Monday, July 7, 2008

Almost 4 weeks post op!

Just a couple of days shy of the 4 week mark and I'm doing great! Dr. Ellis is a no weight bearing surgeon so I am still on crutches putting NO weight on my right leg. I have found that I feel pretty good. I am able to stand up fairly quickly and without pain and I can sleep almost any way I want to at night. Honestly, that is the best part of the recovery - sleeping in any position! :-) The steps are not nearly as difficult any longer - I venture to say that they aren't hard at all! My first trip down the stairs post-op was horrible, but we've come a long way since then! For the record I don't recommend a Tornado Warning 10 days post-op...

I have not started any therapy yet, as there is a portion of my incision still healing. My gym membership allows me access to a pool and a stationary bike so I can go whenever I feel comfortable with the healed incision. Dr. Ellis will send me to PT at my 6-week appointment on July 31.

Everyone int he family has been great about helping me get around. My 16 year old daughter has been my chauffeur and getting into and out of the car is down to a science at this point. She even knows where to park in the driveway to make it easier for me! John has kept the house running like a well-oiled machine!

Last weekend I was in our local July 4th parade to support my friend's husband who is running for US Senate. I got to ride in my wheelchair and throw candy while my awesome son pushed! I had a great time and it made me feel almost normal to be out and about again.We rented a wheelchair for the event and had it for a whole week so we took advantage of it and took a trip to the mall before we returned it! Unfortunately John returned the wheelchair this past weekend so I have to crutch around. Of course the grocery has motorized scooters which are lots of fun. (GROAN!!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Week One Complete!

It's hard to believe that exactly one week ago Dr. Ellis was finishing up the last stitches and staples of my PAO and Femoral Osteotomy! Yes, they ended up chiseling away at my femoral head too! What an amazing week this has been; much to my amazement it has FLOWN by.

The surgery was a success according to Dr. Ellis and everyone who was in the OR with me. Since the surgery I've talked to Stephanie (Dr. Ellis' PA) and Dr. Ellis himself a number of times. I was out of surgery by about 7:30 pm and in a room about an hour later. I spent 4 1/2 days in at OSU East (checked out at 11:00am Monday following a Wednesday afternoon surgery) and am currently rehabing at my parents' house! I am getting pretty darn good with a walker and find myself chanting "Walker, Bad Leg, Good Leg, Walker, Bad Leg, Good Leg..." as I travel from the bedroom to the family room!

I am not terribly comfortably sitting here in my parents desk chair so I will make this short tonight. I will spend some time over the next few weeks catching everyone up on my progress though! I am even going to try and post a picture of the incision (it's vertical and very anterior (to the front of my body, not at the side or on my "hip").

My hospital stay was rather uneventful. Thank goodness my mom stayed with my at night though, as I had one night nurse who just simply did not have a clue! She brought me the wrong medications, pull on my leg to "help" me out of bed and was just an overall dingbat. I had a number of PHENOMENAL nurses though, the good far outweighed the bad (Thank you Jennifer, Lawrence and Barb!). The Patient Care Assistants were great too. Anyone who is willing to wash someone else's feet gets a thumbs up in my book! (Thanks Megan!) The doctors and nurses worked with me to regulate my pain constantly - I am amazed at how little pain I feel. I am fully aware of how bad this could be and am so grateful for the attention from Barb and Dr. Ellis to make sure I was comfortable after I left their care!

TO CHERYL - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send me a direct email! I would love to talk to you about Dr. Ellis, the surgery, the hospital, why and how I made the decisions I did, just everything! Best way to reach me is at this address: psmb (at) and I will reply quickly, I promise!! I am so excited to have a hip sister to share Dr. Ellis with! :D He is THE BEST, hands down! You should hear the staff at the hospital go on and on about him. Everyone, nurses, PCAs, PTs, even doctors took the time to tell me how much they respect and enjoy Dr. Ellis. It's obvious that they think the world of him!

I have a follow up appointment this coming Tuesday with Dr. Ellis (or Stephanie) and will start water therapy after talking with them. Whee!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

12 Hours to go!!

Well,here I am just 12 hours away from leaving for the hospital. I have decided that I am completely ready for this! Thanks to the hip group I know what to exepect afterwards, I am ready for the pain, the hard work and the therapy. I am ready for this!!! I hope I really mean it and that I am not just saying it over and over again hoping to believe it! :-)

My family seems to be ready and they all know their jobs while I'm gone. The kids have to keep fighting with each other, John has to keep them from fighting with each other, and Mom & Dad have the house ready for me to come home! I guess everyone is doing their part now I just need to do mine!

Thanks toa ll for the for the love, thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes!! I'll check in as soon as I can!

In the meantime I will keep track of how many people say to me, "Perioste-what?"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Almost There...

Well, just about 60 hours away from my surgery and I am fairly calm. I think I have everything in order at this point! EVERYONE just keeps asking me if I'm nervous. I wasn't... until everyone started asking me if I was nervous!!

My fancy Millenial Crutches arrived this past week. I was hoping to get red, but instead they are dark gray. Oh well... They are assembled and ready to go to the hospital on Wednesday. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I tried them out a little bit. I was pleased to discover that they were the "Pro" edition with ergonomically correct handles, making them right and left specific. In light of this I thought it best for me to mark one somehow. My right crutch now has a pretty green ribbon adorning the handle!

I have my bag packed, but am not sure how much in that bag I really need. I am sure that twizzlers aren't on the list of suggested items to take for surgery! I just know that I'll have lots of company, and I want to make sure that I have something for the kids when the come. Yeah, anyone out there reading this who knows me realizes at this point that I'm full of shit. The twizzlers are for me. But the chocolate chip cookies are for the kids, I promise!! I also packed a new nightgown and robe, the Sudoku book that the kids got me for my birthday and plenty of sharpened pencils. My iPod is loaded with music and my noice reducing headphones are packed.

Friday was my last day at work and I believe that I have everything settled with backup resources for all of my responsibilities. I'm sure they will survive without me! Everyone knows who is doing what and if they get to a point where they don't know what to do, they will figure it out!

So my plans for the next few days are to do nothing, just take it easy and chill out. I've got lots of hard work ahead of me so I'm planning to have a few easy laid back days before!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

PAO Pre-Op Completed

I had my final appointment with Dr. Ellis this week. I am all cleared for surgery on June 11th. I feel SO incredibly empowered walking into his office armed with the knowledge I've gleaned from the Hip Sisters! He was able to answer the great questions I had and even had a few for me! :-) I now have appointments to bank my blood and a prescription for Millennial Crutches! I'll take the script to the Medical Supply store tomorrow.

I owe such a debt of gratitude to all of the phenomenal gals who shared their experience and knowledge with me prior to my appointment. I would have never know what to talk tot he doctor about if I hadn't found the Yahoo! Hippy Women group or the circle of blogs here on PAO.

I am totally ready for this surgery. I am totally NOT ready for the blood thinning shots. My dad has agreed to give them to me. Thanks Dad!

There's No Place Like Home!

Okay, I'm back... seems I've not been very diligent in keeping this up to date, but I vow to get better! I promised to fill you in on the rest of the hip arthroscopy story, so here goes...

Once I got home after getting thrown out of the hospital it didn't really get much better. My dad and husband had to CARRY my up the two steps to the front porch so I could get in the house. The crutches didn't seem to do very well, as my left leg had virtually NO feeling. I've discovered that it is hard to walk on crutches when your "good leg" is actually a bad leg. Once they carried me into the house I made it to the kitchen table to find flowers and twizzlers! Woohoo twizzlers - John's the best! The flowers were nice too! :-) Then I parked myself on the couch for the night. My son decided to sleep downstairs on the floor to be close in case I needed anything. (He's such a good nurse).

About an hour or so after getting home I realized that I was going to have to get to the bathroom. I thought about it for quite a while and worked up the confidence to stand up. I got my crutches on my right side to help me stand up. Good left leg and crutches on the right, just like that told me at the hospital! I got about halfway up and crumpled right down onto the floor. So, there I laid in a pile on the floor with my mom and son staring at me, mortified!! I eventually managed to pull myself up on the couch and then get up to the bathroom. In the night I had to go to the bathroom again, and the event repeated itself. Yes, I fell TWICE that night.

I should have been in the hospital. Do you hear me OSU East? I should have stayed in the hospital!

When I went back to see Dr. Ellis' assistant Stephanie to have my stitches out she was appalled to hear my story and assured me that Dr. Ellis and the director of surgery at OSU East would know what happened. I hope my situation helps another patient someday. I know my insurance approved an overnight stay, my doctor cleared it as well. I just can't seem to figure out why I had to go home that night. The recovery room staff never considered admitting me, so very disappointing.

I ditched the crutches after just a few days (surgery Wednesday, crutch-free on Saturday) and did really well with the recovery. I have noticed a "tightness" since but it seems to be working itself out. It's been 6 weeks and I feel just like I did pre-surgery! Now I'm ready for PAO... here we come again!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Go Home Now!

I was afraid that I might be getting off to a bad start when the waiting room attendant called me back by pronouncing my name wrong. No big deal you say? Well… she heard my mom making fun of her!! I guess it ended up okay; the poor gal and my mother were good buddies by the end of the day! (Nice recovery, Mom!)

I waited for what seemed like FOREVER in pre-op, somewhere around 6 hours. It was quiet and I had a good book to finish so I didn't complain. (With four kids, a husband, a puppy, a blackberry, and a telephone, I rarely get to sit and read for more than 10 minutes uninterrupted!) I feel a bit guilty saying this, but I enjoyed the time to myself. Even I had to enjoy it in a room with 18 other people!

A couple of the dozen or so nurses, doctors, physician assistants, janitors and hospital administrators who stopped by my bed to query me about my current medications, allergies, pain and removable dental work mentioned that I would be spending the night in the hospital. Dr. Ellis had told me a few weeks before that I would go home the same day. Quite honestly, it didn't matter to me one way or the either. However, it was good to know that "most patients who have this surgery stay overnight."

I am told that the surgery went very well. I believe it lasted something like 14.3 seconds. I'm amazed at the total and complete loss of time during surgery. It's not that, “oh, I just took a quick nap” sort of feeling. It’s that the time is just absolutely GONE! It's the closest I've ever come to a time warp. I'm still trying to reconcile that I spent nearly 90 minutes in the OR.

In the recovery room there seemed to be a flurry of activity when I came to: people were poking, prodding, shaving, sticking, squeezing, taping, and blanketing me constantly! I was shivering as if I had been dropped in a deep freezer, so the nurses kept me supplied with warmed blankets. They pulled the blankets out of the warmer in pairs, tucking each new pair next to my body and beneath the previous pair. They did not remove the previous set of blankets, however! When we finally got rid of the blankies, I had eight of them piled upon me. In retrospect, this may explain my initial difficulty getting out of the bed. I had, quite literally, been buried alive!

The nurses kept asking me to try standing, but it was just futile each and every time. I had ZERO feeling in my right leg and it was not able to support my body. The spinal block had left me numb in my midsection down to my mid-thighs. My right leg was being pumped full off pain medication and I was still very cloudy in my head! Every 15-20 minutes they'd ask me to try again... I tried so hard to stand and I could tell they really wanted me to, but I just couldn't seem to do it.

Eventually, they sent my mom and dad to dinner and ordered me a tray of food. I asked my parents to bring me some food back, just in case the tray came with some jell-o and beef broth, as the recovery room trays aren’t usually enough to sustain a flea. Just as my parents strolled back in with cookies, my dinner arrived. I had polished off a can of Sprite and some Lorna Doones that the nurse brought but was dying for something real. The tray had turkey and gravy, vegetables, rice, a dinner roll, pound cake, iced tea, and grape juice! Yuhhhmmeeee!! I finished EVERTHING except the nasty cooked carrots and felt almost human again. The poor nurse told me jokingly that I had to finish my vegetables. I told her where to stick those gross cooked lumps of smooshie nastiness. She understood.

I could feel the full bladder up into my rib cage so I knew I needed to pee! The nurses came over and stood beside me to the bathroom. The minute my left foot and right tree stump hit the ground the bladder broke loose. I remember saying, "I have to pee... oh wait - I AM PEEING!" The nurse and anesthesiologist gave me some story about me not being able to feel that I have to go (yet they think I can WALK?!?!?)

As a reward for my efforts I was returned to the bed and given a shiny new catheter!! Just what I've always wanted...

Almost a half hour later I was the only one left in the recovery room and I pointed out to the nurse that my doctor said I could stay if I needed to. I thought maybe he didn’t tell anyone else. The nurse gave me a quick, “Yeah” and then ignored me.

Within a few minutes the nurses came over, held me up by my either arm, pronounced me "standing", put me in a wheelchair and SENT ME HOME! My dad got the car, my mom stood by speechless and they wheeled me out at 7:15 pm.

Yeah, it all happened that suddenly. Slam, bam thank you ma’am, now get the hell out! I was put out so fast that I didn’t have to time to protest or argue or anything. Who would’ve ever thought that I wouldn’t have time to argue! Ha ha ha!!

The night went downhill from there... more on that another time!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Journey Begins

At birth I was diagnosed with what the doctors called Congenital Hips, now commonly known as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. The doctors diagnosed my condition at birth and I was rewarded with a shiny new brace to wear for the next 12-18 months. Rumor has it that the doctors felt I might never walk. They were wrong! I have been walking, running, jogging, cycling, hopping, skipping, dancing, frolicking and jumping through life for almost 36 years now!

About a year ago I began experiencing a great deal of pain in my groin and right leg. I pretended it didn't exist for a while and then took Advil to hide the pain when I couldn't ignore it. Eventually my mom noticed the limping and we were off to her orthopedist! Dr. Keith Berend with
Joint Implant Surgeons in New Albany, Ohio reviewed my x-rays and diagnosed moderate dysplastic hips. This was obviously not news to me!

I then had an MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), an MRI with the added bonus of dye injected into the hip! The MRA revealed some arthritis and a tear to my labrum. The labrum is a “gasket” that surrounds the rim of the hip socket. Dysplastic hips are characterized by shallow sockets and labral tears occur due to the way the femoral head (ball) sits at the edge of the acetabulum (socket). Due to the findings, Dr. B referred me Dr. Thomas Ellis at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Ellis and his PA, Stephanie, reviewed my x-rays and MRA then talked to me at great length about my options. After careful consideration I opted to schedule an arthroscopy (scope) of my hip then, at a late date, the Periacetabular Osteotomy. The scope would allow Dr. E to repair the torn labrum, debried (clean out) any arthritis chunks in my hip and determine the level of damage already done to my hip. Too much damage in there and I wouldn’t be a candidate for PAO at all. Then the only option would be to wait until I was old and crippled enough for a Total Hip Arthroscopy (replacement).

On March 19, 2008 I went under the knife at OSU East! Dr. E decided NOT to repair or debried my hip during the scope, but to just wait and fix it all when he opened me up for PAO. I have since scheduled my PAO for June 11, 2008.

For those of you still with me, thank you for reading all of this boring stuff!

Tomorrow I will tell you more about the hip scope experience. It is sure to be a thrilling post for those of you who get excited over people falling down, eating (almost) all of their vegetables and peeing on the floor!