Questions and more questions….

January 11, 2009

Countdown is progressing and my mind won’t switch off to the plethora of questions regarding surgery, some of these are repeated from my previous list as they go unanswered, however here’s what I have so far;

  1. To wax or not to wax? – apparently there needs to be some bikini line trimming prior to surgery, and quite frankly I’m not ready for anyone to give me a nice razor rash, so I’m banking on being prepared and waxing away anything necessary!
  2. How soon after the Op will I start physio, and will it be at my local hospital or will they do home visits?
  3. How long approximately will I need crutches for? (this will be a fairly individual thing, but a rough idea is what I’m after)
  4. If I need a Femoral Osteotomy as well how will this affect the timescales for staying in hospital and overall recovery?
  5. How ‘with it’ will I be during the days in hospital?
  6. Can I borrow the crutches early to practice with before I need to use them for real?
  7. I will be travelling home in a car, but how restrictive should I be on car journeys after this?
  8. When will I be able to use public transport? (I’ve been told that this could be about 6-8 weeks, which is the time for driving too. Now the restriction on driving I can understand, but I’m a bit befuddled about public transport, unless it’s the potential for being barged in the stampede on and off the bus/train!)
  9. Are there any aids I need to have at home?
  10. Will I be sedated before having the epidural? (As far as I’m concerned my spine and a needle should never meet it’s just wrong, so this be scares the living crap outta me. Friends who’ve had children tell me it’s the best thing ever, but they were already in pain when the needle went in, I won’t be in pain until afterwards…. maybe if I stub my toe really badly I’ll be less stressed about it!)
  11. How long does the surgery usually take for just the PAO and the PAO plus FO?
  12. Will I be in a mixed ward and will it be old folks who’ve had a hip replacement?!
  13. What are the restrictions on my movement of the joint in terms of flexion and extension, for example will I be able to put my own socks and shoes on?
  14. When will I be allowed to go to the gym/swim?- again very individual but a rough idea would be nice.
  15. Will you need to cut my tattoo? –  It’s only a little one, but I like it so am not looking forward to it being sliced.

That’s all for now but I’m sure there’ll be a million more to come, plus I’m working on a list of things to get sorted the week before I go in;

  1. Any necessary waxing done
  2. Hair dyed (sadly I’m going a bit grey)
  3. Hair cut
  4. Feet loved and looked after by a Podiatrist
  5. Lots of dinners made and frozen
  6. House to be cleared of any obstacles – this is a bigger job than you’d expect as we’re in the middle of DIY, so there’s stuff everywhere!

again there’ll be plenty more to add, and if any spring to mind that aren’t here then please fill me in!


what happened next?…….

September 25, 2008

After the initial shock of my diagnosis I did the inevitable research about PAO, found a fair bit of info about the medical procedure and a few graphic photo’s and pictures of the tools needed to perform surgery. Sometimes you really can know too much!

The closest PAO surgeon to me is based in London (apparently there’s only four surgeons who perform this surgery in the UK!).  Eventually after 7 months of waiting I had my first consultation at Guys Hospital with a consultant named Mr George.  My mum came with me for moral support  and we headed to the ‘big smoke’ for a spot of shopping, this aggravated my hip and resulting in hobbling – but at least I didn’t feel like a feel like a fraud when I limped into the hospital.  (I hate sauntering into the doctor’s or hospital without even a sniffle, I’m sure people are looking at me and thinking ‘what the heck is she doing here, flaunting her ability to breath/walk/not cough!’)

Anyway I was sent off to x-ray and had to don a very lovely blue robe, thankfully only trouser removal was required – there was to be no buttock flashing!  Once I had returned with x-ray in hand mum and I went to see Mr George and a very lovely sister named Michelle. Mr George’s first questions (after pleasantaries) were “what are you living arrangements?, what sort of house do you live in?” my response of “it’s a semi, 2 floors and the bathroom is upstairs” led him to realise that I knew where this conversation was headed. That and the list of questions about PAO I’d prepared for the appointment!  It was confirmed that I do need to have PAO and after going through some of the joys of having my pelvis sawn and screwed back together it was mentioned that I may also need a Femoral osteotomy. This involves taking a wedge shape from the femur on the inside of the leg so that the femoral head is a less of an angle – this helps to cover the head of the femur with the acetabulum. Just looking at my x-ray the femur looks to be almost 180 degrees, but I’ve not had any measurements done yet – so this could be an exaggeration on the consultant’s part.

I now had confirmation that I would definitely need surgery, and although I figured that would be the case it still took a while to really sink in. About 5 days after visiting Guys it finally hit me. Friends emailed about a fab group holiday abroad – scheduled for the same time as my first op. Tears of frustration, realisation of the impact it would have on my life and tears of terror hit me all at once. The tears, snot and weird face pulling (why does that happen when you cry – as if you don’t look bad enough with a blotchy face and swollen eyes!) went on for an hour or so but it’s all ok for now!