Saturday, September 8, 2012

46 Days Post-op - Is that a light I'm starting to see?

Today is 46 days post-op. Unfortunately I missed the 6 week update!
  • I am still using 2 crutches - I am putting about 70-80% of my body weight on my op side. I was told by approximately week 8 I can try weaning off. I'll be honest....I've used one inside and I feel pretty good. My leg is really weak and I don't feel ready to attempt this outside quite yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer! I have to also admit...I've walked around the kitchen, bed and to the bathroom without my crutches...while doing this, I don't have a lot of pain...rather my leg feels extremely weak and I have a horrible limp. I don't do this often as I think it would definitely contribute to my SI pain.
  • I am still getting a catching/painful sensation in my hip - this is most likely scar tissue buildup that will break away over time (hoping anyway!).
  • I am getting sporadic/occasional sharp, hot pains along deep within my trochanter. My PT said it's either the screws or quite possibly nerve pain. This isn't something I feel everyday, all happens here and there and there is no known trigger. If it continues or gets worse, I will definitely mention it at my next followup (4 weeks from now).
  • Now that I'm putting more weight on my operated side, I am getting a lot of aching across my butt and some groin pain. I believe this is normal and I have no concerns...I think it's all part of the recovery process.
  • I'm getting a lot of knee pain in my operated side. The PT said this is referred pain from my hip and often happens with open hip surgery. I notice it most while walking.
  • My SI is still in bad shape! My wonderful husband has been diligently giving me a massage every evening and I'm using 1-2 Toradol during the day and 1 Percocet at night to manage pain. I am going to go back to my family doctor to discuss further options for pain management as I can't continue taking these 2 drugs. Some other hip chicks have mentioned Vicodin for nighttime I'd like to discuss these options with the family doctor. I am also going to request a prescription/referral for a TENS unit.
  • I will be going back to work at the end of September, or early October. If you're planning to have this surgery and aren't sure how long you should take off of work, I highly recommend taking no less than 10 weeks. The doc told me most people take 12-14 weeks which I thought was crazy...before going through the surgery. Many developments and new symptoms begin to present themselves while recovering from an Open SDD.
  • Given I didn't discuss sex with my surgeon (I figured why bother since he was clear about let's be honest...who wants to talk about sex with their male surgeon)...I got to thinking, and decided to ask some of the other girls who went through this same surgery...some actually started having sex at 10 days post-op...impressive if you ask me! So...if you're wondering when it might be safe....use some discretion and be careful...apparently it's possible 10 days post-op if you're determined enough! :) If you have any questions let me know....I know this can be an uncomfortable topic! LOL
  • My ROM has improved tremendously! If you're like me, you probably won't really know the terminology for ROM. Here's a couple links to help you understand what's what:
    My flexion is around 95 degrees (bringing knee to chest), extension (straightening leg behind body)...not 100% on degrees but PT was quite happy...I would say maybe 15 degrees. Abduction is still prohibited and we haven't tested adduction (I haven't tried this yet myself as it hurts quite a bit to adduct).
  • I did stairs for the first time! It wasn't too bad...the worst part was my right hip (un-operated side)!
  • My right hip is really painful - I am having A LOT of groin pain.
  • No driving until the beginning of October (my docs protocol is 10-12 weeks).
Some exciting news....

I went to Niagara Falls the night before last with a friend! A good friend flew here from Alberta so a couple of us got together...we had a nice dinner and just hung out in the hotel room and had a couple glasses of wine! I was worried about going since my SI has been so bad but it actually turned out to be an amazing visit. Most notably...I was able to walk part of Clifton Hill in Niagara to the if you've ever been there, you could definitely appreciate how difficult that would have been...hip problems or not! (Clifton Hill is the main touristy strip which is a HUGE hill. I made it down to the restaurant from the parking lot and then back up! Trust me...that alone is a landmark itself!)

Today we are going to a surprise 80th birthday party about 45 minutes from our home. Following that, my hubby and I are going to do a mini anniversary celebration!

Our first wedding anniversary is September 10, however I am going to his moms, and a wonderful elderly couple's home next week for a we want to do a little celebration tonight before I'm gone. I will spend a few days with my mother in law, and a few days with Eric and Eve. (In case you're wondering how I know Eric and Eve....Justin and I used to rent their basement apartment. I've stayed very close with them and they've essentially adopted us as family!) Justin and I are going to do an anniversary weekend getaway in October once I'm off my, for tonight we will probably grab a bottle of champagne, choose our weekend getaway spot and just spend some quality time together which I'm really looking forward to.

So....overall things are progressing well and mentally I'm in a much better place! I had such a great time in Niagara reminded me of my "normal life" and has given me hope! Not only that, getting away this week will probably be the best thing I could possibly do for myself.....I'm looking forward to some time with Justin's mom (and of course the rest of the fam)! We'll be lunching, getting a pedicure, having some wine and enjoying the nice weather! As for Eric and Eve's....we will probably be sitting out by the pool, swimming, relaxing and just catching up!

Monday, September 3, 2012

41 Days Post-Op - Drugs can be a wonderful thing!

I'm feeling a lot better since I've been taking Toradol!! It definitely seems to take the edge off and this horrible back pain is finally more manageable! I feel like my old self again! (Well almost....)

Saturday night was the first evening since my op where we had a "normal night"! Friends of ours had us over for a few hours. It was so nice to just get out...especially since it was the last long weekend of summer. Definitely what we needed!

Yesterday I met up with a Toronto based Hip Chick for the second time! For all the bad things that comes along with these silly hip problems....there definitely are some silver linings! I've made some great connections with amazing people! I probably never would have met these ladies otherwise, so I guess I can't resent my hips completely! :D

Last night, Justin and I spent the evening sitting on the patio chatting. We were going to go out for a little date night, but decided to take it easy and stay in. I didn't want to push my luck given my back pain has become much more manageable.

Anyway...I'm  off for the day! I have some plans with a couple little boys I used to babysit. The other day I got a really cute email from Carter (he's 7) telling me how much he misses me! So we are popping by there in an hour, so I better get ready!

Just wanted to post up some positive words since my last few posts have been a bit of a drag. In my case....I have to say drugs definitely are a wonderful thing! I am done being a hero! Stay tuned for my official 6 week update!

Friday, August 31, 2012

38 Days Post-op - But you look so good...

Well I missed my 5 week update that I should have posted on Tuesday! I know a few of you are relying on my updates since you're either coming up to your surgery dates, or you're recovering just behind me.

The biggest issue I'm having is my inability to sit due to horrible low back pain (going on 2 weeks now!). In fact, I started typing this the other day and just couldn't do it. I've been feeling really down (hence the absence) and have officially reached my breaking point due to an array of things. A good chunk of it is the back pain (going on 2 weeks now). The other part is the general feeling of frustration. Everything takes longer...I can't drive....I rely on other people....I'm lonely...I'm life is on other hip needs to be done and the thought of it makes me sick....blah blah...whine whine....blah blah....

I try telling myself to look on the bright side, your issues aren't terminal...there are many people who wish they had your problems...keep're strong and you've got this...the light is near, even though you can't quite see it and a whole lot of other inspirational bull sh$%. Instead what I really hear is this sucks...why me????...when am I going to catch a break????...I am so sick of this....waaah...wahhh...cryyyy!

But....that was yesterday (okay...and pretty much all of the last two weeks...but who's counting??)....I AM FIGHTING BACK. Pity can SUCK IT. My back still hurts....but I got some new medication and some new topical pain relief ointment! I am going to push my sister would say...keep calm and carry on!

I saw the surgeon on Wednesday for a followup. I went armed with a list of questions (I've also added my answers to this list).

I can move from toe touch weight bearing to partial, gradually putting more weight on it reaching 100% over the next 2-3 weeks. After I reach full weight bearing on 2 crutches, and feel comfortable, I can start weaning off of them. The total transition will be about 5-6 weeks.I was told absolutely NO abduction for at least another 5 weeks (next apt) where he'll do another assessment.

Unfortunatley, I was also told no driving for another 5 weeks. This is really frustrating since I'm relying on friends to get me to physio. I have some amazing friends who are more than happy to help me....all I have to do is ask. I would do the same for them in a heart beat....but it's really hard to ask. I don't want anyone to think I am taking advantage of them! I'm normally a very independent person, so having to now rely on others is a difficult thing to accept.

Regarding the SI pain...he said it's normal to experience this. Probably due to gait, crutches, surgery etc. I've met some wonderful people online who have gone through the same surgery...they too have gone through this. So...I am not worried there is something wrong...just living with the recovery. He prescribed me Naproxen for the pain. I told him I doubted it would work since I've already tried taking over the counter Naproxen (3 tablets at once). He said to try it anyway....when I asked him what could I try if this didn't work...he suggested Toradol. I also asked him about the painful catching and he believes it's most likely scar tissue. He said to keep going with my physio and to keep the joint as active as possible.

Anyway, my husband offered to drop of the Naproxen script at the pharmacy. Perfect....sounds great! Well guess what? HE LOST IT! Yes...he lost the paper prescription somewhere between home and the drug store. Yes...this made me cry. He felt horrible and I had to mentally remind myself he didn't do this on purpose..."He didn't mean to....F YOU....he didn't mean to....F YOU" LOL

Desperate for relief, I called my family doctor to book an appointment yesterday. All I had left was 2 Percocets and spent the better part of yesterday crying due to this pain (I  honestly can't describe how bad it is...I have a high pain tolerance. The surgery pain was a walk in the park compared to takes a lot of pain to make me cry). So the phone rings,  request an appointment only to hear "Sorry she is away on vacation this week and is booked solid for next week. The soonest I can get you in is September 12." WHAT?!? ARE YOU SERIOUSLY KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!? This actually caused me to burst into tears (again). She said not to worry, the walk-in clinic is open till 9pm tonight. I briefly explained my issue and asked her what the chances would be of me getting something for pain from a walk-in clinic. She reassured me they could help.

I forced myself to go to physio (and yes...I cried there too while trying to explain to him my current physical state) and then my husband was bringing me to the clinic. We went there and the doctor was wonderful. He checked my file (walk-in clinic at my family doctors office) and could clearly see that I have no history of pain medication fact I don't even normally take NSAIDs, and that I also was in fact telling the truth about my surgery. (I was fully prepared to pull my pants down and show him the incision! LOL) I requested Toradol and showed him the bottle that was given to me by my family doctor 3.5 weeks ago (40 Percocet tablets). I still had two left so clearly if I was a druggie those would have been long gone. He said I can obviously see you're in pain (I looked like a mess)...I will give you 40 of both Percocet and Toradol. The Toradol is actually helping a takes the edge off and I can actually function. I feel happier today due to the lower levels of pain, and as you can see I was physically able to write a post!

Regarding physio....they're focusing on my core and ROM. So I am diligently doing my exercises and I've also explicitly advised them on my restrictions and they're committed to following them with care. So...that's a bonus....I do love my physio....he makes it enjoyable and I trust him (he rehabbed me post-op after my scope and pre-op before my open). He has also recommended I see the naturopath who works there...she will be able to assist me with scar tissue, pain and overall well being. I am looking forward to my consult with her. He also suggested this new topical pain ointment called MuscleCare Maximum Strength Pain Relief. It's for strains, sprains, inflammation, pain etc. So far I like it...although I haven't decided if I like it more than BioFreeze.

So...I really hope that things continue to progress and that I can give everyone positive updates!

Something I wanted to vent about was how tired I am to hear people say, "Oh really? Hard to believe you're having such a hard time. You look so good..." What the F is that supposed to mean? I feel like people are suggesting I am "faking it". I went out on Wednesday night for about one hour for my friends birthday party and heard that about 10 times. I showered, tried to dress semi-nice since it was a classier restaurant and actually put makeup on for the first time.

I literally lasted long enough for a drink....I ordered my food and had the waitress pack it up...I had to go home. While there, friends and a few co-workers asked how I was feeling. I try to be semi positive and say things like, "Oh well...I am going along. Definitely some ups and downs, but I am managing." No one want to hear the truth. Maybe I should say this.... "I feel depressed, I have overwhelming amounts of pain that makes me cry and I'm miserable. I feel like my life is over at times. I have mentally pictured myself crutching into traffic. What's stopping me, is the fact that I am sure I'd survive and end up with worse problems than I have now." LOL Anyway...enough said. I know people are trying to be helpful or nice...but for those of us who have to deal with this crap, don't really want to hear that. When I hear things like that I feel like I owe an explanation about the way I look.

There is this site I came across about invisible illnesses. They have an article called “You Look So Good!” 55 Ways You Say You Respond When Ill"

I've decided to use the following statements the next time I hear that:

3. Drugs are a wonderful thing
16. Powder and paint, make you what you ain’t!
20. And you look so wise. Looks can be deceiving though, huh?
27. I’m not complaining about my looks.
23. Thank you. I’m on my way to the Oscars.

LOL :)

I should note that other than the catching, my hip is feeling pretty good. There is really no pain even while putting weight on it! It feels very weak...almost like cooked spaghetti! Still have no idea if this surgery worked...but time will tell.

Anyway...thanks for reading my ramblings. Here is an updated photo of my incision (finally)! As you can see it's healing up nicely. Still some scabbing at the bottom where it opened up.

Friday, August 24, 2012

31 Days Post-op - Nobody Likes a Debbie Downer

Today is 31 days post-op! It's exactly one month from my Open Surgical Dislocation and Debridement surgery.

Unfortunately I am still dealing with lower back (SI pain), deep hip pain and that horrible catching feeling inside my hip. There's been a slight improvement with my lower back pain which I'm thankful for! I really think the catching sensation is scar tissue...I'll have to really focus on staying as active as possible to reduce and break down the formation.

I've had my share of ups and downs, however I've definitely had more up days than down days. When I really look at the number of days since surgery where I've felt "defeated"...we're really only looking at 2-3 days....that's only 7-10% of the time. Not too shabby if you ask me!

I think what's frustrating me now is the fact that I feel like life is passing by and I'm stuck inside looking out.

What people don't understand is the fact that I can't just move forward with my life and the financial strain this is having on us. I look around me and all my friends are having children, going on little summer trips, enjoying drinks and company on the patio and just living their life! Putting your life on hold is a very difficult thing to face...especially when you know there's a long haul left.

But...realistically who really wants to hear me complain about my back or hip pain? I get's one of those things that people just can't relate to unless they're in the same boat. In fact, I'm guilty of the same thing! When I hear someone wallowing around in self pity...especially if it's the "same old thing"....I think to myself..."Oh for crying out loud...suck it up already!" Let's be real honest here....nobody likes a Debbie Downer!

So, I've decided I'm going to shower, get dressed and put on my big girl panties. Time to get my ass outside! It's a lovely day and I'm wasting it in here!

Plus, quite frankly...when you think about is just TOO SHORT! I tend to be more of an optimist. I prefer to make lemonade rather than sucking on life's lemons. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

30 Days Post-Op - Pain, Patience and Self Pity...

I am so bloody sick of being in pain. I've decided to wallow in self pity today. I feel like this is all teaching me a wonderful lesson...I think patience is the biggest one.

At the moment I am having horrible SI pain (still) and in the last week or so, a catching/painful sensation is beginning to present itself in my hip. I notice it when I bring my knee up and then back down...when it's on it's way down I feel it...I literally have to stop the movement and have to move/re-position my leg to make it go away.

I spoke to a fellow hip chick whose had two open surgeries (one on each hip) and she suggested it might be the tip of a screw that went through my lesser trochanter and that some of the psoas or muscle might be snagging on it. Or it could be scar tissue. I am going to mention both to my surgeon when I see him next week. I am hoping it's scar tissue!!

I am also having a deep, deep pain inside my hip. I would think this is definitely bone pain. It's deep inside the joint and is definitely not muscular. It's a nagging ache. :(

On a brighter note, my incision is essentially closed up...I will have my husband take some more photos. I keep forgetting!

I had my first out of house physio appointment yesterday. I feel encouraged and comfortable in the sense that I love my physiotherapist. He rehabbed my hip last year following my scope and I also did some treatments before this surgery. He is very familiar with FAI and hip pathology. He is also very careful and continually asks his patients if they're okay....he's definitely in-tune with physical responses and never assumes "you're okay".

During my session he did some light passive movement to get an idea about my ROM and limitations. He has never rehabbed open FAI surgery, but is confident once he has a complete understanding of my limitations etc from my surgeon, he'll be able to set up an effective treatment plan. I meet with my physio again on Monday before my followup with my surgeon next Wednesday...him and I are going to come up with a list of questions and an action plan to ensure we have all the info about limitations before moving forward with intense therapy.

So...that is essentially my update for today....

As a recap....I am in WAY more pain these last 5 days than I've been since coming home from the hospital.

I am feeling negative and miserable. I am taking one Percocet at night again (and have been since Saturday). I take nothing but Tylenol as required during the day. That said...I am sticking with ice over Tylenol most of the time (trying to give my liver a break...that's all I need....liver issues!)

I am also feeling extremely frustrated with the fact that I can't do anything around the house. I wish I could clean, do laundry and cook properly. Although, my husband has been really helpful in these regards...he is not your normal hubby! He is obsessed with cleaning, always does the groceries (even pre-op) and is great at doing laundry. I've been told many times how lucky I am! :)

I thought of the song by Kelly Clarkson "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" and decided to Google "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger + crutches" thinking I might find some positive insights....LOL instead I found this...."It's Not Gonna Be Okay". WOW!! I have to say that even though the information in it wasn't even close to being still made me laugh....cynical is not even close to being the word I'd use to describe that.

After reading "It's Not Gonna Be Okay", I choose the opposite of Mr Mark Allen and will continue to look for the good...I leave you with Kelly Clarkson's song, a really cute photo from the Facebook group that cheered me up called Cat Mews and an AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO!

Note: I warned you...I am a crazy cat sister even got me a creepy crazy cat lady action figure that I have proudly displayed in my office!

There is NO WAY this adorable little kitten doesn't put a smile on your face!

I wanted to also mention this...I am done giving myself Lovenox via needle...however I now have a lump in my stomach near my belly button (the size of a nickel). I was worried that on top of my hip issues, maybe I had cancer or something! (Yes...I realize that is the concern of  hypochondriac...but let's be luck hasn't been so great lately!) I texted my friend who has MS....she has to give herself needles on a daily basis. She said lumps are normal....and to change injection site. Just wanted to pass along in case anyone else had the same concern. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

28 Days Post-Op....Made it 4 Whole Weeks!

Well today is 4 weeks post-op!

At the moment I am not really noticing any major changes/improvements from my last post. I am however having horrible low back pain...going into day 3. It was so bad last night, that it kept me up all night. At 3:45am I finally took 2 took nearly one hour for it to settle down! The last time I looked at the clock it was 5am. :(

For any women reading feels like "period pain" only 1000 times worse! It's horrible....and CONSTANT. Since the beginning of this year, low back pain surfaced itself as a new symptom of my FAI. Thankfully it's not something I have to live with everyday. I honestly can't imagine what life must be like for those people who have to live with severe low back pain day in and day out.

I've been trying to think of what I've done that may have caused this. The only thing that has crossed my mind is me "hopping" around the kitchen or bedroom on my right leg. At any rate, I've been resting in bed since Sunday (started Saturday night). I have been using my Thumper, Biofreeze, ice packs and heating pad like crazy! I am really hoping today it settles down to a manageable level!

As of right now:

  • I have started taking Percocets at night again! :( BOO!! (This has been due to the excruciating SI pain.)
  • I start out of house therapy tomorrow morning - I go for my first assessment! 
  • I got in touch with the hydro therapist - he recommended waiting until the 6 week mark for our first appointment (this is due to the fact my incision had opened up and he said to make sure it's completely healed before jumping into a pool).
  • One week tomorrow I see my surgeon for my 6 week followup (not sure why she booked it a week early...but whatever!).
  • I am still having that weird catching sensation when I bring my knee up (either laying/sitting).
  • My incision is essentially healed up! (I will ask Justin to take some photos later!)
  • Still doing all exercises 3 times/day followed by icing.
  • My leg is feeling a lot stronger - very noticeable getting in and out of bed, and during my exercises.
  • I am still only able to sit for no more than 2-2.5 hours (absolute max 3 hours) off and on before my hip starts getting really sore (although at the moment I am lucky to sit for longer than 30 minutes due to my back).
  • Thigh pain is MUCH better....however the left side of my knee is still quite sore.
So overall I am going along....hip pain is manageable....back pain IS NOT!

Crossing my fingers I will have better news to report during my next post! 

Back to bed!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

26 Days Post-Op - We're having another bad day...

Well I am pretty sure I've overdone it....yup....

Yesterday my husband and I went to Wal-Mart to get a few items and then we went down to the lake. We went for a little walk along the path and we sat on a bench and chatted for a while, watching the waves roll in. It really was a lovely afternoon. Finally, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and head home.

Upon arrival, I did my exercises...I definitely found them to be more painful that usual. We then watched a couple movies. About halfway through the second movie my lower back flared up. (This has happened a few times pre-op in the last several months...not a nice symptom of FAI.) Finally, I ended up taking a Percocet....that didn't calm it down....took another one and then finally the pain started to ease. I am still having horrible low back pain today. At the moment I am icing it while having my coffee....ugh...

Another thing I am going to mention is I am having a strange sensation/pain while doing 2 of my exercises - this began about 3 days ago. When I bring my knee up (either standing or laying down) I find it to be extremely painful deep inside the joint. When I bring my leg/knee down, it almost feels as though something is catching inside the it's not a fluid motion....not sure if that makes any sense. I'm not sure if I am just starting to notice it now that my ROM is there is healing going on inside and since I am able to bring my knee up farther I can feel these sensations.

I am definitely going to mention it to therapist. I start physio therapy with my regular PT on Wednesday and am in the midst of playing phone tag with a PT who does hydro-therapy.

Anyhoo...I better shower now. I have a friend popping in soon....then I need to lay = serious rest.

Here is an updated photo from yesterday of my incision!