Monday, August 25, 2008

Speak softly and carry a big stick

My new sidekick: A wooden cane that my grandparents brought back from Mexico 30 years ago. It was in my parents' basement so I borrowed it for a test run.

Some problems with carrying a cane:
1. It's hard to carry other things since you only have one hand free! I must get a backpack since I carry a lot of stuff most days.
2. It's unwieldy. I have already wacked two people with it and not on purpose. It falls down when I lean it up against things. It's easy to trip over if I leave it lying around.
3. It's heavy.
4. It attracts attention. OK, look, I know I could mitigate this issue by getting something plainer; my cane has intricate carvings painted in bright colors. But my grandfather used this cane for years and it has sentimental value. Plus I'm cheap. Why buy a cane when I already have one?

I now have some level of pain pretty much all the time. If I sit for long periods of time my hips start to ache. When I first get up, I'm too stiff to move for a few moments. I can still sleep but only on my back. This doesn't hurt my hips but it does hurt my back. I figure eventually it will hurt my hips too, it's just a matter of time. I can't lie on either of my sides.

Walking hurts, although after I get going it hurts less.

Skating hurts.

Standing, sitting and lying down all hurt most of the time.

It's a tolerable hurt right now -- a dull ache and not a sharp pain. I am not taking pain medications until I have to. I'm not big on meds. NSAIDS can cause kidney damage and I'd rather have some pain now than kidney disease later. If I have to start popping an Advil now and then I will, but I want to delay that as long as possible. I want to know how bad it is, not mask it.

I am hoping that the pain will be tolerable through this skating season. I can then do something about it. I have an appointment with the periacetabular osteotomy guy Oct. 30 (I still can't believe the lead times for doctors). PAO does not sound promising, however. It sounds horribly painful with a long recovery time. A week in the hospital, and no weight bearing for months. The pain is akin to a broken pelvis, because that's what they do, break your pelvis. Hip replacement/resurfacing sounds less painful with a much shorter recovery time. However, the life span of those methods is limited (10 years? 20? who knows really) and the PAO may postpone the need for them -- or eliminate the need for them altogether.

When I read about the limitations post-surgery, PAO also sounds worse. I can't skate if I'm constantly thinking about what I can't do. I don't want to skate if my toes turn in and my extensions look like shit. I have worked all of my skating life to fight my lack of turnout and now I am at the point where my legline looks decent. To give all that up now just because I'm in some pain sounds silly. But if the pain increases it probably won't be so silly any more.

That's PAO though. Hip resurfacing will allow me some turnout; perhaps more than I have now. It's just the limited lifespan that worries me. I plan to live a long time and don't like the sound of 2 revisions in my future. But it seems multiple surgeries of some sort are inevitable. It's just a question of what. And when.

No comments: