Thursday, August 25, 2011

Running 3.5 Miles Wherever I go

I'm glad my doctor, especially my Physical Therapist, has encouraged me to get out of the house. It really isn't healthy to sit in my desk chair all day, as then I'm either doing school, playing World of Warcraft, or reading the million webpages I follow on a regular basis. 

It still isn't entirely comfortable getting around out of the house yet, but I'm getting a bit better with the crutches. It's actually very tiring and I can't move as much as I'd prefer to admit without running out of breath. Supporting so much weight with your hands and crutches is HARD... but I'm loving the upper body workout somewhat. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO WORK OUT SINCE JUNE!!! That really sucks :( so for now I'm just trying to watch what I eat. Haven't gone up in weight, so I will say that's a relative success so far. CHECK OUT THESE BAD BOYS! (And don't judge my WoW calendar that has the wrong month...)

Around the house I usually don't use my crutches. I know my limits, I know what will hurt me, and I know not to move too fast. I managed to bake a cake about two weeks ago without my crutches, with some sitting or balancing on my left leg and my hands on the counters. I find the more I keep my mind busy, the less I think about the pain. I can still do some simple chores (although this picture indicates my room looks like crap... it really does hurt to bend down and pick stuff up). 

I know once I actually get the surgery I will be non-weight bearing for at least 8 weeks, though it could be as long as 12. I'm fortunate I've got very strong leg muscles so I'm sure getting my leg strength up won't be too awful in the long run. So even though it hurts, I still try to use my right leg some. May as well use it while I've got it, right?

Boyfriend took me on a date last night! Well, kinda... he got a new phone so I think it ended up being more fun for him! He got a Motorola Photon and it's pretty neat (I have to wait another year before I am eligible for upgrade... CRY). I was playing with it this morning a bit and it's nice, moves quickly, and does not appear to suck too much. Oh, he just called too and it sounds nice also! I've still got my clunky Samsung Moment (aka first gen android GARBAGE), but in retrospect I really don't use it that much. I end up using my iPod touch for most of those functions needing Wifi. 

Although he was semi-engrossed with his new toy, I was relatively impressed (and still am) with his ability to talk about methods in which we can improve our relationship. I'm glad to be in a relationship with somebody who cares, recognizing the future will be difficult, and addressing what we can now. We've been reading "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts", a book that addresses 7 primary concerns in which many couples struggle. I suppose we've seen enough bad relationships with horrible communication that we really don't want to go down that same road. I know that getting married isn't going to be a peachy road, but it does feel nice that I will be a lot more prepared going into it.

Yes, I need to get back to my biology paper now. Less than three months til graduation :).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Updating what you've missed so far...

So, even though my hip has pretty much messed up most of my summer, I've still had many good moments that I'm definitely grateful for! So far...

-I've gone to a wedding with boyfriend's family

-Helped out with a graduation party

-Participated in Field Day for Amateur Radio

-Finally got to get in the storm chasing action

-Singer in a real band gig

-Continued relationship counseling with our boyfriend to improve things

So, summer-wise, it may not have been the most exciting... but I'll take what I've got. I don't really have any recent pictures as the pain expresses very well on my face, so I haven't really used the new camera I got for my birthday back in May. Here's some of what I do have from June...

Since I'm not at work, I have lots of time to work on school. So far I've been getting relatively good grades and have a current 3.6 GPA. I've had a lot of time to think about my future and I have decided to apply for Masters of Social Work degree programs at a few different schools in the Midwest. I also landed an internship for social services in my town, which was supposed to have started last week but is on hold until I can walk and move around better.

I've been spending a lot of time with the boyfriend lately. He's been incredibly patient with my health situation and most of my social interaction since I'm not at work anymore. We've been working very hard at trying to strengthen our relationship and learn more about each other. We celebrated our one year anniversary in April and we had quite a bit of fun wandering around MOA and then going to an awesome Japanese restaurant :). So far there seems to be a positive outlook in the future, but nothing official yet. I will make sure to review the book we've been reading that our pastor suggested to us. I'm hoping we can get some professional pictures taken before I get my surgery next month. 

If you know me personally, please leave a comment or message me on FB (or anyway you can reach me personally). I would absolutely love to meet somebody for lunch/dinner or hang out at my house. It's been really rough having a diminished social life and I would like to see people. I have all the free time in the world right now... so just let me know!

To make up for my lack of social life I have been playing a lot of World of Warcraft. I recently joined a new server and guild a few months ago and many members already seem like family in a way! It keeps my mind off the pain and lack of ability to do things. It is definitely a time waster... but a lot of fun! If any of you want to try it out, give me your email and I can send you a referral (you get WAY more perks that way!). 

I think that's it for now. Thanks for reading :).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hip hip boo!!!!!!!

I've put aside blogging for a while. I had no idea what to write about!

Well, now I do! A lovely two month ago, I started experiencing extremely terrible pain in my right hip after working a couple of hours. I've had similar types of pain before, generally after working a long shift at work. I always pegged it as typical long day, legs/feet hurt, no big deal. After getting myself on a chair or bed for a few hours it always went away. Well, mid-June the pain started eating at me while at work. It gnawed around my groin and almost felt like I would have to pop my hip area. After dealing with multiple shifts with this groin-wrenching agony, I decided to see a chiropractor.

So, I finally get in with one, and have an upper and lower back adjustment. Upper back = felt heavenly for weeks! Lower back/hip= felt good for about three hours. That was on a Friday. I still had a ton of pain over the weekend. The next Monday, I finally call my primary and set an appointment. When I went to the appointment a few days later, the doctors were concerned with the pain caused by their movements. They set me up for a bunch of x-rays after the appointment, which were weird and uncomfortable. Get a call back the next morning saying that the x-rays were clear and they wanted to do an MRI. So, I go in for an MRI. I felt somewhat good that my hip was throbbing while I was in the long, skinny machine because there was no way it was nothing.
The next few days, I was starting to feel better. I had been resting a lot, not overdoing it on my feet, and being careful while moving around. I thought maybe it was getting better. I heard back from my primary saying that I had a labral tear and he asked how it was feeling. I was feeling much better, so we both assumed I was getting better. It was around the fourth of July, was working a lot of hours and enjoying time with my boyfriend and family. Life was good.
Until a few days later, the pain popped up at work again. It was excruciating and I could barely hold back my tears as I worked. Luckily my manager was super nice and found me a tall chair to sit on to check out customers, but the pain was not manageable. I was sucking down pain relievers like candy and those barely helped. After a few more days, I finally call the doctor again who refers me to orthopedics. I had to wait another week and a half to see a professional, which seemed like torture. I had to get a work release starting July 15th. I kept it easy around the house and tried not to do anything to trigger the pain in my groin. At this point it was worst when I just stood and often cracked when I walked (not a comfortable feeling). 

When I saw the orthopedist in sports medicine in mid-late July, she said she needed another MRI with dye in the hip joint and she wanted me to start physical therapy. She said she was pretty sure I had a tear with my previous MRI, but since there was no dye she could not see as clearly as she would like. So I went in for the new MRI. First they had to take me to a side room and inject a lovely needle with anesthetic and dye into my right hip. Thank goodness for numbing spray, but it felt SO WEIRD. The anesthetic felt so wonderful for a few hours and I had almost no pain. I was hoping it would last, but by the end of the day the pain was excruciating. I had to wait until August 4th to see the same orthopedist again.

Physical therapy didn't last too long. He gave me a few exercises to keep up at home and we tried some electrostimulation therapy on the joint, and the pain relief was short lived (less than an hour).

So, August 4 rolls around and I see the orthopedist. She provides new information which I have not been told. She said that my hip socket did not match the ball of my femur from the x-rays taken in JUNE (and they said they were fine :-\) and that the MRI indicated a labral tear. She referred me to an arthroscopic surgeon to review my case... more waiting. Next appointment was August 16th. I was going nuts with all the waiting. I had been out of work for a month, I lost an internship opportunity, I could barely get out of the house, I couldn't exercise, and getting terribly depressed.

New appointment brought some more shockers. Found out my labrum was about 3-4 time bigger than an average person's (the doc kept referring to it as a MONSTER >>;;). He explained the angle of my femur was not in enough, so that was creating such a large area in my hip socket. He said he could fix the tear, but since the tear was not related to trauma or injury he was afraid that it would just re-tear. So, then he told me he was talking to another surgeon to see whether an open-hip surgery would be a better option.

WHAT?!?!? Open... hip... surgery... WHAT?????

Ushered into another set of more awkward x-rays. These were so particular that I had to stand in all sorts of funky ways. It was odd and unusual; my x-ray tech obviously did not do a lot of that type of x-ray. She would do one, then have to call and check for approval or suggestions for a better x-ray, then shoot some more. 

Last Friday, I got a call right before the offices closed. Two surgeons collaborated and decided that the open-hip surgeon wanted to see my case. Arthroscopic surgeon is convinced this is a better option for me. I got an appointment set up with the new surgeon on September 6, though I will continue to call to see if I can get in a cancellation slot. I also learned today that the procedure in question is called a Periacetabular Osteotomy. 

This... has not been my year health wise. I figure right now I'll use my blog as a type of therapy while I'm going through my hip issues. I know I will be going through a lot more pain and hard work for many months to come. So, come here for all the latest updates! I will also start posting some other stuff; I think other kinds of writing and whatnot will be good for me as well.

On a lighter note, I graduate with my undergrad in November!! Yay!