Monthly Archives: January 2013

Check-up tomorrow!

As of tomorrow (Thursday), I will be 7 weeks post-operation.  Normally, following a PAO, your second post-op appointment is after 6 weeks and at that point, the doctor takes x-rays and says “wow!  look at that bone!  you’re ready to start PT and putting weight on that leg!”

20130130-190058.jpgSince my second post-op appointment will be 7 weeks post-op, I kinda just started pretending (imagining? dreaming?) over the last week that I had met with my doctor and that he had said I could put some weight on my leg.  So I’ve been illicitly gimping around the apartment, using only one or, dare I say, no crutches…

See how shocked and judge-y I am of myself!  Bad Emily!  No weight on that leg!

This method of getting around isn’t pretty and I am absolutely positive I would kill myself if I tried this outside but to be able to get around my Brooklyn apartment without banging my walker into each and every door and frame is my own little piece of heaven.

But, even better than that (and this is the really exciting part) — I have my follow-up tomorrow!  That’s right – at 10am, I will be at Dr. S’s office, getting x-rays and discussing how I have been and if I can (legitimately) put weight on my leg!  This is a big step and a really important meeting, not only for my right hip, but expecially for my left because in addition, we will be discussing what surgery I will have on my left hip!  Will it be a reverse periacetabular osteotomy (a reverse PAO)?  Will it be an Open Surgical Dislocation and Debrievement (an SDD)?  Will it be a combo of both???  Could it be a PAO with arthroscopic procedure??  Yes, it will be something and yes, I will have something broken (pelvis if PAO, femur if SDD, both if a combo) and yes, it is gonna suck but I am SUPER EXCITED!  Every surgery means I am one step closer to being better.  Honestly, let’s do it all.  I would be happy(ish) to have a combo surgery if that means I don’t have to have another surgery later (until the eventual hip replacement but let’s not get into that).  Anyway, it’s only a few hours away and I am psyched.

sinus problemsOh, and after that I’m having a PT evaluation at HSS (yea!) and a CT scan of my sinuses because of evil allergies / problems which is, however, a totally different story (until I have to have some sort of surgery which would be so totally par for the course).  But let’s not put the cart before the horse. (I did not draw this; however, based on my drawing skills I understand any confusion).

I’ve been reluctant to post anything new because, really, I am at home about 90% of the time and am either working or watching TV so there’s not much to say.  However, Guy and I took a trip to the mall (Short Hills mall, at my friend Patrick’s request) and Michaels Crafts and Macaronni Grill this past Saturday and it was fricking fantastic.

20130130-190112.jpg Guy, amused by the fact that we are at ‘dining’ at Macarroni grill (where we go EVERYTIME we leave NYC).


Me, pretending that I am too cool to go to the NJ and the mall (but secretly picked out my outfit days in advance and took the time to curl my hair).




Exhausted and weighed down with bags at the end of our day.  Wheeling around the mall on the hard marble and tile floor = fantastic, a breeze.  Wheeling over the plush, sumptuous carpeting at certain high-end clothing stores my husband loves to frequent = like getting stuck in a mudpit.

20130130-190132.jpg20130130-190140.jpgFinally, here are the planters I made with all the ‘flowers’ I purchased at Michaels.  Watering be damned – these are gonna ‘live’ forever!

Wish me good luck tomorrow and I’ll be sure to update soon!

Not so good, but I like it!

Tomorrow is six weeks since my surgery and for, like, 95% of the time, I have been inside this house.  And I really don’t mind, I don’t — I like it, I mean, I have stuff to do and work and it’s really not bad and I’m not in pain, just stuck here.  But it’s January and it’s really cold so going outside sounds pretty miserable which makes staying inside and recovering sound pretty good.

So in this free time, I started reorganizing my music, which I NEVER listen to, because when I work or study I need total silence (or brown noise – – like white noise but deeper) but I have time so, what the heck.  And I realize I have all these songs, one off songs, weird things that I keep coming across and thinking “why do I have this? When did I buy this.”   And then I play them, and they all have this energy in common.  This happy, rocking, fun beat energy and I realize, all these one off songs are the songs I used to listen to when I used to run.  Before all of this hip crap started and the doctors told me not to and that I might not ever again.  And I haven’t run in a really long time so I forgot about the music.

But now, now I remember how much I used to love to run.  I don’t know exactly what it is — it’s really hard on your body and, let me tell you, I am not a good runner.  I’m not fast, I don’t want to BE fast, but I LOVE that time when I am outside, on my own, with these silly pop songs bouncing through my head as I run to the park or a friends or even to the bowling alley (seriously).  I’m not good at it but I like it and it makes me happy.  And you know what else, it makes me really happy that I had this surgery because (fingers crossed), these surgeries will mean that I get to run again.  And I will never be a good runner but I’ll be out there and I am so excited about that!


Five Fantastic (F)weeks

It’s been FIVE weeks (and two days) since the big PAO and I am doin’ pre-tty darn well. Gaining strength in my operated leg and have been able to start putting a little bit of weight on it.  Yea!

Life is gaining a bit more normalcy.  I had brunch (at Aita, the restaurant across the streetand one of the few reasons I get out of the house) with some friends who sweetly came to visit me and thereafter I crutched my way to the nail salon for a mani/pedi combo. Blue and green sparkles!

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Sure, I admit, I am pretty much exhausted now and am going to have to take a nap but it was nice to start to feel like myself again, even if only for a few hours.

On the recovery front, one thing that’s been happening that I hadn’t expected is that I’m getting a lot of cramping and Charley Horse sort-of sensations/pain in the muscle of my right thigh. From what I understand, it’s caused by my body trying to activate the muscles and tendons that have been out of commission for the last several weeks. I think that the fact that I’m feeling this is actually good thing because it means that I’m continuing to recover but at the same time, they can be super uncomfortable and last for a while. Yuck!

I also decided to create another video (a guide to putting on your socks when you have hip surgery) for what i am calling my “Mobility Series.”  Yea, pretty much it just gives me an opportunity to make a video about the inane things that I do and have to deal with in the course of the day but I’m really having fun doing them I gives me an excuse to brush my hair and put on a little lip gloss so I figure it certainly doesn’t hurt (note that if you receive this as an e-mail and the video is not available, please check it out on my site because it took me, like, a whole 75 seconds to make and is totally worth your time).

Cabin Fever!

Yep, totally starting to lose my mind. Cabin fever is taking over. I’m allowed to start putting a little weight on my leg starting tomorrow (at the 5 week mark) but it my next follow-up is not for almost 3 more weeks. So until then, I am pretty much a homebody.
Cabin Fever

I did a search for “cabin fever” photographs but kept ending up with a sorta creepy movie poster but then, after searching for “cabin thermometer” I found this rare gem.  Log cabin syrup…digital thermometer.  It is just about as absurd as staying inside, almost constantly, for 5 weeks to date.

Over lunch I made a video of my mobility skills.  Yep, almost 60 seconds of me showing off my walker and how I can stand on 1 foot and shimmey side to side.  It seemed lika a really good idea at the time but, honestly, who is the target audience for this video?  I have seriously got to get out of the house from time to time!



The six weeks following surgery when you are prohibited from putting basically any weight on your operated leg presents a special set of circumstances. On the one hand, you are tired and recovering and need a lot of sleep and are happy to hang out at home. On the other hand, you have basically been in the house for six weeks straight (in my case, almost four weeks to date) and you are starting to go stir crazy. As a result, I decided to venture beyond my apartment door a few times in the last couple of days to see, what the kids these days call, the outside.

Yesterday I went for my disability evaluation with the MTA Access-a-Ride paratransit program ( Basically, its an on-demand alternative to standard public transportation which, if I am deemed eligible, I could use to get to my appointments and even to work since wheelchair accessible public transit is not really an option where I live.

The evaluation required that I use an Access-a-Ride bus to visit the evaluation center.20130108-184503.jpg20130108-184531.jpg

In the wheelchair and used the lift to get into the bus.  Once onboard, I was SHOCKED (see shocked face) by how many cables and belts they used to make sure I did not roll around.

20130108-184511.jpgMy friend Dave helped push me around in the wheelchair.  I am really bad with the wheelchair, like bad enough that the nice lady at the evaluation center suggested I take lessons.  I get stuck in corners, a lot.  I always think of that scene in Austin Powers where he tries to do a three point turn and gets stuck in the hallway.  At least I can laugh — otherwise it would be tragic.

I’ll hear within 21 days whether I’m eligible for service. Fingers crossed!

My husband and I realized that it had been a long time since we’d taken our dog to the park to run around so on Saturday we bundled up like crazy and Guy wheeled all the way to Fort Greene Park so that Boris could play with his buddies.

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After all of that activity, it was nice to have a visit from my husband’s Aunt Margaret and cousin Elaine.

20130108-184632.jpgThey were so kind and brought pastries, bagels and a cake.  We relaxed for a while — it has been so nice to have visitors.  Since my energy is still FAR lower than it used to be and since my mobility is basically non-existent, I have appreciated that people have been willing to stop by.


Next big adventure?  I am weening myself off of Tramadol and onto only Tylenol and Aleve.  Oh, my life is full…

Recovery Lacks Pizzaz

It has been exactly one month since my PAO. I continue to gain strength in my operated leg.  Unfortunately, my not-yet-operated leg is deteriorating under the stress of bearing all of my weight.  I’m more tired than I thought I would be at this point and sleep around 10 hours a night. I seldom have any significant pain in my right hip joint. However, the muscles in my right thigh and around my right knee often ache, either from the surgery, the atrophy, or the fact that they are all stretched out because of the placement of the bone. I wake up every night because of the ache. My house is filled with equipment — multiple sets of crutches, a wheelchair, a walker, the list goes on. It’s more than three weeks until my next follow-up, more than three weeks until any of this changes. I live in pajamas, I have noticeable roots and I really need a haircut.

Now don’t get me wrong — I knew what I had signed up for. Recovery is a slow process and I need to let my body heal. But like so many things, knowing how things will be is a lot different than experiencing it. And now I know, and it has become ABUNDANTLY clear, that recovering from surgery is really freaking hard for me.

This may sound insane but surgery was exciting!  Pre-op appointments, learning where the cuts would be made, talking to the surgeon, blood draws, getting my bag packed, waking up early to make it to the hospital on time, checking in, getting myIV, being wheeled into the operating room?!? These adventures were WAY cool! And then I woke up and there are people everywhere and alarms going off and I realized I was stuck to 4 cables and, oh by the way, the surgery just happenend and possible complications and then there’s the days in the hospital and visitors and therapy and going home and being on drugs and follow-up appointments.  Novel! Excitement!!

Then, slowly, the excitement faded and there’s not much new and novel going on.  Life is getting back to normal, although slower and less shiny than before the surgery because, well, I’m recovering.  I’m back to work (from home, for which I am really thankful thankful since it permits me to have some interaction with the outside world, plus, it exercises my brain). I leave the apartment a few times a week with my husband but doing something as simple as going to dinner wears me out. I watch tv or draw. I am TOTALLY ready for my tax appointment. And I’m starting to research what my next surgery will be like, because even if it’s another PAO, it will be new and novel and a little bit exciting.

I know who I am, that I thrive when I am busy, that the busier I am the more I can get done and the happier I feel.  I grasp on to exciting new things, always looking for something I can do next.  Recovery has forced me to slow down, a lot, to stay in the moment and to let my body heal. There is no glitz, no glitter or sequins. Nothing new to target my sites on, nothing special, just more of the same but less… It is me, slowly getting better, without the shine or sparkle, the new or the novel. In this way, for me, recovery is way harder than the surgery was.

Steri-Strip Free Me

Life is moving along quite well over the last few days and my recovery progresses.

On Saturday night, Guy and I went out to dinner for the first time since surgery. The restaurant, Aita, is really good and, lucky for us, located about 1/3 block from our apartment. Based on how long it took me to get there though, you might have assumed it was quite a distance away. Crutching is exhausting and slow, whether or not I use my snazzy Millenial crutches.

Dinner was tasty, although sitting was sorta rough. The whole structure of my pelvis is a little different and the muscles in my right side have atrophied a bit due to lack of use. As a result, sitting on seats that have insufficient padding causes soreness and general discomfort. By the end of our hour long dinner I was looking forward to my cushy recliner.

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Sunday we headed out for another wheelchair adventure and though I thought that the sidewalks in my neighborhood were already a wheelchair nightmare, ice managed to make it that much more unpleasant. Aside from my transport frustration, it was ice cold waiting outside for our sandwiches but Boris helped to make sure I was toasty warm (and I returned the favor by cuddling him under my coat and hood).

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New Years found Guy and I performing our annual tradition of scrambling to make our year-end charitable contributions. What once started as an error in timing has turned into an actual tradition. As you can tell, we would rather hide in our apartment than venture out on New Years (and my limited mobility would have made it impossible either way). I had a few visitors on New Years day which was LOVELY. I absolutely enjoy the company and appreciate their willingness to come over to the house.

I’m also back to work, starting today. I’m working from home but I anticipate that it will go pretty well. I have a good set-up at home and am able to focus without any problems. The key is to take enough breaks throughout the day so that my hip doesnt’ get too sore. I also started to teach myself a tiny bit of HTML, to hopefully make the site a bit snazzier (for example, the photos have colored frames and some of the words are colored). Like my recovery, my learning curve will undoubtedly be slow.

Heads Up – Scar Photo Ahead


Finally, I am very pleased to report that the steri-strips on my scar have all gone away and I can now see it in its full gory glory. It’s actually not that bad looking and at 8″ is on the shorter side of what I had anticipated. I am sure it will continue to fade over time but since it has been less than 3 weeks since my surgery (3 weeks as of January 3rd) I am really totally OK.

Oh, and Happy Belated New Year!!