Week 9 post LPAO; dysfunctional muscles and sacral instability

Well today at week 9 I’m feeling like I should have called my blog “dysfunctionalbody.wordpress.com” because I am realizing now that hips are only part of the issues I have.  Right now I feel like my entire body is fighting me, with each part trying to do it’s own things instead of all parts trying to work together collectively.

I’ve been sitting here trying to describe in details what I mean by that last paragraph, but it’s just too much to put into words, and myself and my PT are trying to find a happy medium for my body….what I can tolerate to do to get stronger without freaking out the other hip and my sacrum.  In a nutshell my body has probably not been right for many years (hence all the neck and upperback pain I’ve hand for at least 10 years that I just choose to live with and not address) and the more stress I put on my body (back/SI joint injury 10 years ago, pregnancy and birth of 2 kids, car accident, working for years with adults with brain injuries and lifting them dependently then switching to pediatrics and picking up/lifting kids, normal wear and tear of motherhood and life, then added in long distance running–previously for years only ran 3-4 miles for exercise–and these insane boot camp like work outs) the less it could hold up until one day it just broke down.  As my PT pointed out I have major stability issues, not just in my hips and pelvis, but especially in my lumbar spine, as well as in my entire spine all of the way up to my neck.  I use all the wrong muscles to move and have a poor core/base of support.  Fascial pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, I guess it all boils down to stability.  I guess that’s supposed to be positive because theoretically it can be fixed, right now it is just is overwhelming to think about.  I’m so far from where I want to be, so far from being pain free (if that’s even a possibility which I’m told it is).  It’s just all so frustrating and I feel like only my hip friends (and I’ve made so many now)  truly understand what this feels like.  Everyone says patience, and I’m trying to be patient, but it’s not easy when every second of everyday my body is in pain and trying so hard to hold itself together.  Forgive me if I don’t sound as positive today, but am just feeling very low and mentally overwhelmed at the moment.  Overwhelmed by the enormity of all of this, overwhelmed as I look around my house at things that need done that I just can’t do, overwhelmed by wanting to do things with my kids and be a mom to them outside of these walls but just physically can’t, overwhelmed by wanting to do something simple like go to the grocery store and school supply/school clothing shopping but can’t, overwhelmed by having to go back to work in 5 weeks when I’m a such physical mess and in pain just doing basic life activities, and just overwhelmed by daily life.

On a positive note I was able to sit and bend forward enough to cut and paint my toenails this week (small victory).  I also have more range of motion in my hip in all directions, and am looking less and less strange when getting on/off the floor.  I can physically walk short distances without a walking device without a limp (but my quad and IT band on operated leg are all tight and knotted up from scope scar tissue so those muscles tighten up fairly quickly and then the limp starts which is one of many reasons I am limited in my ability to walk distances).   I know there are more positive, I just can’t think of them right now.  Had I written this post Wednesday right after PT I would have had a lot more positivity; however things can change quickly with my body.  I’m not too worried about my hip and it getting better, because it is……….more worried about the whole body instability problem and all that comes with that.

I try to tell myself daily that I will be a stronger person when I get through all this.  That all of this pain will prepare me either for a bigger struggle later, or to help others in their struggles.  I keep telling myself that I just have to get through this.  I still cry out to God frequently in my prayers telling him I am trying so hard to be patient, but there is only so much pain a person can handle.  Apparently he thinks I can handle more than I think I can handle, so I guess somehow I will make it through.  I haven’t resorted to meds, and would rather not, as the few I’ve tried in the past have helped, but they cloud my mind and I don’t like that.  Instead I ask God to give me strength to get through the days and to show me my next step I need to take and try so hard to listen to what he says and wait for it.  Sometimes he responds to me, sometimes not.  I try to distract myself from the pain as best I can so it doesn’t overwhelm me all day,  but still that often happens at night when things are quiet here.  I did call my surgeon’s office and ask to move my November scope up.  He was on vacation and his PA said she would call me next week when he returned and let me know.  I just think the sooner I am on the other side of that the sooner I can fully address the instability and see what’s all left.  However I’ve really prayed about this before making the call, and what he decides is in God’s hands and whatever the response is I know it will be for the best.  In the meantime I just need to be patient I suppose and wait……wait for the next PT visit, wait for the next surgery, wait for the next step.  Trying to take it one day at a time.  Thanks for reading, until next time.

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8 thoughts on “Week 9 post LPAO; dysfunctional muscles and sacral instability

  1. Julie – I soooo understand what you describe- and agree that it’s incredibly hard to convey this type of pain to others. For me, 20 years into this – 2 spine surgeries and bilateral scopes – and the instability is from feet to jaw in this body. I have not had the big PAO/THR surgery … and truly wonder if my hip is stable -will other things get “happy” ? ~ You are still very early to judge a PAO – so I am keeping you in heart/prayer that these are all healing issues for you. Would you say you feel more stable in your femur/socket on the side your hip was operated? I have no coverage anterior/lateral – and can feel the movement and pain associated constantly – walking and sitting are impossible. Please hang in – PAO is huge surgery — go slow when you return to work – and take really extra special care of yourself. Sending hugs – and love, Robyn

    • Thank you for your encouragement Robyn:) my hip socket does feel stable now, I no longer feel it moving around and clunking in there like before. The hip feels like it can support my body (unlike before), so that is positive. I guess I just thought that would have helped more with my pelvic and sacral instability. My calves and hip rotators are burning non-stop the last days which is really limiting, this is the same thing I experienced for many many months leading up to surgery, same pain but stable hip. Maybe it just takes time, I hope so. Thank you again for the positive words.

      • Thanks for your response Julie. I also feel unstable in sacral area – and pelvis…but I can’s discern what the difference is between the pelvis and the sockets. Aren’t the sockets part of the pelvis? So if you feel unstable in pelvis – does that mean you feel movement of the pelvic bowl over the femur? Sacoilliac joint dysfunction was my very first dx back in 1994 – but I never responded to therapy, prolo, blocks etc. I now think it was the hip the whole time… How does one differentiate? YES – it will take you time — you have more stable architecture of your anatomy now -but lots of healing still to do. Muscles must all find their equilibrium too – they are so used to firing a certain way to compensate for what was. I will continue to keep you in heart and prayer – I know how hard this is – hang in dear one ~ you will get better and better. much love – Robyn

      • I still feel clunking and some instability in my right hip socket, and muscles respond all through the right, and my Sacrum keeps pulling to that side so things are not stable yet, I also had a back injury 10 years ago where the pelvis got pulled out of alignment and my left SI joint took major beating for 9 months until I was correctly diagnosed, then months of PT before I was “fixed.” I believe those ligaments got pretty stretched out, and I’ve been told I have mild arthritic changes there, as well as signs of stress changes at the pubic symphysis.
        My muscles are a mess and confused like you said, they haven’t functioned at my “normal” in 2 years, and I now know they were never really normal. I should say I have a ton of tightness still, but the complete instability feeling of my hip falling out of the socket and all the muscles in 24 hour a day spasms is gone on the left. I am very grateful for that. I guess I didn’t realize how hard fixing the compensations would be.

      • thank you for more insight Julie. I think it sounds a bit like the right side is reacting to the changes … and that you are much more stable on the left. And yes – the si joint might be taking the stress/pull (I can relate to this as well)…if your muscle spasm 24/7 pain on left is gone – that is such a great sign!!! Yes – compensatory patterns are so hard to break… I know even for me, if I do a THR it will not be the easy THR that we hear about in those who are arthritic but stable. Instability is a whole other monster. Extra range of movement is a blessing and a curse I think…. please stay strong (spirt/emotional) — I will continue to stay in touch and root for you all the way to complete recovery!!!! x Robyn

  2. Today marks my 9th week post RPAO so I have been following you along as my own recovery progresses. I don’t claim to know about all the struggles you are going through but I pray that you continue to find strength. I laughed out loud when I read about painting your toes because such a little feat seems so huge coming from where we have. I don’t know how you have been dealing with your limping, but I have found that using a cane has helped me work on aligning my body properly and rebuilding muscles. I have also had IT and quad problems and have found a foam roller to help in working out the knots. Obviously with your other issues this might not work for you, but I figured it was worth mentioning if it might help. Best of luck with the rest of your recovery!

    • Thank you for the advice:) my mom brought me a cane last Friday, I use it a little, especially if I use the handicap parking pass, as I think people look at me strange like I’m breaking a law if I don’t have some sort of assisted device, lol. I started the foam roller recently too, it helps most areas, but brings me to tears around my scope scars. Do you have a blog too? I’d love to read it since we are in the same time frame, most others I’ve read are way ahead of me. Such a long road, but I wont give up, not sure about you but i just get down sometimes. Thank you so much for your positive words and prayers!

      • Even with my cane I find that people give some judgmental looks when I use my handicap pass, but most days those older folks are cruising past me into the store so I try not to feel too bad. Glad you found my blog. I have found that having others going through the same thing encourages me more than my family simply because they don’t know what any of this is like. I definitely have more days filled with depression than I would like, but looking back on before surgery and just in these 9 weeks since, it is hard to not see how far I have come.

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