Sorry!!!

Sorry, it’s been too long. I’ve got several things I want to write about, but for some reason I’ve not been making the time. To be honest, I don’t know why. I’ve been feeling unsettled lately, distracted. Maybe that is why.

Anyway, things are ok. They’ve been quite crap, but now they are ok. I STILL don’t have a date for surgery which is really frustrating to say the least. I’m trying to turn it around and make it an opportunity to get fitter and stronger before surgery. Not easy… to get fit or to change my mindset!

I’ll write some posts soon.

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Bursitis

I had a cortisone injection for the hip bursitis which has been annoying me since December. The injection itself was less painful than the hip injections I’ve had in the past, but I had a cortisone flare. The pain got worse for a few days before it normalised, then finally a week later it improved. I had 7-10 days of blissful relief, and then the pain returned. It’s not as bad as it was, but I’ve pretty much been on crutches since then which has helped with pain levels. Now I’m weaning off crutches the bursitis is causing me more grief.

My physio told me to keep icing the inflammation but now it’s winter I’m not at all interested in doing this! Fingers crossed when the FAI is resolved the bursitis will resolve too. All the cortisone shots I’ve had on my hip have only lasted 2 weeks max, so I doubt I’ll ever have any more. It’s just not worth the pain caused by the cortisone flare.

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Image from:
http://www.americanhipinstitute.org/hip-injuries/bursitis/

A very successful pre-op assessment

On April 30th I had my pre-op assessment.  I was a bit nervous about it, but had no need to be.  The hospital staff were lovely and my concerns about the complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) were taken very seriously.  It ended up being a day of back to back medical appointments, pre-op assessment in the morning, physio in town, back to the hospital for x-rays and then pain clinic in the afternoon!

The morning of pre-op assessment involved getting key measures taken by a nurse, a meeting with the anaesthetist, then the house surgeon, another chat with the nurses and then blood tests.  Given my history of ‘suspected CRPS’ (crazy stupid pain) I was most concerned about the pain management aspect of the operation.  When I woke up last time the pain was bad and that caused a bit of chaos, the pain wasn’t well controlled post op and I ended up having to stay a 2nd night in hospital because of it.  Since then it appears I’ve developed CRPS and I’m afraid of another flare up of that, CRPS is horrible and takes a long time for me to bounce back from it. The anaesthetist was brilliant, he’d clearly read my file and took the time to address my concerns and even answered the questions I had about CRPS.  The suspected CRPS is pretty much confirmed CRPS now, but I’m grateful my symptoms are under control and pain levels are manageable. It turns out this is a condition that I’ll have to live with, but once the hip impingement is addressed the pain levels should resolve.  Fingers crossed!

The meeting with the house surgeon didn’t go so well, she was a bit of a cow.  She didn’t really know what was going on, didn’t answer my questions and tried to bullshit me. I wasn’t impressed, but it doesn’t matter because she won’t be doing my operation. According to her I’ll be on crutches for a couple of days and shouldn’t need any physiotherapy.   I don’t think so, but will remain cautiously optimistic.

The nurses were lovely, made sure I had a way to get home and someone to look after me for the first 24hours or so.  They gave me pre-op instructions (which in hindsight is very premature I’ve already forgotten what I was told) and advised me they’ll touch base with me the day before surgery.

So that was my pre-op assessment, now all I need to do is wait for a date.  Its been over a month and I would have expected to have one by now, but alas the waiting continues.  I am hoping for early July (would be good timing for work) but aware that it could be anything up to mid September.  Regardless, its something I’ve got no control over so I will have to go with the flow. It will happen when it happens!

The value of rest

In April I hit the wall. My pain levels were escalating, I was getting increasingly more exhausted, and was finding it harder to deal with the daily grind that is a life in chronic pain.  It felt like things were spiralling slowly out of control so I went to the GP to discuss medication and pain management.  After some discussion we decided that it was better to rest and see if the pain levels would subside.  I took 1 week sick leave and 1 week annual leave.  In the 2 weeks I took off work, I slept a lot, watched DVDs and towards the end underwent ‘active rest’.  After my two weeks of much needed rest my pain levels had gone from a very uncomfortable 6-8/10 to an easy (and relaxed) 3/10.  The space this gave me to breathe was immense, its funny how you don’t realise how bad the pain is until it is almost taken away.

And then I went back to work.  My pain levels shot back up and the tiredness crept back quickly.  It was very clear to me how much pain and suffering my work is causing.  Sitting at a desk is creating havoc with my health, it is the number one thing I can’t avoid that flares up my hip pain.  While the standing desk helps, its not working for me as my standing tolerance is so low (made worse by spraining my ankle). The overstimulation of the office environment makes things worse, the bright lights and noise wears me down.

My two weeks of rest paid off though, I filled my cup and learnt the value of rest as part of my pain management toolbox.  This gave me the confidence to ask my employer to  reduce my hours leading up to the operation.  I’m now working 32 hours a week, which gives me time/energy to do my physiotherapy, swim, go to medical appointments and get some rest.