Wednesday, April 22, 2009
All Systems Go
Let me start by saying that if I had any doubts at all about this surgery, they were quickly dispelled when I met with Dr. Philippon and his team today. Wow!!! I am actually looking forward to surgery now with absolutely no dread.
In 14 hours I will be checking in at Vail Valley Medical for surgery. So, here's the details -- check-in at 7:30 am, surgery probably around 9:00 am and hopefully in recovery by early afternoon. Will spend tomorrow night in the hospital where I will start physical therapy at 8:40 Friday morning. As soon as I am cognizant, I will be on an excercise bike in the recovery room.
So, today, I met with a physical therapist who did a strength and flexibility evaluation. The weight lifting before surgery paid off and she commented about the strength in my legs. (big pat on the back). After that, I had a 30 minute MRI and then headed up to the Steadman Hawkins clinic for my appointment with Dr. Philippon. It was fun to walk down the "hall of fame" and see all of the signed jerseys from the famous sports figures who have been there. Let's just say it's a long hallway and it is full.
I first completed about a inch of paperwork and then Dr. King came in to see me. Dr. King is training under Dr. Philippon and did the initial evaluation today. He did a fantastic job explaining exactly what the problem is with my hip and how they intend to fix it tomorrow. The ball of my hip sits too deep in the socket and has torn the labrum (cartilage that surrounds the hip socket and keeps fluid inside). They plan to repair the labrum and shave down my hip socket to make the ball move more freely. He also did a thorough evaluation of both my already repaired right hip and the damaged left. It was amazing to see the difference in range of motion between the two. I also found out that I will not have matching scars. Dr. Philippon has changed the site for the portals. There is a slight chance that my labrum will be too badly damaged and they will have to harvest some of my IT band and fashion a new labrum but they won't know that until they get in there. Whatever it is, I am completely confident that they will fix me.
Then Dr. Philippon came in. He wanted to know how my right hip felt and if I had any issues with it over the years. Then he did his own examination. He was incredibly pleased with my right hip and said that it is performing perfectly. No issues there whatsoever. On my left, he explained that he is doing exactly the same thing as he did 6 years ago for the right as it is exactly the same issue I had with the right hip. He expects a full and complete recovery. And, the best news . . . . only 2 weeks on crutches. I just about hugged him. Last time it was 6 weeks. He also explained that they have changed many other things since the last time I had this done. You know that I have been living with the constant dread of waking up after surgery with immense pain. Well, now the first thing they do is a spinal nerve block that lasts somewhere between 24 and 48 hours so the pain after surgery is less. Yipeee!!! And, the meds taken after surgery have changed up somewhat too. Still Vicodin but I also have a muscle relaxer that may solve the root cause of the pain allowing me to stay off of the Vicodin or at least take a minimum amount.
I wrapped up my appointment with his surgical nurse, Penny who gave me all my prescriptions and detailed instructions about who I had to see before I left the hospital. She has also had a labrum repair done by Dr. Philippon and so we were discussing the difference pre and post surgery. I also found out that I am #2 on the surgery schedule tomorrow so he will be warming up on someone else. :-) She sent us on our way to lunch at a fabulous Italian restaurant just down the street and then I came back to complete everything at the hospital -- admissions, payment and a pregnancy test. Ok, really? A pregnancy test??? Lawyers run the world (sorry to all my lawyer friends but you know it's true).
After lunch, I did a little shoe shopping and walking around Vail village. My hip was absolutely killing me after all the twisting and turning during 3 earlier examinations so I cut the walking short and headed back to complete all of my pre-surgery assignments.
Here's what I walked away with today -- Dr. Philippon is confident but not arrogant. He has assembled one of the best teams that I have ever dealt with. He instilled confidence in me that I will be repaired and better than ever once I get through about 2 months of physical therapy.
So . . . here's a picture of me . .the last one you will ever see of me with hip pain. I bid farewell to a life limited by pain and embrace one with endless possibilities. That, my friends, is the big smile on my face!!!