..I think it goes back to the old want what you can't was I thirsty. Lucky for me I had a good book , and family and friends to distract me from thirst and nerves.

4pm: Arrive at hospital..pretty much all I am thinking about is how thirsty I am..and ironically enough my wheelchair gets parked in front of a water cooler and coffee station..seriously so not funny..I was ready to take somebody out for a cup of water if I wasn't in a wheelchair and dying of thirst ;)

4:30ish..get taken in to pre-op..get an IV put in..not as good as a cup of water but dehydration is calming down..seriously can't I get an ice cube at least.

5pm- meet w/ the Anesthesiologist I let him know my concerns w/ my lungs from my last surgery..they take extra precautions by giving me a nebulizer treatment just to make sure my lungs are nice and clear..already feeling more confident w/ this hospital and the Dr's.

6pm- No Dr

7pm-No Dr

8pm- Dr Fabulous arrives (ok I am not thinking he is so fabulous at the moment probably due to the fact I am dying of thirst and starvation..ok just had to vent that one more time)

Dr. Fabulous apologizes for being late, and lets me ask my questions that I wrote down ( another sign of a great Dr. is one who lets you ask all your questions, listens, and gives you answers..Dr. fabulous did all that) It is very important to write down any questions or concerns you may have for your surgeon before surgery ,because between the nerves and the starvation component you most likely will not remember what the questions you had are. Anesthesiologist comes back in and says he is giving me something to make me feel more relaxed..1 min later...very relaxed.....alright lets rock!

I think the most nerve racking part of surgery is the time they take you from pre-op to the that ride in is very surreal..the drugs probably make it more surreal, but I say that is the scariest part for me personally.

11pm-Wake up in recovery and literally the first thing I think is "where am I" 2nd thing is "Can I please have a glass of water". Nurse comes over tells me where I am and denys my water request for now (damn..seriously does anyone understand how thirsty I am). I tried to find out what happened during my surgery the nurse told me that the Dr Fabulous told my mom so I will find out later.

Somewhere around 12:30/1am I get brought to my room...nurse comes in does new patient intake, stats, gives me my pain meds (your choice this evening is either morphine or decide), explains the run down of the hospital and then finally gets me a glass of water....I have never enjoyed a glass of water so much!

It was a long night in the hospital..anesthesia difficulty again..not as bad as last time but still not pleasant and somewhat scary....every time I started to fall sleep my oxygen level decreased and a loud buzzer/alarm went off (lucky I had nice roommates)..respiratory team had to come in gave me a little machine to keep blowing in to keep my lungs strong and inflated so there was NO sleep at all for me that night..I did however drink about 13 glasses of water.

Thank you Dad, Mom, N , and all my friends and family who called and sent me well wishes. You all helped me out with your support and keeping my nerves calm prior to surgery! XO

**Ironically enough the one thing that didn't bother me that night was my hip ;)

pics of me in Hospital day 3..glasses courtesy of my friend christopher.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Last Hurrah..Pre-Surgery

March 7th, 2009
Well I had been trapped on bed rest for 2 weeks so I decided that before I go off to surgery I needed a night out w/ my friends to take my mind off my hip and get out of the house for a bit.

I am not a big fan of going out on crutches..people constantly staring at you trying to figure out what is wrong, HEAVY DOORS, long distances walking can be hard on your hip and arms, but I decided I would not worry about all that and just enjoy being out of the house. I went out to the Beehive in Boston (great place highly recommend it especially for someone on crutches.) Even though we had reservations there was about a 20 minute wait so the manager got me a chair to be comfortable and then when our table was ready they gave me my own bodyguard who escorted me to to the private elevator out back and took me downstairs to our table. As we were walking to the table he pretty much made everyone get out of my way..seriously I kind of felt like a Rockstar..ok so maybe going out on crutches really isn't that bad ;) My bodyguard even offered to pick me up and carry me to the table, but I didn't think that was a good plan, but I appreciated the offer. After dinner when we were ready to go my bodyguard came back and made sure I was returned safely back to the front door..I really got the royal treatment. Thank you to the Beehive and my guys rock!
Ps. On a side note it is interesting that when you are on crutches how many people come up to you wanting to share their stories about their injuries, or the time they spent on's like mini support groups..I think everyone just likes to be heard and let you know that they have been there they understand...which is nice.
P.P.S. Even though you might be in a lot of pain it is good to make yourself do things to take your mind off of it ..Thank you so much to my friends for making me go out that you guys..xox

Feb 17th 2009-/aka OMG is this seriously happening again

Backtrack for a moment..was having more pain than usual in my hip for a few weeks decided to get a cortisone injection on Feb 11th.

Feb 17th
Started off like a regular day..went to work..busy busy busy..hip still feeling a twinge weird since cortisone injection but kept on working..about 1/2 way through the day I started limping which hasn't happened since before my first surgery..I chalked it up to my cortisone injection irritating my hip and tried to do the best I could at work. Getting close to the end of the work day I took a break to sit down when I went to get up from my chair I felt a horrific that brought me to tears (at work you can catch me laughing or smiling but never crying..but it hurt that bad) I couldn't put any weight on it and not only was I in A LOT of pain I pretty much new what was happening..I have felt this before and i new my hip just had much for the conservative methods of treatment (hey I gave it my best shot) I called Dr. Fabulous and he got me in at 8am the next morning.

Dr. Fabulous told me that my hip had so much swelling that they had to put me on predisone and that they couldn't do the MRI arthrogram until swelling was it was crutches, meds, ice, and bedrest for a week. Got the Arthrogram done ..again ( this time took pain meds before test and it went much better..less pain during test and actually fell asleep during the MRI only took 3 times to learn that trick) Surgery was booked for March 16th..Dr. Fabulous was going on vacation and was very booked up ,but because he is so fabulous he squeezed me into his schedule on his off night of surgery and the day before his vacation since my pain was so bad , see I told you he was fabulous ;)

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.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Surgery and Recovery May 1, 2007

May 1, 2007: Surgery

1. Debridement of Labral Tear

**2. Microfracture of Acetabulum

3.Excision of Loose Bodies:
" Health cartilage has a smooth, billiard ball-like surface. As degenerative
arthritis progresses, turning that smooth surface into a cracking surface, some
of the cracks break off and float unattached in the joint. Those fragments are
called loose bodies; they can become an annoyance that leads to trouble" from
Cedars Sinai website

4. Synovectomy:
" When the synovial lining of the hip joint is so inflamed it causes disabling
pain, it may have to be removed" From Cedars Sinai website

When I woke up from surgery I really had no idea what was going on..all I saw was a long blue tube across my body..that freaked me out a little..then again I was wacked out on meds from surgery so it was a little easier to get freaked..ended up being an ice machine for my hip..totally rad invention..keeps hip constantly cool..and the one thing I have learned from all of this hip pain is...ICE IS NICE! Between the anesthesia and morphine I didn't feel a lot of pain but then a complication happened due to the the anesthesia (sticky lung) and than all hell broke loose with the end result being a 3 day stay in the much for day surgery.

Here is the timeline after my hospital stay to get me off of crutches and walking was one long summer.......

May 1st-May 3rd: Stay in Hospital due to lung collapse from anesthesia.

May 4th-May 14th- Bed Rest at Home/ Crutches no weight bearing

May 14th- 2 week check up w/ Boston doc

May 16th- Start PT

May 29th- Start Partial weight bearing on crutches at PT

July 2nd- Started using One Crutch today at PT

July 10th- Start Using Cane..done w/ crutches..yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (see picture above first real walk w/out crutches)

July 3oth- Apt w/ Boston Doc..decide to do injections for Iliopsoas Tendinitis (My tendon started acting up post surgery never had problems w/ it before my surgery)

August 7th- Injections w/ Boston Doc @ Hospital: Right Hip Arthrogram w/ Iliopsoas and Rectus Sheath Injection…IV Sedation.This injection did help alot with the sore and tight psoas tendon. I am glad I did it. I got about 3 months of pain relief from it.

August 7th- 11th: Stay at home and Rest

Aug 13th- follow up apt w/ Boston Doc

Sept 3rd- First Time Driving since was like I was 16 all over it was a long time w/ out driving ...but I was now officially crutches and cane free after 4 months..A LOT longer than originally estimated by my boston doc. I learned at that point never to count completely on dr's estimation for recovery time.

**From the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center website:
What Is It?
"The body has many moving joints such as
the shoulder, hip, and knee. These moving joints are called “synovial joints”.
Synovial joints are able to move freely because of the cartilage covering across
the two bones that make up the joint. This cartilage covering is referred to as
“articular cartilage”. Injury to articular cartilage is called “chondromalacia”.
The most significant type of chondromalacia occurs when the articular surface is
damaged to the underlying bone.
When the articular surface cartilage of a
joint is damaged down to bone, one may consider treatments to regenerate the
injured joint surface. One such option is the microfracture procedure where
the damaged joint surface is surgically stimulated to release local stem cells
which fill-in the cartilage defect with a type of “clot”. Through post-operative
rehabilitation, the goal is to encourage the clot of cells to transition into a
cartilage-like substance called “fibrocartilage”. While not as durable as one’s
original joint cartilage, it functions as a reasonable substitute."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The lead up to find the right diagnosis/aka finding the right Dr and right diagnosis is harder than you might think!

It took a few months to get the correct diagnosis. While I was searching for what was wrong w/ me I went to a few Dr's, did a round of physical therapy, and a cortisone injection, while I limped around in pain. I am lucky it took me only 3 months to find a dr who new what to look for but through my many searches online about hips I have read hundreds of stories of people running around for years in pain til they got the right diagnosis so I actually consider myself one of the lucky here is my time line of misdiagnosis until I found the correct answer...

Jan 5th 2007: First Apt w/ recommend Orthopedic Dr. recommended by Primary Care Dr.

Jan 6th-12th- on bed rest for leg, per order by Dr. for groin/muscle strain..use crutches

Jan 12th- Follow -up apt w/ Dr

Jan 15th- Start PT (twice a week)..assigns pt for pain and strengthening..still using crutches

Jan 19th- Apt w/ Dr..decides to get MRI of Hip/Groin area

Jan 23rd- Get MRI

Jan 24th: Get also sent for a Cat Scan

Jan 25th Apt w/ Dr. …said MRI was ok (never saw report) gave me cortisone injection in groin area in his office to see if that helped the pain (it did for a week or so) the dr so nicely said to me before he jammed the needle into my groin area (w/ out really giving me a chance to make a decision if this was the right thing to do since I never had a cortisone injection before) " This will either help your pain or show us that you don't have any pain at all" just love a good bed side manner.

Feb 07: PT twice a week all month


March 5th: First Apt W/ Boston Dr. wanted 2nd opinion due to pain and I was unsatisfied w/ other dr. because I was not getting better. This was the first time I heard that there could be something wrong w/ my hip..honestly I didn't think I could injure my hip at 32 unless I had a traumatic accident so I was a little taken aback. Boston Doc felt I tore my Labrum in my hip and the only way to figure out if that is correct was by getting a arthrogram MRI:

From WEB MD. COM: "An arthrogram is a test using X-rays to obtain a series of
pictures of a joint after a contrast material
(such as a dye, water, air, or a combination of these) has been injected into
the joint. This allows your doctor to see the soft tissue structures of your
joint, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and your
joint capsule. These structures are not seen on a plain X-ray without contrast
material. A special type of X-ray, called fluoroscopy, is used to
take pictures of the joint.
An arthrogram is used to check a joint to find
out what is causing your symptoms or problem with your joint. An arthrogram may
be more useful than a regular X-ray because it shows the surface of soft tissues
lining the joint as well as the joint bones. A regular X-ray only shows the
bones of the joint. This test can be done on your hip, knee, ankle, shoulder,
elbow, wrist, or jaw (temporomandibular joint).
Other tests, such as magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI)
and computed tomography
, give different information about a joint. They may be used with an
arthrogram or when an arthrogram does not give a clear picture of the joint."

March 14th: Mri arthrogram ...OUCH! Uncomfortable procedure and the next day you will feel the pain but worth it for the fact that you will get a diagnosis from this form of MRI if you are having a hip problem.

March:26th: Apt w/ Boston Doc .....tells me I need hip surgery ASAP!

3 months from first pain I found out that I had a large tear of my labrum in my right hip w/ loose bodies floating around. I was scared about having to have surgery, but was relieved to finally have a correct diagnosis. I was though also upset that my other ortho dr as well as the emergency room dr. never once thought it was my hip or even did this form of testing to make sure they had a clear picture of what was going on w/ me. The physical therapy my first ortho dr had me do actually made my hip worse..this is when I realized I have to trust my own instincts and know that sometimes dr's are not always right. You do know your own body in that!

Definition of the hip labral tear :By Mayo Clinic

"A hip labral tear involves the ring of soft tissue that
follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. This ridge of
cartilage, called a labrum, works a little like a suction cup to help hold your
hip joint together. "