Within a month of my first visit to Guys I had to return for more x-rays and a CT scan.
This time I had my dad with me, who decided that it was only a short walk from the underground to St Thomas’ (where I was having the CT scan). 30 minutes later we arrived a little fluster and yes, I was hobbling once more!
A CT scan sounds a bit scary, but it’s not – it’s just a bed in the middle of a big polo shaped scanner. I had to lie on the bed while it moved me back and forth through the scanner to check out my hips and knees this time. The fella that did my scans was really lovely and let me have a look at them, not that I could tell much other than I have shallow hip sockets!
Later that day my dad and I returned to Guys hospital for me to have more x-rays. Again it was on with the sexy blue robe – my dad was so sympathetic he decided to take a picture of me dressed in it. No, that picture will not appear on this blog!
The x-rays I had were a dysplasia series; around 6 X-rays with my legs in all sorts of different positions. I had to stand like a penguin, lie pigeon toe-d, put one leg up on a bolster … any way if you ever have to have this series done WEAR SHORTS! Fortunately I was prepared :o)
The second visit to the consultant – a Mr Jacks this time, with my dad in the room could have left me emotionally scarred for life. No, there was still no buttock flashing, but a lot of well meant insults! Fortunately I know my dad loves me and it’s just his way, however by the time I left the consultation (still hobbling) I had been teased that; My driving is scary and the longer I’m unable to drive the better, I have the hips of a boy (they are very narrow but after 30 years of having ‘boy’s hips’ the last thing you need is a medical professional reminding you!), if the pain gets bad and I pop ibuprofen too often I could end up with a stomach ulcer, and finally that I need to be careful cos the op works best on slim people! Now I’m not too porky, but I’m no rake either, so what was the fella trying to say? ‘lay of the pies luv’ would have given me a better idea!! Mind you I might have slapped him, and considering he could be holding a scalpel while I’m out for the count that probably wouldn’t have been a good idea!
The most scary part of this consultation was the time scales I was given for both hips to be operated on. Previously I had been told that there would be a 6 month gap between the two, so both would be sorted within a year. Considering I had just managed to secure a place at university this wasn’t the best news, but deferring for one year isn’t the end of the world, so this is what I had done. At the second appointment I was told that realistically it would be 12 months between surgeries. What the heck was I going to do about Uni now?! I’m fairly impatient and when I make a decision about what to do with my life I just want to get on with it. The thought of postponing my course for what would be 3 years (due to timing of the surgeries – smack bang in the middle of the academic year) made me want to cry…..a lot. Fortunately the staff at the university have been amazing. I made an appointment to see the course leaders and explained my situation, so now I’m on my course (in fact I’m typing this at Uni) and will complete two thirds of it before my first surgery, then the last third will be finished in the next academic year – HURRAH! In the meantime, however, I have to be careful with my dodgy joints.
As little as 6 months ago I was able to go circuit training and do 90 degree proper squats whilst holding a weighted 4kg (medicine) ball, now I can just about manage a 45 degree squat with a 2/3kg ball. Hill walking is a real pain in the hip after a fairly short time, and I’ve been told not to run at all. Sitting cross legged makes me cease up, sitting on a hard surface (plastic/wooden chairs) makes my hip sore for a while, standing for any length of time makes me stiffen up and need to ‘clunck’ my hip to stop it from sticking. Basically although I’m far better off than many people with dysplasia I can tell that there is some deteriation and I’m not happy about it! (well who would be!)