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 vitals...you 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 things...here 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.


List:
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
Grabber
Magazine
iPod
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, DRemond1@gmail.com

Happy Packing!


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


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yeah...I pretty much suck at the whole updating thing after the 6 month mark and I do apologize! However, that also means GOOD things. That life has taken the best of me and the hips are coming along for the journey without causing too much issue.

I guess I've been doing a lot since I last posted. I was kind of at the end of the screw removal recovery at that point and healing from that. I am fully healed and the scar is looking fine - will post pictures later when I get home and have some assistance. I also decided it was time to kick start my fitness again and get back into the gym! I went hard for about 2-3 weeks and the weather stopped me dead in my tracks and I lost motivation! Picked it up again and lost it again. The cold weather just makes me want to go home and jump in my sweats and not leave the couch. However, this week started some serious fitness training and I'm getting my 'rear in gear' for good! Bathing suit season is totally upon us now.

I feel completely healed at this point so any weird feelings are things I am just going to have to deal with. Monday started my 30-day Brazil Butt Lift Challenge. I want to stay motivated and get into shape. This workout has been great (but tiring) as the butt and hip are so closely related. Some of the exercises are difficult and some I cannot attempt at all because I simply do not have the muscle. I am getting up early before work to my my routine and trying to go to the gym at night to do abs, arms or cardio. It has been kicking my butt for sure. But my hips are feeling great. That's what this blog is really about! But I had to give some background to the program before I can talk about my hippies. I am sore beyond belief this week, but it's a good sore! The hips are good and getting stronger and hope to slim down a bit in the process. 

Other than me being a complete fitness freak lately, things have been feeling great. Besides the length difference which I may never come to terms with completely, I do have some clicking/snapping/popping in my right leg since my PAO. Originally, I thought it was something hitting on the screws but it is still happening. It doesn't hurt when that happens, it's just loud and pretty annoying in general. Second weird thing, which I haven't felt before, is some (what I thought) was muscle pain above my hip bone, mostly in my love handle area. I kind of first noticed it after doing literally a DAY of walking around. The next day I woke up and that spot was SO sore. I figured it was because I hadn't really 'moved' that much since surgery so the muscles are waking up and realizing they're needed. However, that was three months ago and it still happens on a daily basis. It's clearly hip related but I'm not sure if it's just that the muscle needs a lot of work to get back to tiptop shape, or what's going on.

We are going to Boston next week and I scheduled my "final" MRI for Friday morning. Unfortunately, it's basically impossible to get in to see Dr. Millis Thursday or Friday so IDK what I'm going to do. Maybe get the MRI done so he has it and then figure out a time to see him in the near future. I just always like trying to see him the same time we're in the area. Not sure how all of that is going to workout just yet.

That's what's going on in my hip life. I have two hip-friends that are 7/7.5 weeks post first PAO and doing amazing! SO happy they turned the corner and are in the home stretch. I told you once the turn comes you'll be begging for the other hip to be done pronto, you forget all about the early recovery pains and you focus on pain free, healthy hips!

Scar pictures coming soon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday, January, 12, 2014

Happy Anniversary to ME! I'm not sure if I should even really celebrate today being my 3 year Anniversary for my RPAO since it had to be redone. GAH, I hate saying re-done! But, I guess I do still count this because it needed to be done before I could get it fixed the rest of the way. SO...here we are.

I definitely want to do a "what to pack" post for newbies as well as a post on things I had at home that helped me and just general things I learned after having 3 surgeries. The will come soon.

To recap the last three years - Roller Coaster. Period. It has been ups and downs in every aspect of my being. I've been Happy, I've been Sad. I've been Excited, I've been Depressed. I've Felt Great, I've Felt Pain. I hit super highs, super lows and everything in between. No one said this was easy. No one told me what to expect. I wasn't on forums, or Facebook groups. I relied on TWO blogs and the real life recovery of one girl that was a few weeks post-op (with my doctor) at the time. I was ready for this. I had to be, my pain was causing me to be someone else, someone that had to say 'no' to plans because I knew it would hurt and no one would understand.

January 2012, one year post RPAO and 6 months post LPAO  - and a few weeks post screw removal. There I was, pain free, feeling great...couldn't have been happier. 2011 sucked, but it was only a year, boom, and done! 2012 was going great. Working out. Going on vacation. We were cruising right along until I slowly got some pain in my right hip. Maybe once, twice a month and only for a short while. This is normal, I thought. But I also remember my doctor asking me how my right hip felt at every appointment. "Fine," I replied. Now, I wasn't feeling so calm. 2013 came along and the pain was getting a little worse and lasting a little longer...and a little longer. Come April, I was close to pre-PAO discomfort and I wanted to die. I had an annual checkup with Millis and finally the answer to his common question "how does the right feel" was finally, "it hurts". He knew for me to talk about pain means it was bad. My level 3 pain is everyone else's level 9. I couldn't believe we were really tossing around the word PAO again...not even 2 1/2 years later and I'm in the same spot. But I didn't crumble. I wasn't happy, but I wasn't going to let this get the best of me...even though it was going to suck. I took this surgery on full force, head on. I had to. What choice did I have? I have been through it, I know how amazing the results are...unfortunately, I had horrible hips and they wanted me to know once and for all just how stubborn they were going to be. They won.

Here I am 3 years ago.


I am just shy of 7 months post op, and as some of you have been reading, about 3 weeks post screw removal. I'm not 100%. I never was and I never will be and I'm ok with that. I'm not in pain, or at least 99% pain free. I'm back at the gym, I'm walking around the mall and don't mind parking far away from things and having to walk. Yes, my muscles and hamstrings are like tight as steel. Yes, my thigh is still numb. Yes, my legs are different lengths. But who cares? I'm not in daily pain. Wasn't that the goal? No one can promise a body better than the one you were born with. But now I have a new outlook, a new quality of life.

I'm glad this happened to me. Yea, that's kind of sick to say but it's true. I can handle it. I didn't shy away from the news, the diagnosis, the recovery - even the news I needed a "redo". I said from day one that this surgery is amazing and I would do it all over again - and I still feel that way. I would recommend this to anyone that needed it. I know some people would not recommend it or wish it on someone, and that's exactly why I said I'm glad this happened to me because I don't think that way. I fought through. My friends and family were my #1 fans, they didn't exactly understand it as much as someone going through it, but they pushed me and kicked me up off the couch. I feel like they helped me, help myself.

If you don't take anything away from this post, just take away positive thoughts. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Don't feel guilty or feel bad people are doing things for you. Accept it. Be grateful. Then, focus on you. It's the only way you'll get out alive!

So, this is NOT the way I intended this post to go but my fingers started and my brain started spinning and I didn't want to stop. In closing arguments, here's a current incision pic! Happy Sunday and remember, get up, get out and get active!

Here I am today!



I promised different pants and here they are. You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Today makes something like day 17 post-hardware removal and I am basically normal now! An ache here, a pain there, a click or two here and there - but overall well worth the experience.

Last night, the remaining 10 steristrips fell off. haha I must say, the incision looks pretty fabulous. My guess is that after the PAO they basically botch stitch you up and then when the hardware comes out is when they apply the plastic surgery sewing techniques. That and the fact there's a lot less pulling and tugging during the PAO than the hardware. But it looks almost completely healed up!


I'm super happy with the results vs the way it looked 6 months ago - red and gross for weeks! And wow, I apologize for the same pajama pants in every scar picture. I took the tape off after my shower so I wasn't able to wash off the marker or anything which is why I look like Frankenstein.

This week has been my official start back to the gym for a New Year, New You fitness plan! Last night I decided to try something new - I wanted to start back easy as I didn't want my scar to open up or anything but looks as though that won't be an issue now. I actually attempted running! My new sneakers are amazing...but the running was less than exciting. My leg length difference is a real bummer and I look like a special needs person trying to run, it's pretty depressing as I felt running really gave me a great full body workout. But aside from the legs, I had this pretty awful clicking in my hip! I had originally thought it was the screws and something rubbing over those which is also what my Doc suggested (after being yelled at for running), so now I am not sure what it is but it does not feel good! I ran for 3 minutes, it felt pretty good, but I feel like I look super awkward. Why can't I just be normal in that regard! Anyway, after a 10 minute treadmill warm up I moved over to the Stairmaster to try some new things and BOY do I feel it today. I did 10 minutes of alternating every other step with a kick back, sideways walk and a normal walk at a fast pace. WOW. Love that new routine.

So posts will definitely get less and less and I apologize ahead of time for that. I do need a final MRI and a followup in a few months but I'll push that off as long as possible. And I promise new PJ pants in future photo shoots!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Quick update. I promised incision and steri-strip pics which is basically all this post will be. I was supposed to keep my bandage on and the area dry for 10 days which was Thursday. I ended up leaving it on until Friday morning before jumping the shower. The tegaderm came off very easily and did not cause ANY pain! WINNING! So, Kev helped me rip it off (he enjoys it), I showered and then took pics after. There is one of just the incision and one straight on so you can see how it's situated on my body.

Enjoy!



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

~Happy New Year Y'all~

I totally can't believe we're into 2014 already! Let's talk about it. 

We were looking forward to a year without surgery; however, it seems as though someone got a little jealous and wants to go under the knife as well. More on that a little later. In other news, I am around day 10-11 post screw removal and finally feel good. Monday was a week and I was still pretty sore! Now I am feeling much better and the area is only sore to the touch. It doesn't bother me when I stand up anymore and sleeping on my side is much better. This must also be why they want the bandage on and the area dry for 10 days. Man, these doctors really know their stuff!

Christmas Day I had Kevin help change my bandage. Some of the clear Tegaderm had pulled up and I didn't want water to get underneath and cause issues. I also emailed Erin to see if I should leave the bandage off or put a fresh one on. Being through (how many of these?) surgeries you would THINK I knew what I was doing. We removed the bandage and bloody gauze and put on fresh stuff so now it's not so gross to look at. The steri-strips were looking fine - can't wait to pull those babies off! Today I should be able to pull off my bandage so I will do that just before getting into the shower, then it's a waiting game - kind of eager to see what the scar looks like - although I am bracing for the worst.

I also wanted to report that my stride has gotten better. Since now I am not sure and the screws are gone, I can finally see if the aches and "catching" are here for good or temporary. It looks as though that feeling like something was rubbing/clicking/catching has vanished and I feel pretty normal when I walk! The hip is very tight still but with proper stretching and exercise this should loosen up and I will be well on my way! I'm partially looking forward to my first attempt at running on the treadmill and see how that goes. 

About all for now, pictures will arrive soon (most likely at my 3 year post!).

How are those resolutions coming?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day!! 2013

Merry Christmas DAY!

So I'm at Day 2 of screw removal - and OW!


It has been a pretty sore couple of days. I took one 5mg Oxy at the hospital, took one before bed Monday night and another Tuesday morning - I have not taken one since. However, today I did take two Tylenol because it was feeling pretty sore. The bone/hip itself feeling but the incision is where most pain lies. When I stand up from sitting, it feels like the incision is ripping open. That's the worst feeling of all. Standing up, rolling over in bed all take a little more effort to try not to hurt myself too bad.

So the thicker outside diaper I took off last night, and the bandage I think stays on for like 7-10 days or something. It's already peeling up in one area though. If water gets in there it may get like wet and soggy and we don't want that because I don't want bacteria to start growing. I may take it off and put a new one on or wait it out.

Yeah, it definitely does not look appealing in the least. Sorry about that one. It feels as bad as it looks too!

Lastly, here are ALL my screws. RPAO, LPAO and RPAO - glasses for reference for size. The last screw is the most recent and actually the longest screw in my collection measuring in at just over 5 1/4". It's literally longer than my glasses - which are fairly wide. It's SO crazy. I really need to find something to do with these beauties. Ideas? Let me know.

Am I done yet? I think SO!! Merry Christmas to my and my hips!! Happy healing to all of you out there in the middle of recovery or just beginning the adventure. It really isn't THAT bad. HAHA



New iPad and Iced Coffee. <3