Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Half Year Completed!

My Hip At 6 Months!
Sorry It has been so long since I have written..I feel this should be apology letter for being away for so long BUT I am back now so lets move forward ;) (and plus I have something to actually write about..there is just so much I can write about one body part without completely boring the hell out of you ;))

Today I had my 6 months appointment with Dr. A , so I figured it would be a good comeback post for my blog :) BUT don't forget I have been doing a 365 photo blog on Flickr about becoming "The Bionic Woman"..a picture every day for a year that started the moment I woke up from my THR surgery and will go to Sept 27th 2012 (day 365)..so you can always see what I am up to on there on a day to day basis ;)

So I am now past the 6 month mark! I was making some progress and than had a big setback when my apt building burned down a few weeks ago which has forced me too do way to much on my hip and I am paying a BIG price for it because the pain has increased and I can't do much about it at the moment, but we all made it out of the building without a scratch and that is most important.
D and I at the hotel we stayed at for 2 weeks post fire (now we are at D's parents house while we look for an apt)

On my 6 month anniversary!
So a breakdown of progress made:
1. I can sit up and down from a chair pretty easily (which is quite a feat from 3 months ago)
2. I can walk around small rooms without a cane
3. I can walk up stairs while holding railing (just very painful)
4.I swam in a pool at the hotel (wasn't the most graceful swim but I did swim)
5. I can do the bike for 7minutes at PT
6. I can go out more (for longer periods of time)
7. Gone on short walks with my cane
Queen of Physical Therapy..5 years makes you a pro;)

Things I can't do still (that is completely frustrating me and causing my patience to be completely tested)
1. Get off my medication due to pain , I still am in constant pain everyday..the level daily is different depending on the day and I have weened off the dosage I am taking for pain meds but still in a bad pain cycle (I have added anti --inflammatory to the mix) and it is by far the hardest part of all of this because chronic pain wipes you out physically and emotionally and my biggest fear is that this pain will never go away..it's been FIVE YEARS!!!!!!
2. I can't drive still and not sure when I will ever be able too (Going to look into a car that can do steering wheel driving instead of using foot)
3. Walk distance without limping (sometimes it feels like I have dumbbell weights sewn into my hip..that's the only way I can explain it)
4. Feel like "myself" yet..this is a draining journey that is like the craziest roller-coaster ride ever (and not a fun kind of roller-coaster ..but I don't find roller coasters fun at all..I am a wimp, but in case you like the coaster I don't want to get you excited and intrigued about replacing your hip ;))
5. Stand or sit for extended periods of time BUT I did go to the movies for the first time a few weeks ago to see The Hunger Games..that was the longest time I have sat in one place. We got cozy seats where I could put me feet up and I sat in the aisle seat so I could stretch every once in awhile
At The Movies!! First time in a looong time!

Waiting for Dr. A an entertaining myself at the same time :)
So now to my appointment that I had today with Dr A.
Let me begin I cried when I left so It isn't a happily ever after story (yet)...

I had X-rays taken today (see top pic) and waited around for awhile. I only got about 8 minutes with DR. A (if that..and I find that really frustrating and here is why: I am starting to feel like MY hip surgeons are turning out to be the guys your mother tells you stay away from when you grow up. They wine and dine you at first and tell you how much they can improve your life, you want to believe all that they are saying. Than you give in and let them do surgery on you, and then they don't seem to have the time of day for you anymore..seriously! Dr. A knows how bad my hip is (he is constantly reminding me of that) .How could after he has not seen me for 3 months take some time to answer the questions of why my foot is still numb?? OR ..I had a MRI done of my back because I am having back, neck and shoulder problems now on my right side (I did have some trigger point injections that helped), BUT all the Dr's I saw for these issues say it is related to my hip, so I brought the MRI to Dr. A and he wouldn't even look at it. He says his only focus is my hip. MY HIP IS WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THESE SECONDARY ISSUES..if he isn't going to take a look at this than who is going to help me..another hip surgeon??!!

Than the icing on the cake comes with the fact that Dr. M who did my 3rd and 4th surgery was suppose to fix a typo on my medical notes about a specific surgery he DID NOT DO on me and my psoas tendon during my open SDD surgery and Dr. A won't discuss how much pain my psoas tendon is causing me, because he said it was someone else's surgery that made it that way??!! I tried to explain to him as clear as possible that I did not have the surgery, but he said he only believes the paperwork. At this point D chimed in and said he was at the DR. M appointment where Dr. M said that it was a typo, but Dr. A said surgeons don't make mistakes like that. Sooooooo I placed a call to Dr. M immediately to get this taken care of so I can get my psoas issue taken care of. His assistant PROMISED me he would be in touch today..I never heard from him, so I will call again tomorrow.

 I am just so frustrated with the fact that I feel like none of my surgeons look at the big picture and until they do I am not sure what kind of recovery this will be. If anyone has ideas on how to handle this I would love to hear. I don't see Dr. A again until Oct 2012 so all I am suppose to do at this point is to do PT and wait and rest (according to Dr. A, because the fire made me overdue stuff on my hip which is causing backtracking). I guess Dr. A's only goal today was to do an X-ray to make sure my hip replacement is still in properly (I guess in the first year they check this on day 1, at 6 months, and at 1 year).

"On Top Of The World...because we are together" :) or "Just Try To Knock Us Down" 
In the end a hip nor a fire will break me or us :)
Much Love and Hope You Are All Well xoxo, Sarah

Remember you can find me on flick daily for my 365: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Am Back...3.5 Months!

Waiting for 3 hours in the waiting room to see Dr. A!
I am officially 3.5 month post THR. WOW it feel like 3.5 years at the moment! So much and so little has happened at the same time...haha!  I am sorry I haven't posted much recently, but I just had a check up with Dr. A, so I figured it was a good time to follow up with a blog piece.

I am doing a daily blog through photographs and mini stories about my recovery which has been a great creative outlet;you can find this on Flickr: My 365 Days Of Truly Becoming Bionic: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3  I am trying to make it as fun, creative, and informative as possible. The idea to do this was that I found so much information about what it's like to have a hip replacement, but not a whole lot about what happens afterwards, so I figured this would be a good way to show the other side of life  (recovering) from THR!

So where I am at! I saw Dr. A last Friday for my follow up apt. I WAITED and waited and waited in the waiting room (it truly is a perfectly named room) for 3 hours to see Dr. A . To keep myself busy I bought a new iPhone app to capture me waiting ;) ..hey it passed the time. One thing I can say positive about this waiting time is that I could actually do it. Last month I was there I had to lay down on a gurney, because I couldn't handle all that sitting, this time I toughed it out! After all my waiting I was fortunate to get a full 10 minutes to meet with Dr. A ,yes I am being sarcastic once again, but my blog is the one place I get to vent because it's my blog ;)..so ya I am going too) ;)!
So highlights for the 10 minutes with Dr. A.:

1. I can't sit on the floor..Dr A said no no no! (Total bummer..I really like to sit on floors..I am not being sarcastic now..I actually enjoy it..I do a lot of organizing that way )

After precautions were lifted I couldn't wait to plop myself on the floor and stretch out, but I guess no more of this ..for now!

2. I can walk without my cane in my home as long as I am not limping..if I start limping I need to use my cane( I have been for the most part lately not using my cane inside my home, but still need it outside. I can't do any distance without limping). Dr. A said this is normal for me ,because of all that has happened to my hip and surrounding muscles
Ode to my cane ;)

3. I can start adding strengthening to my PT along with stretching and deep tissue massage (which feels great when getting it done; like a good pain), but OMG it kills like 2 hours later. Dr A said that is also normal.

4.Dr. A said he is proud of me and all the hard work I have been doing, he said it shows! I know that is not a big deal, but no surgeon has really said they are proud of me or validated all my hard work and that felt good!
Being careful not to fall while embracing the season outside instead of always being indoors!

5.We discussed my foot numbness, my achy pains down my leg, sharp pains in my groin, my swelling..he had no real answers except we need to give it time. He said 3 months isn't going to undo 5 years worth of damage. He truly believes it will take me one year to feel some true relief and if I don't than we will have to look into why.

6. I can take advil or alleve now along with my other medication (it is actually helping..Yay!)

7. He gave D and I big hugs because D PROPOSED to me last week..we are ENGAGED!!! That sure help takes ones mind off their hip ;)
Pic taken right after D proposed to me!!!! :)

8. Dr. A and I walked the halls of his office so he could watch me walk with a cane...it was a nice stroll where we got to chit chat ;)

9. Biggest issue I have at the moment (well besides the pain) is full blown insomnia. I cannot get comfortable to sleep. I catch a few hours every morning, but it's not enough. I am working on that. Dr. A. said I could go back to acupuncture now, so I may try that again it really helped before! I really feel like a walking zombie most of the time, not the best feeling! Ugh..working on it!!

Me Zombie..haha!

10. I see him again in 3 months: So for now Physical Therapy and do whatever I can to help control pain. (will try massage and acupuncture as well as Lidoderm patch (numbing patch /no narcotic.. does seem to help a lot with out side-effects!))

Even though this still is really a hard time I am doing better than I was last month, so with that said.. Cheers!
Don't forget you can follow my daily THR story on Flickr: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwNA6f3 ,and I will definitely be back to update after my next apt with Dr. A! Hopefully I will have made some real progress at 6 months! Look forward to see what the future holds for me and my hipster!

If only I could know what my future has in store??!! ;)
Until then hipsters! XXOO

Me daydreaming about proposal ;) Still in lala land over engagement...YAY!

Any questions or comments please feel free to write ;I will definitely get back to you! :)