My day in Columbus

This has been a hard week.  I have spent a lot of time on the phone with the doctors office and insurance company.  We had all of my appointments set up for today.  I was supposed to spend the entire day in Columbus with my CT at 9:30am, MRA at 12:30pm, and appointment with surgeon at 4:30pm.  I found out Tuesday that my insurance company would not cover the MRA at the location I was scheduled.  I lost it….this was the last straw in my hip drama….I am so over it all and want it to be over.  I didn’t need another hurdle to jump over.  I ended up shutting my door in my office and crying!

I was able to pull some strings and get an MRA scheduled last minute yesterday at the hospital I work at!  I had my CT this morning and then had the rest of the day to figure out what to do….I had 7 hours to kill.  I ran around to many different stores today.

The day seemed to drag on forever….I just wanted to see Dr. Ellis and get some answers.  Dr. Ellis was running late, but Dave (his PT) came in to see me and talk through my symptoms and move my leg around.  I wasn’t on his schedule, but he heard me and wanted to check in.  He felt like my symptoms were coming from the joint, but he was interested to hear what Dr. Ellis thought.  I was Dr. Ellis’ last patient of the day.  He opened my door and had me come out to see my images.  We looked at my MRI and CT images and then we went back into my exam room so he could move my leg around.  After he moved my leg around we went back out to look at the images again.  He came to the conclusion that he thinks my capsule is torn and potentially my labrum too.  He also wants to resect my AIIS some more too.  So, basically he wants to re-scope my hip.

This will be my 4th time off work, so I have too be responsible and wait until the October due to some responsibilities at work.

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Bittersweet

Post-op day: 101
Days until hernia repair: 6

Today I had two follow-up appointments in Columbus.  The first appointment was for a glute med injection.  I saw the Sports Med doc again as a follow-up and he injected my tendinitis with an anti-inflammatory medication.  He wants to see me again in two weeks and we can adjust the injections placement if needed.

My next appointment was with my OS.  He had referred me to the Sports Med, so for the most point he knew what was going on.  He suspected the hernia when I saw him 4 weeks ago, so he wasn’t surprised, but his reaction was priceless.  I love how down to earth my OS is!!  We went on to discuss my current symptoms and my appointments with the Sports Med and General Surgeon.  He was happy that we have figured out where my symptoms are coming from and hopeful that the injection and hernia repair (w/ tenonomy) will reduce my pain and overall symptoms.  Since my “hip” symptoms are improved and ROM and strength are good…he has signed off.  He wants me to keep him posted with how I’m doing (regarding injection/surgery).  So, it was a bittersweet day….I truly LOVE my surgeon and his entire office!  My overall journey is not over yet…. but  since my  “hip” journey is over….here is the review I wrote on their Facebook page…I was very reflective on my hour drive home.

ellis

Surgery Day

Today was surgery day!  The surgery center called on Friday to tell me my surgery time was at 1:45pm and I needed to arrive at 12:30pm (of course NPO after midnight).  I was Dr. Ellis’ first case for my first surgery, second for my second surgery and 4th (last) case today.  Hopefully that means this was my last surgery with him.  I really like Dr. Ellis, but I’m over having hip surgeries every 6 months!

Yesterday morning I finished packing and brought the majority of my stuff up to my parents house.  I then went back to my house to  spend one last night there because I was hoping I’d sleep better in my own bed.  I had to shower with the CHG soap last night and this morning.  This morning I packed up the remaining items and my dog and headed to my parents. We had to leave their house for Columbus at 11am.

We got to the surgery center at 12:30pm.  I filled out the billing paperwork at the front desk and then they called me back.  I had my height/ weight taken then we filled out more paperwork..she had to record when I last took my supplements/medications and I had to sign the consent (since I didn’t go to a pre-op appointment at Dr. Ellis’ office).  Next, I peed in a cup for a pregnancy test (surprise, not pregnant), changed into a gown, put my hair in a cap, and socks on my feet.

The nurse then took me to my pre-op bed.  She got my vitals.  She gave me pre-op pain meds, placed the nausea patch behind my ear, and then got started on my IV.  Since I’d been NPO since midnight I was very dehydrated and my veins were hard to find.  She missed on the first stick in my hand and then she tried again (with success) in my wrist.  After the IV was hung she started Decadron (steroid used for reducing inflammation), Tylenol, and then fluids.  She then had to clean my right hip with additional CHG soap.

The anesthesiologist came in to discuss the anesthesia.  They then brought my mom back with me to wait.  Dr. Ellis came by to see if I had any questions and to mark my leg.  I made sure he was planning to remove the intra and extra articular impingements!  We laughed that I really like him, but I’d prefer this to be my last surgery on my hips!  Then it was time to say goodbye to my mom.  At about 1:40pm the OR nurse and nurse anesthetist wheeled me back to the surgical suite.

On my last two surgeries they pushed Versed before I was wheeled back so I don’t remember a whole lot about the surgical suite, but this time they didn’t push the Versed until I was in the room on the table a few minutes.  The Top Gun soundtrack was playing when I was wheeled in.  They had me move over the the traction table.  As soon as I was on the table two nurses grabbed my feet (one on each side) and started getting my feet into the traction boots.  They wrap your feet with big foam cushions and then wrap them tightly with coban sticky tape.  They switched my BP cuff to the right side so that every time the blood pressure cuff when off it wouldn’t stop my IV.  At this point the nurse anesthetist started the Versed.  He had me breathe deeply through the mask and I was out!

I woke up in PACU at about 4:30pm (surgery took 2 hours) shivering and in a pretty good amount of pain.  The nurse pushed some pain meds and then went and got me a warming blanket that constantly blows warm air through it!  It was magical!  I ended up needing 3 doses of pain meds to get my pain down to where I could tolerate it. The nurse got me some gingerale and I had crackers I brought (since I know they make you eat something before you leave and I have too many food sensitivities).  The nurse helped me get dressed and then had my mom come back.  She went over the discharge instructions with my mom and then I was ready to go home.  She gave me a oral pain medicine for the drive home.

My mom went to get the car and the nurse wheeled me out.    We hit a little bit of traffic (rush hour in Columbus) on our way home, but nothing to bad.  We stopped at McAllister’s to grab dinner.  I spent the rest of the evening in the recliner with my ice machines.  I was in and out of sleep. Overall the day was successful.  Now it’s recovery time!

Surgeons appointments…

I saw both Dr. Ellis and Dr. Leff today.  My goal for today was to figure out how we are going to progress with therapy with my 10 week post op hip revision and my 2 week post op inguinal/sports hernia.

First appointment was with Dr. Ellis.  Dr. Ellis was at the front desk when his nurse was taking me back to my room.  As we walked past him I said hello and kept walking with his nurse, but he stopped me to ask if Dr. Leff found a hernia….his nurse jokingly said she’s your next patient if you’d like to come to her room.  We all laughed and he came to my room.  He came in and we discussed what Dr. Leff found and he read the surgical report.  My biggest question for him was rehab.  He watched me walk and said I’m restricting my extension (due to post op pain). He went and grabbed Dave (his PT) and we discussed what my rehab should look like.  I asked about treadmill…..definite no go!  In his opinion I can start the elliptical at any point (slowly…starting with 5 minutes with gradual increases).  Then for dad I asked about sailing…he is fine with me sailing this summer.  We discussed me returning to work in a week.  He said to take it slow and easy.  He wants me to see Dave and Tiffany in 4 weeks to re-evaluate where we are with therapy and how we can progress.  (I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE Dr. Ellis)

I then headed over to Riverside to see Dr. Leff.  He was fitting me in between surgeries so I didn’t have to drive up again.  He came in and checked my abdomen and had me turn my head and cough.  He was very happy with my progress.  I asked about the pains I’m having.  I still have the pressure/fullness and he thinks it’s related to my adductor compensation and will take time.  All my other pains and sensations he said he isn’t concerned about and will improve with time and rehab.  I wasn’t able to ask all of my questions and I’m still confused by what he wants me to do in regards to rehab (he mentioned a specific Sports Hernia Protocol that I tried to find googling, but couldn’t so I’ll call the office tomorrow for clarification).  In regards to sailing…he said I could, but my core is very weak and hiking out could be a challenge.  He doesn’t need to see me again unless I need him.

I am allowed to walk and start the bike.  No core exercises or swimming until 6 weeks.  I will start PT up tomorrow….gentle PT.  I’m just excited be doing something!

We’ll see how I do with activity progression!

1 week post-op

I’ve made it to a week post-op.  It has been harder than I expected, but I am getting a little better each day.  I am still staying at my parents house and haven’t done much other than sitting in the recliner and watching Netflix.

I still get pain when standing and sitting upright, but each day I can tolerate a little bit longer each day.  I haven’t been able to taper the ibuprofen/tylenol.  I thought I would be able to drive at a week post-op, but not being able to tolerate sitting upright has prevented that.

I am so sick of sleeping in the recliner.  I so badly want to sleep on my side or stomach, but I can’t tolerate the pain.  For the last two nights I have started out in bed (it was nice to try and lay flat), but I didn’t last.  I ended up in the chair around 2:30am.

My post-op hip has really started to bother me.  It has been very achy, stiff, and sore.  I’ve also had some sharp pains right over the femoral vein (like pre-op).  Walking up stairs is difficult.  Being that this is my third surgery on this hip in less than a year I am very paranoid.  I messaged my PT last night for reassurance.  She said it all needs to rest another week and I should be ok in the long run.  She keeps telling me that the third time is the charm….that this time it worked.  I told her I don’t have her optimism yet, but I’m hopeful.

So, I have one more week until I see Dr. Ellis and Dr. Leff.  I need to get a copy of my surgical report to take to Dr. Ellis, since I see him before I see Dr. Leff.

6 week follow-up

Yesterday was a crazy day for me!  I had PT with my local PT first thing in the morning (7:30am).  We continued on our limited treatment plan until I saw Dr. Ellis.  She did some mobilization and once again dry needled the heck out of my leg!

I then headed to Columbus for my 6 week appointment with the surgeon in which I very anxiously waiting for….!  Needless to say it didn’t go as I had anticipated.

I first had an appointment with Dave, Dr. Ellis’ PT.  We discussed my symptoms and he manipulated my leg through complete ROM.  He was very happy with my ROM, especially my straight flexion.  He was able to cause symptoms with internal rotation.  He watched me walk and noticed I still have a limp.  We discussed my current therapy plan and exercises and he was very pleased.  He said he wouldn’t change a thing in regards to current exercises/plan of care.  He suggested we hold off on increasing to weight bearing exercises until I am able to complete all ADL’s without causing pain (basically a pain free day).

After I saw Dave I had x-rays.  They completed a series of three x-rays.

Third and final part of my fun in Columbus…Dr. Ellis!  Can I just start off by saying how much I love Dr. Ellis?!  He is so compassionate and caring and really takes the time with his patients (you never feel rushed with him).  He had already talked to Dave, but he wanted me to describe my symptoms for him.  He then took me out to look at my x-rays/images.  He showed me my six week post-op x-rays from my original surgery to compare with the one’s they just took.  He showed me the AIIS and what he shaved off.  He did remove a lot of bone (left only enough for the rectus femoris to attach to) and that is why my straight flexion is so good.  We then headed back to the room for Dr. Ellis to manipulate my leg.  He was very happy with ROM and didn’t think my hip was causing my problems.  He started testing a few other things and then he thought I could potentially have a sports hernia.  He wants me to see a specialist in Columbus (Dr. Leff) to rule out the sports hernia.  He said that while we wait we could try a predisone taper and see if that helps with my symptoms.  If it helps great, if not we’ll have the process to see Dr. Leff started.  He then asked me if I had any other questions (which of course I did :)).
-Did he find an actual tear/how did that happen?!  He said that it was technically a tear, but it was more of an unstable area that required additional anchors.  He said it was very red and inflamed and pulling away from the socket.  He felt that I had scar tissue that was compressing the labrum every time my femur hit the AIIS.
-What about hip popping/clicking?  He’s not concerned.
-What about swimming?  YES!!!!  Just no aggressive kicking!
(I think he knew how badly I needed some type of activity!!!)
-Work?  When can I return?  What about going back PT?  Definitely not yet (and Dave agreed with him).  He said I need to be off 6 more weeks.  He wants me to see Dr. Leff and then see him again before he’ll clear me to return to work.

I started doing some research last night about sports hernia’s and FAI.  It’s pretty common.  I found some articles on PubMed and starting reading up so I can be more knowledgeable…I also shared them with my PT and she and I will talk about it more at my next appointment on Tuesday.  So, I started the prednisone today.  I’m working with Dr. Ellis’ Care Coordinator to coordinate an appointment with Dr. Leff as soon as possible and then I’ll see Dr. Ellis again.  I did go swimming today….which was amazing for my mood (I was really starting to get down)….it’s amazing how much working out helps me!!!

Articles I found (I’ll add more as I do further research):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931344/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568531/

 

 

The other side…

So….today was surgery!  I have made it to the other side.  I’m now at home icing and resting.

My adventure started last night.  The hospital was supposed to call between 3-7pm to let me know what time my surgery would be today.  I carried my phone around all day at work yesterday….no call.  My mom had reserved a hotel room in Columbus because if I had Dr. Ellis’ first surgery (like last time) then I’d have to arrive at 5:45am and we didn’t want to make the 1hr 15min drive.  If we wanted to cancel it we had to do so by 6:30pm…..and they didn’t call until 6:50pm…..so we went ahead over to Columbus.  Arrival time of 8:10am.  So, since we were in Columbus we hit up Easton to look for a pair of shoes mom wanted to give to my sister for Christmas, but no luck!  So, we went to get Montgomery Inn for dinner (we went there last time too!).  Ribs and Saratoga chips make a great last meal before surgery!!  After dinner we ran to Meijer to grab some throat lozenge’s and stretchy shoe laces.

I showered with my CHG soap and were in bed by 11pm, but I didn’t sleep.  I typically don’t get anxious, but I must have been anxious internally!  “Woke up” at 7am to shower with CHG again.  Then we were off to the hospital!  We were taken up to surgery and directly back to my room.

I got weighed and peed in a cup for the wonderful pregnancy test (don’t worry- not pregnant)!  The anesthesiologist came in and had me sign his consent and looked in my mouth and asked a few questions.  Next I changed in to my stylish gown and yellow slippers.  Dr. Ellis started using CHG wipes as well.  So, I had to use those prior to changing!  The nurse checked my temperature, pulse ox, and BP (which was wicked high…darn white coat syndrome – I really didn’t feel nervous, but my body said otherwise).  IV time was quick interesting.  The veins in my hand are apparently really hard to fine.  She did it on the 1st try, but said that was the only one she was placing so…BE CAREUL!  I got my nausea patch and 2 pain pills.

After all that fun we waited for surgery time!  Both my parents were with me in the pre-op area.  So, we chatted and watched some Today Show.  Dr. Ellis came by around 9:30am.  He walked in saying “LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT”  I replied with, yes we’re doing my left leg!  He did an impingement test to make sure my symptoms hadn’t changed.  We discussed what his plan was (and that it might change once he got in there).  The OR nurse and nurse anesthetist came in next and I got some Versed, I said Goodbye and love ya to my parents and we were off to OR.  I transferred on to the OR table and the nurse anesthetist put the mask on my face and told me it would smell like a beach ball and to think of my favorite beach and I was out!  The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery.

I was in a pretty significant amount of pain.  The nurse gave me some meds…but it took two doses of IV meds and then she gave me some oral vicodin.  She brought me some ice chips, gingerale, and pudding.  My parents came back and after I started feeling better I changed and we head back home!  I’ll share more of what he did after my 2 week appt.  Dr. Ellis talked to my parents, but I don’t have all the specifics yet!

We stopped and got lunch once we made it back to Dayton and brought it back home.  We got my ice machines (yes plural) set up and I took a Diludid and fell asleep.   I am having some kind of reaction to something they gave me and started benadryl to help reduce the itching.  It has helped!  I slept most of the afternoon.  Here’s hoping I can sleep tonight.

I think that about covers the highlights of my surgery day!!