Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Work

So the first day of work after a PAO and 12 weeks of being at home and taking care of myself feels like I've been BODY SLAMMED AGAINST A WALL.
I'm a nurse at a very busy cardiology office where we stress test and it's a up and down job. I'm so worn out it isn't even funny. I came home crying. My partner at work bless her heart did as much as she could without me getting up, but I'm dying. I wish I had time to work a few hours and then take off. I don't have the luxury of a desk job and I just can't express how exhausted I am and how tired I am. To top it off I had a bottle of ibuprofen 500 tablets...........that's right.......500 tablets. I reached in the cabinet to take some after lunch.............GONE!!!!!! My doctor and the nurse in my place took them all. I would have given an eye tooth for ibuprofen about 1pm today. Oh well, I'll just have to take some tomorrow and hide it in my purse. I would love to elaborate more, but I'm exhausted and so sore that I'm just going to go to bed now. Goodnight all!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Twas the Night before Work!

Okay well it's officially the night before I go back to work. It's been 12 long but short weeks since this journey that is my PAO started. I look back now and can pull several of my favorite moments and not so favorite moments from the whole process. But, first, I'm currently still in therapy and doing well. I'm walking about 50% with a cane and the other 50% on my own with only a slight limp. My leg muscles get really sore and make funny noises when they are pushed to the limit. BUT..........NO HIP PAIN! I get to go back to work tomorrow for the first time in 12 weeks. I'm a little nervous. It's like starting all over again and it's just nerve racking for me.
As I look back (mist/fog/clouds............)
Well start with the bad first!
Not-so-favorite moments from my PAO:
1 - Husband care taking issues
2 - Constipation
3 - Not being able to take a shower for 14 days
4 - My pastor not coming to see me but once
5 - Loss of independence
6 - the long wait for rehab/and to start walking

Favorite Moments........heck yeah there are some
1 - My parents being awesome caregivers and feeding me awesome meals all summer
2 - spending time with my parents
3 - being out of work for 12 weeks
4 - reading
5 - learning that I freaking love M*A*S*H
6 - THE OLYMPICS!!!!!!
7 - Losing weight

Well it's been a strange/helpful journey. If I could do it all over again of course I would because I no longer have the hip pain and feel that I'm out of the woods for a considerable amount of time concerning my hips.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Spider Will Make You Run

Well I have one week until I go back to work. I'm actually getting excited because I can interact with adults again.
The title today is because of what happened today. I've been working with just a cane and weight bearing as tolerated. I was at the beach with my family. I was rinsing off at the trailer and we have these giant spiders in the trees and I noticed a spider crawling up the side of the shower. I screamed, threw the hose and took off running to the best of my capabilities. It was kind of funny when you look back, at least my parents got a giant kick out of it.
I'm now on a cane. I feel okay and am wanting to get back to normal. I drove the other day for the first time (MY NEW VEHICLE) I'm so excited about that.
My legs do hurt at night after using them all day. I do work hard at PT and do as many of them as I can at home. I'm really stalled as to what else is going on with my recovery. My mental state is much better and my leg/hip is feeling so much better overall except the expected soreness and stiffness.
Well not too much more now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Post-Olympic Depression

Well it's been one week since the closing ceremonies in Beijing and I'm still bored. I didn't realize that these Olympics would get me over the hump that is my slow recovery from this RPAO. I watched everyday faithfully and it let me forget all that is aggravating concerning my recovery. I don't know if it's because it's the start of my period or the fact that I'm dreading going back to work but I'm very sad. I seemed to have come out of my cloud, but have seemed to go back under. I'm sad because the Olympics are over and they were wonderful and it was so fun to watch with my parents and my husband. I'm scared because I realize I have 3 weeks left til I go back to work and I just don't know how I'll do. I'm scared I won't keep up and they will have words with me. I'm scared I'll get tired or sore early in the day and am unable to make it to the end of the day and then have the rest of the week. I'm scared to get back to normal as bad as I want it. Isn't that weird. I've had wonderful help and never have suffered or gone without and I have never let that happen and now I'm scared/sad of what will happened when this is all said and done. I know it will be better and I will look back at everything and laugh and remember certain things. I'm scared at how we will make it financially in October. I go back to work Sept. 22nd, but don't get paid again until Oct. 31st. That's really long with no income. I'm scared I won't be able to continue my PT due to financial constraints. The physical therapy place is charging $40.00 per visit and I'm going now twice a week and that's not even bearing any real weight yet. The front desk acts really unfriendly and I asked about help and they said I needed to speak with the office manager. You mean to tell me that no one needs financial help ????? for my RPAO. ............. Still only bearing 30lbs weight bearing. I sound and feel like a broken record. I'm doing all of my hip abduction/flexion exercises and they are getting increasingly easier and I feel that I could drive now if I tried. I haven't driven in two months. WOW!!! I just want the quick reaction time in case of an accident and I feel that I could do it now. It doesn't hurt at all anymore (except today............cramps are causing some serious referred pain). I can bend and squat pretty well. Just really waiting to bear that weight and go back to work.

What does normal feel like? Life is now before surgery/after surgery. I know it's been very up and down since the recovery started, but I wouldn't trade this time. I've loved certain aspects of it that I'm sure most would find silly. I've loved staying with my parents while Adam is working. I've loved every second of the Olympics. I've enjoyed my time to think although sometimes it got away from me. I've loved reading my books. I've enjoyed getting to know my wonderful neighbors who check on me constantly. I've enjoyed being taken care of. I usually do all the care taking and worry about others.

Well for now it's the countdown to go back to work and I will continue to dream of the Olympics and Michael Phelps and how I enjoyed my time off this summer while I recovered from my RPAO.

Monday, August 25, 2008

After the Olympics.....

Been very busy watching the Olympics. Every last second of them! I currently have a crush on Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. I wish I could get in the pool and swim. Oh well.
While the Olympics played out here is the status of my RPAO:
1. 8 week follow up.............can't bear anymore than 30lbs until the 10th week. Left hip looks good and unless it ever starts to hurt he sees no LPAO in my near future. That's about it.

2. Started physical therapy. Hip abductor and flexor exercises are killing me. They cause extreme pain and a sharp shooting pain from my outer thigh to my right butt cheek. Switched to crutches for about 5 hours until they caused my underarms to hurt and have giant raw marks.

3. Not much else.

I wish I had known how bored, helpless, sad, frustrating this whole experience was going to be. I've managed to cry about everyday. I'm SICK of asking for help. I'm SICK of not going to the store by myself. I'm SICK of asking for help. I'm SICK of not working and providing for my family. I'm SICK of everything! It's just been a long boring road. Now I have about a week prior to going back to work that I have to bear weight and gait train. I don't know what I'm going to do about that. My OS and PT seem to think I'll be fine by September 22nd, but I'm not so sure because it still hurts to lift my leg. I don't know how I'm suppose to go back to work on the 22nd do stress test, etc. without tiring out. Maybe they'll be nice. I haven't called and told work yet. I'm waiting for another 2 weeks to see how I'm doing then I'll call and inform them of what is going on. At least I have a little more endurance. Today I cleaned out my closet and then did a couple of loads of laundry. I didn't say I did all that in a timely manner but I did it. I'm trying to do all that I can in a day to build up my endurance so that I can survive at work when I go back. Well I'm really can't think of much else right now. I'm sure I will later and will try and write more sooner than the last post.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So Sad

I didn't realize how sad after surgery could make you. I know I should be thankful that I'm healing well. And healing with no complications (the impaction & no sleep are long gone memories). It's been almost 6 weeks. Still unable to bear anymore than 30lbs and I'm miserable. I'm so sad. I sit around and think of all things not good. I was once diagnosed with depression and on meds while in college. I now focus on good things, but this surgery has made me sit around and highlight all that is not good with the world. My life in general. Why does surgery and not being able to do what you want do this to you? I have no interest in anything that use to make me happy. I love photography. Could care less about it now. It's Olympic time and I usually get in the pool. Can't even walk how am I suppose to get in a pool. I'm just so frustrated and sad. I've cried about everyday for the past 2 weeks. I think I'm depressed again. Why? I swear this is the worse cabin fever I've ever had. I love to read and really have no interest in reading. I love to sleep/nap. Can't sleep regular to save my life. I go in and out of periods of resting really well and then not. Last night it was 3am before I dozed off just to get up at 9am. My hip..........well it doesn't really hurt all that much anymore. It gets stiff and makes funny clicking noises when I turn to my non-operative side but that is doing okay. I'm sick of staring at this walker. I'm sick of staring at these four walls. I'm sick of being stuck around and not feeling like I can breathe! This is way worse than I could have ever imagined. I kept telling everyone and myself that if I could just make through the surgery that I could handle everything else. The surgery was a snap! I know that the Lord doesn't give us stuff we can't handle. I've talked to him a lot lately. I know what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger and I'm hoping this is the case. I would love to get some aquatic therapy. I'm going to try and start something soon. I can't keep sitting here. Last night as I walked to the bathroom I just felt this sinking sensation and felt like I couldn't breathe. This recovery isn't the easiest thing but hopefully through my prayers it'll get better!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Looonnnggg Day

Today has been one of the longest days since I've been going out. Today I went to my great aunt's funeral (Catholic ceremony), then the graveside and then to eat. I then went to get my blood drawn in Wilson (which is about 20 min.) from my house and then to my house for my daily shower and to check on my pets (staying with the parents now during husband's shifts). I got back to my parent's about 5:30pm I sat for about an hour and then got up to go eat and sweet heavens!!!!! My hip/leg feels like it's back at week 2, not week 5. This is the first day that I have gotten up and stayed out and busy all day though. I'm exhausted and needless to say HURT!! I'm still making small improvements. I can now sleep comfortably on my non-operative side and some what comfortable on my stomach. I am more motivated to get things done. My head feels clear. I am 2 1/2 weeks out from my next post-op appointment. I can't wait to go and get started with physical therapy afterwards. I would love/can't wait to start using my crutches so I feel a little more free. I can't wait to progress. I'm doing well and although it's small steps I'm still quite proud of myself.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's the small stuff

It's the small stuff that I can do each day that I stuff in my little pocket of accomplishments.
Today I went to Wal-Mart..........first store in one month. Rode the scooter around (realized that people don't really consider a young person with no obvious disability on a scooter a necessity to move out of the way)
I put my socks on with assistance from my grabber for the first time today too. Can put my shoes on if they are tied already.
Can shower alone.
Can shave my legs while sitting on my shower bench.
I only take one pain pill at night to help with slight pain and sleep.
I'm proud of myself for the small stuff. I never thought I would be so proud of leaning to shave my legs. People don't realize how fortunate they are to walk. Walking is a great blessing that we should all thank God for. I know I'm stared at when I'm on my walker and I stare just as hard back because I'm jealous they can walk with ease.
My fellow co-workers are chomping at the bit to get me back, but I can't until at least 2 weeks of PT after I can bear more weight. If I'd quit being lazy and reading and watching tv I need to call my physical therapist at Duke to try and get me on some crutches. I would love to have a little more freedom during the day and then go back to the walker at night when I wear down. Can't wait to see what small things I can accomplish in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

4 weeks post op

Well I'm exactly four weeks post op today. What a long 4 weeks it has been. I swear it feels like forever ago and forever to go. I don't have another post op appointment until August 21st. I'm still using my walker but feel pretty strong so I want to move to crutches, but my local physical therapy office states they need a specific prescription for teaching me to use crutches and come off the walker. I don't want to come off the walker completely but use the crutches during the day and walker at night when I start to wear down.
1. Shower on my own.
2. Shave my legs
3. Put my pants on
4. Fix myself something to eat
5. Sleep on my non-operative side

1. Put socks on
2. Lift my leg straight up
3. Stand alone in the shower
4. Bear more than 30lbs on operative leg

I want everyone about to go through this to understand that to do everything takes forever! I still am very frustrated, sad, and so sore by 7-8pm every night. I can't wait to bear more weight and start to do things I use to! I am ready to start learning to drive again and would die to get in a pool and do some exercises without pressure/weight. This has been a trying experience in patientence and faith in others. I couldn't have made it this far without my mom, dad, and husband. They do everything I can't. I hate doing that too. I'm the nurse and I'm the one who is suppose to care for everyone else. I sit around and read, exercise my leg, play on my computer and wish my next 8 weeks away. I know you're not suppose to wish your life away, but it's hard to be so dependent and not able to move like you want. I'm doing okay though. I didn't have any complications thank God so far. Lots of prayers and thanks to the prayers of others. Well I just wanted everyone to know how my first 4 weeks have been.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Emotional/Physical Rollercoaster

I didn't know the recovery was the hardest part of this PAO experience. Everyday is an emotional & physical roller coaster. I feel okay in the mornings and get brave to start doing things. By evening, my left hip (normal side) hurts, my operative leg (Right leg) hurts and I have to debate whether to take pain meds or a sleeping pill. I want to sleep in my bed, but how can I when I can't even lay all the way back in the recliner (and it's not a 0 degree angle). I feel optimistic in the mornings and by the night, I'm usually crying because I realize I still can't turn on my left side and can't lift my right leg up like normal. I get frustrated with the walker, but I'm still on 30lbs wt. bearing and crutches aren't sturdy enough. I've read books, played on my computer, watched several Food Network marathons and am miserable by 7pm. I just want this whole thing to be over. I know that the Lord doesn't give us stuff we can't handle, but this is truly a test. I wonder if everyone else feels this way or is just me. I'm so ready to be back to semi-normal. I'm taking Coumadin now to keep the DVTs at bay and I'm averaging getting my blood drawn every 3rd or 4th day and that's tiring. It's just hard right now. I'm currently 23 days post op and feel like everything is moving in slow motion.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2 1/2 week Post Op Appointment

I went on Friday to Duke to my 2 1/2 week post op appointment...........and saw my OS's NP. She's AWESOME!!!!

1. Got my bandage and steri strips off..........don't have staples or skin is glued back together. My incision is about 7 inches long and looks real good. As soon as I get a pic I'll try and post it.
2. I can shower
3. I got a prescription for Ambien due to the fact I'm not sleeping but about 3 hours in 24 hours.
4. Still can't bear more than 30lbs. (just putting my foot flat on the floor) for 4 more weeks
5. Prescription for PT..............don't want to cash that ticket in until after I can bear more weight

Overall I had a good check up. She was impressed with the incision and how well I'm moving about. I'm not that impressed, but I guess it's because I'm ready to be back to normal though. I'm ready to be walking.............keep having dreams about walking..............but I guess it's good to dream!
I'm trying to think what has happened since my last entry. . . . . . . .

Going Out of the House.........Well, I had another outing to a cookout at my grandparents house/pool. I stayed about 1 1/2 hours. Can't tolerate being uncomfortable but for so long. It was so nice to get out. That was exactly a week ago. Since then I went back to Duke for my post-op appointment and went to the Olive Garden to eat and sat in a normal chair for about 1 hour. I also can now sit in my front porch swing and have sat out there about 2 hours total over the last 2 days.

Showering...........I have managed to start showering. They initially told me it was going to be 14 days, but I called begging and got in the shower about 5 days sooner. It was nice. First shower I had to have a lot of help. Second shower just a little help, and then yesterday I did it all on my own (except shave from my op leg) . Things seem to be moving a little faster.

Constipation..................DO NOT take Oxycontin without Colace on board. I was going regularly until I started taking my Oxycontin for about a week and then I was MISERABLE. There is no words to express how bad that feeling is. It's way worse than the surgery itself. I even went so far as to send my husband to the pharmacy for enema supplies. Didn't have to, but they are in my post-hip emergency kit. Now that I'm on Colace everyday and I feel much better, not to mention that I stopped the Oxycontin. The pain wasn't bad enough to warrant taking it and having the other issue.

Pain.............Pain isn't so bad now. I take about one Oxycodone (5mg) in 24 hours and nothing else for pain and I do okay. That's down from 2-3 Oxycodone every 4 hours and 1 Oxycontin every 12 hours the first week I was home and I'm 3 weeks post op. The only complaint I have is muscle like spasms/stretching. It feels like the nerves might be reaching certain areas of the muscles that haven't been stretched yet and stretching them is like they are stuck and it hurts, but I deal with it.

Sleep............until my post op appointment this past Friday, sleep was something I didn't ever think I'd do again. I've still been sleeping in the recliner. The bed is still just to flat for me. I can get in the bed ok, but the lying flat for so many hours is the issue. I was sleeping maybe, if I was lucky, 3-4 hours in 24 hours. It was miserable. I went to the post op appointment and was given Ambien 5 mg. I have taken it 2 nights now and slept about 8-10 hours a night without the ankle numbing, back hurting that was keeping me awake. It's been wonderful for my mindset. I actually want to get up and do something in the mornings.

Mindset............feel better and keep dreaming that I just have a limp and can walk normal. Well...........not quite. I'm still on 30lbs wt. bearing which isn't anything more than putting my foot down on the floor completely. I walk faster and am still on my walker. Not a fan of crutches. I do however feel more comfortable standing without the walker. I can stand and blow dry my hair and get real hugs from my husband now. I'm getting more confident. I am just so completely bored!!!! TV is okay for a few hours.........reading gets me sleepy and I can only play on my computer for so long a day. I have started getting up to do little things, like switching the laundry and loading and starting the dishwasher. Stuff like that keeps me going more than reading all the books in the world. I manage to pass the time and get through each day hoping that I can do more and more each day. It'll get here...........I'm just ready for it.....NOW!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paying for my first outing

I wrote yesterday about my first outing. Boy am I paying for it today. I'm so sore!!!! So sore. My wrist are sore and I'm not even strong enough to bring the recliner up to straight back position. I don't regret it one bit though. I loved getting out yesterday. I'll just bump up the tylenol and maybe an extra Oxycodone, but I loved getting out yesterday.

First Outing

Hello everyone.I thought I would let everyone know how my first outing (1 1/2 weeks post-op) went. I got up and got dressed and actually put a little make up on. I went and got my hair washed at the beauty shop. It felt so good!!!! they blow dried it and curled it for me. I then went to my parents house where I ate lunch and napped in their recliner. Then I went to my cousin's birthday party which was just outside. I sat on the front porch for about 1 hour in a rocking chair and then went back to the recliner. It felt so good to go out. I used their toilets without my elevated seat. Now, if I could just sleep in my own bed. I would love to sleep in my own bed with my husband. Overall it was a good day. I know I'll probably be sore tomorrow, but it was worth it.I can't wait to be back to normal in a couple of months.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not so fun yesterday!!!! far being home has been nice in a way. Yesterday however was not so hot. I slept so much yesterday and didn't really move around that much that last night I slept horrible and cried from about 7 to 9. I was just frustrated, hurting, not being able to get my mind to grasp the concept that I have to take it easy. I didn't sleep at all last night and still frustrated when waking. I was never prescribed a long acting pain killer. The oxycodone works fine, but wears off at exactly 4 hours. So this morning my grandmother came over and fixed french toast and bacon. I ate the most I've eaten since I've been home. I took a 3 hour nap. I got up and decided to change my mindset. I completed several exercises with the help of my father which was now on duty. I did the knee bends, leg lifts, etc., etc. I stood up and moved my leg out to the side and behind. God, it felt good to stretch. Then I folded two blankets, put a phone book back in place, fed the cat, and then made some phone calls to handle my short term disability and actually called my OS's NP and she is prescribing me an extended release pain pill for about 2 weeks. I've done okay today so far. I haven't taken a nap yet. I've decided to keep my mind active and then my daily sponge bath is in about 3 hours. I would kill to wash my hair the real way to blow dry it. I hate this no rinse thing every two or three days! I'm planning on Friday to attend my cousins birthday at my grandmother's house just to get out of the house. I think that is half the mind battle. I hate being in the house and staring outside and not being able to run outside. thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to contact to ask. P.S. Thank God I've had no problem with constipation!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Home yesterday from RPAO

Hello everyone! I'm home and got home yesterday 07-04-08 from my RPAO. Everything went well. Well here is how everything went. Went in Tuesday morning at 5:30a. They called me back and I cried when my husband left. I was changed and put into pre-op curtain area. Out of all the people in the pre-op I was the only one of child bearing age who needed the required blood work which takes an hour. Well my nurse decided I would be the last one to get worked up. My OS and anestheiologist was pissed! I did a stat urine, but was about 1 hour late into surgery. I had an epidural which hurt none what so ever! Everyone was so sweet and caring. I remember going into the or and the mask being put over my face and him telling me to go to my happy place. The next thing I remember I told post-op that my stomach felt funny so they kept giving me Zofran and a patch behind my ear. Well after we finally got a room at 1pm I still was feeling sick and actually started throwing up. They kept me in post-op a few more hours. They gave me a one time dose of phenegran and it subsided! I actually made out like a bandit room wise. I had a minifridge, fold out bed, recliner that folded into a bed and a full size bathroom. I slept so good the first night. Ate a little broth and jello the first night and only pressed my epidural botton about 4 times during the night (I could have pressed every 30 min.) I had the epidural the next morning. No real complaints except itching. My incision is a classic cut that's about 12 inches long. I had my JP drain that drained well during the first night. Next morning my JP drain came out with my dressing changed. I felt okay. Doctor stated that my blood work came back beautiful. Left my epidural in for one more day. I had a few visitors and actually stayed constant with my ankle pumps and moved as much as my body allowed me. I had my first PT session with my epidural in. I made it half way across the room and blacked out due to the epidural and dropped my pressure. That was it for the day. Thursday.........epidural came out and my catheter!!!! I used the bedside commode successfully. I did PT out into the hall, but didn't black out but my pressures did drop again. This time I wanted to sit up in the recliner. I stayed in the recliner about 6 hours and got stiff and it was sooo painful when I finally had to go to the bathroom. After another not so glamourous dinner I got to the bedside commode and bathed and my mom washed my hair. Even got brave and smiled for a camera with my gown on of course with tons of soap in my hair! Kept up with my leg exercises and ankle pumps. Started my Lovenox therapy. My parents were shocked I just shot myself like it was so no big deal. Slept even better Thursday up and the docs said I would go home all dependent on PT. Well I got real nauseated about 7:15am. I asked for some Zofran and then told my mom to help me to the bedside commode and I would try to use the bathroom. Well things just released and I felt so much better. I went to PT and walked with my walker to PT and did stairs (I hate stairs!!) and practiced in and out of a car! did okay enought to pass and was packed up and sent home yesterday. I can walked with my walker okay. I slept in the lazy boy last night due to the fact that it was the quickest route to the bathroom and the sennokot has worked it's job well. I've had no problem with constipation at all!!!! I only didn't go for 2 days. I can bend my knee, go to the bathroom with no help what so ever. I can't take a bath or shower for 14 days. HAve to bird bathe until my postop appoint on the 18th. I have internal stiches that will dissolve so I have to keep my current dressing dry and intact. I have three screws. I am not really swollen at all. Some numbness right around the incision site, but that's it. My bottom is raw from constantly having to sit and adjust myself. I'm keeping it clean and dry and gold bond powder on it. Am doing okay. Keeping my 4-6 hour med regimen of Oxycodone and Tylenol. Just sore and stiff. No real PAIN yet! Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts. Got any questions please ask!!!!Brenna RPAO 07-01-08

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Work Situation

Okay so here is the whole work situation so I don't have to put it off anymore.

I work in a small cardiology office. We have 4 doctors with about 20 staff. I am a RN for one of the doctors who is really cool, but anyways. I approach the administrators on April 11th, the day after I find out I have to have my RPAO. They ask for me to put off my surgery til July due to the fact that one of the doctors would be leaving for maternity leave in July for 3 months and they would pull her nurse to my desk until I come back. Well ok! Not so bad sounding until I go in and tell them my day is scheduled for July 1st and I'll be non-weight bearing for 12 weeks, but my OS stated I could go back on light duty on 8 weeks. Well, they then sit down and tell me the following:
1. I have to file for short term disability which is only 72 days and weekends ARE INCLUDED!!!!
2. Well now they don't think that the doctor leaving for maternity leave is coming back and another doctor is retiring on Sept. 30th. The trick with this is, there will be too many nurses, so if I reach day 73 I'm technically terminated and then rehired, but since there won't be two doctors there, they will not rehire anyone and let someone go. So in other words, I have 72 days to heal.........PERIOD!!!!!

Is that screwed up or what????? Anyways. I decided to keep my date of July 1st. I've been progressing worse with the pain and in the last two weeks have complained in passing that I didn't sleep good or that I hurt. I've gotten the following comments from ADMINISTRATION.....
1. You can sleep in a couple of weeks all you want, so don't complain now.
2. Why are you so worried about this?
3. Quit being silly.
4. Why aren't you just doing your pre-op here (I took 1 hour of vacation to leave for my appointment)

Well it sucks. I would love to go back at 8 weeks, but they have point blank said they don't want me back unless I can do my job. I didn't get tomorrow off due to the fact that another nurse has been out for a hysterectomy and the lead nurse (which is a joke) is taking her about 12th day off this month and refused to switch!!!!!!! I have to work until 5:30 tomorrow and then drive 30 min. home.

I don't think it would be that bad if they were supportive, but I told the NP about this on Friday and she couldn't believe it and said due to my state of mind that I don't really need to work the whole day. I'm thinking about putting a block on my room so no one can call in and restricting visitors. I don't know yet. My husband is pretty upset so he might fly off the handle anyway. I just don't understand how unsupportive they are.

T-Minus 2 Days

Okay, so I have the rest of today and tomorrow to go. I'm not feeling all that great today. I've been leaning to my left and now my left feels like my right. Oh well. I guess that'll just mean that I'll fix that one quicker than I was planning on. My family has been great today as well as my church family. I went to church this morning and my mother and grandmother went with me to the altar and the preacher said a prayer for me and I quit crying and realized it's in God's hands on Tuesday. It still doesn't mean I'm not scared crapless, but I know he'll do what's best for me. I finished everything in the house, but still feel like there is stuff to do. I've been taking Valium as prescribed and that seems to keep me from breaking down and crying every two minutes. It's just scary. I'm not trying to sound like a cry baby, but I'm just scared. It's something I've never been through. I know I'll do fine afterwards, but I just want to go to that point. I still can't believe I have to work a whole day tomorrow! They are ridiculous. I've packed my bag with the help of all the wonderful women on the hip forum on yahoo.
Here's what I've packed:
No Rinse shampoo
Several pairs of loose pj/lounge pants
several t-shirts
underwear (just in case I'm able to wear them)
1 book
short term disability papers
handicap placard
extra throw blanket

That's it right now. I'm sure I'll find something else to cram in my bag. I didn't sleep well at all last night, so I decided not to take a nap today and am about to take a Benadryl to help me sleep tonight. I've set up my over the toilet thingy and am hoping that my husband quits putting off my shower chair (he promised to put it together.) I have to work all day tomorrow so I'm going to get ready for bed now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pre-op Appointment Today

Today I went for my pre-op appointment today at Duke. It wasn't so bad, minus the small meltdown I had with the NP. She was so nice. So here's the run down of today's appointment.

I have to pay $2100 out of pocket as of right now (Good luck coming up with that)
I didn't have to do an EKG or anything. They just took about 6 vials of blood. Not so bad, huh?
I told the nurse practitioner that I was really nervous due to the fact I've never had anything and then she asked was I sleeping and I told her no! She asked was I hurting. I said constantly and then I started crying about the whole job thing and she instructed me to do the following:
1. Take some Celebrex for the pain........supposedly it'll make post-op pain not quite as bad!!!
2. Take some Oxycodone if the Celebrex doesn't work.
3. Take my valium as prescribed and not to just keep staring at the bottle.
4. Take 1 1/2 - 2 valium the morning of my surgery.

She was super sweet and I couldn't speak highly enough of her. She listened! That's more than anyone besides my partner at work and family have done. She states that it just won't be that bad! She says that my insurance pays for 5 days, but as healthy as I am I could possibly be out in 2-3 days. They will get me up the day after surgery. My surgery is predicted at 3 hours. That's not as bad as I thought.

The main thing for me the NP said was to take care of me, try to get as much sleep as I could and don't work anymore. Good luck with that! Those freaks that are my office won't let me off at all on Monday. She says that I need to take care of me and relax some. Tomorrow I will prep the house as much as possible then Sunday is nap and rest day!

I've already taken my Celebrex for the day. No real difference yet, but I do feel more relaxed. I'm about to take a nice long bath and get ready for bed so I can get up early and finish everything around the house and then get ready to rest.

I'll keep everyone posted!

T-minus 4 days!!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

9 Days to go - What I've done to get ready

Well I'm down to nine days and I'm a little more nervous! I'll list what I've done so far to get ready.

CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN (the oven, fan blades, couches steamed cleaned, washing everything)

Purchased a shower transfer bench from Amazon

Got my temporary handicap placard from the DMV for 3 months

Got the dog cleaned!!! (She was gross)

Redid the main bathroom that I'll be using.

Purchased a hip kit from Amazon as well.
Got my magazines ready for the hospital. (I figured from everyone else' post that I won't be really focused on reading a book)
Got my short term disability papers ready for the orthopaedic surgeon so we can afford brand name beenie weenies when I'm out of work!!!!
So far I feel that I've gotten a lot done. I'm doing my main cleaning of the house next Saturday. I'm getting scared about it now. The fact that I cleaned the bathroom floor this morning on my hands and knees scared me when i realized I don't know when I'll be able to do this again. My family has been great. I'm in pain pretty much all the time and can never get comfortable so I'm ready for the PAO in that respect. Well I'm off to do more stuff to get ready.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Down to exactly 1 month

I'm down to exactly one month (30 days) until my PAO at Duke. Nervous doesn't begin to describe how I'm feeling. I'm struggling with the concept of loss of independence. I'm busy trying to get the house ready. I just purchased my "hip kit" and shower transfer bench. It's starting to sink in now. I was doing okay when I was preparing for my trip to Disney world. I was so looking forward to the trip and the whole time I was down there I was totally relaxed and not worried. I didn't even get a wheelchair!!! I've come back from Disney world and now I'm a nervous wreck. The doctor gave me some Valium, but I haven't taken any. I guess tonight will be a good night to take something. I wish that it was sooner so I could go ahead and get it over with. I hate stewing over it. I guess I've made it one month already, I can make it another month. My trip helped my mental state so much it's ridiculous. I wish I could take another trip after the surgery to relax me again. I'm going to add pictures to my albums soon so check out my pre-PAO trip to Disney world. Me and my family went on a fireworks cruise at Disney and he asked were we celebrating any special occasion and I told him yes, pre-hip surgery!!! I'm hurting really bad today. I didn't know that sitting in a movie theater for 2 1/2 hours would make it hurt, but I guess the angle is what killed me. I'm going to go finish dinner now. I hope all you fellow PAOers are doing well.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's been a hard day's night

Well it's the end of a very hectic day in which I'm glad it's almost over. I have been prescribed some Valium for my nerves due to the apprehension of my surgery. I've taken one but need to take one tonight. Today has been hard. I bounce from being in an optimistic mood about the whole thing (PAO) to being not able to handle anything. My job is a lot more stressful than anyone can understand. Between the job and things going on at home one minute I want to be put under just to escape everything. The next I want to run and scream so I don't have to go under. I wonder if anyone else that has this experiences such emotional mood changes? I'm so scared. Last night the dog (Lady the basset hound) went out 3 times. THREE TIMES. I got up all 3 times. Who will let her out when I don't even know if I can get out of bed? My husband will if I wake him. How will everything get done? I know my mom keeps telling me to relax and it'll get taken care of, but how to you stop your brain from thinking. The cat liter box needs to be cleaned, because he'll meow at me if it's not clean enough. How do you put your busy life on hold? I guess if I don't though the pain won't stop. I hate the aggravating pain. I can't lay on my right side. It constantly feels like a stretched rubber band that is stretched too far and is throbbing. I know this whole post is nothing but rambling, but I feel it needs to come out. I am going to Disney World in 2 days and can't tell you how much I hope it's therapeutic more than a vacation, but all I can think about is the wheelchair. I have to rent a wheelchair. I can't walk that far and my doctor told me to rent one to save what cartilage I have left. I DON'T want a wheelchair. It's a burden for me and my family. I don't want to be pushed around. I want to walk like normal, but I can't because the pain will put me to bed for a day. I hate this. I just absolutely hate this. I was looking forward to starting a family with my husband and now I have to do this. I know it's selfish to think this way, but I'm so frustrated and sad. Sorry about all the rambling....

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I don't think anyone understands what one getting ready for a PAO is going through except fellow PAOers. Here are the things/feelings/thoughts that consume my head and will until I'm on the other side of this operation......
Unsure of my future
Scared about my job (this post is coming)
Scared about the pain afterwards
Scared for Adam having too much on his plate afterwards

Lack of support at work (except a wonderful few)
How do I take a bath?
What if I don't wake up?
What's the pain like after waking up?
Why me?
I just wanted to start a family, not become a baby again
Loss of independence
How will everything I do get done?
I want to stop crying
In pain
Can't sleep
Don't want to be put under
The financial aspect (questions are numerous)
How do I put it all aside in my head or do I?
Why doesn't anyone seem to understand?
Which chair would be best for my shower?
My parents shouldn't be having to care for me, I'm 29!!!!!
I just thought it was a pulled muscle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It begins

Hello, my name is Brenna Wolfe and I was just diagnosed with hip dysplasia (like German Shepherds get). I'll start from the very beginning.

Sept 07-
I was working a 12 hour shift on a med surg floor and I came home crying with extreme hip pain. I kept telling my husband it felt like a knife digging in my right hip. I couldn't explain it due to the fact that I moved 8 patients for 12 hours. I took a pain med and didn't pay much attention to it. I told my doctor that I work for (a cardiologist/internist) on the following Monday. He ordered x-rays for me. NOTHING!!

Dec. 07
Still having some pain. Nothing that I take any meds for. I no longer can lay on my right side in the bed and experience some burning and aching in my right leg that shoots down to my knee. I can no longer sit indian style and this all kind of sucks, but I'm still figuring that I've just pulled something from pulling all of those heavy patients back in September. I have a connection through my family of a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon from DUKE. They mention my symptoms to him and he offers to see me. Well I go see Dr. Fitch at Duke (Wonderful Doctor) and had another set of x-rays done. NOTHING. They called me back and stated that if I was still experiencing pain that they would order an MRI with contrast for me. After talking to my mother and her convincing me to have it done prior to starting the mommy process I ordered the MRI.

March 08
I have a MRI with contrast shot directly into my hip joint so that they may see any labral tears which they suspect at this time. The procedure itself was a breeze and even fell asleep in my MRI.
About 2 weeks later I get a call from Dr. Steven Olson's (Duke Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon) liaison stating that I need a consult with him and the first thing he has is April 10th. I asked the liaison what might be wrong and she proceeds to read me some of his email which states I have a very striking periacetabular retro version with labral tears and he suggest a reverse surgery.
What the hell??? I goggle night and day until my appointment to try and figure out what exactly I have.

April 10th
I meet with Dr. Olson at Duke ortho and he is very nice and to the point. Which I like. I am given a complete physical which they assess my right leg and I can't resist any weight that he is pushing with and I'm about to cry. He gives me two options.

Option 1: Arthroscopic repair of the labral tear I have with the underlying problem of the dysplasia not addressed. I could get another tear in a month or it could be ten years at which point I've done so much damage that my only option is a THR(total hip replacement)


Option 2:
PAO - periacetabular ostoetomy with a labral tear debridement.
I proceeded with option #2
I'm very scared and want to gather all the information I can about this procedure.

I talk with my husband and family at length about scheduling the surgery and to my own stupid decision decide on July 1st due to work (another post coming about my wonderful job!!!! )