Monday, November 26, 2012

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

Crest 3D Whitestrips

I received my Crest 3D Whitestrips in the mail over a month ago!  I signed up to review products on influenster http://www.influenster.com/

I have used Crest 3D Whitestrips in the past and I have always gotten great results.  Since my teeth are already pretty white I don't use them everyday.  I only use the strips a couple times a week after I eat.  If I use them more than that my teeth would blind people.

Another trick I learned is to cut the strips in half and whiten my teeth further back in my mouth.   My front teeth are always much more white and I have a big smile so you can still see my not so white teeth farther back.


Overall I love Crest 3D Whitestrips.  I've used them in the past and will use them again.  Since I don't use them every day one box lasts me a long time. Get yours  Crest 3D White Website

Happy Whitening! 
If You're Not Whitening, You're Yellowing.

*I received this product complimentary through influenster but the opinions in this blog post are my own.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Want a Hip Replacement

I Want a Hip Replacement

It is almost a year post-op from my second hip surgery.  November 30th will be my one year anniversary and is also the day that I see my surgeon.  My hip is still hurting so bad.  I HATE it.  I just want a hip replacement.  I have really been considering a replacement but have not met with any serious doctors about it.  Just one doctor who said it is not an option at my age.



I see my surgeon in just over a month.  I am guessing that he will recommend some sort of injection.  I am NOT doing another cortisone injection.  But, if it is a rooster comb or some sort of cartilage injection, I will probably do the injection.   Then I am guessing my surgeon will recommend another hip surgery to see if there is a soft tissue impingement and correct it.  I will try this surgery, then I will start thinking about a hip replacement.  I am tired of being is so much pain all the time.

I am in so much pain I can barely think and I am taking my pain killers more often.  It really sucks how limited I am.  I feel I am missing out on so many fun things and I am going to miss out on more fun things in the future.  


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Crutches are Back in Business

Crutches Again

On this day I accidentally coordinated my Hello Kitty Tee with my Hello Kitty bag and my Hello Kitty Crutch Pouch.  Hahah I looked like a dork.

For a little while I was pretty much crutch free unless I was going to the mall.  Now, with my increase in pain, my crutches are back in business.  I took off the puppy dogs again because I get too much attention while on crutches already.  People always ask me what happen and I get tired of repeating myself.

I also got some forearm crutches that I took to Vegas with me and I have a scooter on the way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Invisible Disability Awareness Week and a Little about Me.

It's Invisible Disability Awareness Week
From September 8th to the 14th

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: I live with a femoral acetabular impingement, basically a painful hip condition.  I also have arthritis in my other joints which gives me widespread pain and it is difficult to walk.  My doctors suspect an autoimmune disease causing my widespread pain, however, I have not had all the tests done to diagnose this.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:  2009, so pretty recently, I had my first hip surgery that same year.
3. But I had symptoms since: My hip pain began when I was 13 years old do to an injury from running cross country.  The injury is called slipped capital epiphysis.  The head of my femur slipped away from the neck of my femur.  My back pain began even before this, at about the age of 11 years old.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not being able to do things and go places I want to. I need to just take it easy sometimes and rest my body.
5. Most people assume: that I have a temporary disability.  A lot of people will ask me what happened to my foot.  Even, some family members tell me I will get better.  Well, I certainly hope so, but things just keep getting worse.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: first it is waking up to pain.  The first thing I think about in the morning is my achy joints.  Then it is the dread of taking that first step out of bed to go to the bathroom.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House.  So sad when it was cancelled.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My iPad.  When I have days I have to lay in bed for hours, my iPad keeps me company.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Getting ready for bed.  Standing the two minutes to brush my teeth is difficult and painful and I am usually exhausted from the day. 
10. Each day I take anti-imflammatories and a tylenol PM to sleep.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  think some of them do work and it is worth a try if you want to try it.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible.  I already live with it and have adjusted to it.
13. Regarding working and career: It definitely takes its toll on the body.  I wish my body would cooperate with me so I could work 40 hour weeks and be on my feet once in awhile and not need to spend my whole weekend recovering from the work week.  I think being a mother would be even more difficult though.  Another life depends on you and you don't get weekends off.
14. People would be surprised to know:  I get really embarrassed sometimes about my disability.  When someone only sees me without my crutches, then sees me in a wheelchair I feel embarrassed and like I need to explain myself.  I can see the look of confusion on their face.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Not being able to do things I want.  I miss working out, doing martial arts and going for walks.  I wish I could just leave my house without calling ahead of time to make sure there is seating, no lines to wait in, and wondering what walking aid I should bring.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Accept it!  I have just recently come to accept that I probably won't get better.  Even if I do find a treatment that works I wont be 100%.  I kept all my boxing gear because I thought I might be able to use it again.  All my gear is going out with the next donation box because I have finally come to accept that I wont be using it again.
17. The commercials about my illness: There are none, it is too rare, but there are arthritis commercials.  Mostly old people in the commercials. 
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Dancing, running, boxing, working out, going for walks, sightseeing, and carrying my own luggage through the airport.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Martial arts.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:Swimming, I just recently took lessons, and shooting and editing videos.  I use to do it for work and I know do it for the animal shelter.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go on a shopping spree and walk, walk, walk through all the stores, maybe go to Disney Land, or Las Vegas, or Greece, or Rome.......
22. My illness has taught me: That I have an awesome family.  My family is very understanding of my condition.  I hear a lot of people complain about their family putting them down or not understanding.  My family totally understands and is supportive.  They still want to hang out with me too even though I can only sit most of the time.  I feel really lucky to have my family;  they are a little cooky, but they are really nice people and really non-judgmental.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:  Well, one guy told me it could be worse, I could need to have a surgery.   I wanted to punch him and tell him I already had two surgeries.
24. But I love it when people: offer to help, just opening my door can make things a lot easier.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  I don't really have one.  I guess I should get one.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Find the best doctors you can.  Your doctor can make all the difference.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: that strangers are really nosy about my medical history.  I don't walk up to strangers and ask them about their medical history. 
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:when my best friend pushed me in a wheelchair when we went to the zoo. 
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I wish more people would understand that even though you look normal on the outside, you don't know what is going on in the inside.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: like you have a lot of extra time on your hands, or you really care about me, or you have an invisible illness too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Summer Makeup Routine

 Makeup for Summer

I wanted to share with you all my easy summer makeup routine.  Summer makeup should feel light and fresh.  This is my almost everyday makeup.

1) First I put on Jergens fake face tan. 
2) Then, if my skin is feeling dry I put on some real moisturizer with SPF.  If my skin is feeling fine I skip this step.

3) Next is an important step.  I slap on my St.  Tropez sunless tanner.
It comes out as a foam and this is what it looks like.
And when I rub it on my face it reminds me of chocolate.
4) Now I need to curl my eyelashes.
5) The last step is to apply mascara.  This is my go to summer mascara because it makes my lashes long, skinny and natural looking.  I apply it to my bottom lashes first, then my top.
And here is the finished makeup look.

And here is me with the same makeup on a different day messing around with our home decor.
Well, I wish summer never had to end, but my easy summer makeup routine doesn't have to end.  I can wear this natural look all year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Hip

My Hip, My Hip, My Hip

I have not had any pain relief in quite a few weeks.  I am feeling awful these days.  Just a few weeks ago I was feeling great and I thought that it was a turning point and I was getting better. 

Each step I take is searing pain.  My abductors are sore, my glutes and piriformis are screaming, and my hip flexor is crying.  I don't even get pain relieve from any of the cocktail of medicine I have, but I am still taking my anti-inflammatories for fear that I will get worse if I don't take those.
 

I need to make some changes so I can feel better.  I am taking Wednesdays off of work so I work Monday, Tuesday, then a day off, then Thursday, Friday.  I felt really refreshed coming to work on Wednesday, but still in pain. 

I have been slacking on stretching.  I am only stretching twice a day opposed to 5-7 times a day I was doing and I have not been to the gym in weeks.  I just feel so exhausted from the pain, but I know the gym is good for me. 

Last weekend I laid in bed the whole weekend, and I still felt painful on Monday.  I hope this weekend I can relax. 

So these are the changes I need to make:
  1. Eat healthier (I have been eating a lot of sugar lately)
  2. Go to the gym
  3. Stretch more
  4. Rest whenever I have the chance, even if that means not getting as much done
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.   At this point I would stand on my head all day if it would make me feel better.  Speaking of head stands, I miss yoga, but I can't do it because of my impingement.  I can't even do child's pose.  But before my surgery I did do a handstand, I that is something I can still do as long as I am careful not to land hard on my feet.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog Series Planned

Blog Series Planned Non Hip Related (kinda)

I have a few (kinda) non-hip related blog series planned.  I want to do a blog series on finding a job when you have a disability and how to dress for business.  The series could really apply to everyone looking for a job, or even if you already have a job the series will talk about how to dress, how to ask your employer for accommodations if you have a disability (even something like wrist pain), and what to do if your employer refuses.

My next series I have planned is about hair removal.  I am obsessed with hair removal.  If you were somehow born without a hair on your body you want gone, then god bless you, but I wasn't.  So in this series I will talk about temporary and permanent types of hair removal, what type is right for you and how to get the best results.


My third series will be about cleaning your house when you have a disability, but a lot of the tips can apply to everyone.  If you're lucky enough to have a 24 hour maid, then good for you!  I wish we could all have 24 maids, but until I train Penny (my dog) to clean the house this is just not going to happen for me.  But most people, even if you do have a maid whip through your house on a regular bases, still need to keep it clean.  I have a lot of cleaning tips to make things easier and faster and ways to be able to clean if you have chronic pain that wont make you feel like you just ran a marathon after you do your dishes.


So how do these blog series sound?  Which series do you want to see first?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

I was given a Liebster Award today by Denise, wife and mom times 3 at Learning to Walk Again. Thank you, Denise!





Liebster Award

Liebster Award
LIEBSTER - The meaning:
A German word meaning sweet, kind, nice, dear, beloved, lovely, valued and welcome.


Here are the guidelines for the Liebster:
  • Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the presenter has asked you, and give 11 questions to the people you’ve awarded. [Choose 11 deserving bloggers and share your post with them. REMEMBER! The people that you choose should have less than 200 followers]
  • Tell them you’ve chosen them for the award. [No tag backs]
  • Snag this button and proudly display it on your blog!

  • My 11 Random Facts:
    • One leg is longer than the other and I wear a lift in my shoe
    • Marie is my middle name
    • I wish that I owned a vineyard
    • I have had two hip surgeries
    • I have had three of my wisdom teeth out
    • I love the color grey because it reminds me of my hometown Seattle
    • I adopted a dog named Penny this year;  she is four years old
    • I volunteer at the animal shelter making videos of cats
    • I love chocolate and coffee
    • I love lime flavored Margaritas!
    • I sing "Call Me Maybe" to my dog and she likes it

    And here are the questions that Denise asked me:

    1. Why did you start blogging?  
    I started blogging because so many people were asking me questions about my hip and about my condition.  I found that even strangers were very curious.  Blogging is a way to keep my friends and family up to date and to raise awareness about disabilities.  It can happen to anyone.
    2. What is your favorite season?
    My favorite season is Fall.  I love the crisp cold air, the warm cozy clothes, the pumpkin flavored coffee and the beautiful leaves changing colors.
    3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
    I love warm, white, sandy beaches.  I love to lounge around drinking margaritas and reading a good book.  My favorite place I have ever been was Cabo, Mexico, but I am sure there are plenty of white sandy beaches in the world just waiting for me.
    4. Who is your role model?
    My role model is my grandma.  She is the kindest, most good hearted person I know.  She is beautiful and has beautiful skin and a pretty smile.  She had hip pain for years before her hip replacement and I rarely heard her complain. 
    5. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
    This is a tough question.  A physical trait I love is my eyes.  In pictures they turn out so blue, but when I look in the mirror they look green and grey.  Another trait I have is that I love to clean (some things).  I love a clean bathroom and kitchen.  A clean room makes me feel so good and I am glad I enjoy the process of cleaning as long as I am not feeling too crummy.  If I didnt have my hip condition my house would probably be sparkling all the time.
    6. What was the first concert you ever went to?
    I think it was a No Doubt concert I went to with my best friend when we were in high school.  It was super fun.  We were in the standing room only section and got really close to the stage. 
    7. What is your favorite book?
    My favorite book always changes with the last book I read.  I really enjoyed The Hunger Games.  Before that I read Dreams of Joy by Lisa See.  I love to read a good book, but I wouldn't say I have a favorite.
    8. If you could create one law, what would it be?
    You have to be nice to others.  Haha, mean people suck.  I know this couldn't really be a law, but mean grouchy people should just stay at home.
    9. What are three words that best describe you?
    Sweet, clean, hairy, haha (but I getting laser hair removal so I wont be hairy for much longer)
    10. What is your favorite quote?
    "All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else."  Mae West
    I love all of Mae West quotes.   
    11. If you had to eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    coffee, does that count?  I could do decaf and put milk in it, but it wouldn't be very nutritious.
    Here are the questions that I am asking you:
    1. Why did you start blogging?
    2. What is your favorite tv show?
    3. What would you do if you had a million dollars?
    4. Are you a good dancer?
    5. Are you good at Jeopardy / Do you watch the show?
    6. If you could choose a super power would you rather be able to fly or teleport?
    7. What is the last book you read and did you enjoy it?
    8. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
    9.  Where do you plan to take your next vacation?
    10. What color is your toothbrush
    11. What is one of your nicknames?



    Katie @ Hedgehog Blog 
    Susie @ Goodnight Nobody
    Jorge @ RunJorgeRun


    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    The Pain is Back

     OMG a Spoon!

    The last few weeks I was beginning to feel better.  I was finishing my day with extra spoons!  I thought this was a turning point for me.  I was excited but I didn't want to get my hopes up.



    Then I started a new job and the pain came back with a vengeance.  I now end each day with negative spoons and need to spend the whole evening and weekend resting.  I knew my decrease in pain was too good to be true.  Friday night after my first week of work I lay awake all night in agony, until I took a pain killer and a tylenol pm at 5 am and dozed off around 6 am only to wake up again a 9 am in pain.

    Every morning I wake up excited about my new job but dreading taking my first painful step out of bed.  Ugh!  I find myself needing more pain medicine just to function.  I don't like taking pain medicine and try to avoid taking any medicine as much as possible, but I also want to be able to make it to work and do a good job.  I see my pain management doctor again soon and I will discuss this with him.

    I am also going to get a power scooter so I can take my dog out for walks.  It is not fair to Penny that I can't take her for walks. 









    If I get a scooter I will also be able to shop, shop, shop til I drop with the money I make at my new job.  There are a few fun things I want to buy.  Right now, without a scooter, shopping 'til I'm dropping means about 20 minutes.  That's not even enough time to buy anything.  I hope I can spend three or more hours shopping with my very own power scooter.  And if I have my own scooter, that I paid for, and belongs to me, then the store employees can't give me dirty looks, ask me if I really need that scooter, and try to kick me off of it.  Take that mean employees!

    Lots of Love from your scooter happy Angie

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    I Saw my Pain Management Doctor Today

    Pain Management

    Pain Management is always an uphill battle.   That is why it is good to have a team of doctors behind you.  Today I saw my pain management doctor and we discussed a lot of options for pain management.

    For my knee pain my doctor thinks I have a bit of degeneration and I am going to go see a podiatrist to get some orthotics for my shoes.  I also have some exercises and stretches to incorporate into my daily routing.



     I will renew my handicap parking and continue with my Voltaren gel and Tramadol that I take twice a week at most to once a month at least. 

    I also have a prescription for 20 Norco, which is similar to Vicodin that I will take when I travel on an airplane because traveling always puts in terrible pain.  I had to take a drug test to get this prescription.  It brought back old memories of when I had to take drug tests from when I was on probation for a minor in possession of alcohol at 13 years-old.  Haha, I was a trouble maker, but I turned out alright I think.  My records are destroyed, by the way, so I can just pretend that incident didn't happen.








    I'm going to get a power scooter as well.  That way I can go to Fisherman's Wharf or take my dog for a long walk.  I want to get a small, thin scooter so that I can be more mobile.

    It may seem like I am taking a lot of medication, but it is all taken as needed and none of it is taken together, although it would be safe to take together is what my doctor told me.  I also had my liver function test and my liver is functioning normal.  I have been on ibuprofen since the onset of my hip pain at 13 years-old so it was important to get my liver tested.  Glad it still works, especially since I did so much drinking in my teen years.



    And the good news is that my hip is improving.  Seven weeks ago I could not even walk to my mail box.  Now I can walk to my mailbox and back three times.  Whoot Whoot party!

    I am going to see my pain management doctor again in 4 weeks.  I will be hopefully starting a new job soon (I've had 3 interviews) and I want to see my doctor to let him know how I am function while working full time.  It was rough working at my last job after my surgery.  I felt awful.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    The Beach

    Going to the Beach

     

    The beach is one of my favorite places in the world.  I feel like there is something magical about the beach.

    Last weekend I drove a couple hours to the beach in Santa Cruz, CA.  Actually I had to drive a little farther to Carmel, CA so that I could go to a dog friendly beach.  The beach in Carmel, CA had white fluffy sand and beautiful crashing waves.  Even though there was a little overcast, it was still a great day.

    Before I started my day I took two tramadol.  I wanted my day at the beach to not be affected my how much pain I was in and I wanted to leave my crutches at home.   Ever try to use crutches on the beach? Tramadol doesn't take all the pain away but helps to take the edge off so I can walk around a bit more and be able to carry stuff.

    The sand at the beach felt so good on my hips and joints.  Walking on the beach makes me feel like I am almost a normal person.  I was actually able to take what you would call a walk on the beach, although I didn't go far just in case.  It was such a wonderful day.


    Then after a couple of hours at the beach my tramadol wore off, I was exhausted and it was time to go.    As soon as I took one step back onto the paved road I felt the familiar searing pain in my hip joints and my Saturday mini vacation was over.


    Back to reality.  I wish I could spend everyday at the beach.  If I was a professional surfer I could.



    Here is to wishing the whole world was a fluffy sandy beach,

    Angie

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Volunteering at The Animal Shelter

    Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) Volunteer

    Recently I began volunteering at the animal shelter.  I love all the animals, the staff and all the other volunteers.  Right now I am filming videos to promote individual cats for adoption.  I spend a couple hours a week filming at the shelter, then I go home and edit the videos.  For my first video I filmed Nala.  She was a sweet and easy going gal.  Here is my first video as a PHS volunteer.

    video

    The volunteers are required to wear hunter green volunteer shirts.  Green is not really my color but I am happy to be volunteering.  Here is my new shirt.

    back of volunteer shirt

    Front of volunteer shirt
    While volunteering I take my crutches with me since I will be standing up for a couple of hours.  When I go into the cat condos, I leave my crutches outside in case some cats are afraid of my crutches.  Then I sit on the floor of the condo and film the cats playing, relaxing and doing what cats do.

    I also bought a waist apron to put my camera, phone, wallet and cat toys in since I wont have my hands free when I am on crutches or when I am carrying cats.  I thought the apron was a little boring so I jazzed it up a bit.  I dyed it pink and ironed on some cat patches.  Now this apron is a little more my style.
    my volunteer apron

    Forget bear hugs, cat and dog hugs are the best,  Hippy Angie

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    7.5 Months Post-Op

    Still in Pain

    I am still in a lot of pain.  I feel like managing the pain is an uphill battle.  My hip is always inflamed and the muscles, like my hip flexor, and glutes, are so tight. I wake up in pain, go to sleep in pain, and spend my day in pain.

    Despite all the pain I am using my crutches less.  I barely use my crutches most days.  If I need to run to the pharmacy I might grab my cane and if I need to do some shopping I make sure to go somewhere that has powercarts to shop with.

    I am definitely doing better than I was doing 3 months ago, but the progress is so slow.  I am nowhere close to where I want to be.  I still can't spend a day at the mall without my crutches and needing three more days to recover.

    I see my pain management doctor in a couple of weeks so I will see what we can come up with.  I am thinking about getting a power cart of my own, or a wheelchair.  Something that I can take around downtown, or to the mall or to take my dog for a walk.

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    My "None of Your Business" Cards Arrived Today

    "None of Your Business" Card or Business Card

    My cards arrived today.  They are not really business cards since it is not for a business so I will call my cards "None of Your Business" cards.  I can say to people, "Here, would you like one of my "none of your business" cards?", much like people hand out business cards.

    Whenever I leave the house I get stopped my dozens of people asking me very personal questions about my disability.  On one hand I think it is important to raise awareness about invisible disabilities and I would like to educate people about my disability.  On the other hand, it gets quit exhausting explaining my condition a gazillion times when I am just trying to go get coffee.  No matter how well I explain my condition no one will truly understand what I am going through.

    That is why I thought I would hand out these cards.  When I hand people my card I will direct them to my blog and my blog can answer all their questions, hopefully.  Also, I listed most of my conditions so if people are truly interested they can google it on their own.  My condition is very complex and I am tired of trying to dumb it down to explain it to non-medical people.

    So my None of Your Business card will serve two purposes.  The first, to save my energy and time explaining my condition and the second to educate people about invisible disabilities.

    I don't plan to hand my card out to everyone, just to people who seem especially interested and are asking a lot of questions.  I will let you know how this goes.  I don't plan on handing them out to the especially mean people.  Mean people suck and don't deserve any of my time.

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Buisness Card Anyone?

    So today I ordered business cards from vistaprint.com.  The 250 business cards are free and shipping is $8.  The business cards basically have my blog web address on them and say "Invisible Disabilities Awareness"  and the card also lists the conditions I have.  I have so many people asking me so many questions about my crutches, cane, foot, knee, leg, power shopping cart, and handicap parking that I figured I could steer everyone with questions to my blog.

    If people are as truly interested as they seem to be, they can check out my blog and that should answer most of their questions.

    Kinda silly but I will give it a try.  I will let everyone know how it goes.

    Sincerely your silly business card carrying,
    Angie

    P.S  If you have not read The Spoon Theory please read it here.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    People Are So Weird

    People are Weird

    Some people say the strangest things to me while I am out walking around with any sort of walking or mobility aid.  I use anything from my crutches, a cane, wheelchair, or a power cart.  On a good day I just use my own two feet.

    Today I walked into Target without a walking aid and I went to use the power cart since I had a bit of shopping to do.  I do get a lot of strange looks when I drive a power cart and my crutches or cane are not visible (my cane folds up).

    A Target employee approached me and he said, "Do you really need that thing?"
    I said very politely, sweetly  with a nice big believable smile, "Yes I do,"  and he just kept standing their and staring at me like he wanted an explanation so I said, "I have a hip impingement."

    The Target employee said, "Oh that must suck!"

    I say, "Yes it does suck."

    Target employee says, "Well, it could be worse."

    I say, "Yeah, I know.  I always tell myself that," and I do always tell myself that.  I often think to myself it could be worse!  I could lose a hand, develop cancer, god forbid something could happen to someone I love and so on.   You have to count your blessings.

    The Target employee then says with great animation and big eyes, "You could need to have a surgery!" and he walked away.


    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Big Steps

    I Went to the Gym for the First Time without My Crutches
     
    This was a big scary step for me. The gym is fairly large and even though I can park close I still need to cross a street. The gym is full of stairs and balls flying through the air and my crutches signal to other that "hey, don't through balls this way, I can't dodge." I got to the gym and took the elevator up. I rode the bike then I went for a swim. I even took the stairs down holding on the rail and walking carefully.



    My pain levels did go up but it wasn't excruciating. I definitely, without a doubt, feel better than I did last month and the month before. My pain levels have been between a 3 and a 6 for the last month and I have been managing walking around the house and doing housework much better. I still need to be careful. I can't jump or twist or do any dancing. I still need to walk slowly and carefully but at this point I am feeling better than I did before surgery.

    I am pretty happy and hopeful about this improvement. I am wondering if I might have a soft tissue impingement due to scar tissue in my hip joint and that may be causing my pain now. I will just have to wait and see.

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Crutches 7 Months Post-Op

     CRUTCHES

    At 7 months post-op I am still using my crutches.  I usually use my crutches to go to the mall, grocery shopping, or when I am going out to eat downtown and will need to walk more than a block.

    I am not using my crutches when I am around the house, to walk into Starbucks if I have a close parking spot, or to pick up my medication at the pharmacy during non-busy hours.

    I am slowly using my crutches less, but I am still in a lot of pain when I am not using my crutches.

    My surgeon said that it is smart to use my crutches when I am out and about.

    I have spoken to other people who were on crutches for 8, 9, 10 months or even over a year, but those people had been in a bad car accident and had broken multiple bones.  Ouch!!  But luckily they told me that they fully recovered.  At least I have some expert crutch company with those people.

    Well, the sunshine came out and I am off to take my crutches out and about and I plan to take a swim today.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    7 Month Post-Op Visit with Surgeon

    The 7 month post-op mark is a big deal because it is when many patients feel better and when many athletes return to sports.

    Then why am I not feeling better?  That was THE QUESTION for my surgeon and I didn't even have to ask because my surgeon knew that's what I was thinking.

    Before I met with Dr. Sampson I took two hip x-rays to compare with my last post-op x-rays from a few months ago.  Dr. Sampson needed to compared my x-rays.  My joint space hasn't changed which is good.  I have a little bit less joint space on my surgical hip but not a huge difference.  My joint space is about .3 mm more or less.  .3mm isn't a fantastic amount of joint space but it is good enough.   Overall my x-rays look good and there hasn't been any further deterioration. 

    My mobility is good and what Dr. Sampson could tell from my great mobility is that there are no adhesion inside my hip joint.  There may be some adhesion in hip flexor and surrounding muscles but those adhesion can work themselves out.

    Okay, so why am I still in pain?  One reason I am still in pain is because my rectus femoris muscle is still healing from the surgery.   Dr. Sampson took part of my tendon from the rectus femoris muscle to graft me a new labrum.

    Another reason I am still in pain is because a lot of my soft tissue inside my hip joint was frayed.  Dr. Sampson cleaned the tissue out to smooth out my joint, however little particles of the tissue are still floating around in my hip joint causing inflammation.  I just need to wait for my body to get rid of that tissue in my joint.

    Also, since Dr. Sampson grafted a new labrum, that new labrum could still be healing.  All these things could be causing pain at 7 months post-op.

    Dr. Sampson said some patients just feel better after 8 months or after 9 months post-op.  It is just a waiting game.  I have to be PATIENT!  At 27 it is hard to be patient, I just want to get on with my life.   I need to wait at least a year before considering a revision surgery.  A revision surgery could consist of cleaning up any adhesion inside my joint.  I have another follow up visit with my surgeon in November which is the 1 year anniversary of my surgery.

    There is also a possibility that my hip may never feel good.  Ugh!  I don't want to think about that.

    Dr. Sampson also sent me home with some Flector Patches samples.  Flector patches are an awesome anti-inflammatory patch that actually worked for me.  You change the patch every 12 hours.  It defiantly took my pain down at least 2 points.

    Okay, well I am off to go be PATIENT and play the hip waiting game.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    7 Months Post Op

    It is almost 7 months post op and I will see my surgeon in one week. My hip has been making small improvements but I am nowhere where I want to be.  It is really frustrating.  I do feel better than I did before my surgery but I have nowhere close to a normal hip.



    Here are my improvements
    • I can ride stationary bike up to 60 minutes lowest setting medium speed
    • Go to the gym and do some low impact excercise
    • Improved strength and increased muscle mass
    • Good range of motion in my hip
    • Swim with little increased pain afterwards
    • Walking more without my crutches
    • On a good day I can walk around a grocery store while leaning on a cart and get most of my grocery shopping done
    • Some days pain levels can be as low as 3 without medication
    • With medication, I can have pain level 3 and be able to walk with a normal gait
    • I don't need my crutches around the house and I don't use them if I go to Starbucks or Subway as long as there is no line.

    And now onto the Pain
    • Increase in pain with any standing or walking
    • My hip cannot take any sort of impact without increase pain
    • I am have 5-7 pain levels more days than not
    • I can't walk more than 10 minutes without increase in severe pain levels
    • My walk is slow and I must walk gingerly
    • My gait is usually not normal
    • I need my crutches when I leave my house to go shopping or if I will be waiting in line.
    • Some days I am in so much pain I don't want to get out of bed (like today)
    • Still have week hip flexor muscle and week thigh muscle
    • I can't go for long walks, go to carnivals, travel without my crutches and severe increase of pain.
    Overall I am making small improvements.  I am grateful that I can ride a stationary bike and go swimming for exercise but I am really upset that I am still in so much pain and can't lead a normal life. I feel like there are so many things I can't do and that I am missing out on.

    My surgeon said if I am not feeling better after 7 months we will need to start thinking about what to do next. I am anxious to see my surgeon.

    Emotionally I definitely have ups and downs as well.  Some days I feel like crying but don't have the energy to do so.

    On another note, I am thinking about starting a diet such as an anti-inflammatory diet and taking dietary supplements to see if it will help with inflammation and make me feel better.  Diets are sooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard though.  I will keep you updated and let me know if you have had any success with diets.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    What Happened?


    Don't ask me what is wrong with me if you are not prepared for the answer.  Every time a leave my house up to dozens of people stop to ask me "What did you do to yourself?", "Did you hurt your knee?", " What did you do to your foot?" , "Were you skiing?", "What happened?" and so on.

    As I begin to answer I can see people eyes begin to glaze over partly of all the medical conditions I have and all the medical terms that I use and partly because the nature of my injury is quite boring.  Here it goes:

    I have a congenital condition (I was born with it).  I have a femoral acetabular impingement (FAI), hip dysplasia, femoral retroversion (out-toeing) caused by slipped capital femoral epiphysis, which all led to the degeneration of my labrum and avascular necrosis.

    NO WONDER I AM IN PAIN!

    Sometimes this leads to more questions.
    "How long will you be on crutches?"  I am not sure, maybe another month maybe indefinitely.
    "Will you need another surgery?"  Yes.
    "When will you have surgery?"  I am not sure.

    Sometimes, on rare occasions, someone actually has this condition or a similar condition or they have a sister or daughter with this condition.  Like the nice man at Whole Foods who helped me out to my car.  He had his first hip replacement at 30 because of avascular necrosis.


    So the point of this post is don't ask me what is wrong with me if you don't want me to tell you because I will tell you alright.  I was thinking about making post cards with diagrams to hand out but that might be too much.  I am actually getting pretty tired of telling people my boring story about my congenital condition.

    I wish I had a more interesting story to tell for my injury like......
    • I was a professional skateboarder and ran into a pole
    • Professional surfer and got bit by a shark
    • I witness a bank robbery, tackled the robber and got shot in the foot
    • I'm a ninja, ninjas get injured too.
    • I was trying out for the part of Laura Croft in Tomb Raider 10
    • I met Jet Li, he is not as nice as he looks
    • Bar fight
    • Dropped by tattoo gun on my foot
    • Went skydiving and my shoot didn't open
    • I work at Fringe Division and my toe got cut off while walking trough the portal to the other universe
    • Plane Crash
    Does anyone have any other suggestions of what I should tell people happened to me?


    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    6 Months Post-Op

    6 Months Already?

    It has been 6 months since my surgery and I thought by now I would be feeling much better.  I am making a small amount of progress, but it is very small.  I am still using my crutches when I leave the house but not around the house.  I think I am more mobile when I am around the house though.  I am getting more housework done without being in too much pain.

    Also, I am taking a pain medicine called Tramadol, as needed.  Tramadol helps to take the edge off of the pain when I do too much.  I usually take it at night only on days when I overdo it, which can be once or twice a week.

    I am disappointed that I am not making more progress.  I still can't go to the grocery store without my crutches, or go to the gym without my crutches, or go anywhere where there will be too much walking.

    The inflammation in my hip has gone down from when I went to Alaska.  Thank goodness.  I could not get out of pain when I was in Alaska.

    I have been swimming, going to the gym, and stretching without too much increase in pain.  That is good!! I am still riding the stationary bike for up to 50 minutes which I couldnt even dream of doing before surgery.  By secret goal is to be able to take a spinning class, but that may not be for awhile.

    I see my surgeon at the end of June and that will be my 7 month post-op visit.  My surgeon said many patients take 7 months to feel a difference in their hip because there is tissue floating around in the joint causing inflammation. 

    In the meantime my other hip and knee are hurting from all the extra weight that my left side is taking.  This happened to me during my first surgery also.  I hope that the pain lets up on my left side of my body. 

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    My DIY Crutch Pouch

     Pimp My Crutches

    I was walking around JoAnn Fabric when this nice man noticed my crutches.  He said that he had been on crutches and he had made himself a crutch pouch.  He said I would need so much fabric and two snaps and I could find the pattern online.  So I went ahead and bought the materials to make a crutch pouch.

    It turns out I could not find the pattern online, so I had to come up with a pattern on my own.  It is a fairly simple design so I didnt have too much trouble.  Here is my finished product and I love it.  It is so functional and also really cute.

    Crutch Pouch

    crutch pouch
    I used two snaps

    I used an elastic and a heart button to close the pouch
    A total of four strings to tie the bag to the crutch
    My wallet, phone, and chap stick fit inside
    The inside is lined with Hello Kitty material
    Just put my stuff in and I am ready to roll