Thursday, November 25, 2010

History, Part Deux

     I have to admit, I don't speak a work of French, i just thought part deux sounded nifty.  I wanted to give a post break history to get me to where I am today.  I was so happy after four months on crutches to graduate from my middle school and move onto high school.  Thankfully, half of the awful people that had made my life so miserable, went to the other high school.  It was a fresh start.  Ironically, the first day of high school, I met a girl that had gone to my middle school and who i had never spoken to.  She had scoliosis and had spent a few years in middle school in a big square back brace.  (that must have been fun.)  We clicked over our hideous middle school experience and stayed best of friends all through high school.  I went back to dancing in high school which brought me so much joy and physical release.  By the end of 9th grade, i was deeply into modern rock, (OK, it was really new wave and George Michael was my idol), pierced my ears several times, shopped mostly at thrift stores and dreamed of going to SF to clubs to dance on the weekends.
   Life totally changed for me after breaking my hip in 9th grade. I always stood up for myself.  I called friends on their shit if I felt they were not treating me right.  I found friends that honored our friendship and respected our differences.  I felt even then, a bit wise for my young age.  All the self doubt I had felt for all those years in middle school, mostly went away.
    I did have my pins taken out between 9th and 10th grade, and continued to move on with my life.  I went to UCSB after high school and once again found my niche, great friends, took dancing and gymnastics, (just for fun mind you, nothing competitive or serious) and found I was pretty good at making good decisions for myself.
  I only point this out, that as brutal as my experience in 8th grade was, it was a growing experience, and one I learn from to this day.  When i graduated college, I went to work in Los Angeles at Bullocks, (now Macys) and had a really great career there for three years.  I then went into the shoe market for 5 years and had the time of my life.  I loved my job and met some great friends i still have today. (namely you Jared.)
    But, one day, I was on a walk in Hawaii, (yes, Honolulu was part of my territtory) and I stared to limp.  I limped the same way I had when i was 13. I was only 28 years old.  Dr. Shapiro had told me I would have arthritis one day , but i thought he meant when I was 50??????
    I went back to LA and met with a fancy Orthopedic doctor who told me that my hip was degenerating, deformed and had growth spurs.  He told me I would need a new hip within 5 years.  I then went into a depression realizing this was not life threatening, but  I could not help but feel sorry for myself.  If they had caught my hip before it had broke, i would not be dealing with this again at only 28.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some History...

     This section is for those of you who are wondering why I am getting a hip replacement.  For those just wondering about my recovery, check other posts.  This one will be long and a bit emotional at times.  I can't help it. There will be some venting and processing, so , you must decide if you want to join this ride before you get on. 
      Here is a bit of history to explain why I need this new hip.  When I was 13 years old in the suburbs of northern california, I was finishing my final soccer season when i began to limp.  My mother started asking me why I was limping, and I honestly replied that I did not know.  As the weeks progressed, and the limping continued, so did the concern about what was wrong.  When we went to a orthodpedic who took an X-ray, my parents were told there was nothing wrong with me and that I was clearly trying to get attention. 
     Let me tell you, it was beyond confusing to be told that nothing is wrong with you, that you clearly are trying to get attention, and yet, you can't stop limping.  During the three months of this limping, i lost all my friends and had become a pariah at my already brutal middle school.  (wealty and entitled + puberty=misery and confusion.  That is  under the best of circumstances, and in mine, it was hell.)  I was having a hard time already with the drama of girlfriends, but this was a whole new level.   The self doubt, confusion, loss of confidence and self sucked.
    As we continued to go to the doctor, a new prognosis was made every time.  Arthritis one time, bursitis another and tendeniits after that.  I even got a cortisone shot to "relieve" the pain.  (I still remember how much that shot hurt and for nothing!)   There was clearly someting wrong and my mom asked the doctor if we should take another xray.  She was dismissed with  a wave of the hand. 
    In the end, it took many minutes to go from standing to sitting, and driving in the car was extremely painful.  After a weekend in bed where Dr. Marcia (my mom thought she could fix it) gave me heating treatiment after cooling treatment, I returned to school on Monday in crutches.  I did not know how to use them and i fell in a class with stairs (kind of a mini lecture hall style) and managed to fall in between an isle of chairs on my arm unable to move.  (I can't believe I almost broke my arm too!)
     I actually remember thinking if you just give me a minute, i'll be fine.  It was not until even the fireman could not move me and the ambulance came with the kind of strectcher you have to put together under someone, that I finally believed something was very wrong.  It happened during my brothers 6th grade recess and when he saw me he just jumped into the ambulance with me. 
     I still remember the ride, it was excruciating, but I still could not imagine what had happened.  When I got to the hospital, they took an xray, and I will never, for the rest of my life, forget that old, creepy doctor, who had never believed anything was wrong me, lean over and say, "Well, there is definately something wrong with that hip!"   My hip had been slipping for three months at the growth plate and when I fell, it had finally broke, (or slipped out of the socket like an ice cream off the cone). He said it in the most suprised tone, and not a bit of an apology. He was so convined I was faking, he missed it in the xray.
  He then put me in traction, which as the hours of my first day progressed, lead to these unbearable muscle spasms that lasted up to a minute.  Then a nurse wanted me to move side to side to alleviate bed sores.  Only my hysteric crying changed her mind to try later. 
   Thankfully, my father, who had for some time suggested we try another doctor, went into takeover mode and found me a new doctor.  When Dr. Shapiro arrived within a day, he was shocked to see me in traction and stopped it immediately. He also told me it was lucky I had not let that nurse moved me.
 I had a very sucessful surgery two days after breaking it.  He used three large pins to pin it back together, and told my parents all the things that could have happened.  (wheel chair, lifts in my shoes, a limp for the rest of my life etc.)  Luckily for me, i had done all my growing by 13.  If I had grown more, I would have had some of the problems he mentioned. 
    Here is the really fucked up part.  When I broke my hip, after months of emotional stress worse than the pain, I was relieved.  Relieved that there was something wrong with me.  I was so over all those  bitches who were so nasty to me all those months. If you want to talk about a life defining event.  They all came to visit me in the hospital.  All of them. They even came to my house when I came home.  If you know me at all, I am pretty clear about my feelings, and wear my heart on my sleeve.  I am too honest at times and have no patience to be friendly to insencere people.  I spent some time in therapy in my 20s forgiving them and moving on.  But some of my personality was defianately shaped in that time.
    As a final to this post, I had a long healing process.  I was out of school about a month, and returned to varying levels of crutches.  I was on crutches for a long time.  At the end i walked on them.  The sympathy people felt for me went away with time, and when I was still walking on crutches 4 months later, I was ridiculed once again.  (They thought I was faking it yet again.  Amazing huh?!)
     I feel like I am explaining myself all over again. Even when I went to the joint replacement class at the hospital, they wanted to know who I was here with and insisted I was too young.  Well, here we go.....