Monday, January 21, 2008


The days seem to be coming faster and faster as I approach the big day. This past Friday was my pre-operative appointment and I came out of it looking like a real ‘user’…with tracks up and down my arms from all the blood work and unit donation. I feel like a real jerk when I’m complaining about donating my own blood for my own surgery…surrounded by selfless people who are just there to save someone else’s life. It hurts just the same though! I must have looked more pathetic than usual on this particular day as I left the blood donor clinic with a lollipop and a baby football (the squeezer they put in your hand to get the blood out faster). Okay, so no lollipop, but I did get a pat on the head and a “you did so great” comment as I left the room.

The entire day was spent meeting with individuals who knew nothing about my particular surgery…some who didn’t even know my surgeon…and trying to get answers to questions that had been flying around in my old noggin for a long time. My wonderful mom was with me to offer support and to answer some of her own questions…most of which should have been answered in my original consultation but unfortunately I went solo and only remember one comment from the 2 hours I spent with the surgeon…”You’ve got some messed up hips”

Here are the things we learned during the pre-op appointment that might be useful to those of you out there preparing for PAO surgery.

  1. Morphine is your friend after the surgery…but in case it makes you violently ill like your mother and grandmother…think happy thoughts and bring something to bite down hard on to deal with the pain
  2. Anesthesiologists apparently intake a lot of the stuff they prescribe. I’m just hoping the lady I met with has NOTHING to do with my surgery…because if she wasn’t high when she was talking to us…then she has a host of other problems that I don’t need her to deal with when I’m ‘under’
  3. Dr. Murphy is apparently really difficult to work with and the nurses find him to be in the pain in the rear. This is the best news we heard all day because the more of a perfectionist he is…the better hands I’m in. I’m not looking for a friend here…
  4. There is always someone who has it worse than you…so suck it up. This was the lesson that mom and I received for FREE from the cabbie on the way to the hospital that morning. To tell you the truth, I knew this one already, but it was a great reminder as I was feeling sorry for myself that morning. The cabbie must have sensed my apprehension because she filled us with horror stories from her youth that definitely made me feel I had it pretty darn good.
  5. Rock stars get nervous about hip surgeries too!! I can’t name any names, but let’s just his last name rhymes with Schmyler and mom rode in the elevator with him and his personal nurse and they weren’t exactly “Living it up when they were going down”

So I’m now 18 days from the surgery and have moments when I’m actually excited about it…followed obviously by moments of shear terror…but heck…I’m making progress!


Joshua said...

Sam forgot to mention that having a supportive and motivating boyfriend that makes her laugh consistently by acting like a moron is morphine in and of itself :)
Im really not that funny (as Sam has pointed out to me from time to time) but for some reason I get to see that smiling face of hers quite often. I only hope that Im helping her through this as much as she needs me to be. I love you sweety!!!

Julie said...

Hi Sam,

I'm 29 and had my PAO on 11/26/07. Based on your first entry, I think I had a similar experience... active, then life coming to a screeching halt with hip pain. I'm almost 9 weeks out and I'm doing GREAT. One thing I've learned from these blogs is that all surgeons approach things different. I had mine done in Cleveland with Dr. Wilber. A couple things to think about... fiber is your friend, be patient (everyone says that- but I just keeping dreaming of walking again and NEVER stopping!), and I've found that the whole movie idea is great. I also noticed you like Harry Potter. I re-read the series and I'm now watching the movies. I couldn't read for the first few weeks, I just had no interest... but it comes back.

Good luck,

PS. If you want to chat or email me, let me know!

Denise said...

Hello Sam,
This is Lauren from Atlanta's Mom and just know we are here for you and your Mom. By that I mean call us at any time, ask every question that's bugging or puzzling you, no matter how small or trivial, and stay focused on how much better your life is going to be after you fix those tricky hips! Lauren is just up to 12 weeks post surgery and she is a new woman. Neither of us doubt for one moment that this was exactly the right thing to do. And in all honesty the weeks of waiting for the ominous surgery date are far worse than when you are on the other side of surgery and every day represents a step closer to a pain-free future. Hang in there. This too shall pass.
Best wishes