Last Wednesday I saw the spine doctor, and good news, the herniated disc is doing great. So, why am I in so much pain? My physical therapist and spine doctor think it is my hip. So do I.
(If you are ever in Charlotte, NC and need a recommendation for a spine doctor, give me a shout out.)
The spine doctor I see is a really good doctor. He has a great bed side manner. I never feel rushed when I’m in there, he makes sure to always look at me when he talks, he explains everything very well, and he is very thorough. He examined me and decided I needed to see the hip doctor again. I told him how I did not have any respect for the last hip doctor I saw, and why. I’m not sure if I mentioned it here, and if I did, it probably bears repeating. The last hip doctor breezed in, did not examine me, and told me that all my problems were from my back. I asked him why then did I have hip problems before I hurt my back? He simply ignored me, and said nothing showed on the CT scan, so good news, I had nothing wrong with my hip, good bye. The spine doctor decided I should see a different hip doctor. One he said he was sure would treat me with much more respect. thank you very much. I will not go to a doctor who does not respect me.
Today I had an appointment with the new hip doctor. First I had an x-ray of my back. After all the stuff going on with my back too, he wanted to get a view of it, and looked like no problems there. Yay. Then the doctor’s assistant came in and got a good history and did a good exam. He told me what he suspected and that he wanted to go over everything with the doctor and he would come in soon. I then had to have another hip x-ray to compare to the one I had in September. They suspect I may have necrosis of the hip bone, caused by steroid use. I have been given steroids a lot over the years of my life. Doctors seem to hand them out like candy, they don’t think about the long term effects of what they can do to you. Not once when I have been prescribed steroids have I ever been asked how often I have been prescibed then in the past. Well, they can kill your bones. The bones that have blood in them, it can kill the blood tissue, then the bone will collapse on itself. Pretty gnarly huh?
The x-ray that was taken in September had a very round ball socket, the one taken today looked a little bit flatter on the top. It could have been just the angle of the x-ray, or it could be the beginning of Stage II.
If you are interested you can read more about the different stages here: Osteonecrosis. Right now it looks like I’d be around Stage II, just starting to show outward signs….maybe.
My doctor wants me to send in my information about my cochlear implants to the MRI people there to make sure I can’t have an MRI under any circumstances. They said sometimes they can do something and they can do them. So I’m sending in my information. I’m very wary about this, and think I might just refuse it even if they say it’s alright. If they try this and (even if it doesn’t rip them out of my head) if it damages them, I don’t think it would be covered under my warranty, and I don’t want to have to have unnecessary surgery to replace them. So unless they’ve done this many, many times before, I just don’t think the risks are worth the benefits. I think he will understand that.
If I can’t/won’t get the MRI he said I will get another CT (Computerized tomography) scan. CT scans are cross sectional. Normally they are done at a certain width apart, I forgot how wide he said, he will order my new one to be done much closer together to try not to miss anything.
If you were reading my blog before when I went to the hip doctor and had the hip injection and it didn’t help at all (another reason the original hip doctor said there was nothing wrong with my hip) this doctor said the hip injections often don’t help with this issue.
I was very impressed with this doctor and his assistant. He was very behind in his schedule, but I could understand why, and I didn’t mind. He did not make me feel rushed when he was with me, he was very careful to make sure I understood everything. He was great. Also, before he came in to actually see me, I was seen by his assistant, and I had 2 sets of x-rays. I wasn’t just sitting there twiddling my thumbs. I was also impressed that when I got there he had already reviewed my chart and had questions waiting for me and orders for the back x-ray. He walked in and knew all about me before he started talking to me. I love it when a doctor does that!
This is a scary diagnosis. However, if this is what it is, it is a diagnosis! It can also be fixed pretty easily…I’ll have a hip replacement. There are a lot of things that a lot of doctors do to work on this that don’t replace the hip, but there’s a lot of risk and most treatments don’t work very well. shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that. I don’t want to worry people who are having those treatments done. Just my opinion from what I have read…today…and from talking to my doctor. Looks like most people have to have their hip replaced anyway, after many more years in pain. I’m thinking I’d rather just get my hip replaced now. I know I’m a bit young to have it done, but really not all that young, and with the new technology I hope the new hip will last as long as I do. That is…if I have to have it done. I can’t predict the future. Just preparing my mind for it in case that is a possibility. Heck, my father has had both hips replaced, and I think one he has had done twice, or they are talking about redoing one of them? He’s hard to keep up with. All his artificial joints….shoulders, knees….ect….He’s bionic! He has all the body parts, I have the ears. Now if I get a new hip, I’ll be working on body parts too! hahaha
I will be going back to PT, working out in the pool. The doctor wants me as strong as I can be in case I have to have any kind of surgery. Also he doesn’t want that leg to get too weak, and I can work it out in the pool because it is non-weight bearing. Maybe I will hurry up and take this weight I gained from the steroids off and continue to lose more weight! According to the scales at the doctor’s office I’ve lost about 8 of he steroid pounds. (I gained almost 16 – that was depressing! I’ve worked hard to take this weight off…and I want to keep taking it off! Go weight….get off my body! Not that my body isn’t fantastic just like it is, but I want to make it easier on my hip…less weight to carry around….less pain! I do not think beauty is determined by size!!)
drawing by w. holcombe copywrite – 2015
quote – unknown
Now for some awfully sweet news.
When I walked in this office I was met by 2 of the nurses there that just grabbed me and hugged me. They we so happy to see me and to see me in less pain than I was in the last time I was there. I also had a small vertigo attack last time I was there. I’ve only been there 3 times, and I haven’t been there since October, but these girls remembered me and were so thrilled to see me. I was amazed. I told them I couldn’t believe they remembered me like that. They said, they don’t remember everyone like that, nor do they treat everyone like that…only the nice people. They kept saying how wonderful my spirit is. How nice I was even though I was in so much pain. I just cried. My nurse couldn’t believe I was crying. Just think, I am home alone most of the time, and on the rare occasion when I go out it is usually to the doctor’s office, I’m amazed I could touch a person’s life like that, in the little amount of time I see people. We never know just how we may touch another person’s life. So watch what you say, and always try to be the best person you can be. On a day when you feel scared and a bit down, you just might run into a couple of people who grab you and hug you and tell you how special you are because you are who you are, and you just make them feel special because of that. It was an amazing feeling!