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The Long Road to THR

From: Shari
Date: 05 Sep 2001
Time: 14:44:10
Remote Name:


I was glad to see a number of people with CHD in the Totally Hip Stories. I was beginning to think I was alone. I've had problems with my legs for as long as I can remember. Severe leg cramps that kept me up at night as a child. My mother would give me a heating pad and tell me they were growing pains. I was always a klutz, never good at sports. I couldn't understand why I had so much trouble putting on my right shoe and sock. One of my tricks was to sit with my right leg under my left (knees pointing left) while keeping my rump on the ground. In all my life I never met anyone else who could do this.

In my 20's the side of my right thigh went numb. They said it was a nerve coming from my hip but didn't know why. This started my 20+ years of going from doctor to doctor to try to find out what was wrong with me. I have 3 bad discs that buldge to the left but my pain was in my right leg. This confused the doctors. They assumed my back caused the other pain not the other way around!

At 35 I became pregnant with my second child. Things became worse. It felt like something was twanging in my leg. There were times when I could hardly walk. I started using a cane. Nothing was constant, I'd be ok for a while and then for no reason, have trouble walking. I started with the doctors again. X-rays, MRI's... no one could see anything wrong. One of my physical therapists started pointing me in the right direction. Telling me that my hip was causing the problems. But, we still didn't know why. I've gone from doctor to doctor and medication to medication.

At 41 I lost my job and lost my mother. Things were looking pretty bad. I couldn't play with my kids. Couldn't walk the beautiful property I had finally been able to buy. About 6 months ago I finally got a full time job and medical insurance. I decided to start the doctor mill again. This time I searched the web for an orthopaedist who specialized in hip problems. Although the doctor I found was far away, I didn't care, I liked his qualifications.

While in the examining room waiting for the doctor, I started to cry. I really didn't want to go thru this rat race again; didn't want to hear "I don't know what's wrong with you" again. The doctor came in, had a tech take an xray and after looking at it for about 2 minutes said "You have hip dysplasia". I couldn't believe it, an actual diagnosis! He told me I would have to see one of the other doctors to find out exactly what would be done but I was going to have to have some kind of surgery. He yelled at me for being overweight. It's a catch 22 isn't it? Hard to exersise when you can hardly walk!

I saw the other doctor and he took some more pictures. One with my feet turned in (gee, I've asked to have that done before but no one would). Turns out my femur is turned, that's why I can sit funny and can't lift my leg very far. That and the underdeveloped hip sockets are what are causing my pain. He showed me on the xray what was wrong. Said we could do a hip replacement but I probably wouldn't really need it for many years.

I'm so glad to have an answer after all these years. I'm still waiting for another test to see exactly what we're going to do. Will it be just an arthoscopic cleaning of cartlidge or a major operation to reposition the portion of my pelvis over the femur (2 month recovery time)? I'm scared and relieved at the same time. I'm glad I found you guys. (Linda, forgive my complaints).

This is the first time I've ever written this whole thing down. I'm trying not to fall apart in the middle of the office (I'll use my cold as an excuse for my eyes tearing). I miss my mom.

Thanx for listening. I'll keep you updated if anyone cares to hear. If not, I'm glad to get it all out.

May Spirit keep and watch over you all.

Last changed: September 05, 2001