Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 4 Years!!

It's totally official, today marks the 4 Year Anniversary of my first RPAO. I can't believe the ride I've been on for the last four years, but I totally wouldn't change a thing about it. As most of you know if you've followed me from the beginning, I had to have more correction done on my right hip two years after the first surgery - but this still marks a huge milestone for my hips because it was really the start of a HUGE journey for me (and for us).

I just did an updated the other day so I don't really need to go into too much detail on the hips. I am 31 weeks (and 2 days) and the hips feel fabulous. Honestly, no pain yet at ALL! I am through the moon about that. Not that I have LOVED being pregnant, but having pain free hips has seriously made this such a smooth ride for me that I couldn't imagine life without PAOs.

As mentioned, I am very concerned to give birth with my hips - I don't want the nurses pulling or stretching my hips in a direction that is not natural for me, that's my biggest worry for sure. We went to the doctor last week and I asked him about this. The main thing is that I have to see everyone in the practice so when I go into labor I will "know" whatever doctor is on duty. However, they also work with another practice and I don't get to see those doctors which is weird. But I asked, since I see whatever doctor is there, how are they going to know about my hips if they don't look at the fine print on my chart. He said that basically it's a valid concern of mine and it's Kevin's job to make sure the nurses are aware of my hips so they don't hurt me and that way they can also notify the doctor when we get to that point. He also made a bold note in my chart so whoever looks at it, will hopefully see it and read it. Just a mini worry of mine and hoping that I can give birth naturally and not need a c-section. Dr. Millis said that I shouldn't have any problem - I trust my life in his hands for sure so why would I not trust him this time around!! I wish he was an OB/GYN too. ha.

So like I said, there isn't much to report since I just did an updated last week on how the hips were feeling. As always, I don't regret anything I have done for my hips. PAO's were the best thing to happen to me in my life and would hands down recommend it to anyone (of course, with the proper doctor) and that it's a bump in the road but honestly is over before you realize it. I do have some friends with PAO's and Consultations coming up so I am wishing them the absolute best and am always here for anyone to talk to, vent to or ask questions to!

Happy and Healthy Hips for 2015!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year New Hips! If you have surgeries coming up this year I wish you well and for anyone currently healing, the end is closer than you think!

For me, 2015 will be the most exciting year yet - in just 10 short weeks (I hope) will be the arrival of our little bundle of ::cringe:: joy. We are definitely looking forward to it, mostly wishing it would hurry up and get here already,

I am now 30 weeks invested with about a 20lb weight gain (I go to the doctor in a few days so I'll have the official number then). I wanted to do a little hip update since we are much further along than the last post and have much more weight to carry around. Overall, I am still feeling great. I seriously dreaded being pregnant and being THAT miserable pregnant woman. And even though this pregnancy thing isn't REALLY icing on the cake for me, it has definitely been easier than I had imagined. I've had, quite literally, a perfect pregnancy this far with no issues or aches and pains. My back hasn't started to hurt, my hands and feet are not yet swollen, my hips feel amazing, no acid reflux - seriously like the perfect pregnancy. I really do feel lucky. Besides the difficult time getting comfortable in bed, not peeing so much and my ribs not being stretched when I slouch - it's been a fun time...but I'm ready for it to be over. Why can't we be like cats and only be pregnant for like a month?

Like most things I've read and most video I've seen, this last trimester will be the most uncomfortable one for sure. Baby packs on basically all of it's weight/fat in the last 13 weeks which means this belly will grow more and bigger and take over more of my body - of which there isn't much of to begin with. I guess someone that is a bit overweight has a one-up on a thinner person as there's more room for the baby already - my body is trying to create the room and it's just driving me batty.

Hips. These babies feel AMAZING - I can't say it enough. I think about and thank my doctor everyday that I'm fixed and able to enjoy this time. I think back to my pain, and my limp and how every inch of my body hurt from favoring one side over the other. I couldn't carry groceries from the car to my house without being in the worst pain, every, single, step. How would I be able to carry 20-30+ pounds of a baby eventually? There's no way I would be able to. I am so grateful to have found the right doctors and the right procedure to fix me up and give me the life a 25-30 year old should have. It's been a crazy 5 years of ups and downs...but it got me where I am today and I am ever so thankful. In another 4-6 weeks I'm sure my hips will start to feel some discomfort as the baby drops into my pelvis and prepares for evacuation - not really looking forward to that. But then I'll know it's almost over!

I've been going to the gym just to get some cardio - and by cardio I mean literally walking. It's cold out now so there's no way I'm actually going to walk around outside. I'll do about 20 minutes on the treadmill just to get my heart rate elevated and give me some stamina to last through labor - eek! I have been stretching a little after my workout as well and I am actually a little freaked out about delivering the baby - I'm worried (more than anything) about my legs/hips not being able to open wide enough to deliver a baby...Millis told me I shouldn't have any issue...but I'm still concerned. I mean, that's normal right? I also am concerned that my hips will be very sore afterward from being pushed and pulled and stretched further than they're actually supposed to go - I really hope everyone reads my chart before it's time to push so we're all on the same page.

Anyway...that was my mini hip/labor/rant/freakout...I also promised some pregnant scar pictures so here they are along with my 30 week belly!

 LPAO - scar looks a little better because it was only cut back into once for screw removal. We're about 3.5 years post and it looks so good and not stretched.
 RPAO - this scar - overall- looks a little crappier since I had it cut back open 3 extra times. I have a little dimple at the top. The top of the scar looks good but the bottom (hard to see on camera) is a little darker and does look like it has stretched a little more. But overall, this one looks good as well.
 Here I am...30 weeks down and 10 to go. That is all belly and all baby! :-)

I hope everyone has happy, healthy healing and as always, absolutely feel free to contact me! I am always willing to help.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We are now at 22.5 weeks and going strong, growing more than ever! Still can't say it's the worst thing ever. Although I can compare the horrible sleep to PAO recovery - except this one lasts about 6 months longer than!

Overall I am still doing well and don't really have too much to complain about. As I said, sleeping isn't the greatest but I'm making it work. Huge lifesaver for sleeping when pregnant (and honestly would probably help immensely post PAO too) is my Snoogle. It "holds" me in many positions to keep my knees, hips and back comfy for all the rolling I do in the course of a night. I'm sure a body pillow would do similar, but this one is definitely shaped for pregnant sleeping. Other than the sleeping and the occasion rant about my clothes not fitting, things are swell. I do find myself getting winded VERY easily without even doing much of anything. I couldn't untangle the duvet cover the other night without having to sit down and take a breather...then have Kevin do it for me. I feel like such a loaf already and I still have another 4+ months to go. YIKES.

This past weekend I did go bowling with Kevin's family which I was a little skeptical about. Bowling in the recent years has not been a friend of mine...I would always wake up the next morning with sore hips and broken nails and this time was more of the same. I bowled pretty darn good for my shape at the moment but woke up in the morning sore as hell. My inner thighs are getting a little better but the outside/upper part of my right hip is still pretty sore and I can't tell if it's bowling related, muscle related, hip related or pregnancy related! Horrible timing there. Since it did start Sunday morning I'm pretty much guessing it's because of bowling and the fact that 1-I didn't have my insert in my ever so stylish bowling shoes and 2-my right leg is the push off leg to bowl so that probably didn't help my cause.

 I'm seriously not smuggling a bowling ball, I swear.

I've been saying it and I'll keep saying it, my hips are seriously holding strong (not that I didn't think they would). Becoming pregnant one day was a huge scare for me before my PAO's when I was in horrible pain. I'm 5 months right now and couldn't imagine going through this in daily pain, I really couldn't imagine. I ALSO couldn't imagine having to go through a PAO recovery with small kids! These hips set life back a few years, but I'm glad it did and gave Kevin and I time to form a stronger relationship and go through things before bringing kids into it and having the stress compounded. I hoped to be done with the family planning by the time I was 30 but now I'll be 30 when the first little one pops out...things could be worse.

I also wanted to touch on something I just emailed Millis about to maybe help someone else having the same question(s). Since my PAO diagnosis (I won't say my dysplasia diagnosis since that happened at birth pretty much) I have read a lot and heard a lot about babies one day and proper holding, swaddling, etc. I had PAO girls tell me "wear your babies!" and I had girlfriends tell me "don't wear babies, it's not good for their hips/legs". WELL...I was so confused at this point. I always heard that wearing the babies in some sort of wrap (like Solly) was the best thing to keep the hips at the appropriate angles while the bones are still soft and forming. But now I hear that things like the Baby Bjorn are not a good idea at all as the legs just dangle and are not kept in any form whatsoever. I'm sure my OB/GYN would be the typical go-to for a question like this - for a normal person. However, I knew that the only opinion I would trust was one from Dr. Millis and Erin - especially since he specializes in Young/Adult Hips. I sent an email over to him asking about Wraps, the Baby Bjorn, something else or neither. He confirmed that Baby Bjorn is fine. I DID notice that there are different types - some have a wider butt area and some are narrow. I could see how the narrow one would make the legs dangle more than the wider ones. But it was good to hear from him there's no real issue. I also sent a long a recent belly pic with the caption "I put on weight just like you requested".  :-)

So, a good update all around...may not be so positive as the second trimester ends and third one starts but just take it as it comes and worry about it then! I have my next check-up next week and another Ultrasound in December. The New Year will bring me right into week 30 and then it's a quick nap until my due date!! AH! I can officially start freaking out then.

22.5 Weeks
~15lb weight gain - all in the belly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I am at the halfway point, 20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go! I am happy to report that the hips are still holding strong. After talking to friends and relatives, I'm not sure how great my hips will feel when I'm around 35 weeks since many people I talk to had pain and they didn't have hip issues!

This week I got back on track with my fitness, I really don't want to carry any unnecessary weight than the  20+lb of uterus and baby which I have no choice but to gain. I'm sure these hips will be perfectly fine, but if it's not needed, I don't want it! I have been going very light at the gym so I don't hurt anything - me or the baby. I know some women run right up until they deliver but for some reason, the idea of running and possibly scrambling my baby to a pulp just makes me a little uneasy. Plus, I'm no fitness freak and do not feel the need to run right now! That definitely can't be good for my hips.

Sunday started my routine all over again and I am going to really try for 3 days a week with 20-30 minutes of cardio and light weight training. That morning, I did 20 minutes on the treadmill around a 3.2-3.5 pace between a 0.5-1.5 incline. I didn't work up much of a sweat but felt my heart working more than normal. Since it was my first day back, I thought easing back into it would be the smarter move. After that, I did some squats, deadlifts and tricep kickbacks all with dumbbells.

Clearly, I only look pregnant from the side!

Last night I went to the gym again (yeah, go me!). I opted for the treadmill again for 20 minutes at 3.3-3.5 pace with 1.0-2.0 incline. I thought jumping into the elliptical was still a little too soon. I got a little more of a sweat going and then went over to free weights again with bent over one-arm rows, dead lifts and oblique dips. 

I always end my workout with stretching - my hips and hamstrings are definitely super tight lately! I guess overall my hips are holding strong! After I did the squats, my hips felt a little sore and stiff but I only blame that on the fact I haven't really workout in a couple weeks so they have to get back into the swing of things. I feel good with how things are progressing, I'm officially 10 pounds heavier than I was 5 months ago which is something my pre-PAO body would not be able to cope with. 

Hope this helps anyone looking into family planning and PAO fun. 

I've also added some new items to my side toolbar - I never had a spot to subscribe to my blog so you get updates when I please check that out and follow me. I also added the "search" tool which will allow you to find blog entries based on any criteria you are interested in, such as "screw removal", "exercise" etc. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just a quick little update as we are now a few more weeks into the second trimester and progressing (I think (right on track). My next baby appointment isn't until October 20 which puts me at 19 weeks - that is the "BIG" appointment where they check all the limbs and organs and make sure everything looks normal and also find out the sex, if we wanted to, which we aren't!

Almost halfway through this journey and really happy how my hips are holding up. I know it's still early before my body starts retaining water, and the ankles swell, and my back starts to let's just enjoy the spot I'm currently at! I know my hips have a some more opening/widening to do and I told Dr. Millis if I have one bit of pain I'm coming after him! After three PAO's I would only hope pain is in the past for at least a few more years. HA!

Speaking of the Doc, at my last follow-up in July I had scheduled my next 6 month appointment for the end of December - hoping I wouldn't make it if I got pregnant in the meantime. Well we all know that happened - so I emailed Alaina the other day and I asked her to cancel that appointment since there's not really a reason for me to go - can't get X-rays! But I did ask her to reschedule for later in the year and that I would have a little munchkin accompanying me to this appointment for its OWN hip checkup - gosh that makes me cringe. They like to see the baby at 6 weeks old which puts us ABOUT mid-April so I made a tentative date of April 9. Since baby has no official information, she only scheduled it as "Baby Laroche" HAhA! Cute. I have to call back after it has a DOB, SSN and an actual name. So that's all exciting and really scary all at the same time. My biggest fear with having kids is that I have a super high chance of passing Hip Dysplasia onto them. And the only reason I'm hoping for a boy is to make that chance even smaller - even though I secretly want a girl! But I know whatever the outcome, we will all be in the best hands possible and 'it' will have a better outcome from early diagnosis than I did. Last time I asked Millis what the procedure is on infants, he told me they still do the harness - great. <--yuck

So, here I sit, just packing on the ol' pounds and letting this little creature take over my body. Boy (girl!), it better be cute!

Side note, I received yet another message from a fellow PAO'er last night who has stumbled onto my blog. She is 13 years post-RPAO and now has pain in the other hip...which I guess is better than it being in the same hip. Back then there was really no information out there to help someone through this surgery whereas now I feel like blogs are popping up left and right. My goal when writing this was to (1)-document my experience and (2)-hopefully be able to help even one person who has been diagnosed with this surgery. I feel like I have hit my goal time and time again and it truly makes me so happy. Sure I have negative times and depressing times, but I feel other people really focus on those bad times and not the good parts. Half of this recovery is mental! You have to be mentally ready to take on a PAO and be accepting of help from others who have been through it. I know there are people out there freaking out over this diagnosis and surgery, but that's why I am here and that's why I write this blog, to help you and to be there to tell you it's NOT that bad. Isn't a pain free life something to be happy about? I won't go on a rant since we all know where I stand on that, but I just hope people reading this - as scared as they are, can really absorb what I have written over the last four years and realize it really is doable and you really do have a quality of life you never expected could be possible.

Words of Wisdom - take them as you wish. Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A New Journey - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I have taken a small hiatus from the blog but that doesn't necessarily mean bad things! I actually DID have a followup appointment back in July with Dr. Millis and sadly forgot to update the blog then! There really wasn't too much to report from that appointment. I had a couple questions for him which we didn't really address directly but basically everything looks fine. I was given a script for a shoe insert to help with my leg length difference which is leading to slight discomfort on my right leg (the longer one). Because that leg is longer, when I step on my left leg it's putting "sideways" pressure on my right hip causing it to not be overly comfy. I do wear an insert on the daily but it's not high enough so I got one for 3/4" to help a little more. Not much else CHB or Millis can do for me. Except, the one last "rule" Millis sent me away with was "babies". My new goal was to get pregnant and have babies. Well....Dr. Millis, your wish is my command!

Kevin and I found out we were expecting a little bundle of joy over Fourth of July Weekend - which was actually 3 days after my appointment, so I guess technically I was already pregnant at my appointment - no messing around here! Today, I am 14 weeks 3 days and the above ultrasound picture was taken two weeks ago.

I hope you'll all come along with me for this joyous ride and see how pregnancy puts these healthy hips to test. I am currently 3+ years post LPAO and 1+ year post RPAO. I got pregnant at (almost) exactly 3 and 1 year dates and I can say it's been a good ride so far. Around the 4-6 or 7 week mark my right hip was absolutely giving me a pinching sensation. Being that early, I'm not sure I can really say it was pregnancy related or just coincidence with some tissue issue that was already going on within my socket. But since then I have felt great. We went on a beautiful family vacation to California mid-July, did a lot of walking and the hips felt fine. Now being into my second trimester they are holding up very well. I haven't had a problem since. I'm not living my days on high alert of my hips waiting for something to happen at all. I AM sleeping at night with my Snoogle - typically with it between my knees/legs and it is amazing. As I lay on my back in bed, I can put my legs out (think Indian style) to the side while laying down and it doesn't bother me one bit - I believe this, now, is a result of the Relaxin which is a pregnancy protein hormone which causes your joints to loosen up to make way for baby. This is also something to be aware of so we don't hurt ourselves.

I am still working out, trying for 2-3 times a week with light cardio and weight training. Working out while pregnant is more of "maintaining" versus "losing" or getting in shape. You just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay strong and keep the stamina up to boost the breathing for later in pregnancy when we carry more weight. However, working out can also be dangerous. The Relaxin I mentioned earlier causes the joints to loosen so while running/jogging it could cause you to lose balance or the legs could give out and cause you to fall which is not something you want to happen with a belly. Aside from falling, while stretching is very important when pregnant and working out, it's easy to over-stretch and hurt those joints. My advice is just go easy. You aren't here to break any records or try new things. Always remember something you could do 3 months ago is something that is not a good idea at this point moving forward.

13 Weeks

If requested, I can post my workouts and what is helping me, my hips and my belly! I hope you will all enjoy this new 'hip' journey and if you want to know more about our personal life and other aspects of pregnancy such as meal plans, nursery ideas and motherhood must-haves, please visit my other blog Living Laroche Life and join me on the non-hip related journey. If you subscribe to my blogs you'll get automatic updates when I have a new post. As previously stated, I want this blog to stay strictly HIP related. I want you all to see what things you can do post-op, how life changes (for the good) and how we get on with life and family - and hope that my pregnancy is as natural and normal as possible having been through 3 PAOs within a short period of time.

Please leave comments with anything you want to know or specific topics you want me to touch on related to hips, doctors, pregnancy or anything else. Wishing you all happy recoveries, positive thoughts leading up into surgery and a HUGE thumbs up to ones who have been newly diagnosed with hip dysplasia. This is why we go through with surgery, for the better things in life!

14 Weeks

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What to Pack

Here it is, finally after months and months of promising it, the list of what to pack for the hospital. After having three PAO's and two screw removals, I have narrowed down what worked best for me and my needs. All three of my surgeries/recoveries were COMPLETELY different so my needs were also quite different. My first PAO I lost 10lbs, was tired and weak for my entire hospital stay and fluctuated constantly with fevers. My second surgery (5 months later) I was wide awake and had the biggest appetite during my hospital stay and my third I was in a little more pain, more awake and ran no fevers. Even when I thought I was prepared, I wasn't!

I posted this back in June before my PAO, but it is also very helpful for this post. Here are (what I think) are the necessities to have at home. A lot of people rent hospital beds, walkers, mobilegs and a zillion other things they think are needed. They aren't. You need a commode (or raised toilet seat with handles), a shower stool or chair (I bought this one and just left the back off) of some kind and crutches (which were given to me at the hospital). My doctor also REQUIRED me to come home with a wheel chair which was a complete waste of my time as I didn't use it once. All stores, malls and grocery stores have motorized scooters or wheelchairs that you can use. Not to mention, the hassle of lugging that thing in and out of the car which is impossible for most women, let alone ones on crutches or their mother's staying with them. But, you may want to use one just in case if you are unsure of yourself walking distances with crutches. Luckily (or not luckily) we had most of these already as my Mom has had multiple hip surgeries and needed everything!

Next. My necessities were two-size-too-big underwear (you will be swollen, have a bulky bandage and definitely will not want anything tight to be around you. My first surgery was in January so I packed a Snuggie - yes, I had one. My brother bought it for me as a gag-gift for Christmas but it ended up being the BEST thing ever. Hospital blankets suck. The snuggie was perfect - even for my June surgeries. A neck pillow and eye mask. Nurses come in every hour to check don't need to talk to them or open your eyes so the eye mask is great to block out the lights from the hallway or god forbid, your roommate.

And just to prove I really did use these I am with my Snuggie (in June) and neck pillow.

Night before surgery packing all of my goodies. Shower won't happen for a couple days so I always throw in a hat for those not-so-nice hair days!

Some other good things, face wash wipes that come in the package, showers and sponge baths are less than fabulous so these will help you feel a little fresher all over until you can go to town in the shower. Large/comfy PJ pants/shorts, slipper socks are provided by the hospital, grabber (more for when you're home alone and need to reach something), Pillow Pet - call it strange, call it whatever but it was a lifesaver. A fellow hipster came to visit me after my third PAO and brought me a bag of goodies which included a Pillow Pet. I thought this is cute, but I'm 28 years old. She's like no, this is great in the car to put on your hip where the seat belt crosses the incision, or to sleep on, as well as hold tight when you have to cough or sneeze. I don't know why I didn't know about this sooner. It was amazing and I send these to all my hip friends during recovery. Also a must is some kind of mindless magazine. You won't want a book because you'll most likely be tired and groggy and won't want to pay attention or focus on anything. Get some kind of crappy gossip magazines, they're a great attention stealer when things get rough. Last but not least, an iPod. I know iPhone's are an extension of our hands now a days but it's most likely going to be one thing you don't want to pay attention to right out of surgery. I had my iPod fully charged with some new tunes. Put my headphones in, throw on my eye mask and I was good for hours without being interrupted too badly.

Commode (or raised toilet seat)
Shower Stool
Large Underwear
Snuggie or Blanket
Neck Pillow
Eye Mask
Cough Pillow (compliments of my Doctor)
Pillow Pet (can take the place of the cough pillow)
Face Wash Wipes
Large/Comfy Clothes/PJ Pants/Shorts
Slipper Socks/Rubber sold slippers/Sneakers
Pillow to sit on

I originally packed other things, but didn't really get to use anything else. Brought other clothes and some makeup in case I felt so inclined but that was not happening. Brought my laptop one time and that was just a waste. I did end up "permanently borrowing" some towels and pillows from the hospital so perhaps bringing something like that for when you get discharged. I am 5'8" and so my my legs were bent more than 90 degrees when in the car or wheelchair so I sat on a hospital pillow for the first few weeks of my recovery and time I sat in a chair other than my recliner.

This is MY list of hospital must-haves. Everyone is different and everyone's surgeries are different. These are the basics...and basically everything that was in my suitcase for the hospital. Even for my first surgery I packed very light not knowing what to expect.

I hope this list helps! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me directly,

Happy Packing!

~*~ Also, see my "what do I ask my doctor" questions added to the tabs at the top of this page. ~*~