Monthly Archives: October 2012

Some Tech Specs

I thought today would be a good day to describe exactly what the hell this PAO thing is and what is going to happen. This is more of a “here is the info for anyone reading this blog” post than a “here is what I am feeling” post.

Here are a few links that describe “what is developmental dysplasia in an adult hip:”

I thought this general info would be useful because when I first heard of dysplasia, my only points of reference were to either babies or big dogs. And in truth, that’s where most instances of dysplasia appear. Humans normally only have to deal with dysplasia as babies because it’s normally caught at birth.  On the other side, large dogs like German Shepherds and the like start to have problems with dysplasia as they age.  But in either event, it sort-of the same idea.

This is an (animated) video of the procedure (a Periacetabular Osteotomy or PAO) which is available on my Doctor’s website and which I found tremendously helpful when I was trying to figure out what exactly is going to happen on surgery day. It’s kinda great because it shows you how the surgery works without being super graphic or creepy (which, let’s all be honest, this is going to be SUPER graphic and INCREDIBLY creepy):

I also really like the drawings on this link which show what the hip looks like before and after the surgery (again, as a drawing, not gross or gory):

I thought about posting a link to a video of a real PAO but it is hard enough for me to look at and I figured most people would be grossed out. However, I can tell you that it’s possible to find if you go to YouTube.

What none of this shows is how your hip looks after the surgery with all the screws (yes, I will have a ton of screws in me after this procedure to keep the newly positioned acetabulum in place while the bone heals).

I am definitely having a PAO on my right side (the December surgery). Depending on how it goes, I will have either a PAO or an Open Hip Debridement on the left (the April surgery).

I figure I’ll wait to get into the details of hospitals stays, recovery times, physical therapy and all that other bullshit until a later date – this post is super fact intensive and I’m getting bored writing it which leads me to believe anyone else would be bored reading it.  But I do hope it’s helpful!

Suck It

I’m not sure why but I am in a really crabby, really anxious mood today.  The weather has started to get colder and I was excited about that for about 23 seconds until I realized that as the weather gets colder, I am getting closer to my first surgery.

It’s funny to feel so excited about something and so angry and anxious about the exact same damn thing at the exact same time.  A little part of me likes the idea of surgery.  No, not because I’ll be better afterwards (which, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know that i believe at all [more on that later]) but because it’s something new to do.  I find myself distracting my energies all the time now.  Trying to find something new to focus on or think about.  Surgery is just another distraction, something I’ve never done before.  A “what the hell, I have a few months of agony to kill” sort of activity.

I wonder sometimes if everyone thinks like this or if I’m the only one.  Probably the latter, though with a few individuals along for the ride.

The anxiety makes sense.  It’s what I feel like if I were looking at my situation from a third-person’s perspective, I would imagine I should feel.  Surgery is scary and something could go wrong or…worse…  Let’s be perfectly clear here.  If I die because of this stupid hip surgery my ghost is gonna be PISSED OFF — just generally a really crab who is gonna poop in your yard and scare your kids and steal your goat.  I have no idea what the hell I am saying but seriously, the dead version of me is gonna be really annoyed if I die.

I think, though, that the more pissed off version of me would be the one that is either in perpetual pain because of the surgery or who is further immobilized.

I don’t even know what I’m talking about.  I guess I’m just anxious about the surgery and the waiting — 66 more days to go.

The anger is just at a myriad of things – my aging, my body, my history, my genetics, my situation, my school.  I am so out of control — I feel like I’m riding on a wagon in the old west, in the dark, and the horses just got spooked by a fox and start running but the wheels are made of wood and start to break down and the wagon is literally falling apart but the horses just keep running.  I feel like I’m the guy holding the reigns and but who has literally no control at all.  Yep, that’s me, right there, with the runaway horses and the broken wheel.  Stupid foxes.

Tonight I’m meeting up with some ladies from my “hip women” group who have all gone through or are going through the same thing as me.  I am looking forward to that.  And to pottery, which is later.

I guess that today, it just feels a little hard to breathe.  And to keep it together.  And keep moving forward.  But I will.  Or at least I will try.

T-minus 73 Days

Today, as I was riding on the subway, I realized for the first time that I am having PAO surgery.  Not “Hey, yea, sometime in the future someone is, like, hypothetically going to break my hip and I am gonna have surgery, no big deal” but more like, holy shit, someone is going to break my hip in the foreseeable future.  And they’re gonna do it three times.  And I’m gonna be in the hospital.  And totally immobilized.  And it’s gonna suck, a whole lot.  Oh, and I can look at a calendar and it’s 73 days away.

Not sure why it never really struck me.  It’s not like I don’t know its coming.  It’s more like I can’t believe that it’s coming…for me!

I’m sure it’s gonna get a lot more real soon, like when I have to buy my raised toilet seat or shower chair or grabber.  Or when I kick myself for not doing a better job of losing weight and have to KILL myself to drop 10 pounds asap (that is basically now).  But for right now, 73 days seems still far enough away that it has the veneer of ‘not so soon’ yet the reality of ‘not far enough away to ignore anymore.’