After a month of walking

Because I’m not allowed to swim I’ve been trying to walk more in an attempt to get fitter and stronger before my operation. It hasn’t been easy but when I’m walking it usually feels fairly good, much better than when I first started walking anyway. I can now walk 45mins a few times a week, my ankle is pretty much all fixed (finally) and I can feel muscles growing in my legs! Unfortunately my hip is feeling worse, especially the bursitis and side of my hip. I’ve been icing after my walks but some nights it feels like I’ve been stabbed! If surgery wasn’t so close, I don’t think I’d push through this but I’m on the home stretch now. My physiotherapist has advised me to keep walking until one week before surgery and then rest up.  

 

Turmeric tonic

I’m allergic to anti-inflammatories and aspirin which is annoying given my current health concerns. Several times I’ve been told turmeric is a good natural anti-inflammatory. I’ve taken it as tablets and eaten it in my curries; but to be honest I’ve not noticed much of a difference.

But I don’t give up easily, so I thought I’d try juicing it.

In the juicer: 2-3 lemons, a big chunk of ginger and some fresh turmeric. I probably used 7-8 bits. This makes a little bottle of concentrate which I’ve been drinking with hot water. It tastes quite nice, a bit earthy which is offset by the lemon and ginger.

I think I’ll take this for 2-3 weeks and then make a call on if it’s making a difference.

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Some answers on my shoulder and a plan forward

Yes I know this is a blog about my hip, but my shoulder obviously wants some time in the spotlight too.  I can’t remember when I did it, but a few months ago I sprained my shoulder getting out of the bath and it has been causing a fair bit of grief ever since.  I’ve been working with the physio on the issue and after a period of rest (and some cool taping) the shoulder got better for a period of time, then it got worse again.  Its been crunching/clicking painfully and is obviously a little unstable.   I had one round of  x-rays and ultrasound images taken early on which didn’t show much.  So after several weeks of treatment, some serious taping (like a rugby player she said), my physio was just about to write off my ongoing pain as “central sensitisation” and chuck it in the chronic pain bucket. This caused me some concern and to my surprise, she decided to order repeat images.

To my joy I found out today that I tore a ligament in my shoulder and this is why there are issues with the AC joint.  I’ve got evidence of subluxion (joint instability) and bursitis in my shoulder. For some reason it was missed in the first lot of images.  Why am I happy about this?  Well, its good to have a reason for my pain as my hip surgery is so soon.  Had it been central sensitisation causing unexplained pain in my shoulder, I’d be very concerned about having the hip surgery because the biggest risk (for me) is around having a bad pain reaction.  This risk is caused by my history of suspected CRPS and is being very well managed by the hospital, but it is still something I’m a little worried about. This is why I’m very relieved to have good reason for having ongoing pain in my shoulder.

The bad news…  I really need my shoulder to work properly for the upcoming hip surgery as I’ll be non-weightbearing and on crutches for a period of time. So the plan forward is ice x4 per day, continuation of strengthening and I’m still banned from swimming.  If there isn’t much improvement in the next week or two we will do a cortisone shot to get the pain and inflammation down before I have my hip surgery.  Usually a course of NSAIDs would be prescribed before cortisone is considered, however I’m allergic to them.

Photo: Very cool shoulder strapping by my physio, several people thought I’d actually got a tattoo!

 

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/

Permission to rest granted

I’ve been dealing with escalating levels of pain and exhaustion for a while. I went to see my GP on Monday and we discussed where I’m at, instead of upping my medication she gave me a doctors certificate so I can rest for a week. It was such a relief to know this week I don’t have to push through the work day in pain, push through the noise and over stimulation of the office, push through the horrible bright lights that hurt my eyes. I came home from the doctors, planted myself on the couch and promptly fell asleep. I’m feeling shattered.

It’s lucky my GP gave me this week off as I had a bad reaction to a cortisone injection for the bursitis. I had the injection at 9am on Monday, by 11ish the local anaesthetic was starting to wear off and by late afternoon it hurt like heck and got progressively worse as the evening went by. My hip was very stiff and swollen, leading to very little sleep. There’s no way I would have coped at work this week. It’s calming down now but my physio has also given me instructions to rest this week. To my surprise she told me no swimming until Saturday.

It’s day 3 of my rest, I’ve slept a lot, the hip pain is easing off and I’m going to go down to one crutch from tomorrow. Hoping to be walking sans-crutches by the weekend. It’s been hard going back on crutches but it’s working, so worthwhile.

A not so happy update to “Happy Healing Hips”

Its been a few weeks so I figured its time for an update.  I notice when things aren’t going great, sometimes the blog gets ignored.  On the flip side, when things are going fantastically the blog also gets ignored while I go out enjoy life.  Unfortunately, at the moment things aren’t going great.   The pain levels are escalating, the central sensitisation has been a lot worse and I’m exhausted from battling the system.

Where are things right now?  well….

  • Work/life balance has swung out of control again, have been working long hours.  The project ends this week (maybe next) so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Its a bit of a race to the finish line though, so this week will be rough.
  • The pain levels are high and are interfering with my sleeping again.
  • I’m on thin ice, and need to rest a lot more.
  • The bursitis is REALLY sore and always swollen, I can’t lie on my left side or my tummy and have to ice my thigh constantly.
  • I’ve been trying to get a cortisone shot for the bursitis, its taken 4 weeks at least but I’m finally booked in next monday (phew).
  • The hospital is mucking me around and it turns out I’m not actually on the waiting list for surgery yet, and assuming my paperwork goes through ok it is a 5 month wait.  She said they are processing my paperwork now and I should get a letter in the next couple of weeks.
  • I got offered a fantastic job but had to turn it down as it was conditional on surgery (when I applied the surgeon had just told me surgery would be end of April)
  • I’ve been getting my right ankle treated for a sprain I did several weeks ago when dancing on one leg (as you do).  It is apparent there is a lot of scar tissue due to years of multiple sprains (because it’s the opposite side to my sore hip it’s taken a thrashing).  Because I am unable to rest it properly it’s not healing well and is rather swollen and sore this week.
  • Because I’m now bearing more weight on my left leg (due to sore ankle) my hip is much worse than usual and the bursitis is getting worse.
  • I’ve had to pull the crutches out for the first time in over a year.  Am not quite able to bring myself to use them even though I probably should.  But I have been told to take them to me when I go away for a choir trip this weekend (lots of standing).
  • I’ve skipped a lot of choir practice due to pain and am also saying “no” to things.
  • Have been slack re the physio therapy and swimming, mostly due to pain, tiredness and a lack of time.
  • Am working with the Pain Clinic again, quite frequent appointments and quite intense treatments.
  • The weather is getting colder which is not great for my pain levels and circulation.

Good news….    (there must be some)

  • I started a new blog called  Pretty Ordinary Things where I take a photo a day of something ordinary in an effort to help me be more present in the world and actively search for beauty in every day things.  Its been working a treat, I feel my eyes are constantly scanning the environment, it pulls my thoughts away from my problems and is helping my photography.   I’m really enjoying the project.
  • We got restructured at work, so at least something is changing there.  I’ve got a new manager and a new team, hopefully I can move my desk too.  That with a new project will help refresh me at work.  Just as well seeing as I had to turn down that amazing new job.
  • I did a 3 day cram and passed my Six Sigma Green Belt Exam this week.  I’ve just got to put together a portfolio and I’ll get certified. Six Sigma is a methodology for process improvement and data analysis.
  • I’m going away this weekend, heading to Otaki to do a 2 day singing workshop with my choir.  I can’t wait.

Fingers crossed things pick up soon, I think the next couple of weeks will rough but hopefully things will improve soon.  I’ll feel A LOT better when I get a date for this surgery, I just need to know when it is going to happen so I can plan things and prepare.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to going away this weekend.

Phase one of waiting – complete!

Today I had my outpatients appointment with my orthopaedic surgeon, filled in copious amounts of paperwork and now I’m officially on the waiting list for surgery! Hooray. Phase one of waiting is complete.

Now I am waiting to hear what date my surgery will be scheduled for. The updated indication from the surgeon is end of May or June. He seems to think the risk of another CRPS flare up is very low and my history of “suspected CRPS” won’t add to the rehabilitation time. Phew, that was a good result!

He’s also confirmed the bursitis and has offered me a cortisone shot under ultrasound. So that will hopefully happen soon (waiting for a referral) and will reduce the pain/inflammation.

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