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Learning to walk (again)

Posted Jun 05 2010 12:00am 2 Comments
Yesterday was hip surgery, take two. This time on my right leg. I can't say I was thrilled going into it. I was not happy about losing another summer to sitting on the couch and not being able to do anything without assistance. I was not happy about having to handle the pain all over again. But at the end of the day, it really didn't matter what I felt. It was another tear and it needed to be fixed.

I spent the day before surgery playing tennis with a great friend. I could not stop smiling- I wasn't able to exercise for so long, and now to feel the sweat pour down my face, to be able to run, and to breathe... this was the missing part of me that I had forgotten. It was calming and it reminded me that it'll always be there. I have been pretty upset recently that I turned into this out-of-shape blob. Exercise and athletics mean so much to me. They are a chance for me to challenge myself and to feel alive. Most importantly, they were such a good distraction from the pain I was feeling.

After playing tennis, I calmed down significantly and was ready to mentally prepare for the next day. I had already gone through this before, so I knew what to expect and I knew I could handle it. Plus, another surgery meant I'd be getting matching scars on either hip. Imagine the stories I can tell of how I got them.

My parents and I woke up very early yesterday and headed to the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. The whole day was deja vous- I remembered so much of it from last summer. It's always eerie walking into a hospital holding crutches, walking just fine, but then leaving in a wheelchair.

Once we got there, it was the same drill as before. Yet again, the HSS was so well-run and organized, as well as kind and understanding. After a bit of paperwork in the front, I am taken back to my own room where I get dressed in the lovely paper gown and shorts, with the lovely blue shower cap. I have to go to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test (standard procedure for all females) and then I'm brought back in and an IV is started. The nurse asks me questions, as well as the physician's assistant, and the OR nurse, and I sign more paperwork. I also get visited by a nurse to wash my hip, a physical therapist (I'm already an expert at crutches, thank you very much), the anesthesiologist's assistant, the anesthesiologist, and of course, my surgeon. After this big party, I walk myself into the OR, get on the table, and the anesthesiologist begins. After I was sedated and asleep, he gave me a spinal epidural (big shot in my lower spine) in order to numb me from the waist down.

Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room, disoriented and tired. I could not feel anything from the waist down, but slowly I got my feeling back. My mouth was very dry, so I started to drink some water and eat crackers. I was allowed to have one parent at a time, so each came in to hold my hand and keep me company. They are both wonderful and have been the biggest and greatest support system in my life. After I was up for a few minutes, I started to feel intense pain in my hip. I was given two shots in my IV and two pills. The pain stayed for awhile, but it was pretty easy to manage and soon started to wear off a bit. I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, so once I could feel my legs and wiggle my toes I was allowed to leave. My dad went to go get the car, and the nurse wheeled me down in the wheelchair.

Now I'm home and going through the healing process. My surgeon told my parents that the tear in my right hip was even larger than my left hip. This also means I now have the two biggest hips he's operated on. Not only was the tear huge, but I had a bone spur that was pressing into my tendon. That was shaved down and my tendon was stretched. He also saw a lot of inflamed tissue because of the tear, but thankfully none around the joint, which means I did not have arthritis or anything of the sort. My surgeon also felt that the tear was so bad that it definitely could be causing all of my pelvic pain. As happy as this makes me, I still think there are more things we have to fix. But I am ecstatic that I am on the right step and that the tear was so significant. I knew this months ago and tried to convince that horrible hip doctor in Princeton. Upon examination, he told me I didn't have a tear and if I did, it would be small and not an issue. I had to beg for an MRI. You can bet I will be writing him a nice letter now that I just went through extensive surgery that he was adamant I would never need.

My pain right now is not bad at all. In fact, I'm doing much better than last year. I am able to slowly move on crutches, and don't need my parents to bend down and slowly push my leg forward. I just need them to help me bring my leg down from the couch or the bed and then put it back up once I go to the bathroom. The one thing different from last year is I'm having really bad back pain from where I was given the spinal epidural. There was a little bit of blood in the hospital, and now it just aches and I have a dull pain, which I was told should be expected. I'm combating this by icing it and my hip as much as possible.

I think that's all for now. I'm in good spirits and ready to finally get myself healthy. I'm so overwhelmed by all the warm wishes, phone calls, and flowers I have received. I am the luckiest patient to be surrounded by so many genuine people.
Comments (2)
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I will be having this same surgery tomorrow, bone spur and all... This will be my first surgery fixing the my labral tear. Then i can expect that i will go back in 3 months and do the other side. So we will have matching scars. I"m glad your doing well.

Wish me luck!


oh yea, and i will be coming all the way from Buffalo ny. Then flying back later that night:((( ugh!
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