Today marks 9 years since my hip surgery. I feel like this is a big anniversary. Obviously 10 years is one that most people would think of. But for me, 9 years has some significance.
I was told pretty soon after my hip surgery that I would probably only make it 3 years (if that) before my next surgery would be needed. The marker for needing that next surgery would be a similar amount of pain that I had prior to my surgery on the right side.
For those first 3 years, I pretty much lived in fear. Any time I took a step that caused my hip to have a shock of pain, I was terrified that was that and I would be in a cycle of pain again. But luckily for me, usually that pain only lasts an hour or so. I’ve also learned some tricks about how to make the pain go away faster.
Once those 3 years went by, the next 3 years scared me. I figured that I would never make it twice the amount of time that my surgeon expected me to before the next surgery. Again, I was in constant fear that I would have that horrible pain again that caused me to feel like electrical shocks were never-ending in my body.
But for the last 3 years, I’ve been working on not having that fear. I’ve pushed my body to do things that I was told that I should try not to do. While I do still avoid things that make falling a high risk (like skiing or skating), I’m pushing my limits and finding new ones.
It started with spinning. That was something that my original hip surgeon was concerned about. He really only wanted me to use a reclining bike, not an upright one. The upright one puts more pressure on my hip sockets and can cause me to need to have surgery sooner rather than later. But I figured that since I had already exceeded the original timeline for when I would need my next surgery, it would be ok if I ended up needing the surgery now.
After spinning I started at Orangetheory. While I am still very careful there by not trying to run on the treadmill (although I’m really tempted to test that out) and by not doing things like step ups that cause my hips to catch, I do things that I know aren’t the best for me. But again, the fear of needing my next surgery is fading away.
With my new diagnosis, I’ve got a few more options for what surgery I’ll do next. The surgery that my surgeon would prefer to do on me would require a very long recovery including overnight hospital stays (I’ve never been at a hospital overnight). I wouldn’t be walking without assistance for a couple of months. I really don’t like that idea. The other surgery option only would be about 6 weeks of recovery, but the chance of success is a little lower.
I’ve still got plenty of time to figure this all out. I’m not in need of surgery yet. And I still need to lose quite a bit of weight before the surgeon will write the order for the MRI (which is the next step and will allow me to get a second opinion). But I do want to plan things out because when things do go bad, they go bad very quickly and I don’t want to spend almost a year in pain like I did last time.
I’m now starting to wonder if I can make it another 3 years before I have to think seriously about surgery. It’s not a fun process to go through (I’m already dreading the MRI which was a horrible experience last time) and once I have the surgery I might not gain full range of motion again. I’m still technically not fully recovered from the surgery 9 years ago although my range of motion is getting very close to how it used to be.
So here’s to 9 years of not needing my next hip surgery! Clearly I’ve been doing something right and I’ve hopefully got several more years before I need to worry about going on the operating table again!