My Experience

Surgery on the Horizon

For a minute, I really thought I was done with surgery. Everyone kept telling me to stop saying that my right hip was my last. Low and behold, they were right because I am back on the path to surgery. My heart is heavy facing that reality. It’s something that I really wasn’t mentally prepared for. My knees have an abundance of swelling within the joint. It’s clear from the cortisol injections that there is a problem within the joint itself. It is causing the problem and pain.

I went to my three month follow up for my hip excited but weary. I was well aware of the possibility that they would tell me surgery was the next step. They didn’t have a definitive answer about what medical issue plagues my knees. They don’t know why the joint itself would be swollen. Regardless, they both agreed that surgery is a logical option to resolve an ongoing issue.
To be on the safe side, I’m consulting another physician. I wanted to see someone who specializes in running and could offer another opinion that wouldn’t involve surgery. I will see him soon and hope to get an answer about whether surgery will happen this year or in the next five. I guess that’s where I’m at and where the doctors are too. It’s not a matter of whether surgery will be necessary, it’s about how long I can go without it.

Having had two hip surgeries, I can handle an abundance of pain. I wouldn’t have been able to recover so quickly without enduring a boatload of pain. I know that the option to run my knees into the ground using cortisol injections to cushion the blow is possible. I don’t see that as a real solution though. I had one injection in both knees and the amount of pain I had in them went up exponentially after they wore off. It’s an extremely short term solution.

My mindset will always probably be that surgery sooner is better. I don’t want to be at the point where my life has stopped before surgery because the pain is too severe. That’s where I was before my left hip surgery and it was an excruciating place to be, both mentally and physically. I want to have strength left to start with. Starting at zero makes recovery harder. My life doesn’t need to be harder.

That being said, this will be my eighth and ninth surgery within a span of two and a half years. That is challenging on my body, my mind, and my spirit. Whenever I get done with one, the next one is right there waiting for me. I feel like I don’t have a second to breathe. My first reaction is that these two will be my last, I can’t foresee any more. What else could go wrong? That’s the same place I was before my right hip surgery and here we are.
This is life. There will always be things that can and will go wrong, there’s no way to avoid that. It’s a matter of setting my mindset up for success.

Right now, I’m finding that really difficult. I’m going through waves of chronic illness grief. Some days I feel on top of the world and others I feel like the world slapped me in the face. I walk away from doctors appointments feeling confident with our plan but frustrated that the plan needs to exist.

I’ve talked about chronic illness grief before. It’s something that comes on at different times in life. Like any type of grief, it ebbs and flows depending on the situation. I guess in my head, with traveling and feeling “normal” would come normalcy. That just wasn’t true and even more so, it pointed out all of my differences and forced me to confront choices I never wanted to make.

So to summarize, it’s been a challenging past few weeks. With tons of excitement about life updates, came disappointing medical news. I’m doing my best to balance the light and the dark. I’ll update you on when surgery is going to happen.

I hope that you’re having a great day. I hope that your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.

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