Leading up to my second PAO surgery, everyone told me that this go around would be easier than PAO #1. They were wrong and they were right…its never black and white. Let me explain:
I had my RPAO on December 16. It was 5 hours and deemed a success, as Dr. Bellino said I was “rock solid.” The MRI showed the possibility of labral ligament damage needing repair, but once he got in there, the labrum was intact and so he left it alone. Instead, he reshaped my femoral head (femoral osteochondroplasty) so that it had better tracking within the newly aligned hip socket. The PAO corrected a center edge angle of 19 to about 37 (educated guess, I will get this confirmed at my post-op appointment on Monday).
The hospital stay was more difficult this time, as I had a pretty bad pain episode day 2 post-op (they did not have my dosages right on my non-narcotic pain meds and my body went into shock as I tried to sit in a chair for my P.T. session). Also, throughout my hospital stay, I suffered from severe light headedness, and while I lost a fair amount of blood during surgery, I was not a candidate for a blood transfusion. The silver lining, however, was my PAO buddy who had her surgery the same time as me, ended up being my roommate. We laughed and groaned together, and cheered each other on when we needed it. Dr. Bellino visited me almost every day and I sensed he truly cared about my well-being.
Since I have been discharged, I have been recovering at my sister’s house in sunny California until I get cleared to fly home (this can vary per patient, but I decided to stay longer though the holidays and see my surgeon once he was back in the office). My recovery so far at “home” has been easier this time. I feel more confident using the walker, as well as using the leg lift assist device to get my leg in and out of bed (I cannot actively raise my operated leg for 8 weeks). I know how to better position myself in bed so that I am comfortable sitting and sleeping. I know what the mental challenges surgery recovery entails, and I am better prepared with tools to keep myself from dying of boredom (or depression). My laptop has been a life saver, and I spend most of my time working on my Etsy store, Netflix streaming (Californication is currently my guilty pleasure), Facebook-ing (especially the PAO support group), and I also signed up for my next gemology class online. Its been fun to have my 5 year old niece and 8 year old nephew at home over winter break; they are very eager to help their “Tatie Jen” (Tatie is French for “auntie”). The ease and comfort of my recovery would not have been possible without my sister and brother in law.
Another big difference is that I do feel like I have more stamina. My friend Jessica took me to see the ocean at Half Moon Bay last Sunday. What a treat! I was pretty sore after the outing, but it was so worth it!
Today is New Year’s Day and while 2014 was very challenging, I am happy to have these two major surgeries behind me. I am dedicated to spending the first part of 2015 fully recovering from my surgery. I want to get my fitness level back, and also grow my jewelry business to its fullest potential. I want to travel more, and be as active as possible. I want to see what my newly aligned hips are capable of!
2015 is my year to go with the flow and embrace opportunity. Onward!