I also have hip dysplasia which means my hip structure is slightly off and I *may* need a more complex surgery down the line... this surgery was actually good news for me as it was the less invasive option.
Some Lessons Learned:
Surgical Planning & Insurance
Google is your friend. So Many people had amazing blogs on their surgery and recovery detailing what they went through day by day--- this helped me immensely as I knew what to expect and what my recovery timeline looked like.
Insurance companies are not your friend! Thank god my company offered a go-between service. In network vs. out of network, hospitals getting pre-approval before doing testing--lots of little things can save you thousands of dollars so if you have the time making sure you understand billing ahead of time is key.
Your jobs benefits are so much more important than you realize! I am on short-term disability which is keeping me paid. Really not sure how taking 6 weeks off work would work without out.
Experience trumps youth when it comes to doctors – I got 3 opinions and 2 surgeons wanted to do a much more complicated procedure to fix my dysplasia (PAO surgery). One of the top surgeons is here in LA so I made a consultation with him (even though he doesn’t take insurance) and he was the one who caught the impingement and who said he just didn’t “feel” the need to fix it… all the younger ones just wanted to cut.
Another thing to note here: Surgeons don’t account for a lot of the fees associated with surgery it’s actually the hospital so sometimes its worth paying an extra couple of thousand for the best if the hospital is still in network—make sure you call them before you just dismiss it!
Diet and Natural Medicine can do so much more for you then you know! I have actually had the tear for 2 years but I was misdiagnosed over & over again (despite bringing the right diagnosis to doctors). In that time I took up yoga, acupuncture, pilates, and took several supplements and somehow I got myself to the point where I completed the Malibu Triathlon. I still wasn’t healed and knew something was wrong but the doctors think that my lifestyle is what has kept my hip strong despite my dysplasia—I highly recommend trying natural medicine first, even if it just serves the purpose of getting you in better shape before the surgery.
They are not for everyone, for me they are evil – I am not sure what happened in the surgery or the hour after but once I was conscious I was begging the nurse not to give me more pain meds. I literally covered my IV and told them I wouldn’t eat until they got Kevin. I lied to them about being in pain so I wouldn't have to take any more! I was able to stay off the meds (and not take a single Vicodin!)—it was tough for the first few days but I felt so much better without the nausea, gas, bloating, constipation, and zombie like side effects—pain was better for me than side effects.
Note: I am on homeopathic pain meds (Arnica Montana) as well as several supplements and natural anti-inflammatories.
Oddly enough I am feeling a little more pain now that I am exerting my leg a bit more, but I discovered Arnica Gel today and that is working. I’m also cleared to go back to acupuncture so super excited about that!
Stress, Control, & Being Mentally Ready
This whole thing has been a humbling experience in how much control your body has over you. Our health is the most important thing because without it we are so limited…
It is also re-enforcing the importance of time—2 days ago I felt like I could go back to work, today my body decided I needed to sleep all day and my leg was in intense pain… you think you’re good but you’re not.
I think the hardest part is outwardly you look OK to everyone else (and even to yourself at times) but you’re not really ready to take on all the stress that life throws at us. Sometimes you don't get it, others rarely get it.
It would be impossible to put into words just how much my love has grown for my husband in this time – not because he’s the nicest or even an understanding care-taker (he’s kind of mean actually) but he gets up every day, takes care of everything I’d normally be doing, comes home and takes care of me, and still stays engaged in all the things I want to do now to distract myself… that’s a lot for one person to deal with.
Friends & Family
So many will disappoint you and not the ones you think. Others will shine brighter than ever—sickness reveals so much. Sometimes Blood means more than you think, other times it means nothing at all…
They don’t need you.
The Silver Lining:
I’ve learned so much as I still have so many weeks to go!
We said we wanted to do this since moving to LA and we just never had the time to get organized and get started… although I am not fully functional and sleep most the day this has given me the time to get this going.
I think I was more focused on work then getting this done – not any more!
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, while I don’t always agree in this case I’m a firm believer. I have so much more appreciation for having Kevin in my life…
Stay Tuned for more status updates and news on my recovery -- blogs helped me so much in the planning & learning process so feel free to post questions! Next week: I start walking!!