PAO Surgery: 4 Weeks Post-Op

Hello all! This is my 4-week post-op surgery update. Where to start? I am still experiencing some “burning” and tightness in my pelvic region muscles, but this seems to be a normal part of the healing process. There is still some substantial bruising on my right quad and glute. I have been staying on schedule with extra strength Tylenol and muscle relaxer to continue managing pain and discomfort. They must be working because it is now 6:00am on Tuesday morning, and I haven’t taken them since last night at approximately 8:00am, and I am feeling it in my right quad muscle and also feeling the nerve pain, which I haven’t felt for quite some time. I will try to stay on schedule with those a little more. If it is working, don’t change it is my mentality for now!

One thing I will mention is a few frustrations I have experienced, which are eye opening and overall really a blessing in disguise (once again). I was so blessed to have a lot of help at the very beginning. Now I am back to doing a little more for myself, which I am finding has it’s pros and cons. Like I said, I like being independent but was having to face that I needed to depend on others to help me out, especially earlier on in recovery. Now that Sean is back at work, and Mom and Dad are back at home, I have to fend for myself a little more. Let me tell you, it takes about ten times longer to do anything that you want to do around the house. This includes basic stuff like preparing food, coffee, tea, etc. Trying to change my clothes or Ted hose by myself seems nearly impossible. It is just the little things that you might not think of that are frustrating.

On Sunday we had a tornado warning, so I had to maneuver my way to the basement with the dog by myself because I was home alone. Needless to say this was interesting. It all worked out, but Sean was nervous because if I fall or something, then there is no one around to help me. I am glad though that I remembered that although I only need one crutch while walking down the stairs, I do need both crutches when I finally reach the basement or my destination. I failed to remember this the first time I went from our main floor to the basement. Luckily mom was around then and was able to get my other crutch for me.

Another thing is realizing how much people stare at you when you are on a walker or give you a “look” of sympathy. It doesn’t really bother me that much, but it is something that I am cognizant of now because it will make me more aware of whether I am doing this and making someone feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, many people are very gracious and accommodating. For instance, I went to the restroom. Sean offered to help, but I declined (again, that independent person inside me!). However, I failed to think of the fact that pushing open a heavy door and keeping it open while trying to maneuver a walker into the restroom proves to be more difficult than one would think. Luckily, there was a nice gentleman coming out of the men’s restroom that offered to hold the door for me! It made the process so much less frustrating. Thank God for good and thoughtful people!

One last observation is the lack handicap accessible accommodations and facilities. Oh my! I am still not sure I understand the scope of this issue, but I did make a few observations while attending a wedding over the weekend and being out of the house for quite some time because of that. I was a personal attendant in a wedding, and I felt horrible because I was not able to “be right there”, as a lot of the places they were taking pictures, I could not access by wheelchair. Now, talk about things we take for granted. Also, there was accessibility to the ceremony by wheelchair but the avenue to get there made it more of a hassle; therefore, Sean and I elected to stay in a location that was more convenient to watch the ceremony from.

Once we got to the reception, I needed to use the restroom again (imagine that! Every like half-hour…also not easy on no weight bearing, lol). I hadn’t brought in my walker, as I intended on just using my wheelchair at the reception for the night; however, I maneuvered the wheelchair into the stall, which appeared to be intended for handicap use as it was the largest of the three stalls. I wheeled the chair into the stall, locked the brakes, and attempted to stand out to use the toilet; however, there was absolutely no room for me to stand up and access the toilet. I had to wheel back out of the restroom and ask Sean to go get my walker out of the vehicle in order to access the restroom facilities. All I could think about was if someone was absolutely wheelchair bound and would not have had facilities to use in the building that evening. Would this mean they would have to leave the event they were attending just to use the restroom? There are so many considerations, and it is disheartening to me that individuals have to deal with this. I am a little disappointed in myself that these were not even considerations of mine prior to encountering these experiences myself. Like I said, this has definitely been a learning experience and growth opportunity for me.

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(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/3940718393447947/)

These experiences will allow me to appreciate things more when I am back to my “normal”; however, realizing that other have to deal with this day in and day out for the rest of their lives. It is something that we take for granted on a daily basis being able to perform every day tasks, be active like we want to, and in general, just live like how we want to or intend to, while others are not afforded that privilege.

I will keep you all posted with a weekly update next week also! Thanks again for all of your support, concerns, prayers and kind thoughts! It is greatly appreciated!

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(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/3940718393449673/)

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PAO Surgery: 3 weeks Post-Op

I am now 3 weeks and 2 days post-op from PAO surgery. Everything seems to be going decent still and as well as expected. I have just been doing some basic physical therapy exercises recommended by my physical therapist to get a head start on strengthening my quad/hamstring/glute area muscles and keeping my calf stretched out, etc. My pelvic region muscles were very tight and felt like they were on fire on Easter Sunday and on Monday. I called my doctor first thing Monday morning for a prescription for a muscle relaxer, as I had let mine run out thinking I didn’t need it. Lesson learned on that. The doctor’s office ended up not calling it in on Monday, so I didn’t get my prescription until Tuesday, so needless to say Sunday and Monday were long days, as I could not get comfortable anywhere I stood, sat, or laid down. I guess I wasn’t thinking very well about the entire situation; after all, my muscles were cut into and peeled back, etc. in order to get to the bone, so it is normal to need the muscle relaxers for a while they are repairing and everything is healing back up. I have to remember I am not some sort of super hero! I am human.

I have been trying to get out of the house when possible, but by the time I get down the stair, in the car, conduct the activity or whatever I am leaving the house for, and then do the same in reverse, I am pretty exhausted. I am able to move my operation leg (right) pretty well myself while standing, but I still have to lift it while in a seated position of while lying down. It just isn’t strong enough itself. Overall, though everything is still going well and as expected, I suppose.

Let me tell ya’ though, I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this Facebook group that I belong to called Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO). It is a closed group of individuals who have either undergone a PAO surgery or are preparing to. It is such a great support to have, as we all understand one another, can ask each other questions, voice concerns, and some times just vent. When you feel like no one else understands, it is a great place to go to remind yourself that you are not alone and someone does get it. I found this girl’s blog the other day through it. She has been blogging about her journey with hip dysplasia and undergoing PAO. Her surgery was April 4th (just 3 days off mine), so our recoveries are mirroring one another. She is very detailed with her journey, and it was so nice to hear someone else’s journey and validates what I am going through and feeling too.

With that being said, I am posting the following lists to help anyone in preparation for surgery, but it is often requested in the Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO), so I hope this helps!! The lists are broke down into 1) items for the hospital (and home) 2) Equipment (to consider based on needs) 3) Gift ideas (for people undergoing surgery or in the hospital).

 Items:

Gum

Hard candy

Deodorant

Lip gloss/chap stick

Lotion

Perfume

Pill organizer

Neck Pillow

Water cup/bottle

Pens/Paper

Loose/comfortable pants

Comfortable, snag free underwear

Comfortable sports bra

Headbands

Zip up hoodies

Pull over pajamas

Warm, loose socks

Basket

Puzzles

Books

Equipment:

Crutches

Walker

Wheelchair

Organizer for walker

Heightened toilet seat

Shower seat

Shower railing

Detachable showerhead

Post-surgery gift ideas:

Handmade cards

Cards

Hard candy

Perfume/Lotion/Hand Sanitizer

 Lip-gloss

Puzzles

Crosswords

Sudoku

Books

 Gift cards

Pen/Paper

Frozen meals

Healthy Food: Larabars, Quest bars, KIND bars, etc.

Neck pillow

Back scratcher

Be Intentional

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

“Children are sponges–they are going to absorb whatever is around them, so we need to be intentional about what surrounds them. The good news is you can choose your family tradition for the next generation. It is a choice.”

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I think the most important overarching theme of the book Smart Money, Smart Kids is to be intentional. Teaching kids about money does not happen by accident. The two quotes above are perfect in regards to being intentional with your kids when it comes to teaching them about money.

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One way to be intentional about teaching kids about money is to use teachable moments. Those teachable moments can be created or can be utilized by being cognizant of the moments that present themselves. Either way, it is better to be able to apply the concepts in their lives, rather than just “preaching” but never “practicing”.

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Another great way to teach your kids about money is to the model behavior. Dave and Rachel reiterate throughout the book that “more is caught than taught”. As a parent or role model for children, you must “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk”. You must demonstrate through action, not just words. The kids are watching and waiting to see what you are going to do. Are you implementing these concepts yourselves in your daily life?

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My parents instilled important values in me throughout my upbringing. They stressed the importance of saving for college, retirement, and did not encourage the use of debt. I remember being in about 3rd grade, and we were eating dinner; my parents started a conversation with my sister and myself about saving up for college. They told us that we would need to decide where we wanted to attend college because they needed to begin saving for it. This was my first and most vivid memory of money.

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Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s new book Smart Money, Smart Kids is releasing on April 22nd. On the Smart Money, Smart Kids website (www.smartmoneysmartkids.com) you can pre-order the book and get more than $50 in FREE extras to help you raise money-smart kids! The pre-order includes a copy of the hard cover book, the audiobook, a video lesson, and the eBook. There is also an option at the bottom of the website homepage that allows you to enter your email address and get the introduction and first 2 chapters emailed to you now!

Give. Save. Spend.

For any of you somewhat familiar with the Dave Ramsey programs and materials, you understand the concept of “Give, Save, Spend”. Of course that is one of the central themes in his and his daughter, Rachel’s, new book Smart Money, Smart Kids. In fact, there are three chapters dedicated to giving, saving and spending. The concepts continue to be stressed and trend throughout the book. Today I am going to share with you a unique story and one that set a perfect example for myself on how I want Sean and I to raise our children and teach them about money.

As many of you know, Sean and I are pretty big Dave Ramsey fans. We read his book The Total Money Makeover and followed the plan for about a year by building our $1,000 emergency fund and paying down on our debt snowball before we decided to take the Financial Peace University (FPU) course. We had most of the concepts down already, but we believe there is always room for learning and growth. No one is perfect and “knows it all”. We were looking forward to being refreshed and learning more in depth about the concepts outlined in the book and online.

Both Sean and I were very pleased with the interaction that we were able to have with other class participants that were able to share their personal stories throughout their journey to financial peace also. This was probably the biggest advantages to taking the FPU courses versus just reading the book The Total Money Makeover. One such story that I was able to personally witness left me in awe. I think you could say it left a long lasting impression, and it may have even changed my life, and the course and approaches that Sean and I will consider using with our own children.

One of the facilitators of the group had been working with his own daughter on some of the concepts that Dave Ramsey teaches. Yes, this was even before Smart Money, Smart Kids. He was one step ahead of the game!! Some people are just good that way J He had his been teaching his daughter how to work on commission, how to budget, and the value of “giving, saving, and spending”. She even had her own little “give, save, and spend” envelopes, which she appeared to be very proud of!

That little girl came in to “show and tell”, and she did so with such pride and confidence! It made me think, that is exactly what I want my little girl (or boy) to be like!! What a great role model that little girl was, and what a great testament of her father for teaching her the concepts at a such a young age (age appropriate, of course).

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It reminded me of a story that Dave Ramsey tells in the Smart Money, Smart Kids book where he quotes in reference to his daughter, Rachel:

Of course I am her proud dad, but as you read her words, you will quickly say to yourself, I want to raise kids like her. And you can.”

That little girl came in and laid out her “give, save, and spend” envelopes and was able to tell us a little bit about the work that she did to earn her commission, and what she was saving for, as well as what she likes to “give” to.

Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s new book Smart Money, Smart Kids is releasing on April 22nd. On the Smart Money, Smart Kids website (www.smartmoneysmartkids.com) you can pre-order the book and get more than $50 in FREE extras to help you raise money-smart kids! The pre-order includes a copy of the hard cover book, the audiobook, a video lesson, and the eBook. There is also an option at the bottom of the website homepage that allows you to enter your email address and get the introduction and first 2 chapters emailed to you now!

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The Power of Prayer <3

This may seem so out of ordinary, but I thought I would share because it was so liberating. I was talking with a friend, and I made the comment to you “I will say a prayer for you!”

All too often I find myself making that comment, but then I don’t do it. I don’t say a prayer. Once I made the comment to my friend that I would pray for her, I instantly got the urge to hold myself more accountable to praying.

I am not the most “religious” person. I am more “spiritual” and have been exploring that. I do not claim to be the most dedicated to all of this, but deep down I have a strong faith, and I believe in God.

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Anyways, back on track. I decided to be intentional with praying. I literally made a pledge with God that I am going to be more intentional with praying. I believe in the power of prayer.

I am no longer going to say “I will pray” and not do it.

Prayer

When I prayed, and while I was speaking with God, it felt so good. I felt a very strong connection, and it was just deep down a great, great feeling and liberating experience. Talk about FOOD FOR THE MIND, BODY, and SOUL!!

Invisible

I saw this picture of this saying the other day on Facebook. It reminded me of concept that I had been considering when I was mentally preparing for my surgery and reflecting on the journey of a couple of years that led up to my diagnosis and waiting period for surgery. I am not trying to throw a pitty party here, but I know that I am not alone in feeling this way; therefore, I think acknowledgement and awareness of is worthy. If not for myself, it is for others that struggle daily with disease, illnesses and other issues or problems that are not “visible” to the eye.

Invisible

(The Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria Facebook page)

I am not saying that people should be responsible for not being able to gauge that someone is struggling because they cannot see it. I just want to point out and raise awareness that you may not always “see” a problem that someone is struggling with, but that doesn’t mean that the problem doesn’t exist for that person. This can be frustrating and discouraging for that person.

Sometimes it makes you feel like people don’t understand. You may feel judged or self-conscious because on the outside people see “normal”. They don’t see that there may be a problem or issue. They don’t see your struggle or pain.

I am even guilty of it. Sometimes I forget that my friend is in pain 24/7. She is constantly struggling to deal with and manage pain of fybromyalgia. Sometimes I forget that my other loved one is constantly dizzy due to an undiagnosed medical problem and cannot function daily due to the debilitating nature of it. You wouldn’t know anything is wrong just by looking at her, but it affects her life all day, every day. It is constant 24/7, and she never gets a break. I sometimes forget that my other loved one is dealing with mental illness. He has bi-polar and it affects his ability to function daily. There are constant ups and downs. Just like them, I have felt like people look at me and don’t see a problem. They can’t see that my hip is causing me pain and discomfort.

As someone that struggles with the “invisible”, it can be frustrating and lonely because sometimes you just feel like others don’t understand. For example, when I am not able to perform every day tasks/functions, such as vacuuming, I feel like people judge me and think I am being lazy. For those that know me well, know it is not the case.

All of these frustrations settle in when the issue you’re struggling with interferes with your ability to enjoy life like you want to. All you want to do is be able to resume life the way that you envision your life to be. If you could get that life back that you want to live, you would. You yearn for that but it feels out of your control.

Sometimes all people struggling with the “invisible” want is acknowledgement. They want acknowledgement that they are struggling. It is real. Even if you can’t see it. It is real. Even if it isn’t visible to the eye. It is real. You want it to be validated. You want people to know IT IS REAL.

I remember back in my initial stages of trying to find a diagnosis of my hip pain. So many doctors just couldn’t figure it out. They tried this and that. They tried to explain it, but they couldn’t. Then they started to make me feel like maybe there wasn’t a problem. Maybe I was making it a bigger issue than what it was. Finally, when I got a diagnosis, I felt validated.

With this surgery, I hope I’ve found my answer. I am still on the journey. I am still on the mend. I am still in recovery mode. I am hoping and praying there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

However, there are others still struggling. Raise awareness. Be an advocate. And remember…

Battle

“Be Kind For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Battle” – Author Unknown

(http://www.pinterest.com/pin/3940718397908472/?fb_ref=3940855832379565%3Abda0bea3bd2da71729aa)

PAO Surgery: 2 weeks Post-Op

Well, hello all! I am going to take today to update you on my PAO surgery recovery. I am 2 weeks post-operation, and overall, the healing seems to be going well or as can be expected.

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(A few of my chalkboard art creations)

There were a few nights that were pretty rough because I was anxiously awaken by very strange and disturbing nightmares. It was so bad to the point of feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest, and I was sweating. I’ve never experienced this before. I am thinking it is medication? I thought my nightmares seemed to subside for one night at least; however, Friday night I didn’t sleep well because of nightmares again. I was awake within 15 minutes of falling asleep, feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest and really anxious. I finally fell asleep at about 6:00am and slept for about 1 1/2 hours, but then I was up all day.

In the afternoon, I decided I would try to go downstairs (I have been staying on the main floor of our house, so I don’t have to navigate the stairs daily). I made it down the two flights of stairs just fine and conducted some business downstairs. Then I decided to head back up and with the sun shining and warm weather I wanted to try to get some fresh air on the back porch. There was a perfect little breeze, and oh my, did my body need some Vitamin D! Mom brought out a lawn chair for me to sit in, but it was really uncomfortable, so I decided I didn’t want to sit out there long.

I made it back inside and all of the sudden felt very fatigued. Making it up that last flight of stairs completed exhausted me. I struggled to get up the very last stair. I laid down on the couch and drank a full glass of water to try to rejuvenate, but I was still exhausted. We had company coming at 6pm, but I literally could not keep my eyes open because I was so tired. I told Mom I needed to take a short 30 minute nap and to wake me up at 5:45pm. The sleep felt sooooo good, and lord knows I could have kept sleeping, but I needed to get up for the company coming to visit. I was still very tired, but made it through the nice visit. I am still slightly tired but feeling better. I hope to sleep better tonight.

Without injuring myself or pushing too hard, I think I need to exert myself like that a little each day to stay conditioned. This sedentary lifestyle is for the birds! I am definitely starting to get more feeling back in my quad/thigh/glute/hamstring. With that sensation comes the “good” (no indication of nerve damage), but also the bad, painful nerve sensation. Overall, it seems that I am progressing and recovering as well as possible. I will have my two-week follow up on Friday to discuss the progress with my doctor. We will see what the next few days will bring prior to that appointment! Either way on the mend and recovery seems to be going well!!

 However, my poor dog!! Trooper doesn’t know what to think about me!! I think this surgery recovery is harder on him than it is on me. He just keeps looking at my walker and wheelchair like I’m an alien. He sits by my feet all day long. He seems confused because I’m not the one taking him out and feeding him, and I’m not playing with him and tossing his toys. He’s all out of element. It’s breaking my heart. Man’s best friend!!

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(Trooper, my dog) (Got bored and decided to paint my nails)

 I have been keeping myself occupied through social media (guilty), reading, puzzles, and my daily “chalkboard art” (I might as well with nothing else to do!).

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(Chalkboard art creations)

My parents are still staying with us at the house. Let me tell you, I have been reflecting on how truly blessed I am to have such a great husband and parents that are so selfless and willing to drop everything to take care of me. I do not like depending on others, but if I have to depend on anyone, I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to depend on them! I cannot even express in words how grateful I am for everything they are doing for me. I will keep you posted on my recovery again within the week!