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05 March 2013 @ 04:15 pm
 
I'm very glad I signed up for Misti-Con. I just called my orthopaedic surgeon and set up my "5-year" hip replacement appointment for May 6th.

I don't know if I've ever stated it in my journal itself, but I've long had the tradition of getting a "treat" after any medical thing I have to put up with. When I was growing up and had to take a deep shot to alternate thighs once a month from 7 to 12, I used to get little things like pencils or any fun toys I wanted. When I had to take the biannual trips to the Children's Hospital for IVs, blood-work, bone-scans and the like, I would get something bigger (especially since those frightened me more). At this point my most "famous" post-medical treat is the Minerva McGonagall hat, which was delivered to me at Rowe a month after my hip replacement, came with me to England and DiaCon, got me a camp job at Rowe, came to Orlando, and has decorated every place I have lived.

I know I haven't spoken much here about my hip's behaviour lately: it's wobbling. It's really a most disconcerting and discomforting feeling, when one is standing on one's hip and it begins to wobble. It'll happen when I'm balancing on the one leg to put on trousers, or when I'm taking off shoes, or when I'm brushing my teeth. It isn't the whole leg that wobbles--not a balance thing--but very much feels like the hardware of my hip wobbling.

It was particularly bad last night when I was walking up the stairs. I finally looked it up and found all sorts of talk about osteolysis, aseptic loosening, loosening in general of full hip replacements...and how it can lead to hip revision, which can be just another hip replacement, and which never seem to go as well or last as long as the initial replacement (and mine's only 5). I also read that 10-15% of cementless full hip replacements (as I believe mine was) experience loosening by the 5-year mark; mine was in June of 2012. (I only have so much femur to lose to a spike being jammed in it, too, being a height-challenged person, and I'd really love to live and walk for another six-ish decades if I can!)

As you might imagine, it spooked me. The above is, of course, all worst-case. I'm not sure what I hope it is--maybe something that can be fixed in revision surgery that isn't a full replacement, like replacing a little part or something. I hope it isn't "oh that's nothing don't worry about it", honestly, because it's difficult to not worry about one's hip wobbling as one stands!

Anyway, I don't have more than the regular pain (which doesn't necessarily say much), and no stabbing femur pain, so that leaves me with the hope that it's not something extreme. I mentioned my wobbling to the secretary (who is also the Doc's daughter) and asked whether that should make me push for an appointment sooner rather than later even though that wouldn't work well with my insurance; she put me on hold, asked the doctor, and came back telling me he thought it would be fine to wait until May.

I suppose I'll just try to be a bit careful, then. It did make quite the bad night last night; I looked it up, wasn't in a great mental place, and fell asleep crying. I don't always admit to myself how positively petrifying it can be to have a hip replacement at 23, to have had it for five years, and to think about the future--knowing there will be at least one revision replacement, likely two, and not knowing how any of it will go down. And wondering if one will occur too soon, or not go well, since that's not exactly rare. And if the technology won't catch up as quickly as I'd like. And if my femur will get too weak and I'll end up with osteolysis and an even worse hip than I started out with and two canes or a wheelchair, and whether that will happen at 70 or 60 or 50 or 40 or 30 or even, fuck, 20-something...

I know everyone has health concerns. Goodness knows I have enough of the regular ones (can we say "breast cancer", like my mother and other women of the family before me? Or early stroke, like my grandmother? Or even Alzheimer's?). Having something so specific to worry about, and knowing that while it isn't as likely as my fears but is still definitely quite possible, certainly can keep me up at night sometimes and give me bad mental health days come the morning.

Today I'm trying to distract myself from everything. It's almost working.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
 
 
Current Mood: scaredScared.
 
 
 
lash_laruelash_larue on March 5th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
That is scary. I hope it turns out to be a relatively minor thing.

I'll keep a good thought for you.

* hugs *

L
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Hogwarts shield.cranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 06:19 am (UTC)
I hope it turns out to be a relatively minor thing, too. I was experimenting with it today and it's definitely crunching when I try to stand and balance on only the one leg; it doesn't just crunch and stay put, either, but as I said, sort of crunches and wobbles like I can feel the hardware shifting in a way it shouldn't. All without direct pain. It's...well, frightening. But I suppose the lack of pain is good.

Thank you for the good thoughts and the hug both. I'll admit to feeling more vulnerable about this than I usually feel and am immensely grateful for the love and well wishes.

*Snuggles.*
shadowycat: Ocean Homeshadowycat on March 6th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
Sometimes I think having the internet to look things up on is a mixed blessing. All that unfiltered information can sometimes scare you silly. You just have to keep reminding yourself that most of what you saw was worst-case scenario stuff. Your individual problem may not be as bad as what you read about. I certainly hope so anyway. Try not to scare yourself too much before you know what you'll be dealing with. Losing sleep worrying won't help either. Distraction is a good thing. Hugs and good wishes!
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Pomona || Herbology wand.cranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
Sometimes I think I agree with you about the Internet. But given that I was just as terrified at the idea of NOT knowing what symptoms to even look for around my hip--besides shattering--I felt I at least had to know something. I'm also used to reading scientific papers and understanding percentages, which is why I'm not running to the doctor's right now (however tempted I may be at certain moments).

I'm afraid I'd be worrying and losing sleep either way. When one's body isn't working right, it's a rather frightening thing.

Thank you for the hugs and good wishes. ♥ I can certainly use them about now.
shadowycatshadowycat on March 6th, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
I know you can't stop yourself from worrying, I couldn't either in your place. I hope that once you go to the doctor you'll find that there's less to worry about than you fear. :D
Kiwi Crocus: AoGG || Do attract trouble.cranky__crocus on March 7th, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
I would very much like that!

I think my regular, realistic, not-worst-case fear is that it'll require surgery to fix up what's likely the 'head' of the replaced hip; that's where it seems to get wobbly and crunchy. But that I would also much prefer to dealing in any way with the femur part, which is where things get tricky and time-sensitive for my life.

I'm also hoping to do some strength work with my legs so that more of the weight-bearing goes to my muscles and it's not all on my bones/hardware.
101mutts101mutts on March 6th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Hugs. The Worry game is a particularly unfun game to play. Hopefully you'll get some answers at your May visit.

I'll keep you and Fluffy in my thoughts. Hopefully Fluffy's middle name won't need to be changed or made into "Wobbly" which sounds like a house elf's name.
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Minerva || Time stood still.cranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 06:23 am (UTC)
*Hugs back.* I do hate the Worry Game. I'm not thrilled to be back in this place of "Did it work? Did it not? How's this going to turn out?" The Worry Game combined with the Waiting Place is a rather terrible place to be; it's where I was approaching April of my sophomore year, when everything felt pretty terrible.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. I think at this point I probably should call her Fluffy Wobbly, if only because humour sometimes brings me out of my darker emotions a bit. Definitely sounds like a house elf's name!
Leelaleela_cat on March 6th, 2013 04:52 am (UTC)
The not-knowing sounds as scary to me as the terrifying-internet-worst-case. *hugs*

Keeping good thoughts for you.
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Rolanda || Quidditch from above.cranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
The not-knowing is definitely just as scary to me as Internet-worst-cases. *Hugs back.* Thank you. I really appreciate it. I'm a lot more frightened than I usually admit to being.
therealsnapetherealsnape on March 6th, 2013 06:18 am (UTC)
That's a scary experience, indeed. I do hope it will be a minor thing. At least the doc thought it could wait till May (although that leaves you with longer insecurity).
Kiwi Crocus: HP || Rolanda || Watchful eye.cranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
It is. I keep trying to remember if I felt the wobble in Orlando--just trying to put a time to it. I can't say I did, so it must have started up since then.

I'm going to see if I can start going to the gym with one of my housemates to strengthen the muscles of my legs (which aren't too weak to begin with, really); putting more of the weight-bearing on the muscles than the bone/hardware may help. If it keeps eating away at my thoughts perhaps I'll phone the doc's again and see if I can schedule some sort of quick phone call just to ask him questions and see if I really shouldn't come in sooner--or if he can at least put my mind at ease personally, on the phone.

Not thrilled to be back in the Worry Game and the Waiting Place on top of playing the Pain Game. Thank you for the concern, anyway; it means a lot. ♥
minervas_eule: Botticelli Minervaminervas_eule on March 6th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, how terrible to wait until May to hear some expert's oppinion: I'd definitely call again to make certain it is really ok to wait that long.... *hugs* and all the best wishes for fast-fixable results!
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on March 6th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm not enamoured with the idea of waiting until May, but with my country and private insurance...there isn't much else I can do. It did put me a bit at ease that the secretary relayed to the Doc that I'm experiencing wobbling with no pain (which is true), and having him say that I'm fine waiting until May (with, I imagine, the always-caveat that if it gets much worse I have to go in when I can).

I will likely call him again if I get paranoid, though, and see if I can speak with him on the phone or exchange a few emails back and forth.

*Hugs back.* Thank you! I'm hoping for fast-fixable results as well. Having this sort of fear on the mind does make just existing and getting things done a bit more difficult.