If you are on Facebook, then you are familiar that this lovely social media platform likes to remind you of anniversaries of your past posts (i.e. 1 year ago…). This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, I cried last week when I saw a post with a picture of my beloved fur baby Evie (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge) from last year. Two days ago I was reminded of a post I wrote on October 22, 2013; it read:
“So very thankful to be going to CA today to FINALLY see these two surgeons at UCSF and Stanford about my hip surgery ordeal. I am READY to put a plan in place once and for all!…”
“Hip surgery ordeal,” HAHA! Ain’t that the truth! I had no idea what PAO surgery and recovery entailed. I had completely forgot I wrote that post! At that time, I couldn’t walk more than 12 steps without limping. I had gained weight from inactivity. My identity as a Personal Trainer and athlete was lost. I was trying to find my way in a new career. I was in pain 24/7 and I was depressed.
Well, fast forward to today (and if you want the whole story, read all my blog posts): my butt muscles are still sore from helping paint my new metal-smithing studio but the hip pain – oh that hip pain that rocked my world – is gone. Yesterday I went for a run on a perfect fall day, and guess what? No hip pain. My plan worked. I am so incredibly grateful: I wake up every morning and have gratitude I am without chronic pain.
The pain doesn’t define me anymore. What defines me are the lessons and the strength that I have learned in the past three years. I found a new passion: increasing awareness of hip dysplasia; I now have The PAO Project linked to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. I try to help out local PAO Warriors in any way I can (last week I was getting raised toilet seat handles from a senior center and dropping them off to a PAO Warrior at Boulder Foothills Hospital) and provide support on the PAO Facebook group, because I know how rough the early weeks are in recovery. This journey has not only made me more grateful, but it has also made me more emphathetic.
Ironically, I fly out to CA on Wednesday because my sister is having labral repair arthroscopic surgery with my surgeon, Dr. Bellino at Stanford on Friday. She does not have dysplasia; labral tears can happen in normal hips (imagine that!), and in her case it was most likely speed training with running. I will return the favor of her being my caretaker and will be hers in the early days of recovery. I feel well equipped emotionally and I am happy that I am able to be there for her.
Its all good. What a difference three years make….