My diagnosis of bilateral hip dysplasia in 2013 at the age of 39 was a shock. Almost 2 years later, I can say without a doubt, that it was certainly life changing. Two periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) surgeries within 9 months has also been life altering. Looking back, I never would have predicted I would have had 6 screws in my pelvis, live with my sister in California for a total of 2 months, spend 7 of the past 11 months on a walker and/or crutches, not drive for a total of 5 months, own not one, but TWO sets of surgery recovery equipment fit for a nursing home, and learn how to be a patient person. I have grown in ways that is hard to explain, so I will just say I am not the same person I was when I got diagnosed; I am a better person for it.
The other day I was thinking about my first surgery recovery and what is different (do not equate “different” with “easier”) this go around, and this story came to mind. I was horrified when it happened, but now I can look back and laugh. Nothing is sacred in the PAO life:
I was 7 days post-op PAO #1 (April 2014) and I was staying at my sister’s house for awhile post-op before I flew home to Colorado. I had to pee BAD (like the kind that you wait forever in bed holding it until you absolutely have to get out of bed because, on a walker, it takes forever and a day to make it to the bathroom.) The non-master bathroom was my bathroom and I had my raised toilet seat. The raised toilet seat fits over a regular commode but is 6 inches higher, making it so much easier to passively flex at the hip to sit.
It was at night and I walkered gingerly to the bathroom, and sat on my trustworthy raised toilet seat and I started peeing something fierce. Relief! Then I felt that my bare foot was wet, I was perplexed, thinking, “WTF? Is the toilet leaking?” So I look down. Much to my dismay, I realize I was peeing on myself and all over the floor because the toilet lid was DOWN!!! Prior to my little bathroom excursion, my 7 year old nephew went to the bathroom, put the lid down and then he was trying to be helpful so he put the raised toilet seat over the closed lid. I screamed in horror and my sister rushed in and I had a total freaking meltdown; bawling my head off, saying I was sorry. Being a mother of a 3 yr old and 7 year old, she didn’t care, she was just mopping it up with anything handy saying “At least it isn’t explosive diarrhea!” I just could not let it go, I was melting down like a toddler, bawling saying “I’mmmmm sooooorrrrrrryyyyyy….I caaaaaaaan’t doooooo thiiiiiiiis! Its only been a weeeeeeek”. At the time, I really thought I could not survive. Of course, we laugh about it now and that did not happen again!