It’s been a while so I thought I’d check in and give you some updates and lay down some thoughts I’ve had lately.
What’s the latest and greatest in the life of hip-y Danielle? Well, for the past three and a half months, we’ve been building a house! It has been so much fun, and extremely exciting! We finally just moved in the first week of January, hence my hiatus from blogging. It’s been a crazy couple months with packing up the old apartment, and moving into our dream home.
So, for anyone who hasn’t been through the process, building a house is a LOT of work. We loved it, and it was an amazing opportunity, but it is hard work! We spent many, many, many hours looking at siding choices, and paint colors, and light fixtures, and cabinets, and sinks, and carpet, and everything else under the sun. Even ceiling fans and grout colors.
My main point here is, if we had tried to go through this process two years ago? Well, I would have been absolutely miserable. We had days where we visited FOUR different Home Depots and several Lowe’s in the very same day. We spent entire days, from 7 o’clock in the morning until 7-8 o’clock at night, doing millions and millions of things for the house (Dramatic? Yes. Appropriate for my feelings? Absolutely. I never want to go to those places again ever). I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this process at all if it weren’t for PAO. And what’s worse is my husband would have had an extreme burden of doing most of the work. I am sure I would have missed out on a lot. It seems like every day I have another reason on why I’m so glad not only that I had PAO, but also that I timed it out for when I did.
Besides all of the house building activities (which seem to never end, even after we’ve moved in), I’ve been keeping up to speed on my hip-y’s and trying to keep tabs on what’s what. I’ve been chatting with some ladies about their dysplasia experiences, and have been keeping up with message boards and Facebook groups.
Lately, it seems like a common theme for these media outlets are these two things: the hospital stay for PAO, and the surgical screws.
The questions and comments on the hospital stay range from “What should I bring?” to “How long were you there?” to “What are some tips for when you’re in?” The best I can do is to touch on my experience and hopefully I can be of help in some way.
I was in the hospital for 5 days. My surgery was on Friday, October 26th, and I went home on Tuesday, October 30th. From what I’ve read, 3-5 days is average, so I’d expect at least three days. The packing questions makes me chuckle. This is because I packed a bag with all sorts of things. I packed like I was going on vacation, except I packed sweats and t-shirts exclusively…like I was going to a perpetual sleepover. I packed books and magazines and my iPad. I packed my toothbrush and toothpaste and facewash and dry shampoo. Do you know how much of it I used? Zip. Nilch. Nada. I stayed in a hospital gown the entire stay because I had so many people coming in to check the drain and the bandage. They checked my feet and range of motion. Putting sweatpants on would have been an annoying hindrance, not to mention how hard it would have been to take them on and off. All of the cleaning and hygiene things I did either from my hospital bed, or in my physical therapy recliner. It was all done with what they gave me in the hospital, because it was too much effort to get anything from my bag. The last thing I will say is for the ladies (sorry guys, this may make you squirm): I packed feminine hygiene products just in case and I’m glad I did. I got Aunt Flow 5 days early because of the shock my body was in. Supposedly that’s pretty common. If you want to have your own particular type, I would pack some.
In terms of keeping busy, I was too tired and out of it to read magazines or play on my iPad. I actually felt too tired to even listen to music. I mostly just slept and watched mindless TV.
My tips for your hospital stay? Well, I’m not sure how each hospital works, what the protocol is, etc. But for me, I was tagged as a fall risk (I even got the fancy bracelet). This meant that any time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to call the nurse to come help me out of bed and follow me to the bathroom. So, my advice is to push the call button the very second you feel any kind of anything in your bladder. Nurses are BUSY. Busier than I can even begin to explain. It’s crazy. And while I am completely sympathetic and have complete and utter respect for their position and their hard work, it took an average of 12-15 minutes for them to come help me to the bathroom. (Yes, I timed it and took an average…I’m a scientist, what do you want?) That may not seem like a long time, but post-PAO my muscles were a disaster…holding my bladder was really not my best talent. If you even think you maybe might have to pee, push the button!
The only other thing I would say is that you should sleep every second you can. When you’re in the hospital, you’re on the GOOD drugs, you’re mostly alone (mostly), and you’re in a bed that you can adjust based on comfort. When you go home, it’s going to feel like you’ll never sleep again. It took me MONTHS to be comfortable in my bed post-PAO. Additionally, when you’re in the hospital, the nurses are going to come (what seems like) every five seconds to check on you. They will wake you up if you’re sleeping…they have no mercy. If you don’t sleep whenever and however, you will never sleep ever again. It’s AWFUL. Take advantage of sleep every opportunity you get.
The other thing I’ve been reading a lot about is the surgical screws. It seems like a 50-50 shot on whether someone has kept their PAO screws, or had them removed. I still have mine. They do bother me, from time to time. I can’t wear tight-waist jeans, and a lot of times a belt is painful. I can’t say it’s so bad I want to have them removed. I will say though, that the bone around the bone-cuts and the screws seems to be growing exponentially. Every few weeks, I feel like there is more growth sticking out of the front of my ilium. It’s seems like excess bone growth surrounding my screws. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this? It is definitely painful sometimes. Especially because I feel like it’s contributing to my psoas issues. Hoping to hear if anyone has had this and how it was addressed (if at all).
Well, what I thought was going to be a short post about not too much has turned into a novel! I am sorry to overwhelm you. Hope it’s been helpful for anyone who’s been having these thoughts. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave it in the comments box. I’d love to hear from you!
We’ll chat soon!,