Sunday, September 5, 2010

What is "normal"?

Status update -- it's been a little over a month since the shot in my left hip flexor and I am back in physical therapy once a week and i have been doing all of my assigned exercises as instructed. My lower back is still KILLING me. I have a hard knot in my lower left back that seems to get much worse when my psoas is tight (ok so almost always) and I still don't feel like I can live "normally". Normally to me means being able to get out and walk and do the things that I want. I avoid situations now that will require any sort of distance walking since that will almost always cause a flare up. I rode my bike last week and I really tried to go slowly. It's just that, it's impossible for me to do anything halfway. I love speed and I love to push myself so I was not the best when I got off of the bike. Lower back was tight and my hip flexor was a little wound up too. Then over the weekend, I did lots of walking and again, my lower back screamed. In fact, the screaming was so loud that it required a night of Vicodin to quiet it. Ugh!! I thought for sure I was headed to full blown muscle spasms but somehow I managed to thwart them. My hip flexor is not nearly as painful but I still seem to be suffering from lower back issues.

Which leads me to the title of this post -- will i ever really be able to do things without limitation? I was born with bad hips and I am 51 years old. It seems that there just simply HAS to be consequences with other body parts from 50 years of walking incorrectly. As I have been talking to numerous people (doing my own informal research), I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that, even though my hip is fixed, I may not be. I suspect that years of walking incorrectly have taken a toll on my spine and the muscles may indeed be tightening to try to help some discs that aren't quite right anymore. It scares me!!

I am going to try to head back out to Vail before the end of the year and see Dr. Philippon again. It's definitely a question that I want to discuss with him. I hear from more and more patients that don't seem to have 100% success with their hips. Athletes bounce back quickly but the chronic sufferers seem to have slower or lesser results. Is this because there are other factors at work? Did my right hip surgery feel so successful because I was younger? Did I let my left hip go to long thereby exacerbating what was already being injured from a bum hip? More questions than answers really but it's been on my mind a lot these days.

I seem to be fine and feel better when I limit my physical activities. Can I tell you how much I hate that and just how much that scares me??? I had big plans to schedule a canyoneering trip and plan a great backpacking adventure. If I thought about this too long, I might burst into tears so I keep hope alive and remain thinking positively. Ugh!!!

Sorry for the downer post today and I really promise to post again the next time I have a good day and feel great! :-)


Stephanie H. said...

I think about that all of the time! Will things ever be back to normal again??? The only thing I can stand to think is yes. Hope and faith is the only thing most of us have to get us through. Without it, I think recovery would be much more grim and painful. I think your positive thinking has gotten you so far, so keep it up. You'll get there:)

Anonymous said...

Hang in there you WILL get back to your normal. It takes a body quite some time to adapt to change.


Kim said...

April, we might have a "new normal" but have to find a way to make it a good normal. Finding this hip stuff is very complicated and not easily fixed. There are other alternates down the road if necessary. Keep your spirit up.

Mary Dee said...

I just started reading your blog.
OH MY GOSH is all I can say. I too had FAI surgery 13 months ago - September 6, 2009 to be exact. I am having such similar symptoms as you. Groin pain, pain down the inner thigh, hip pain, tender psoas. I also have pirafoormis pain. Every time I go back to my surgeon he tells me I have a back problem. This is absolutely not true. My back feels fine. It is all coming from my hip. I have a great PT now who tells me I am not crazy and in fact it is my hip. I have basically had to quit all physical activity except swimming. Any kind of walking hurts so I do feel your pain. I am seeing my surgeon again on Thursday and I am going to tell him we have to do another MRI of the hip to see what is going on. Then I will probably get a hot in the psoas next week. I desperately want to see Dr. Phillipon as I have heard such wonderful things about him. If I have to have another surgery I want it to be with him. Can I ask - how did you get him to see you? I know he is in high demand. I just can't let my current surgeon do the surgery again. He is supposed to be excellent and does over 100 a year - but - he does not communicate with me, doesn't listen to me - and when I tell him the hip still hurts, he tells me to remember that "you don't have the labrum of a 25 year old". That does not help me. Yes, I am 45 - but I need more answers and a surgeon who will be honest with me and try to help me.
How are you feeling now? DO you think the injection in the psoas helped you? I do hope you are better.
Mary Dee

Anonymous said...

As a former patient of Doc P's I can assure you nobody is more qualified to help you with your hip problems.

I had a complicated hip problem and through patience and time he was able to resolve it.

Anonymous said...

Mary Dee, to see Dr. P, you can send him an email through the Steadman web site. That is what I did, and his staff called me and had me send my medical records (I've had 3 hip surgeries, all in 2009). I sent my records, which he reviewed free of charge, and then his staff called me and made an appointment for me. I saw him in October, and unfortunately, I need labral reconstruction of my hip. It does take time to get an appointment to see him, but he will see you.

April, when you had surgery with Dr. P, how long did you have to stay in Vail? I'm also coming in from out of town (Miami, FL), and now I'm working on the logistics of it all. How long before you were back on your feet or you felt well enough to fly home?