It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this, so I thought I’d update you on how things are going with my hip and how I’m coping with it. After almost two years, I’m finally getting somewhere, but before I get into that, let’s rewind some to how the past few months have been.
I’m still taking some strong painkillers, but the pain has worsened over the past few months. Following the advice of my first visit with a surgeon, I had been going to physio every few weeks and doing the stretches/exercises that I was shown. With this, my hip was getting stronger. I was soon no longer walking with my crutchꟷthis was a big thing that the surgeon wanted me to do before he would put me on the list for surgery. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere, but after months of physio, everything started to stagnate. I didn’t feel like I was getting very far with it and felt as strong as I was going to get. I had an appointment through for another visit with the surgeon, but this just so happened to coincide with my first day of uni. Not wanting to miss this, I had to cancel my appointment reluctantly. I explained which days I was able to do due to uni (it was only two days a week) and was told I would have to wait for another appointment, which was fair enough.
More months of physio passed, and I wasn’t feeling any further benefit from it, but I continued to go because I didn’t want any excuse for me not being on the surgery list. During this time, the pain was beginning to get worse. My GP increased the dose of my pain meds, but there wasn’t a great deal of room to do this, so they did what they could.
I waited for months for an appointment with the surgeon to come through. I rang on numerous occasions to find out what was going on and was simply told that they had no idea when I would next be fit in. I explained how the pain was getting worse and that my physiotherapist was telling me that, as far as he was concerned, I was fit enough for surgery. But still nothing. More months passed, and the pain began to get worse and worse. In the end, as much as I didn’t want to, I had to complain as I felt like I was just being messed around and just wasn’t getting anywhere, and my mental health, with suffering in constant pain, was just degrading day on day.
My email seemed to kick everyone up the arse because within a week or so; I got an appointment with the surgeon through. I only had to wait a few weeks, which was even better. During the appointment, I explained how I was getting on. I had a visit from another physio who assessed my joint and said I was “as good as I was going to get”, and when I spoke to the surgeon, he finally said I was ready to be put on the list for surgeryꟷHooray! Before I had it, though, they wanted me to have another MRI to get updated images of the injury to assess what it looked like now, as it had been quite some time since my last scan. This was fair enough; I’d kind of expected this.
The appointment for the MRI came through quite quickly, and I was soon off for another joyous scan. I’m not a fan of the MRI. I don’t mind it in theory; it’s just lying in one position for an extended period. My hip is bad enough when I can move freely, but when I have to stay in the same place for ages, it just hurts even more. Luckily they strapped my leg in position so I couldn’t move it; this meant I could relax the joint without it moving. They gave me a button to hold (the one I use in case I need them to stop or anything), and by the time the scan was over, my arms had gone numb, and I could ‘t move them, so if I wanted to press the button, I couldn’t. When the scan was over, they told me I could have moved my arms, and it wouldn’t have been a problem…useful! The MRI was a few weeks ago, and I haven’t heard anything about it; I’m assuming I won’t if nothing abnormal has popped up.
This week, however, I got a surprise. I had a letter through for my pre-op appointment. Alex tells me that they are valid for three months, so it could be that my surgery will be done sooner rather than later. Over this entire thing, I’ve known that surgery was the way it was going to go, and I was okay with that. But somehow, having this appointment through makes it all the more real. I’ve never had any surgery during my life, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit anxious about it now. The surgeon told me it’s a reasonably routine op and that I should be in and out in a day, but still, it feels like major surgery to me. As much as I’ve struggled with my mental health while suffering in such pain, this letter and appointment have pushed my anxiety up another notch. I know everything will be fine, but some part of me still worries about something bad happening. I hope I will be okay with it on the day, but I don’t know. Judging by past experiences, I will probably have a meltdown the day before and be fine on the day.
So now it’s just a matter of waiting for this pre-op appointment and being told the date my surgery will take place. Until then, I will continue doing what I do. And although my pain is still pretty bad most days, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I think it will be a little easier to deal with. My next update will probably be after my pre-op, so stay tuned for more.