3 months post PAO; counting the days until right hip surgery!!

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written on here.  I’ve been pretty busy with the kids wrapping up our summer.  We survived the last 3 weeks since all of my  live in family help left; although my right (non-operated) hip has paid for my increased activity level.  I’ve done as much as my body has allowed me to do with the kids to try to give them a little fun before school started.

I can’t believe 3 months have gone by since the PAO.  Those first weeks are such a distant memory and seem like a dream that never happened.  I hardly remember what it was like the first month post surgery (could be that I was on heavy narcotics, lol) and I am sooooo ok with not remembering much.  I’ve been progressing in PT with both my range of motion and strength of the left hip.  I would say my hip range of motion is pretty darn close to normal (maybe not normal for me since I have too much mobility in most of my joints) but normal for a “normal” person.  I get on/off the ground in normal ways now, can squat down to the floor to pick things up/scoop the cat litter, and basically position my body in any way a “normal” person can; however my right hip is limiting me in so many ways and is so so frustrating!!  Ok, more on that later, will try to keep this paragraph positive.  PT has modified my program based on how my right hip is doing, because some of the things I was doing were making it more painful, but I am improving in how much weight I am using with my exercises, as well as in the number of sets I can do.  My strength in the hip is much better, and my legs look almost the same now (my left, operated leg had really atrophied from the 6 weeks of non-weight bearing)!  I was able to go to a small local festival and walk around some with the kids this past weekend, go to a movie, and do a little shopping for school clothes for them (small stores, and only walking around 20-25 min. at most).  I think I am maxing out at my limit for what I can do both at PT and at home until my right hip is surgically addressed.

As I mentioned above my right hip is basically a mess.  It took a real beating through the left hip surgery, and it too has a torn labrum, FAI (femoral-acetabular impingement), and is borderline dysplastic.  I am set for a scope for it Oct. 22, and if during the scope it presents clinically more dysplastic vs. just FAI (which is what happened with the other hip) then I will get a RPAO in November.  This hip used to be less painful and less of a feeling of instability with more groin/hip pain, but over the past month it has developed the same unstable feeling in the back of the socket like it is falling out, and less of the front hip/groin pain.  I still see my myofascial PT once a week to manage pain until this all plays out, and what I notice is that when she releases all of the muscles around the hip my SI pain, hip pain, low back pain, and nerve pain in my legs decreases; however the back of the hip-joint feels unstable, and within a few days the muscles (hip rotators) around it slowly tighten back up, then when they become so tight they “lock” my SI joint into place so that it doesn’t move on the right side, which then throws off my whole pelvis, the left side tries to stabilize everything and it can’t, so it starts to lock up, then I develop pain down my legs and through my low back up to my neck.  Frustrating cycle!  My PT told me today that that is just the way it’s probably going to have to be until I get the right side fixed.  Patience, patience, patience everyone tells me. I’m trying so hard to be, because there is literally NOTHING I can do to change any of this right now except to take it easy and continue to modify my life to a very minimal activity level until I get through the next surgery(or surgeries depending).  I really was hoping that fixing one side would have gotten me more functional than it did, but no such luck.

Speaking of modifying my life, I found out 1 1/2 weeks ago that I will not be returning to work this school year as a school occupational therapist (part-time).  Initially my director was going to be accommodating to me working short days and mostly supervising the OT assistant and doing all of the reports/evals/paperwork, and my fellow OT co-workers were supportive of this as well, but as it turns out the needs of the district changed over the summer and as an employee I would have needed to treat kids all day long plus do the paperwork/supervision stuff and I just can’t do that right now.  He told me he really valued me as an employee and the staff at my school loves me, but he needs me to sit out this year and return hopefully next fall.  I was very sad at first, but then realized it was an answer to my prayers.  I was very stressed and worried about returning to work being so messed up still, and was praying to God asking if it was the right decision.  I knew on the days I was at work things would come up and I would most likely end up staying later hours or doing more than I should physically be doing.  I prayed for weeks for a sign, and none came, so I figured I was doing the right thing by going back to work.  I talked to my massage therapist about it, and she said I should pray for clarity.  I did so that night, and the next morning when I saw my directors number pop up on my cell I said another quick prayer.  He made the decision for me not to come back during our call, so I realized that was the clarity I was seeking.  It wasn’t what I necessarily wanted, but I know now it was what I needed.  I can now modify  my life so it doesn’t mess up my body too much, and maintain the energy I have and physical ability that I have to work with and focus it on my family and their needs.  After surgery (or surgeries) I can focus on rehabbing my hips and then after that on working out all the compensatory issues in my body that have happened over the past 2+  years of chronic pain and hip/pelvic dysfunction.

So as time continues to pass and I continue to go through this “process” I do see my prayers being answered and progress, it’s just not at the speed I would like it to be and not always in the ways I would have chosen, but only God knows what’s best for me, he sees the bigger picture of my life where I only see the here and now of things.  I just need to keep moving forward at my snail’s pace (lol because that’s how it feels) that I’m moving at and trust in God that there’s a reason this is taking time, and a reason things play out as they do.  I know I am learning a lot of things and changing through “the process” and I need to accept that I can’t change what’s happening or the pace that it’s happening at, and perhaps I just have so more changing I need to do before this all plays out.  Well, thanks for reading, until next time.

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6 thoughts on “3 months post PAO; counting the days until right hip surgery!!

  1. I really feel for you Julie. You are incredible and have so much courage in your heart. I am inspired by you. Good luck with your scope on the 22nd. I will be praying for you. Love you lots Ash

    • Thanks:) I hope you are doing well, one week out is so early so Im guessing you are in a lot of pain:( it gets a lot better in another week or two though! Everyone’s experiences are slightly different with this surgery, mine has a lot of complicated factors with layers of dysfunction I’m peeling away one at a time, so don’t fear that your recovery will be quite as slow as mine:)do you have to get both sides done? Best of luck in your recovery!!

      • The recovery does sound ridiculously painful but I’m ready 🙂 I feel I will have to get both sides done since the right has some clicking and signs. But the doctor did say it was unlikely looking at X-ray. So I will prompt them to look into again later down the road. Hope you keep posting about your progress and advice!

  2. Pingback: PAO Progress (1 Week 4 Days) : Day to Day Success | PAO Girl

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