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.