9 Days to PAO

<<This post is originally from May 8th on my old blog, blog.com before I switched over to word press.>>


Every day ticks closer to “the big day.”  I have such mixed emotions about it.  Fear and anxiety as well as anticipation to just get it over and be on the other side of this.  I was feeling better once my surgical pain got better from the arthoscopic labral repair surgery, but then realized the more I moved and did functionally, my muscle spasms and chronic nerve pain came back more and more.  This has actually helped me to stop doubts about the PAO because those few days between bad surgical pain and when the spasms/nerve pain came back I was really questioning if I wanted to go ahead with this major surgery, so although I DID NOT want this pain back again, it helps me to push forward to what I know deep inside is better for me.  I’m not quite sure how to answer people’s questions when say “you look great, no more crutches, are you feeling better?”  It’s so hard to say no and then have to dive into this story because there is no simple way to answer that unless I lie (which I don’t like to lie).

Anyways, I did manage an 1+ hour trip to Target Monday to get some much needed shopping done before next Thursday when we leave for Columbus.  I was so happy and proud that I did that, until I got home and realized it was too much.  I spent much of yesterday back on 1 crutch with ice on my hip.  My hips and back were not happy with me; but it did feel so good to do something so normal for the first time in a while.  However; all other shopping involving more than 10 minutes in a store from here on out is falling back to my wonderful husband until the middle/end of summer at least, unless someone pushes me in my rental wheelchair.  I’ve never been real patient, but this experience is teaching me so much about it.  People say in 3-4 months I’ll be feeling much better, and not to be negative, but the reality is that my right “other” hip is just as messed up (or even more, who knows) as the left one, and until both are fixed this chronic pain will be part of my life.

So I thought I would take a minute to say what a PAO is in case someone who reads this is confused.  It’s certainly not that common like a hip replacement, but it is well known and documented on in the hip community.  PAO stands for peri acetabular osteotomy.  Basically with hip dysplasia the socket it too shallow for the ball.  In my case I have retroverted acetabulums as well, so the sockets face backwards too far (on top of being too shallow) instead of down or slightly forwards.  With a PAO the surgeon makes 3 cuts around the socket (basically cuts the pelvis) and rotates that section of the pelvis (socket) over the ball (femoral head) to give the ball more coverage, and then puts 3-4 large screws to hold that part of the pelvis in place until the bone grows and fuses back together (6 months to 1 year for solid/strong bone).  6-8 weeks non weight-bearing on the leg, and around 3 months I should expect to be able to walk without crutches or a cane.  Screws are supposed to stay in hip forever.

(Here is an image of what my hip will look like after surgery.)

I’ve been processing this all a lot lately, and fear is an emotion I often find myself in the mist of when waking up at night.  I am trying not to let it get the best of me.  I’ve really been reading my bible, praying, listening to worship music (especially Jeremy Camp, love him!) and trying to stay in the positive.  Good things often come out of times of hardship and I am seeing good things already in myself, changes deep inside that I knew I needed to make, but wasn’t really sure how until now.  People always say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, but a.) the Bible does not say that and b.) I personally think he does give us more than we can handle, that way we turn to him for comfort and strength and hope through the storms of life that are too big to handle on our own.  I know I couldn’t walk this journey without him.


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