Monthly Archives: November 2012

Honesty

I posted this site yesterday; i’m really glad I did.  I had over 200 views yesterday and and almost 100 today.  People are interested; people can be kind.

Appearances to the contrary, I am not normally one to put myself out there when I feel vulnerable.  I come off as strong and self assured when I feel like I can control a situation, in some way.  But when I have no control or when I feel absolutely vulnerable — like I feel now when my body is failing me — I tend to close myself off.  I don’t take calls or go out, I don’t respond to e-mails, I don’t make plans and I certainly don’t reach out for help.  I know this about myself.  It is how I tick, how I have always operated.  Unfortunately, what it means is that instead of simply feeling alone, by virtue of my actions I am alone.

I don’t want to be alone.

This blog has many facets.  It is a tool for learning, a tool for understanding.  For me, it is my little way of staying connected with the world and with the people who kindly want to stay connected with me.  I can’t promise that when I am hurting, when my body aches and sings with pain, that I will be able to pick-up the phone or accept a visitor.  But that does not mean I want to be left alone.

I am asking you, dear reader, to stay by my side through this.  To read these pages as a way to check in on me and to follow my little journey.  I do not ask for your prayers, but only a tiny space in your hearts and a moment in your mind to let me know I am not forgotten.  For your kindness I promise that I will push beyond myself and try to write, about my experiences, how I feel and how I am.

Although I know I could do this myself, this time I just don’t want to.  I want you to come along for the ride.

Preparing for Surgery

I am 15 days, a little more than two weeks, away from my RPAO and I realized that I need to make sure that I have started to get everything together that I am going to need, day of and once I get home.  It’s crazy all the things you have to think of when you realize that you are going to be out of commission for a while:

1. Order my Durable Medical Equipment (shower chair, raised toilet seat, rental wheelchair) for delivery to my house when I am in the hospital — Check!

2. Order sundry medical aids for use at home after the surgery (pick-up grabber, foam cushion, sock put-on aide) — Check!

3. Take a look at my Suggested Pre-Op Purchases (which can be viewed under the drop-down titled “R U A HIpster?”) to see what I need to shop for in the next two weeks. — Check-ish (this is gonna take a while but it appears I have most of the stuff I need)

4. Line up people to take care of walking my dog / feeding my cat while I am in the hospital (and once I get home) – Check!

5. Make sure all Christmas gifts are purchased in plenty of time!  This is a tough one because I am a terrible gift picker outer and now, I have less time to think about it. Ugh.

I think this is a good start.  Once I started to write it all out it began to feel a little overwhelming, so I gave up for the night.  The one good thing about the surgery is that it will be over and then there’s nothing I can do about it.  I can’t make my hip become unbroken — it will be broken and I have to figure out a way to deal with it.  Whatever I didn’t do will get done.  Whatever plans I have will work themselves out.  I truly believe that this will all come together in the end, and it will be fine, whether or not I plan it to an inch of its life.

Is it weird that I think that having a surgery that will break me into bits is having the effect of putting me together into a calmer, more reasoned person?  Yep, think it is.

Vacationing

We’re still here in Miami, enjoying the sun, eating extremely well and relaxing like we were born to it.  We have another day here; it seems so strange to go back to New York, and to my life and responsibilities. My surgery is 19 days away, a little less than 3 weeks. My first pre-op appointment is 9 days, my second 10. I figured I’d be freaking out by now.  Instead, I’m not really concerned at all. If anything, I’m feeling introspective.

I have never had a broken bone.  In 19 days I will have three.  I have had stitches on my knee and where the portals were for my arthroscopic surgery but none of those scars are more than 3/4″ long.  Each of my hip upcoming hip surgeries will require an incision between 8″-10″ long. The scars will run down my legs, be visible when I wear a swimsuit and possibly above the waistband of my pants. after the surgery and healing, I will have more bone in my body than I did before the surgery. I will be disabled for weeks or months, will stay in the hospital days probably 5 days. I will be, in some ways, transformed from this surgery. Yes, for the good because hopefully it means that I will be back to being able to function.  But I will be transformed, fundamentally, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around that.

I am waiting to freak out, again, but for now I’m just vacationing inside my head.

Miami bound

Today is Thanksgiving (for about the last 15 minutes).  A day for giving thanks and a day for turkey and family.  I am certainly thankful but I will be seeing a lot of my family in the next few weeks because of the surgery.  Oh, and I don’t eat turkey.  So we are going to Miami.

The idea came out of my husband and my realization that after this first surgery (and really the second since they are so close together), I will not be able to take a vacation for a while because I really won’t be able to walk.  Also, I’m basically using up all of the goodwill (and sick days) at my office so a vacation isn’t really realistic for a while.  So we figured that a few days in the sun, hanging out on the beach and eating good food would be a wonderful way to spend time together before the mass drama begins.

I have to admit that it might have been one of the best ideas we have had in years!

In terms of thankfulness, I am incredibly thankful for so many people. My surgeon who will skillfully fix my hips.  My parents for being super supportive and for coming out to take care of me.  My friends who will visit and who actually care enough to read all of my drama.  My pets who will smother me with affection to try to make me better.  My job for being so understanding.  But more than anyone, I am thankful for my incredibly and amazingly wonderful husband who has to put up with my whining and wincing every day, who has to pick things up off the floor because I can’t bend over and who doesn’t push when I say that I can’t do this or that.  He is always there for me in ways I would never think to ask and I do not believe that I could get through this without him.  It is for my most wonderful and perfectly imperfect husband for whom I am thankful most of all.

Miami photos soon, I promised!!

Calm

Today I am calm.  Maybe it’s the fact that I turned in my assignment for my Con Law class or that I am almost done with my classes this semester but for whatever reason, I feel strangely calm today.  I have to admit that it’s nice.

My first PAO surgery is 27 days away, less than 4 weeks, less than 1 month.  Before the surgery I have lots to do and I’m actually looking forward to getting it all done.  I have to finish my classes, finish my law review assignment, go to Miami for Thanksgiving (yea!!!), order my equipment, have two pre-operative appointments, work, and emotionally prepare myself.

My plan is to work through the day before the surgery. If I don’t work and I just sit at home I am sure I will freak out.

However, for today, I am calm. Ahhhhhhhhh…….

Starting to Panic

(NOTE — this is from 11/12/12)  I’m not sure if it’s the surgery of the fact that I haven’t really eaten anything today aside from coffee but I am totally starting to panic.  I thought that if I wrote it down in this blog it would start to feel better, less like I am freaking out.  Not so much.

31 days.  In 31 days I could grow a rabbit.  Or a skunk.  If, I guess, I were a female rabit or skunk.   But you get my drift.  31 days is the countdown and I am FREAKING out.

Oh, and as if to top it off, I think I caused a hairline fracture in my front tooth.  So I will be gimpy and basically look like a hillbilly if they have to remove the tooth.  I really really really hope they don’t.

One small step for multimedia

Dysplastic Hip

I like to think of this as “my right hip”

I thought it would be useful to actually put some pictures into this blog (which, like my law school books, is very text heavy).  So here is a drawing of how hip dysplasia works.  For me, this is probably how my right hip looks where the acetabulum is too shallow and not enough of the femoral head is covered.  My left hip has retroversion — the acetabulum covers enough of the femur but it is tipped forward.  On my right hip, they are going to tip the acetabulum further outward whereas on the left, they will tip the acetabulum toward the back, I think.  I have to be honest, I can’t quite figure it out myself (that’s probably not such a big deal as long as I’m not doing the surgery).

This is a great link to how the PAO surgery is going to go: PAO Animation.  I found it very useful.