Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17/14 Facing Surgery

So it appears that hospital table mom and dad bought me this time three years ago, in the spring of Nick's senior year, is going to get out of the closet and back at my bedside just in time for spring of Sammi's senior year. 

This time, however, if at all possible, it's going to be AFTER her graduation. 

I was already five weeks post-op at Nick's graduation and those stairs nearly killed me. I don't want to think about having to do that post hip surgery or miss out on Sam's. 

Funny how these things seem to be cyclical. 

Sam pointed out just now, "At least you just have two kids. So this should be it."

And this time, I'm strangely relieved. After almost six months of ongoing pain without any answers, I was terrified that I'd go in today and she'd tell me all that MRI-Coffin-Jackhammer stuff was for naught. 

Instead, she said, "It's precisely what we suspected" and then went on to read from the report, which was filled with more syllables that I could completely follow. The first half of the first page is reviewing the big pictures they took, noting small changes (mainly swelling, she said) in the muscular structures around the hip as well as "the large pelvic mass which was demonstrated on a prior MRI dated 3/7/2011 has been surgically removed."

Now, I didn't remember the date of that old MRI. But guess what date THIS MRI was done on?


Cyclical, I tells ya.

Moving on to the smaller field of view images, he wrote, "images of the left hip show an area of chondrolabral detachment along the superior to posterosuperior labrum. A thin linear cleft of contract is seen on sequence 6, images 16 through 20 of 32. Complete deetachment is not identified. (My doc interjected here: that means it doesn't look like hamburger. That's good.) There is blunting of the labrum. There is minimal rim collar osseous bumping of the femoral head and neck junction in conjunction with the subcortical cystic changes present. . . . The far anterosuperior labral margin does show a small area of high signal intensity on further review. There may be some early deceloping chondrolabral separation anteriorly was well . . .  This corresponds to the linear high signal intensity along the undersurface of the labrum."

This is why you must always get a copy of your reports to take with you. I would not have been able to remember two words of that in order to research it at home otherwise.

So, of course, I've already stared researching what to expect and watched some video of what needs to be done, which is way less horrifying than watching that total abdominal hysterectomy on youtube, so we're already miles ahead of that game. 

Both of the videos here show the couple of procedures likely to happen through tiny incisions with tiny squirrel-sized instruments. If you want to enjoy that reference more thoroughly: 

Since by the pound, I'd cost a good bit more to put to sleep, I think we'll go with special, really tiny instruments. 

You can see how much less invasive this is, if you have the stomach for it. Otherwise, skip ahead.

I also found another woman's page put up in 2012 to document her recovery from the same surgery here. Looks like a similar type of helplessness for the first week at least. Time to break the old lady potty chair helper out of storage too!

I guess where I'm at this afternoon, after a few hours to process and read through what to expect is that I'm not looking forward to this, but I'm also a bit more prepared with how my body reacts post-operatively and how to ask for help and take it easy from the bed to recover. 

I was reminded by my urologist last month that I'd been the biggest part in healing up so well the last time around. He'd been going over how everything that was surgically put back into place was working perfectly and I'd said, "You did good." He smiled and said, "Maybe, but if you hadn't worked at giving your body enough time to heal, none of that would've mattered."

I shall enjoy my last couple of trips to Houston and Detroit before immobilization, and get Sam's graduation celebration (and prom) festivities done, unlike poor Nick, who got his photos taken from my bed. 

And then I'll take this summer to let myself walk again and not try to beat myself up over the expanding tummy and hip bulges from less activity than this time last year when I was hard-charging at Red Rocks boot camp three times a week. In fact, now that I think back on it, in August, when boot camp was winding down I was experiencing hip pain during workouts. At the very last one, the personal trainers were moving through us, shouting encouragement, trying to get us to push harder. We got to box jumps up to the benches in front of us. The hard chargin' folks were doing full-on double leg hop-ups, but I was sticking with the step up (one leg, then the other) because my hips were burning. One trainer got all indignant that I refused to switch to the jumps. I remember thinking to myself, "I can actually say no. I know my body. Something's off." It took a couple more months for it to start to hurt all the time, but I wonder now how much more damage I might've done trying to please Mr. You-Don't-Know-Me Trainer.

Some years you get to be skinnier than others; some years there's just a bit more of you to squeeze. C'est la vie.


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