It’s funny. When I was creating this website, I copied over some of my more popular posts from a previous blog. One of them was about my lack of patience and it was written last summer. I won’t get into the details, but I will use this opportunity to update you on life and hopefully weave some insight into the mix.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, I should probably mention the fact that I fractured my hip as a student-athlete at the age of 18 during my freshman year of college. Within the first year I had 3 surgeries to repair the original fracture, a non-union, and a re-fracture. The short version of the story is that I didn’t take care of myself very well and I paid the price. Fast forward 8 years and we come to the winter of 2013. I was having a lot of hip pain and started physical therapy. They discovered a labral tear, so I had surgery (number 4) in April. I got about halfway through the rehab when I re-tore the labrum and had another surgery (number 5) in November.
I have an amazing treatment team. My physical therapist and physical therapist assistant are phenomenal. They’re the ones who first discovered the labral tear. When it was officially diagnosed, I went on a hardcore quest to find the right surgeon. Arthroscopic surgery to repair labral tears is a relatively new procedure and most surgeons have little-to-no experience with these cases–especially one as unique as mine. I found a highly specialized and experienced surgeon who is well worth the time I spend on the road to see him.
My family travelled to Disney World this April and about a week before we left for Florida, I started to have excruciating hip pain. My orthopedist squeezed me into his schedule and hooked me up with an ultrasound guided cortisone injection (think horse needle into hip joint) to get me through the trip. He then scheduled some tests for when I returned. I think we both knew what was coming.
I hope you’re still reading and that I haven’t bored you too much because I’m finally getting to my point. You know, the one about patience?
It’s been 3 months since that pre-Disney appointment. My orthopedist is a pretty thorough guy. There’s a new program for reading CT scans and he wanted to run me through the protocol before making any big decisions. But nothing is ever that easy. It’s a new program, which means there were lots of technicalities involving both humans and equipment. So we only just finished up all of the testing last week.
The day before my graduation in May, I told my physical therapist that we had 3 months. 3 months to get my hip back on track. I had a timeline in my mind of how everything would go. This CT protocol kept messing with my timeline. In the moment, each phone call I received that postponed the decision was frustrating. More like enraging, actually. It seemed as though no one was paying any attention to my timeline!!!!
But here’s the thing. Usually, within 24 hours, my frustration and rage had diminished and I was able to accept the news. I’ve even been able to find some good in the “bad” news that continuously screwed with my 3 month timeline.
I’ve been scheduled for hip surgery number 6 at the end of July. Please note: that’s nearly 4 months after I pretty much knew that another surgery would be in my future. If things had gone according to my plan, this would have happened at the beginning of June to allow for optimal healing time. Because that would have been the most convenient and logical thing, of course. But guess what; the world doesn’t revolve around me. And, I’m coming to realize, that is not a bad thing.
I’ve spent more days than I care to admit dwelling on the details and inconveniences of this process. But those days are like drops in the bucket when compared to how I would have handled things even 6 months ago. In my “patience: not my virtue” post from last summer, I ended with a prayer asking God to help me become a person of good temper; for peace in disturbed surroundings. It’s a process, but I really do believe God is doing a work in me.
Surgery number 6 will basically just be a hardware removal procedure. I have a lot of metal in my hip and they’re finally going to take it all out. Up until now, the surgeons have been reluctant to remove the device. While the procedure isn’t as intricate as others have been, it does carry a fair amount of risk. It will take about 6 weeks for the bone to fill in the areas that the hardware has occupied for the last 9 years. Those are some big holes, guys. The risk of fracture is high during the first month and I’m both fragile and accident-prone, which is not a good combination. So I’ll be uncharacteristically careful and obedient to the “doctor’s orders.”
But, as always, I am realistically optimistic.
PS: If this just wasn’t enough info for you and you have more questions, please visit the Contact page to send me a quick note. I’m really open about my experience with hip fractures, non-unions, bone grafts, and labral tears. There isn’t much information out there about some of these topics and I’ve had to do a lot of research on my own. I’d love to share what I’ve learned with others who are muddling through their own journeys!