Hip Dysplasia


July 8, 2014

After a long and harrowing recovery, I got my hardware removed from my left hip last week.  I’m metal-free! The surgery was easier than I expected.  I was nauseous after surgery, but in no pain due to the local anesthesia.  However, the day after surgery, I felt like I got hit by a Mack truck! It hurt to move even the slightest bit.  I was pleasantly surprised that on day two post-op, I felt a lot better.  It’s very sore to the touch and sore a little when walking just because it gets jostled around, but otherwise I’m doing really well to have just have two giant screws pulled out of my hip.

And, I’m walking again. Semi-normal.

This is big news for me!

It has taken me SEVEN months to be able to walk without a limp or without much of one at least. Unfortunately, I’m still not totally normal yet. This recovery has been much slower than I expected.  Much, much slower.

I am pain-free, which is the most important and something I remind myself of daily.  However, this recovery has not been without challenges.

I am part of an online support group with members all over the world and most of them are walking normal in half the time.  I know I shouldn’t compare, but it’s hard not to.  My surgeon is very pleased and said it takes some people 9 months, so I’m really doing well.

But, really, overall, I’m thankful. I’m getting my life back.  I am pain-free…did I mention that?  And, I can do normal things like go to the grocery store, walk to meetings on campus, etc.  I am wheelchair-free, walker-free, crutch-free and now cane-free pretty much.  Now, I hope to be 100% limp-free soon.

I still long to be as active as I used to be.  I want to be able to go on a walk or hike.  I’m just not there yet.

I am remembering back to last summer this time and I just shudder to even think about it. I was in bad, bad shape.  I couldn’t do anything and I was in terrible pain constantly.  Both hips and my back.  I hope and pray to never be like that again.  Also, I developed a horrible case of anxiety and it was crushing just to exist.  I felt like I couldn’t calm down or breathe sometimes.  That, plus the pain.  There were times when I thought to myself that I didn’t want to live any more. I can’t imagine thinking that now. I didn’t want to hurt myself or anything like that, but I couldn’t see straight through chronic pain and anxiety.

I remember going to various doctors and just feeling desperate for help and literally crying in the waiting room I was in so much pain.  I remember showing up to work looking like a mess. I remember going home at lunch every day to ice my hips.  I remember going to my parents house every single night for months to soak in their jacuzzi for some relief.  I remember being terrified of the babies’ impending arrival because of the shape I was in. I remember my harried east coast tour to find a surgeon.

It was so hard for me to imagine getting out of that mess and now a year later, things are incredibly, unbelievably better.  It was a tough year, but recovery from surgery while tough, long, and challenging, was still better than the pain beforehand.

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that breaking my pelvis in three places and moving things around made the pain go away.  That’s ok, because I don’t understand lots of things, like airplanes.

God pulled me through yet another life challenge.  I’m not exactly sure what the lesson is, but I know that I thought things were impossible and I was proven wrong.  I didn’t see a way out, but there was.  God always has a way. I didn’t having children was possible either. God – 2.  Whitney -0.  I think maybe this is the lesson. Trust. Blind faith when things seem impossible.  God has shown me twice now.  I hate that I need such massively challenging events to continue to teach me. I hope I learn what I’m supposed to.

I know I’m very sensitive to those that are handicapped now.

It’s been almost two years now that I’ve dealt with this and it’s ongoing.  It’s also been an interesting social experiment being out in public in a wheelchair, in the grocery cart things, with a cane, etc.  And, people definitely don’t expect to see someone my age with a walker.  But, I’m lucky that I have a chance and every hope of one day being better again. But, I also know that is something I could struggle with for the rest of my life.

I don’t know what the future holds.  I have hip dysplasia on both sides and in theory I need the same surgery on the other side.  But, for now, I’m ok and we are not going to schedule surgery on that side. I’m hoping and praying for a miracle that I continue to do well and won’t need surgery on the other hip.

And, those two huge screws…well, they’re hanging on my bulletin board and when I look at them I will remember that God can get me through the darkest days.

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