Monday, November 10, 2014

11 months

In  my 11th month I decided to find a local hip surgeon who would remove my PAO screws. They were really bothering me. I had trouble sleeping on my right side and I still couldn't wear pants because the screw heads poked out under the skin around my belt line. At the same time though, I felt like maybe I was just complaining too much and I should just get used to them. I had spoken with Dr Downer's PAs about getting them removed and was told different information such as: You have to wait a year, Dr. Downer rarely takes them out, We'd have to see you in Seattle first for an exam, You can only have it done by Downer. Actually none of these are true. I then spoke with a PA who was involved with my surgery and he told me, yes you can get them out if they bother you. I asked about getting them out by a local Portland hip surgeon and he told me I would have trouble finding a surgeon who would do it. I found a surgeon right away and was able to schedule my surgery in 4 days!

I happened to find Dr Gustav Fischer who is a new surgeon at Providence Portland. He is a hip surgeon, but it turns out he also has been trained in PAO, which was a miracle to me because there are maybe one or two in Portland with this kind of specialty. I went into the appointment yammering on about how my insurance probably will not cover this, how I can't afford it, I can't wear pants, etc. I thought I would really have to beg. I had an xray taken and Dr Fischer told me my bones are fully healed. He had called insurance and gotten it approved, all within 10 minutes! Another miracle. He told me I'm scheduled for Nov 4th, 4 days from then. I really thought I'd have to wait a few months. He told me my biggest screw had a high chance of breaking, but he would do his best to get them out. He even told me I could keep my screws.

I felt so happy I could barely talk. I went home and celebrated Halloween by going out dancing for the first time in a long time. I ended up dancing for hours, despite my sore hip. It felt good to be around people and dance the way I used to. I kept telling myself to really enjoy it before I am yet again recovering in bed.

I was able to get my surgery done first thing in the morning. I was at the hospital at 5:30am and was wheeled in at 7:30am. I would be having a spinal. Right before surgery there was an issue with my EKG because I have an abnormal heart beat, but its normal enough for me. There was some hesitation, but I convinced them that's its ok because I didnt have an issue with my gallbladder surgery which was very recent. Everything went fine anyways.

Screw removal is a very quick surgery, its the setting up that takes the most time. They use the same scar line and open just a small portion up. They actually use a screw driver and drill. It takes about 2 weeks to fully heal. I remember waking up and I was still paralyzed from the waist down. I was also shaking pretty good, which I knew was happening from my body releasing trauma. I was very uncomfortable from not being able to move for so long, but my feeling was slowly coming back, which fascinated me.

I went home in a few hours and slept a lot the first two days. I am now six days post-op and have to wear this uncomfortable water-proof bandage on my hip. The first few days, my skin was very sore and raw feeling. I had to lay down a lot. Today I feel like I can walk around a bit and the pain is fading. I can almost sleep on my right side

I can tell that this is going to be awesome. I no longer have that nagging screw pain. I plan to buy a pair of pants as soon as possible. Ive been wearing spandex leggings for so long now, I forget what pants feel like. In another week I will see Dr Fischer and have the bandage removed. I hope my scar still looks smooth. I worked really hard on my PAO scar. For months I oiled and massaged it, stretched it, used a moxa stick. It took a long time to fade...but I love it.

It will soon be my one year on Nov 13th. I have had 3 surgeries this year and a lot of recovery. The amazing thing about my surgeries is that after I healed from each one, I felt a dramatic reduction in my pain level. I became more able bodied, more flexible, stronger, happier. I feel I can finally move on. I plan to start working after the new year. I can't help but just sit here and smile to myself.