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!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Well today is 25 days post-op....and something really exciting happened last night!! (Not that....get your mind out of the gutter!! LOL)

I actually slept on my right side!! My back was really bothering me, and I decided to try laying on my non-op side with a pillow between my legs...I was surprised there wasn't any excruciating pain. There was some aching and a pulling feeling in my hip....but not enough to prevent me from staying in that position and falling asleep. I woke up this morning on my back again, so I must have rolled back over due to some discomfort at some point. But regardless....I DID IT!

I just finished my last week with having a "caregiver". Sadly I'll have to figure it all out myself now! My friend did however offer to come for another week early in September. Partially to assist/keep me company and partially to offer us an AMAZING favour! Our one year wedding anniversary is September 10 and she said she'd be happy to watch the kitties so we could have a couple worry free nights away! (We have two cats that require medication and that prevents us from going away unless someone is here to help. It makes it even more difficult since one of those two is a "scaredy-cat" and hides.)

At the moment:

  • I am off pain meds for the most part (although last night I took one since I had such a busy couple days that left me feeling very stiff, achy and sore).
  • I can sit off and on for a max of 3 hours.
  • I am thinking about going back to work! I miss my regular routine....that being said I will probably give it 2-3 more weeks....but the point is I AM THINKING about it. :)
  • I am doing all exercises 3 times per day! (Takes about one hour)
  • I am icing several times per day.
  • Getting in and out of bed is a piece of cake now! My leg is strong enough to lift it with minimal discomfort.
  • My ROM is definitely improving.
  • My thigh and knee is still quite sore.
  • I can get in and out of the car (as a passenger) quicker and with more ease.
  • Can do light cooking and housework (no bending or twisting).
  • My right hip is not very happy! :( But I've been given strengthening exercises for it and hope it will feel better as it gets stronger.

Off to ice, do stretches then head out to do a couple errands with my hubby.

Friday, August 17, 2012

24 Days Post-Op - Tired and Sore Today (My own fault)

Well today is 24 days post-op....I can't believe it's nearly 1 month!

Before I get into my update...I would like to share something from a fellow hip chick...please consider helping her...everyone deserves to lead a pain free life....ESPECIALLY someone as young as her!

I am doing really well and had an extremely full day yesterday! My friend Jess and I went out late in the afternoon. We went down to the lake for a gorgeous walk and for a little drive along the Lake Ontario shoreline....AND I was able to get into some real clothes for the first time since my surgery (jean shorts!). Then last night we sat down and had some wine (don't worry...I have been off my pain meds for a couple days!)....and talked....and talked....and talked some more. Before we knew it, it was the wee hours of the morning!!

I feel stiff and sore from our exciting day yesterday, tired from staying up so late and have a bit of a headache from the wine! Today is definitely a rest + ice day! Oh and let's not forget my exercises!

As per are a couple photos of my wedge cushion. Sitting on it causes my leg to rest on an angle so my hip joint is not flexed at 90 degrees.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

23 Days Post Op - Quick Update

Well today is 23 days post op (I suppose since it's past midnight it's technically 23 days). I have to say things have definitely been improving!

As of now:

  • I am able to walk fair distances (using both crutches...toe touch weight bearing until 6 weeks). Yesterday I managed to walk the grocery store and the dollar store! Today I went for a walk outside that equaled that distance approximately.
  • I am able to sit for longer periods more frequently. This morning, I sat off and on for approximately 3 hours (I got up to make coffee, breakfast etc). I began to get uncomfortable around the 2 hour mark...very uncomfortable around the 2.5 hour mark....and then reached the "OMG I can't stand it anymore" point around 3 hours. Ice and rest resolved it.
    Note: I am still using the wedge cushion and will be until the 6 week mark. I also notice that I can sit more evenly (I am not favouring my operated side by leaning to the other side).
  • Following my 3 hour stretch this morning, later this afternoon I was able to sit on the patio for about 1 hour before coming in to assist with supper. So today was a very busy day!
  • Pain meds are essentially gone!! YIPPEE! Last night I took one Percocet and tonight I will probably do the that I've put in a full day I am a bit sore.
  • Mornings are still the worst time of day for me. I feel extremely stiff and sore....I find laying in bed doing light stretches helps work it out.
  • I am doing all my exercises 3 times per day. My range is slowly improving and I can feel my muscles are getting stronger.
  • My thigh and knee are still really sore...I am sure it's referred pain and muscle stiffness.
  • It is still critical to ensure I never reach the 90 degree point (so no bending or leaning forward).
  • We noticed some slight oozing from the bottom of my incision (yellow in colour). We cleaned it well with alcohol wipes, followed by saline. We will closely monitor to ensure there is no infection (as of now there is no discoloration of the skin and it's not warm to the touch).
    Note: We are still using waterproof dressing and changing them every other day (not daily). Since the incision was leaking a bit, it will continue to be dressed for another week or so.
  • I am finished my blood thinners! Hasta la vista!
This photo was taken earlier today between dressing changes:

So overall I am feeling great! I really am surprised at how quickly I've bounced back and I am feeling like my old self again. Energy levels are improving along with my ability to tolerate short outings.

At home physio cleared me to start at the clinic! I go for my post-op assessment next Wednesday. I am also waiting for a call back from the hydro therapy clinic to schedule with them!

Additionally, I am sleeping at night again! I started back up on all my vitamins and sure enough the restless feeling in my legs went away completely. (I think it's the vitamin B!)

I am off to bed now...hopefully tomorrow will be another "busy day"! I am hoping in the next 3-4 weeks I will be well enough to start working again (even if it's just part time to start!). I have to say I am definitely starting to miss work but am really thankful for the time I have to recover.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 19...Post Nap Update

Ahhh yes....I am feeling like a REAL human being again. I just have a fabulous nap...too bad it's after 2pm and that I couldn't sleep like that when everyone, minus shift workers sleep in this freaking time zone. I think the transformation is nearly complete...soon I will be a completely nocturnal being. The issue I have with that is I hate late night TV programming and those stupid commercials that try to sell you things. that I think of it, those "commercials" are actually the programs...and the actual commercials are for phone sex lines. I suppose I should get really worried when I start calling the phone sex lines....

Each day is a gradual improvement from the next. At the moment things are changing so gradually that it's getting harder to distinguish progressions. That being said, I know things are improving and healing. I realized quite suddenly yesterday that getting in the shower isn't an 8 on the pain scale any longer....I am able to bend my knee enough to get my foot over the lip of the stall now with minimal pain whereas a couple weeks ago I struggled with that.

I am looking for each and every improvement in an effort to make me see that there IS's just going to be slow. I didn't underestimate this fact I was telling a friend this morning that in my head I overestimated it! I am beginning to realize that the surgery itself wasn't the hard part....rather the recovery is going to be the hard part. Patience, perseverance and dedication to my physio/ice routine are going to be critical. At this stage it's all about the baby steps and keeping my eye on the prize! 

Everyone keeps asking me if I am going to get my right hip done as soon as my left is strong. I've decided that if my left hip is successful....success meaning I will be able to walk without gnawing groin and butt pain...the answer is yes. But...if there is no drastic improvement...I am just not so sure I am willing to go through this all over again if there is no payoff at the end.

Well time to do some therapy! My friend is on her way to spend the week with me. I am SO excited for our week together!!

Day 19 Post Op...Day 5 No Sleep

This is going to be a short post....I feel like a zombie....

So Melatonin apparently doesn't work. It does however create some lovely side effects which include nausea and morning grogginess.

I feel completely useless and horrible.

I am going to lay down.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 18....Attitude Adjustment

Well I've decided to adjust my attitude today. Quite frankly when you look at my issues in comparison with others, I guess I don't have a whole lot to complain about.
  1. I am blessed with friends, family and a husband who truly cares about me. My mom has taken nearly 2 weeks out of her holidays to be with me during this surgery...both while in the hospital and at home! She has waited on me hand and foot, cleaned, cooked, fed the herd of cats and spent time chatting with me and watching movies. My mother in law also spent 7 days here! She too cooked, carefully did my dressing changes, shaved my legs, coordinated feeding time with the zoo of cats and just spent tons of time talking and watching movies. Although my husband has been working long hours, he comes home in the evening and has willfully picked up all the extra slack with no complaints. He's been doing the groceries, the laundry, changing the bedding, doing my dressing changes and many other little things to make my life easier. And tomorrow, I have a friend taking a whole week out of her schedule to stay with me!! I have also been sent lots of little care packages, cards, get well wishes and many other things by co-workers, friends and fellow hip chicks! I mean WOW. So....quite frankly....I have a wonderful support team and I know that not everyone is as lucky as me.
  2. My issues are not life threatening! Sometimes its hard to remember when you're feeling so down, but realistically I am not going to die due to my hip condition. Yes it means I have to put my life on hold....but it's a TEMPORARY hold.
  3. Since I live in Canada, I don't have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket, or fight with my insurance company to get the health care I need. There are some girls out there that get denied the very surgery that will improve the quality of their life and potentially decrease the chances for a hip replacement down the road. So...the pain I am going through is something that they WISH they could go through.
  4. I get to spend lots of time with my kitties that I love so much! <3 My crazy cat Diego loves riding on my walker tray! He will hop on there and gladly go with me where ever I go!
  5. My employer has been extremely accommodating and supportive to me through both of my hip surgeries. I have been granted the time off I need with no suggestion or implication I am creating a "problem" with me not being there. This alone relieves a huge weight off my shoulders. And once I am ready to start working again, I'll be able to work from home as needed. I know many other hip chicks have a completely different experience. On top of that, I was sent a lovely gift from the office!

So...all in all....even though things are not necessarily "fun" right now, given the circumstances, things could be a lot worse.

A quick update on my progress:
  • I am up for longer periods during the day (sitting/standing). I find I can sit for about one hour intervals...the 40-45 minute mark I find the front of my hip and my butt starts to ache...but I can push it to one hour. Combined total equals 5-6 hours. 
  • My right hip is NOT doing well at fact....I am beginning to see this is going to be a bit of a problem during my recovery. Yesterday my therapist worked on strengthening exercises for my upper body and right hip. 
  • I am icing both hips 5-6 times per day (15-20 minutes each time)
  • In house physio will be with me for another week. I will be booking out of house therapy appointments for the week of the 20th.
  • I am SERIOUSLY NOT SLEEPING!! This is day 4 of sketchy sleep....FML. I took some Benadryl last night, and today I feel strange. I did however fall asleep around 4am and slept through until 11:30am. Thank you TLC (Say Yes to the Dress) for keeping me company last night! Tonight, I am going to try Melatonin.
  • I only have 2 more Lovenox needles!
  • Meds have been reduced to 2 Percocets at night, 1 in the morning and depending on activity/pain levels during the day, I might take 1 in the afternoon. 
  • Tried laying on my un-operated side another firm reminder this is NOT possible.
As promised, here is an updated photo of my incision. This was taken yesterday (Day 17):

So....I will keep on trucking and try to stay positive!! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 17....Screw Being Positive Today

I am tired of being positive...I am sore, tired and have decided I am going to feel sorry for myself today.

I'm having a terrible time sleeping. This has been going on for 3 nights in a row now!! I am actually beginning to dread the evening, knowing I'll be laying there wide awake. Part of the reason is that sleeping on my back is really getting to me. Normally I am a side sleeper, and due to chronic upper back/neck pain I always have my trusty heating pad applied to that area. Now that I am sleeping on my back, the heating pad is spread across my whole upper back which causes my whole core to heat up to what feels like a thousand degrees. My back and shoulders are also more uncomfortable than usual due to the fact that I am using a walker/crutches.

I am also feeling really restless and uncomfortable. Part of it is pain in my left hip (operated side), the other part is a tingling, restless feeling in my right hip, calf and ankle (the un-operated side). My poor right hip is taking on all of my body weight. I think that even someone with a "normal" hip would still experience some discomfort...the fact that I have FAI/tears in that hip too just exasperates the problem.

Last...I miss my regular routine. I enjoy working and being busy! I lead a really active lifestyle and the fact that I am in bed 80% of the day makes for a dull existence. I am nowhere near ready resume my normal activities....merely showering and changing into fresh PJs is enough activity to cause me to lay down and ice...but I miss the feeling at the end of the day that I've contributed to something.

I guess what I am trying to say is today I am just tired of the whole thing and wish I could fast forward to the part where my hips are fixed!

We are all allowed our moments to whine, complain and feel sorry for ourselves. Today is just my day.

My mom just left about a half an hour ago. :( She was so helpful while she was here....whether it be fixing the blankets on my bed, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning....or helping me feed the just made my life so much easier. On top of all the help, we had a great visit too. I guess I just feel like her stay went by too fast and I miss her already. That being said...I do have my friend Jess coming to stay with me next I will have one more week of company and help which I am so grateful for. I am really looking forward to our time together!!

On a positive note....

I had a nice little surprise visit from a friend today. It was almost as though she read my mind and knew I needed a "pick me up"! She brought me some goodies, a magazine and a slushy! Thank you Erika! :D

Other good incision has healed up VERY nicely! I got my staples out on Wednesday! The incision opened up a bit...but not a whole lot. I have some steri-strips on and she told me to keep it bandaged for another week or so. I will take some more photos of it now that I have the staples out. Here is a photo from 14 days post-op of my incision - my robe is covering the top of it, but you can get the gist of it!

Also...surgeons office called today. I reconfirmed weight bearing restrictions. She said it is critical I am toe-touch weight bearing for 6 weeks. At that time, we will do more x-rays and if the screws have set, I will be able to begin putting weight on it. Good to know! She said very sternly...IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THESE PRECAUTIONS YOUR HIP MIGHT FALL APART! Haha...I think she was exaggerating...?? Either way, I am not going to test it. I have been super careful with this surgery....part of it because I am so worried about damaging what he's done....the other part is due to the pain and the inability to do much.

Well, time to do my therapy! My in-house physio just called and said she had a cancellation and that she is on her way. Hopefully I will be cleared to start doing therapy with my physio. I have also found a therapist in Burlington who does hydro therapy! I am going to combine the approaches with the intent of having a quicker and more effective recovery.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 13 Post Op....Stiff and Sore

Well today is day 13 post op and I am feeling stiff and sore. I woke up about an hour ago but stayed in bed to avoid waking up my hubby. He was busy all weekend doing the cleaning, laundry and groceries so I was hoping he'd get a a bit of extra sleep. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer so I decided to get was calling me! After getting up, I realized he was already up and gone to the gym!

He has been sleeping on the couch since I've been home from the hospital. We do have a spare room, but it's already setup and ready for my next "nurse" (my mom!).  And no...Justin is not sleeping on the couch because he's in the dog house from my last rant! He's worried about rolling over on top of me, and hurting my hip. I tried telling him the chances of this are minimal. LOL I mean....there have been no previous instances of him "steam-rolling" me before. I'm not sure why, but it makes me think of those "Baby on Board" signs people post in their cars after they have a baby. They are ridiculous....I mean really...would you ram into that car normally if it DIDN'T have a baby on board sign? The answer is no! Regardless of whether or not there's a sign, an accident can still happen. And quite frankly, it's not like people drive more cautiously around a vehicle that has one of those signs. It's one of those accessories that someone created and is laughing all the way to the bank thinking "$$$CAAAA-CHING!$$$". (I really have no clue why "steam rolling" made me think of this...could be the meds?? Either way...I am digressing...)

I ended up taking my walker with me the other day on my first little outing (not my crutches as I carried on about LOL). I would like to point out that it was my decision.... :)

We were out for about 15 was so nice to be outside! I made it a good distance considering it was my first real outing. Look at me go! 

I've always been a very active person and have refused to let my hip issues defined me. I'm stubborn and as you've probably gathered, don't like being told what to do. This includes being told what to do by my hips! In fact, we went on a pretty intense hike right before my surgery! We live very close to the Niagara Escarpment and I love hiking along the Bruce Trail. (Hmmm...looks like I'm wearing the same LuLu tank!)

Yesterday we went out again late in the day for another little walk. I made it about 20 feet farther than the day before, and I used my crutches this time. Overall things went did however give me a strong reminder this is going to be a long recovery. I was quite sore and had to stop several times. 

At this stage of the game:
  • I find it easier to get in and out of bed.
  • Mornings are the worst time of day for me. I feel really stiff and takes me a while to get going.
  • I am feeling more energetic and want to be up longer (I am out of bed about 4-5 hours per day).
  • The pain is changing....I notice I have less pain while laying down. There was a lot of pain near the incision site while laying in bed on my back, now I don't it as much unless I roll that way.
  • I have some tingling in my thigh - hoping this has nothing to do with nerves. It's not constant...comes and goes.
  • Sitting for more than 30-40 minutes straight causes a lot of discomfort in my butt and the front of my hip (I am using my wedge cushion)
  • General aching and stiffness in my butt and thigh. Very noticeable upon movement and physio exercises. 
  • I am still toe touch weight bearing.
  • I get my staples out after tomorrow! 
  • I am taking less pain killers! I am still taking 2 at night, 1-1.5 in the morning and maybe 1 midday.
  • I am still taking my blood thinner Lovenox - only 7 more needles (not that I'm counting or anything!).
  • I still have to lay on my back at all times. I got brave yesterday and tried to lay on my un-operated side with pillows between my legs. Definitely NOT happening yet. :( Too bad!

I will take some photos tonight during my last dressing change before the staples are out. The incision is looking good, swelling is nearly gone and bruising nearly gone (I think...hard to see my butt!). Hmmm....I think this is my last dressing change. I am hoping that the incision doesn't open up after taking out my staples....the skin is getting irritated even though my dressings are "skin friendly".

So, overall things are going well. I think things are definitely progressing as they should and I am working hard at icing, resting and exercises. I think my kitties are also enjoying the time they get to spend with me! Pumpkin is so spoiled and loves snuggling with me!

I also wanted to share the something that I came across today on another blog! A "hip timeline" depicting hip pain, symptoms etc! What a great idea!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 11 Post Op...Feeling Irritated

I am feeling annoyed at the moment. I just got off the phone with my husband who called me from work. Yet again, he has successfully p*&%ed me off by dictating what HE thinks is best for me. 

First off, YOU ARE NOT MY PARENT....YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MY HUSBAND. Second, since you really have no clue about the post-op/recovery protocol surrounding open FAI surgery, you really have NO PLACE TO COMMENT WHAT I SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT BE DOING.

I know everyone goes through points like this with someone in their life which is why I am writing about it. I am also attempting to calm down since I can't have glass of wine to relieve my stress (stupid pain meds and blood thinners!).

I would also like to point out, that I know he cares, and means well...I know he didn't set out to upset me. I am having a fabulous day and mentioned that I might like to leave the confines of our condo and go for a short walk in the parking lot. Seem unreasonable??? NO!!! In fact, my PT told me that I needed to start building up some endurance. I wasn't suggesting anything outside of what makes sense given my physical condition.

He made a joke and said he might not want to be seen with someone using a walker. I said well I might try and use my crutches for the first time today...I will test them out indoors and if all seems well, use my crutches for the walk. 

I have been using my walker as per suggested by hospital PT and OT - they told me I could start using crutches once I was feeling strong/stable enough. They didn't however say I had to solely use a fact they were going to "teach me" to use crutches while I was in the hospital. I told them that I really didn't need to be taught given I had hip surgery last year and was using them for 5-6 weeks. lovely husband proceeds to say, "What do you mean you are going to use crutches??? You need to follow the instructions set out by your doctor and stop being so impatient...BLAH BLAH BLAH...."

I cut him off at the word "impatient"....that was it. I am being far from the moment "patient" is my middle name. 

And the other thing....why in the world would I compromise my recovery? I wouldn't...not after all of this.

I understand I am TOE TOUCH WEIGHT BEARING....therefore whether I use a walker or crutches to achieve that result, it really DOESN'T MATTER.

I admit...the walker is allows me to be much more independent since I have a tray. I can bring my own meals/drinks/ice packs etc with me to my room/table. It is also very helpful getting in and out of the shower and many other things people take for granted in daily life. 

I also have "4-legged furry kids" running around and using the walker helps to ensure I won't have a fall caused by them! I had two accidents last surgery due to the cats tripping me! 

And...I may decide that my during my first outing outside, to use my walker in case I get tired or experience a lot of pain. But the point is...IT IS MY CHOICE.

Ok...phew....I feel better. 

Quick update on physical status....obviously feeling pretty good today since I wouldn't mind seeing the parking lot. :)

Reduction in pain meds going extremely well. Better than I thought actually! Ice packs are getting a lot of use and my exercises are going well. Pain levels are between a 4-5 and at the moment I am still sleeping well at night (thank you drugs!).

Anyway, off to do my exercises and ice (and of course repeat!).

Hmmm....I kind of like blogging....definitely an outlet for anger! I normally drink a bottle of least this way I don't get a hang over!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 10 Post Op...eye on the prize!

I am having a pretty good day today!! In fact, I am thinking I might even treat myself later, and sit on the patio for a bit! My goals going forward are focussing on my exercises, increasing my endurance and cutting back on meds.

I woke up at 8am and took one Percocet (normally at this time I take 2) along with my Sencot (LOL anyone who's ever been on pain meds knows the biggest downside to them...constipation! My worst enemy!)

I jumped in the shower (ok...maybe I didn't jump...I hobbled slowly into the shower) and got ready for my therapy. She left around 10am and I was pretty sore, so I grabbed an ice pack and turned on Oprah's 20th Anniversary DVD collection. :) Ahhh...the joys of having no real responsibilities! 

I stayed in bed for about 4 hours and even caught a couple hours of sleep! I woke from the pain and figured I better take another Percocet around 2pm. My plan is take one pill every six hours, and night time I will take two. If I find that my pain levels are too high during the day (maybe after therapy/activity) I will take an additional half. I am noticing a big difference in my mindset the last couple days while I've been cutting back. I get that I need the meds to keep the pain at bay, but I really hate how they make me feel (both mentally and physically). I think everyone is personally....I am not scared of feeling more of the pain during the recovery process as I wean. As long as I don't get over a 4-5, I am good.

Right now the pain levels are pretty consistent. I feel pain in my butt (consistent) and occasional pain that radiates from my hip, into my thigh, down to my foot. I am also feeling a lot of pain when I try to sit in my butt and the front of my hip. I notice a big difference between this surgery compared to my hip scope. The main differences are the types of pain, the fact that at this stage I was able to go outside for short walks on my crutches and that I get very sore and tired quickly.

So, I wouldn't say any ground breaking improvements yet. Trying to keep my eye on the prize!

Tonight my mother in law leaves. :( She has been such a huge help to me this week with cooking, cleaning and laundry. It's been really nice to have some company and we've gotten to watch lots of good movies.

The good news is my mom is coming to take over after the long weekend on Tuesday!  I am looking forward to spending some time with her and hoping I'll be well enough to do a couple short outings. So my hubby will have to attempt some meals until the next shift takes over. :) Meal preparation, laundry and cleaning is essentially impossible given I really can't bare to stand for long periods or bend over. I don't plan on having another left hip surgery any time soon, so I am definitely not going to compromise my recovery!

Anyway...I am off to do my exercises! Then I might take a walk down my condo hallway! Not quite outside....but definitely a few steps closer!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 9 Post Op Open SDD

Today is day 9 post op and I am feeling strong enough to sit up for a few minutes to write a post. It's funny because I started this post 2 days ago...added a few words and I had to lay down again! At the moment I am able to sit up for about 30-45 minute intervals, 3-4 times per day.

So let me update you....

I had my left open SDD at 12pm on July 24 at Mt. Sinai in Toronto.  I chose to be fully sedated over the spinal - I know there are pros to the spinal but the thought of conscious sedation worries me...maybe it's the word conscious...that doesn't sound too good when they're cutting my leg open! But...that's just me. The surgery lasted about 3 hours, and I was in recovery for 2 hours. I made it up to my room around 5:30pm. At that time my pain levels weren't too bad. I had a pain pump and was able to administer myself Dilaudid every 5 minutes.  I also I was also on Celebrex for pain and they started me on Lovenox for blood clots. Below is a photo of me the day of surgery post op up in my room attempting to smile for the camera!

The surgeon addressed CAM and pincer impingement, labral tears and he removed some inflamed bursa. He used 3 trochanter screws and a combination of sutures (internal) and staples to close the incision.

Another thing I didn't think of until the weekend before surgery was whether or not they were going to insert a catheter. (It's one of those last minute thoughts that turns into a worry....I think it was the unknown since I've never had a catheter before.) Turns out the answer was yes...and in fact you really don't even know it's in there!

Later that night, I woke with severe pain...probably an 8-9....I had fallen asleep and was therefore unable to administer any pain medication. The pain management team came to see me the next morning and we agreed to try dilaudid in a pill format since it would stay in my system longer (4 hours).

Shortly after I started taking the pills, I developed a strange symptom...I had a horrible pounding in my was almost as though I could hear my heart beating. It was so loud at times, I could barely hear people speaking. It almost reminded me of a MRI machine! I told the nurses, and they seemed unconcerned. After a sleepless night of pain and pounding in my head, the following morning I broke down when the ortho resident came in to check on me. He agreed that I was having a reaction to the Dilaudid and switched me to Percocets. Within hours the pounding stopped and I started to feel more like myself.

As you can see below, I also had a ton of swelling in my operated leg. It went from my thigh down to my ankle. It lasted for about 5-6 days.

The rest of the hospital visit was fairly uneventful. I did however have consistently low blood pressure and a fever off an on. Thankfully my bp wasn't low enough for a blood transfusion and my fevers dissipated.

I was in the hospital for 4 days....but it felt like an ETERNITY. During my stay, I was lucky enough to have my mom stay with me. It was so nice to have her company! I really wanted someone with me for the first couple of days in case I needed an advocate (sometimes you just never know). She decided to stay the whole week which was amazing! My mom isn't too good with city driving, and given my hospital was downtown Toronto, this didn't sit too well with her! Anyway, we were both troopers and managed the week! Finally, on Friday afternoon, it was time to release me. I was so excited to come home! Not that the food wasn't fabulous during my stay! last meal!

I was also very lucky to finally meet a couple fellow Toronto based Hip Chicks! It was so nice to finally put a face to their names. We had a wonderful visit and they each brought me some treats! Having people who understand what you're going through is priceless and I really appreciated them taking the time to come see me.

On Friday, August 27, my mom picked me up at the hospital and we made the trip home. I could barely wait to get home! Upon arrival, the first order of business was taking some pain meds. We got stuck in traffic so the drive home was a little over an hour - I found it very uncomfortable and the swelling in my leg increased...but it was TOTALLY worth it! The second was having a shower! With the help of my fancy new walker and my very patient mom, I was able to take what seemed like the best shower of my life. Finally, crawling into my own bed with all my kitties was like a dream come true. Below you can see Diego (on my leg) and Jinx keeping me company! <3

Each day is touch and go. The pain has been up and down, but I am definitely managing it by ice and medication. I find that I'm in bed for about 21 hours per day. I can manage short sessions of sitting for approximately 30-45 minutes a few times a day (totalling about 3 hours). Also, in case anyone is wondering, I am still taking Percocets, and need them every 5-6 hours. I think by the end of this week, I'll be able to start weaning myself and spacing them out. I have also compiled a list of things that I've found to be very helpful  during this recovery.

Another nice thing is the fact that I don't need home care nursing as we are doing all my dressing changes. I was also taught to give myself my blood thinner via needle (Lovenox - I need this for a total of 21 days). Therefore, there's no need for a nurse to come daily. That being said, I do have a physio therapist coming a couple times per week now until I'm strong enough to see my own.

This week, I am so lucky to have my mother in law stay with me. She has been keeping busy with cooking, laundry, dressing changes and feeding our zoo of cats! She even shaved my legs for me the other day!

The following image shows my incision at day 6 between dressing changes (If you look close, you can see 2 of my scope scars to the left). I will take some more photos as the healing progresses.

So far I am feeling quite positive. Although I'm really sore and have lots of limitations, I realize that it's still very early in my recovery. It's still way too soon to tell if this surgery has corrected my issues, but I am certain I have no major damage done as a result of it. I was really worried about nerve damage!

If you've come across this blog, and have any questions....please don't hesitate to ask!