Friday, May 05, 2006

Maybe I Should Tell You My Story....

It took me 10 months and 3 doctors to get the proper diagnosis. In 2002 I was living and working in Philadelphia, PA. I walked 2 miles to work every morning. I didn't own a car so I walked or biked everywhere. I thought SEPTA (the transit system in Philly) was a total rip off. I was taking Vinyasa Power Yoga for about 3-5 hours/week. I felt good. I was never slim. Even as a child I was borderline obese, but for the first time in my life I was fit, healthy and my weight was under control.

I was walking to work one morning in the Fall of 2002 when, in mid-stride, I felt excruciating pain. So much so, that I almost fell over and had to balance myself against a building. My right hip felt ripped open. I hobbled to the corner, really confused and surprised at what was happening and hailed a cab to work. I had to get into the cab, arse first, and actually lift my right leg with my arms to get it in! Well, 10 minutes later I got to work and to my surprise, I was able to get out of the cab, no problem and continue on with my day. WEIRD!

Well, similar instances started to pop up. First, very infrequently and always solved by sitting down for a minute or two, then more and more regularly. I went to my doctor. My first doctor was Dr. Lizerbram. Having just become eligible for health insurance, I picked her out of my "preferred provider" manual as my new general physician. I explained to her that it actually felt like the pain was INSIDE my hip joint. I could feel it clicking and popping and the pain felt like something was torn. She immediately told me that it was impossible to feel pain inside a joint (my first red flag) and that I had most likely pulled a groin muscle in my sleep (my second red flag).

Well, I foolishly returned to her a few more times. The last time I was running/hobbling to catch a bus to her office, as I could no longer walk long distances, and I tripped and sprained my ankle. I did catch the bus and hopped on it. When I got to her office, my knees were skinned and bleeding and my ankle was the size of a football. She asked me, "what seems to be the trouble" (another red flag). She sent me home with nothing. No crutches, no prescription. Her office didn't even call me a cab. I never went back.

My new doctor was wonderful. Her name was Dr. Regina Baime. If you live in center city Philadelphia, LOOK HER UP! She took a thorough case history of my hip problems and immediately ordered x-rays which showed possible hip dysplasia. I eventually had MRIs done and was sent to Dr. Charles Nelson who informed me I had Bi-Lateral Congenital Hip Dysplasia.

He said I had 2 options. One, Have an incredible complicated and difficult surgery called an osteotomy (which Dr. Nelson did not recommend) or two, take the more conservative approach. Dr. Nelson recommended conservative so I opted conservative. He told me to "Lose as much weight as HUMANLY possible" (no, I am not kidding. That lined is burned into my brain.), "take glucosamine and chrondroitin and Aleve" (ok.) and "try not to walk much".
TRY NOT TO WALK? I LIVED IN CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA?!?

and that's it. that was his conservative treatment. every year or two we would have xrays and MRIs again. wow. I was 26 and I shouldn't walk anymore. Technically, I was able to...but every step I took hastened me to an early crippling. awesome.

Then we moved away from Philly and started our own business. That means I lost my health insurance and couldn't get it back. I just got it back in November of 2005. The interim found me losing weight but limping more, walking less and realizing that Aleve doesn't do anything. My new friend became Tylenol Arthritis (V. Good, by the way). No doctors of any sort for almost 2 years.

Now, I'm in South Carolina. I am properly diagnosed and I am less than 3 weeks away from surgery. I tried the conservative approach. I lost more weight. I only got worse. After consulting with Dr. Hartsock I was told that surgery was necessary. He said that in another year I might miss my window for the surgery. There is a window to have this surgery done. You have to be in enough pain for it to really ruin your life but your joint still has to be in decent shape. That's a fine line to walk. So here I am. And there you go.

2 comments:

  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS BLOG!

    I was just diagnosed this morning after writing my hip pain off to arthritis. After a simple Google search, I found your blog and now I'm going to read it from beginning to end.

    I so appreciate the effort you put into blogging all of this. Personal stories are incredible resources and I'm grateful that you have shared your story.

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  2. Anonymous8:24 AM

    Hi All! I had this procedure done yesterday, Nov 16, 2012, (my birthday, no less) at Rose Radiology center in Palm Harbor, Fl. This is one of several locations for diagnostic imaging but the only one who does the arthogram. If you live anywhere near here, I highly suggest them Let me first say that I am a huge baby with needles and have an extremely low pain tolerance. If I can do this, trust me. you can too! I read this blog first and was glad to know what to expect but kinda wished I hadn't due to the bad experiences. First off, it's not pain free but no where near .the worst case scenario. I did let the staff know I was terrified however I wasn't hiding that well to begin with. one nurse held my hand he entire time of injection and let me squeeze. Honestly, the anticipation is way worse than the actual pain. Only for 5 seconds at best was it what I thought to be intense but was over before I could react. There is uncomfortable pressure bit short in duration. The Dr I had was very experienced and I was informed he does several a day. This may be why I faired so welL The MRI portion was fine, but a bit uncomfortable the way they have to bind your feet inward for so long. They did put me in feet first so in only up to my nose. I'm very claustrophobic so that made it much easier to be in there. I was stiff and sore after but definitely able to drive home the hour ride. I had no problem having to do some errands before getting home, I happen to be off work today but feel I would be able to if needed, although I am pretty sore. I can tell I will need to sit more often today. So, if anyone is still reading this, rest assured it is definitely doable, and the anticipation is way worse than the actual procedure. This office does offer iv sedation if u have a driver but if I can do it without it, you can too! Good Luck and God Bless!

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Hi Guys. I don't really check this much anymore. You are welcome to comment though, I just can't always promise you a personal response. I do hope this blog has helped though!