Monday, July 9, 2012

Three Years and a Day

Yesterday was the actual three-year 'versary and I have to say that not much has changed since I wrote about my Two Year Hippiversary

I could end with that, but that would be so unlike me.  Not to disappoint, I'll elaborate.  When I was considering PAO I wanted to know everything I could expect including what it might be like in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, whatever.  For those who are similarly inclined, here's what it's like for me at 3.  Every person follows their own path and each recovery is different so this is just one data point.

First, to answer Amanda's question about jumping.  I was told by my OS "no running, no jumping, no squats, no lunges, no stairmaster" for the rest of my life.  I occasionally run here or there, not as exercise but to chase something, and I have done the occasional on-ice single jump, but I don't make a point of doing any of those things.  I like to jump off rocks and such for photo opportunities because it's fun but that's just now and then.   I am old enough and had enough hip damage that preserving my PAOs comes with more restrictions than a younger person would have.  If I chose to do those things regularly I'd just need hip replacements faster and I'm not in any hurry!

Here are my updates:

~Scars are so light that I can't even see them without putting on my glasses.
~I never take pain medication for my hips.
~I almost never limp.  Last time I did was after walking 3 miles on pavement.
~Extended walking and hiking are not still not my friends.  I've bitched about this before but it is what it is, and other hippies have said the same.  That's not to say that I won't hike but I do think twice about it since I know I'll pay for it with stiffness and soreness -- sometimes for days.  I think trekking poles would help as well as working up to long hikes (instead of just going out and hiking after sitting on my butt for a month).
~Flexibility has not improved but I haven't really focused on it -- yes, I need to.
~I am getting pretty flabby and need to get into the gym but that has nothing to do with PAOs and everything to do with laziness
~I can wear heels - not every day, but when I need to - no problems.
~Extended standing, sitting for long periods, walking on hard surfaces, carrying heavy loads - depending on duration and other factors I may pay for these with soreness the next day, but I just take care to avoid when I can and mitigate when I can't.
~I go about my business without thinking about my hips at all most days.
~I never have problems getting through airport security even though I still have 13 screws in my pelvis. 
~My screws were countersunk so they don't bother me and don't need to be removed.
~I still have a large chunk of heterotrophic bone at the front of my left hip joint.  It creates some interesting ROM challenges but not enough for me to think about having it removed.

That's all folks!


ojulius said...

Happy 3 years!your doctor's "no" list reminds me I need to pay a little more attention to my "no" list too. The problem with feeling great as the years progress is that I forget that I need to take care of my PAO and non-PAO hips. Great news with your progress!

Nina said...

Wow Happy Anniversary! I'm happy to hear that you're recovering well and have been able to increase your physical activity. Weeks ago ago I read some of your posts in HCU blog and enjoyed your blunt honesty and sense of humor. Also I really appreciate you sharing your experiences w/us all to learn from and to guide us through this PAO experience. I was told I need a PAO but I'm going for a second opinion w/Dr Millis this week because I hear he's very experienced w/PAOs & great dr all around. Can you tell me who was your dr pls? I used to dance latin dances in ballroom shoes for yrs but it sounds like I may not be able to do this after PAO, hard pill to swallow for me. Glad to see your update & that you're better. Look forward to hearing from you.

HipSk8 said...

Nina - I've sent you a private e-mail; please let me know if you receive it. Terri

Nina said...

Hi Terri, great to hear from u. Where did u email me? I checked my gmail and hipchicks acct but don't see anything. thx

HipSk8 said...

I replied to the "noreply" notification that you commented! Oops, that won't make it to you. I'll put the text here since it's not private and since I don't have your e-mail address:

My surgeon was Dr. Mayo in Tacoma, Washington. He and Dr. Millis are among the best PAO surgeons in the U.S. I know that Dr. Millis has worked with other dancers, so be sure to tell him that you are a dancer and that you want to continue dancing if you can. I am sure that he will be realistic with you about this. He is a wonderful surgeon.

Have you seen this site?:

Not a lot about PAOs there, but the creator was a ballroom dancer with hip issues; there are many stories that might inspire you.

The recovery from a PAO is not easy but it is not impossible. People are able to return to many athletic endeavors. Dance is a bit more problematic because sometimes you lose flexibility during a PAO -- but not always. I am probably not typical as I have anteversion and other issues.

Depending on your age and the amount of damage to your hip you may be able to continue dancing. I know there are other dancers on hipwomen who have continued after PAO surgery. It's not out of the question.

Please let me know if you have any other questions I can answer and stay in touch.

Nina said...

oh excellent! Its so great to hear Dr Millis is considered one of the best in the nation. Relieved. Thank you that's a very good idea to mention that I plan to return to dancing because I really love dancing n want it back in my life. Surgeon who did my scope said I have lax joints but hopefully this means that I'll b able to recoup flexibility. Yea I'd like to know how those women r doing dancing-wise after PAO. And thanks for referring me to dancer hips! looks like a great website, I'm checking it out. You're still skating right?
Btw, I'm going to see Dr Millis on Thursday for first time, any questions you think are important to ask him?
Thank you Terri

HipSk8 said...

Nina - There is a great list of questions for potential surgeons on the hipwomen list if you are a member - it's in the database section.

Because you already know that Dr. Millis is highly regarded you don't have to ask him anything about his qualifications. He truly is one of the best.

I would focus on asking him about what he can do for you specifically. Things like the amount of damage you have, how many years your PAOs will last, what restrictions you may have, how long it will take you to recover, and of course whether you will be able to dance again. Terri