I put a little too much hip into Hip Hop and ripped my labrum. Just kidding - I just had to write that pun. My labrum has actually been torn for at least a couple of years, but I finally had surgery to repair it!
5 years ago as I was demonstrating a step called an "illusion" one evening, I felt my hip clunk out of its socket, I moved a little, and it clunked back in. I say "clunk" because that's the best description of how it felt. Since that was before I was diagnosed with EDS, I didn't really know what was happening. Now I could tell you it probably dislocated, and went back in. I couldn't bear weight on that leg and it felt so unstable.
At the time, I was going to physical therapy for my shoulder (at a location that was not my favorite) and the PT said, "oh yeah I think you disclocated it. I think it's back in though, so it will just be sore for a while." No extra thought to it, no added exercises, just the typical advice to rest, ice, and Advil. Add that to my reasons of why I used to dislike physical therapy so much. I just did what I did best, which was push through the pain.
Fast forward, and I have had hip pain on and off since. About two years ago it led me to an ortho (actually it was my hand surgeon who recommended him!) who ordered an MRI. It showed a labrum tear and a CAM impingement/FAI. The doctor said, okay let's do surgery, and I said okay let's not do surgery! Instead I tried:
Each treatment provided some relief, but the pain always came back. It was a constant achey pain that would flare up when I was teaching or walking. 6 months or so ago it got to the point where I couldn't even sit for more than 10-15 minutes without the pain increasing substantially. I would shift and find my self in odd positions in effort to relieve the pain. That's when it was decided that surgery might be the best option.
I had to have another appointment with the ortho doc to confirm. I saw him for 5 minutes and he said, well if I thought it needed surgery then, I don't need another MRI to tell me it still needs surgery.
The Days Leading Up
How did I spend the weekend leading up to having hip surgery? Why dancing of course! We had two full days of auditions for our competition team, and then my sister CEO/co-owner and I had an epic dance party.
The date of my surgery was planned out much in advance. It was pretty much the only possible time that wouldn't extremely affect any life or work events.
My check-in time was 5:45a! I had to bring the giant hip brace they gave me a week prior, and the crutches I had bought (trying to save those wrists and shoulders!). Side story: I ended up using washi tape to color code the crutches because I had a hard time telling left from right!
I wasn't really nervous for the surgery since I have never had an issues with anesthesia, I was just nervous for making myself actually take the time to recover.
I got to sign my own hip this time, I really wanted to draw something funny but I got to nervous they would get mad😂
Quickly met with the anesthesiologist and I mentioned I had one surgery where I got a bit nauseous when I woke up (shoulder surgery), and she noted that I had POTS so she was going to fill me with lots of fluids during the surgery. Then I met with my doctor who signed my hip and asked if I had had any questions. Maybe it's just a Sami thing, but I tend to not ask much and just want to get it done! I overheard the poor lady next to me, who was having a little surgery on her finger. She was very worried and asked her doctor how many people died during the surgery. He said "well none, remember this is small and not under general anesthesia."
Walked into the OR and the nurse gave me a hug. She had a cute Star Wars scrub cap. They put in an IV and then she gave me the mask and said sorry it smells like a shower curtain. It did indeed smell like a plastic shower curtain! If you read my Hand Surgery Blog you know that I play a game with myself to see if I can think of a song has they are putting me to sleep, and then remember it on the other side. The song this round? Saint Honesty by Sara Bareilles. It's a good car belting song.
I woke up in awful pain. This was my 6th surgery (3rd joint surgery) and the first time I woke up in pain I couldn't handle. They gave me pain meds, but then that made me super nauseous. My least favorite feeling in the world is nausea. I have a phobia of throwing up (Emetophobia - yes it's really a thing). They gave me anti-nausea meds, but they didn't seem to work. Then we played a fun game of oh my gosh my hip hurts so bad but any pain killer they give me worsens my nausea. I literally had every option of anti-nausea they had. Even the suppository (aka up the booty) didn't work. Also having to turn on your side to get a suppository after having hip surgery is not a fun time.
Since my body thought that was enough it also decided to have a POTS episode and my heart rate went from around 67 to 140 in about 10 seconds. I was trying my best to suck in the tears and shakiness, but the nurse ended up giving me a valium to try to calm down while they waited for the anesthesiologist to come back and decide if I needed something for my heart rate. I ended up not needing that medicine, so we'll call that a success. I also had allergic reaction on my eyelids and neck from the tape and adhesives on the monitors.
I eventually got slightly less nauseous, so decided it was good enough to go home.
In my past five surgeries I've spent about 1-2 hours in post-op. This round? Seven hours.
When I got home I just iced, slept, and watched Netflix.
Beautifully uneventful! I spent the day icing, napping, Netflixing, working on my computer, and even got on the recumbent bike. They put waterproof wrapping on the incisions, so I was able to shower! Got a little shower seat which was super nice to just be able to sit.
I had a nice combination of oxy and zofran going. Or so I thought...
I woke at 3am with a throbbing headache. I do not get headaches. I thought maybe it was because I was having a hard time sleeping because of the hip pain. I got up and took an oxy. Went in and out of sleep for the next three hours but gave up at 6am.
I was feeling shaky and weak. I took a shower and just thought it was the day three blues. The third day always seems to be the worst after surgery! Well jokes on me. I got out of the shower and felt even worse. I took a zofran in hopes that it would stop the nausea.
**trigger warning, fast forward to Day 4 if you want to skip!**
Like I mentioned, I have a phobia of throwing up. Literally one of the worst feelings in the world to me. Well you know what's worse? Figuring out how to kneel down by the toilet after just having hip surgery so you can throw up. I don't think I had very much in my system, but whatever was in there came out. The zofran didn't stand a chance.
I continued to have the pounding headache. I stayed in the bathroom while my mom called the nurse's line. They asked my mom to take my temperature, and I had a little fever 99.something. The nurse was worried there might be an infection so she had me take off the dressing over the incisions. They didn't look infected, in fact they looked really good. Just a little allergic reaction to the adhesives, but that's normal for me! The nurse suggested going to the ER, or waiting till 8a when my doctor would be in.
We waited until the doctor was in. There was definitely some back and forth between going to the ER or waiting it out, but I convinced my mom to let me stay home (knowing my luck, I would get to the ER and they would run test that came back negative and I would just end up with another medical bill). I also had my first physical therapy appointment that day, and I really wanted to go. We decided no more pain killers, and played the waiting game.
I felt semi-good enough to go to PT at 10a. I'm thinking about that appointment now almost a week later and it is pretty much a blur😂 I know I kept accidentally lifting my surgery leg up to move positions (which was supposed to be done passively). I knew I was going to be bad at that! I have a hard time slowing down and following directions when they take extra time. My PT said we needed the Yoda quote, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Along with the hip, we also worked on my neck since that has been seemingly causing nausea/shakiness on and off for the past couple months. I was supine during surgery, but maybe they had my neck in a weird position and that added to everything.
I took a nap when I got home and felt a decent amount better. PT, naps, and electrolytes for the win! My doctor also prescribed me a new anti-inflammatory to take instead of the oxy.
Beautifully uneventful! I seemed to be following a weird pattern of odd days were bad, even days were good.
We figured out that even the anti-inflammatories made me nauseous. I talked to my EDS provider and decided to try no oral pain relief and stick with ice. Still trying to figure out the nausea/shakiness that I get. Could have been the neck thing triggered by the positioning of being intubated during surgery, or an MCAS thing, or something else! Sticking with the zofran and hydroxyzine!
Time for a nine hour in-person work day!
I'm so thankful for my sister CEO co-owner who tried really hard to not let me work. I worked from my computer at home, but not nearly as much as I usually do. Friday was an eventful day at the studio though, so I couldn't miss it!
We had preschool graduation (which included my niece!) they sang and were precious. Auntie Si Si definitely cried... but okay I cry at everything.
Then we had our Musical Theatre program's first preview of the show we have been working on for months, CATS (my 90's childhood dream come true)! This was one of the many reasons I had to wait to have the surgery; I couldn't give up choreographing that! During the shows I run the mics and sound, so luckily I get to be sitting.
By the end of the night my hip was very much done. I iced and got ready for another 9 hour day!
I was at the studio 10a-7:30p. We had two showings of CATS, and the kids were AMAZING. So proud of them, and so happy I was well enough to be there.
I tried my best to ice in between the shows and keep my foot up during the show! I got an ice pack that attached to my hip so I could still crutch around if I needed.
I tried to be good and rest since I probably overdid the past two days. Just relaxed and worked from home.
Hey that was today! I actually am in less pain than I was pre-surgery, so that's pretty cool! Also kind of crazy.
Got my stitches out and then I got to see pictures of the surgery. 3 anchors, a sewn up labrum, and one smooth femur head!
I only have one more week of crutches, which is fantastic because I want to throw them into a dumpster🥳
Well just 3-6 months to see if this thing worked!! I'm hopeful since I already have less constant pain than before. In 4 weeks I have another post-op appointment so fingers crossed everything just continues to heal as planned. 💕🦓
Be Brave. Stay Kind. Much Love.