I had my fourth and fifth hip surgeries on February 12th, 2020. It’s possible that these could be my final hip surgeries in my life. Although I think I have heard that after every single surgery I have ever had, it’s still nice to think about the possibility of it. That’s something that I’ve found during these difficult times, you have to hold on to every positive thought and keep it close to you. Since you’re physically immobile, probably bored, and in sometimes in pain, holding on to too many negative thoughts makes the whole process so much more. There is no question that if you have gone through a PAO you are a strong person. It changes you to have a major surgery like that. But, depending on how the journey was for you, it can also change you in a negative way. I used to be such an optimist. But, with the disappointment and let downs I have faced, my brain just doesn’t work like that anymore. All of my friends and family still tell me that I light up a room when I walk in it, and that I’m so radiant and happy and positive around them. But, when it’s just me, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. However, I’m working on it. I refuse to live a life where I’m conditioned to believe in the worst. I’m telling myself that my pain will be gone one day, that things will get better, and that I will come out stronger than I could ever even imagine myself to be. If you’ve gone through a difficult experience with hip dysplasia, you have to tell yourself it will get better. Write your feelings down, imagine yourself running on a beautiful trail, dancing on a stage, or whatever it is that you loved to do before you were faced with this. Tell yourself that you’ll be back there someday, pain free, living your best life, absolutely thriving. I don’t know if I really see a point in going into every little detail about my surgeries, but I will give you the basic outline. First, I got an arthroscopic procedure that fixed my labrum and a few other things. Then, I had my PAO about an hour later. I woke up and was moved to the Pediatric ICU. I had my surgeries on Wednesday and left Saturday. I had a few complications, I got home and got sick a few days later, had really bad headaches, trouble sleeping, and pain in my good leg. However, I prepared myself for all of this. I was 100% ready. I believe that helped me a lot. It wasn’t a shock that everything didn’t go perfectly. Last time I had a PAO, I had no pain whatsoever in the hospital. This time, I actually was in pain at points. It was definitely more difficult with the pain aspect. I was on Oxy as needed, Morphine, Tylenol, Lovonex, and Celebrex when I got home. In the hospital I also took Valium and Dilaudid as needed. I was ecstatic to be home and start really recovering. I took Oxy when I was in really bad pain. I took it approximately three times. All of the rest of the medications were supposed to be taken for three weeks. I continued taking the Celebrex and doing my Lovonex injection for the full three weeks. However, I only took the Morphine and the Tylenol for a week. I knew that I could handle any amount of pain I was having and felt like I didn’t need the pain medications anymore.
After these surgeries, I got home and was thinking about what I’ve gone through the past four years. And, for the first time really ever, I told myself how proud I was. I pushed through, I kept a 4.0 GPA and a social life, I got help for my mental health when I needed it, I kept going to PT and working out when I could, and I never gave up on finding a solution. Years of Physical Therapy, Chiropractors, different pain medications, a foot injury that resulted from my hip problems, 5 cortisone injections, 5 surgeries, and 4 years of pushing through. Look back on your journey if you have had chronic pain. Think of what you have endured. If you can get through that you can get through anything. You are tough. You are strong. Even if you aren’t in a place where you can tell yourself that, I’m saying it for you. You can do it. You will get better. This is not forever. DO NOT GIVE UP on finding a solution and a cure. I believe in you!!