Waking up one morning I thought, “How often do you come across a blog that concentrates on a 30-something grown woman that has a condition usually reserved for dogs and babies?” Well, the answer to that is, not very often.
Shall we start from the beginning?
After puberty I noticed that my hips would make a loud, echoing pop every time I stood up or twisted oddly. In my early 20’s I experienced pain and a slight limp. At this point I was working 40+ hours a week and on my feet all the time. So, the natural assumption was that being on my feet so much was causing me some pain and discomfort. Fast forward to 2013 and the pain has gotten much worse, finally I make an appointment to see my general practitioner. The mobility of my leg coupled with the pain made my physician request some X-rays. The results come in and my physician calls me to ask for me to come into the office. Right there, I knew something wasn’t good.
Diagnosis was probable bilateral hip dysplasia. I think I only heard about half of what my doctor actually said to me.
Approximately two weeks later I’m sent in for an MRI, as well as a referral to an orthopedic hip specialist. MRI shows what we pretty much expected. Bilateral acetabular dysplasia and moderate osteoarthritis. Great. Juuuuust wonderful. At this point, the orthopedic physician tells me that the only options are either a PAO (Periacetabular Osteonomy), or a hip replacement. Heres a link to a great explanation of what the surgery entail: PAO Procedure Description. My physician suggests I that I do my research and maybe find a surgeon to perform the PAO because the hip replacement is the final option.
Looking back, I had no idea what laid in front of me. Struggles, embarrassment, and insults.
Eventually I was able to find a surgeon that was able to perform the PAO. A few family members and myself had to travel to Seattle at Bellevue Hospital. Thankfully we live within a fairly close range so it didn’t take days to get there. When I finally met the surgeon, we go through the normal hip examination. Bending the leg this way and that. Walking up and down the hallway to show him my glorious and sexy limp. All the while, the surgeon barely looks at me. When he finally looks at me he says “You know, if you could lose some weight, it might take some of the load off of your hips.” My sister, who was sitting in the room with me looks up, I look over at her and we look at one another as if to day “Did he really just say that?!” The surgeon goes on to tell me that I need a PAO on both hips. Left hip has priority.
We return to the hotel room, and what I’ve been told hasn’t sunk in. Even now, I don’t think it has.
For the next three months I try and contact the office of the surgeon I met with to try and talk about getting surgery scheduled. The woman in reception tells me that his schedule is filled up for the next four months. Frustrated, I say ‘thank you’ and politely end the call. About two weeks later I call the office back with the hope that I can schedule the surgery. I’m told that the surgeon will be transferring to another clinic but they have no idea where at the time. I found out later that he had been in four different hospitals and clinics in less than three years.
Talk about a red flag.
At that point I feel defeated, but little did I know. Giving up on this surgeon and refusing to chase him around from clinic to clinic, I didn’t know what to do next.