Monday, March 31, 2008

And then there was one

This weekend I went down from two crutches to one. While it makes it easier for me to carry things and 'take care of myself' in general it has caused a myriad of other issues. The most annoying of all being a new, sharp pain in the hip that literally feels like my bones 'crunching' together. I'm sure that the pain is part of the healing process...but I'm ready to be healed already!! :)

I will be purchasing a cane this week and I'm hoping that I can only be half as fashionable as Lauren...with hers coming straight from South Africa. I fear I may have to settle for the Walgreen's special as I have yet to find one that has any character.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Congratulations and Welcome to the Family

Just wanted to congratulate my brother Rob and his wife Terra who officially tied the knot in Thailand this past Sunday, March 23rd.

I hope you have a great remainder of your vacation/honeymoon and I am looking forward to helping you guys celebrate!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

6 Week Recap

Last week I flew up to Boston and met with Dr. Murphy for my six week check-up. After several x-rays and some strength tests he determined my recovery was looking great and in about 6 weeks I should be able to ditch the crutches. His exact words if I recall correctly were 'there is no reason to believe this won't last indefinitely.' Of course this is without any long term studies on PAO surgeries and with the stipulation that I should take the next six weeks very carefully and highly consider not running in the future.

Looking at the x-rays with four very long pins in my hip was a little bizarre, especially with the gaps between the bones. He mentioned that the fuzziness indicated my bones were starting to heal and grow back together which is good news. His big concern is that I will be too active too soon but I assured him that I have been very good about giving the hip the rest it needs. I am to start putting >25<50% of my body weight on my right leg when walking.

The last part of our conversation centered around the amount of pain in my left hip since the surgery. I have obviously been putting the majority of my weight on that leg now and it seems my dysplasia is getting more significant as the weeks go by. With Dr. Murphy's suggestion, we scheduled my left PAO for August 21st of this year. He has never done two surgeries that close together before (6 months), but wants to ensure we take care of the left hip before it deteriorates too quickly.

The next step is to begin PT which includes lots of swimming and my regular excercises. My plan was to start swimming today but it turns out I have the beginnings of what looks like a staph infection on my elbow. It started out looking like a spider bite and over the past two days has grown considerably. My entire elbow is swollen and red hot. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to get it checked out and when it clears I will begin swimming.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Snap, Crackle, Pop...Clunk?

Lately I have had a lot of noises coming from the right hip. It does sound an awful lot like a certain breakfast cereal but luckily it doesn't hurt too much. That is until the clunking started. It feels like my hip is literally coming out of joint and not only does it hurt significantly when it happens but it leaves my hip aching and a pain that radiates down my leg.

I'm hoping this is normal, but it leaves me looking forward to my trip to Boston next week for my six week check-up. I'm assuming Murphy will be taking more x-rays and an MRI to determine how my bones are mending and how the screws are holding up.

I bet if I calculated the amount of radiation I've been subjected to in the past couple years...or even months...that it would explain my green glow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Big Weekend

This past weekend Josh made a detour to the Birmingham airport to pick up Craig and Jos (my brother and sister-in-law) who came in town for a visit. The whole family spent some time in the kitchen on Saturday making dinner...yes, even me. Thanks auntie Brigitte for the great recipe!

Craig, Jos and Bernie will be running in the Boston Marathon in a couple weeks and although I would love to go I'm not entirely sure I can get around enough to head up there...especially with all the crowds and people. The real reason I'm not going is because Craig kept stealing my crutches this weekend and poking me with them. Oh the joys of having an older brother! ;)

Also this weekend my roommate and great friend Ramsey got engaged. Congratulations to Rebecca and Ramsey!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

4 week recap

I can't believe that tomorrow marks one month since my surgery. Some days I feel like I have come so far and others I feel like I have so far to go until I'm back to normal (or at least the point I was at before the surgery)

What I can do now:
  • Get in and out of bed with ease
  • Get in and out of the shower and bath with 'relative' ease (after being left in the tub one night for two + hours I quickly mastered how to get out before I contemplated having another one) ;)
  • Use the non-handicapped version of the toilet (laugh all you want but this is a huge accomplishment :)
  • Sit for about an hour at a time without huge amounts of pain (stretching every 20 minutes really helps this one)
  • Beat my mom really badly at card games (part of the healing process)
  • Mastered the stair case...I no longer approach a stair and hesitate...trying to remember what the PT told me about which foot / crutch goes first
  • Use my hip flexors to lift my knee up in the air in the sitting position. I never thought those muscles were going to respond!!
  • Regained my singing skills much to the relief of my mother who enjoyed my rendition of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' this morning...Even Ramsey would have appreciated my effort here (no mullet wig though)
  • Crutch long distances by going to the grocery store...Super Wal-Mart no less...that's a lot of walking!
  • Make my own breakfast (okay, so this only happened once so far, but I think mom really appreciated it)
  • Pick my dirty laundry up off the floor, ball them up together in one tshirt and carry them to the laundry room with my crutches

For me these are all huge accomplishments and I hope there are many more to come. With exception to a couple days last week when I was in significant pain, I am still completely off the pain meds although it helps having tylenol around...and plenty of it.

The Picture Re-cap

Pre Surgery - flight to Boston and the Last Supper

Post-Surgery (hospital): Pain pump...and five minutes later

Post-Surgery: First supper and three weeks later

Lucky Girl...

Over the past couple weeks at home I have had an amazing amount of support from family and friends. I can't tell you what a blessing it is to have so many people praying for me, sending me funny emails and voicemails (since I'm not good at answering the phone anymore), sending me books, movies (Liz and Ryan), beautiful scarfs (Belinda and mom) snacks which got me through many a pout session (WCMC office), teddy bears and more beautiful flowers (see pictures below) and sticking by me during a very difficult time when I KNOW I'm at my worst.

I just wanted to thank all of you again for being so patient, motivating and thoughtful.

The Finley Family sent me beautiful flowers...thank you so much for thinking of me!

Dipak, a good friend from work, sent me the greenery he promised! :)

The Tinevez family (Brigitte, Paul, Noah, Sam, Ben and Justin) sent me a gorgeous arrangement of flowers...don't let the fact I'm in the picture take away from how beautiful these were! :)

Monday, March 03, 2008


During my daily workouts last week I tried to incorporate some stomach crunches and even upped the weights when 'pumping iron'... I think I added a whole 3 pounds when doing my bicep curls...impressive, I know! ;)

I'm not sure what went wrong but at some point I overextended and it resulted in five days of a lot of additional pain and swelling in my hip. I also had a radiating pain down my leg into my knee and tingling in my toes. Mom took my blood this morning and we will find out tomorrow if I might have a small blood clot. The pain has decreased this morning but the swelling is still pretty significant. Even with all the swelling, there are times I can swear I feel one of the screws poking out of my hip and that feeling is so bizarre.

We also noticed that I was walking a bit bow-legged with my crutches and when I stand straight my right leg almost appears longer than the left. So I'm sure I'm creating a great mental image...huge swollen right hip with a screw poking at the surface and me leaning to the left because I'm lop-sided. If you were also to see my many looks of pajama bottoms and oversized t-shirts you would assuredly nominate me for a makeover show. :)

On a more positive note, this weekend I had some good friends come over to visit and that definitely lifted my spirits. Thanks for making the long drive guys and thank you to my parents for being great hosts! :)