Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First few weeks AND Disney!!

I have survived the first few weeks back to work!! I am teaching middle school Reading and English at a small private school. I have wonderful classes and LOVE the kids!! I have not had any hip pain and have been wearing all my cute high heeled Nine West and Steve Madden wedges and sandals!
We spent last weekend at Disney. We went to Magic Kingdom Sat and Sun. We got there around 9 and left around 4 the first day and 3 the next. After walking ALL of Magic Kingdom SEVERAL times, I was a little sore - but not in pain. It was rainy on Sat and I think that makes my arthritis act up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1st day of school!

I had my first day of school with the kids yesterday. I taught 7 classes - and wore my heels ALL DAY!! I did sit a few times - but was proud that I did not limp out of there!!
We are now home as school was cancelled because of Tropical Storm Fay - which has been dumping rain on us since about 2 in the morning. I am getting some cleaning and laundry in - as long as we have power!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to work!

On Monday August 11th I return to teaching after being home with my boys. I will be teaching middle school Reading and English at a private school and am lucky that Brady will attend the pre-k program there. Reilly will be right down the street at the daycare owned by the same school. My hip is feeling great and plan on wearing all my heels when I teach all day!! I know that I am not going to be able to exercise as much as I have been - but plan on doing some kind of exercise at least 2 nights a week and then on weekends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

3 weeks post screw removal

It has been almost 3 weeks since my screw removal and I am feeling great. I took the bandage off a few days early and it didn't look so pretty! The steri strips had dried blood all over them - and I was told to wait until they fall off. That lasted about 2 days and then I peeled them off, carefully. Dr Millis gave me the go ahead with exercising - but to keep bandages over the scar for 2 months, so it doesn't spread open. I bought sterile strips from Walgreens that go over the scar - but still let it breathe. The scar is lumpy and I have emailed Dr M to see if this is normal. I don't remember it being lumpy after the PAO. Maybe it is because he cut on the same incision line as before?? Who knows - I will have to wait for Dr M to respond. I am making my arrangements for my MRI and visit with Dr M for the fall. I am trying to tie it into a Cape Cod Thanksgiving vacation - as I did last year when I first met Dr Millis.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Exercising....once again!!

It has been a week and a half since my screw removal - and have almost no pain. I have not yet seen the incision - as Dr Millis told me to keep the bandage on for 14 days. I don't think I will make it until Monday - I have almost taken it off SEVERAL times! I am assuming the stitches have dissolved - so I started exercising again. I figured bike riding would be the best (rather than walking or elliptical). Today I went for about a 4 mile bike ride with Reilly on the back. It felt good!! I am back to walking with no limp and feel as good as new!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vacation/Screw Removal

We spent the first 9 days of our vacation in CT and then Cape Cod. We had an awesome time seeing family and friends in CT. At the Cape we ate "wicked good" food like "lobsta" bisque, scallops, clam strips.... TJ and I rented bikes - mine had the seat for Reilly on the back and TJ's had the "tag along" 1/2 bike for Brady. We went for a bike ride every day and on Sunday TJ and I did about 15 miles!
I had my screw removal done yesterday and will fly home today. We arrived at Children's Hospital at about 11:15 - I had x-rays and then up to day surgery admitting. The procedure was scheduled for 2:00 - but Dr Millis was help up in another surgery, so I didn't go in until about 4:30. It didn't take long at all and I was awake! I was given a local and some sedation - but didn't fall asleep. I could hear and feel what he was doing - but it didn't really hurt, just felt uncomfortable. I got into recovery at 5:30 and was "awake and alert" and was able to leave at 6:00. TJ and I checked into a hotel here in Boston - and will meet my parents at the airport to get the kids. I was given crutches, but am thinking I can use my cane at the airport. I will post pics of the screws once I am home!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weight Loss

To anyone interested - I have added the link for "Medi Weight Loss Clinics". I started 2 months after Reilly was born (June) and by Christmas I had over 60 lbs. I went back after my hip surgery to lose a few more and my total is over 70 lbs. All I can say is that it works. I got my father-in-law to do it (he lost about 70 lbs) and TJ is working on his second goal as well (50 lbs). I had posted my before and after pics in an earlier post - you can scroll down to view. Just to put things into perspective - in my before pic I had already lost about 30 lbs from delivery. I am now about 100 lbs less than what I was the day I walked into the hospital to have Reilly on April 10, 2007. I was BIG!!! I don't even like to look at old pictures because I am a new person now. That is why I put pictures from my trip to Key Biscayne - I was wearing a size 8 dress!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Key Biscayne...

View from our balcony...

Lounging at the pool...

View from the pool...

My scar was hidden underneath my bathing suit - no one had a clue that just months ago I had my pelvic bone sawed in 2 and then screwed back together!! I have no limp - even in my high heeled shoes that I wore! I am "back to normal". :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Screw Removal a Go??????

The last email I got from Dr Millis said that he needed to see an x-ray - as the last one showed that the bone has not completely healed. He said that if the lastest x-ray showed healed bone, we could proceed with the removal. I had the x-rays done last week and shipped them off to Boston. The doc down here said it is "healing" nicely, and you can clearly see that the bone has not filled in in that widest part of the cut. I am anxious to see what Dr M says - as I was really hoping to have these screws taken out in a month. If he needs to wait longer, I guess I will just have to make another trip up to MA - our trip in a month has been planned and tickets bought!
TJ and I spent a weekend in Key Biscayne (off Miami) and got some relaxation in!! I worked on my tan and TJ worked on his burn. I told him - "I think you forget you are Irish!". We spent the whole weekend at the Ritz, laying by the pool looking at the ocean, eating, and drinking! There was no need to leave the resort. We did drive through South Beach on our way out - and I am glad we went back to Key Biscayne. It is a beautiful, quiet island!
The day we left for the east coast- we heard sad news. We brought Brady for his last day at his preschool - and learned that one of his teachers had been killed in a car accident. She was a wonderful teacher and a mother of 3 children (the youngest Brady's age). She had been with Brady in the 2 year old room last year and with him in the Junior's (3's) this year. We decided not to tell him, because it was his last day there. He will be starting the summer camp at the new school where I will be working next year. It makes my PAO surgery/recovery seem so small in comparison to what his teacher's children and family are going through.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Back to work....

I knew that I would be returning to teaching after being home with Brady and Reilly. I have resigned my position with the public school district and got a job at a wonderful, small private school. Brady will come with me to the all day pre-k 4 program. Reilly will go to the daycare owned by the same people - down the road. He will go 3-4 days a week, and have the grandparents watching him the other days. I will be teaching middle school Reading and English. I am very excited about this new position!
I am having the screws removed July 7th - but will first have 9 days of vacation at the Cape! We are looking forward to the trip - especially Brady who LOVES Cape Cod!! We will be there on our 7th anniversary and maybe have dinner where our wedding reception was! We will also try to get to CT to see family and friends.
I am also going on a much needed vacation - without the kids! TJ and I will spend a weekend in Key Biscayne doing nothing but sitting in the sun, drinking pina coladas, reading and relaxing.
I am feeling wonderful, happy, pain-free (walked today AND did 25 minutes on the elliptical!) and "normal". I will be happy when the screws are out - I always seem to bump the shopping carts right where they are - OUCH!! Also, when I hold Reilly, his feet sometimes hit them. I am so ready to be "screw-less"!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Was PAO the right decision???

The answer is YES!!! I am 3 and 1/2 months out and feeling wonderful! I am walking fine - no limp. I am not getting the sharp groin pains, the dull ache deep in the hip, or the butt pain - like I did before. I still get occasional stiffness, or the need to "pop" it. Shortly after PAO, my hip was popping all the time. It has gotten less now - I feel as though it needs to pop, but sometimes can't shift the right way to pop it. I still have not gotten the OK to use the elliptical - but feel as though I could do it no problem. I am back to my fast 3 mile walks - and sometimes feel like jogging - that's how good I feel!!! (although I know Dr Millis would KILL me!) I am hoping that within the next year - I will be able to jog again.
Some of my "hipsister" and "hipbloggers" have talked about how PAO has changed their life - and I agree 100%! I finally feel like a normal 33 year old - without hip pain. Deciding to have PAO was a difficult decision - because of my small children and recovery time. I am POSITIVE I made the right decision. Dr Millis has been an amazing doctor. I was leaning towards PAO before I met him, and had decided that once I had my consult with him - I would do what he said. As he told me - "PAO is a no-brainer" - to save my own hip was better than replacing it, especially at 33. The recovery wasn't nearly as bad as I expected and the results have been great so far. Yes, I am glad I had PAO!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Screw Removal!!

It looks like July 7th will be my day to have these wonderful 4 inch screws removed! It is the day before we fly back to FL - so I am a little nervous about flying. I have been told that the procedure takes one hour - and I will be given a local. I thought I would be knocked out - and am HOPING they give me something to make me "happy" so I don't freak when he cuts me open and uses a powerdrill on me!! I am also hoping that I won't need crutches afterwards - because I really don't want to fly on crutches with 2 kids! Thankfully, we ended up getting Reilly a seat on the plane - because there was NO WAY I was going to be able to hold him for 3 hours!! He will go in the travel car seat on the plane - which will make my life SOOOOO much easier! He is walking now - and does not want to be held.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

13 weeks post RPAO

At 13 weeks out - I am walking with just a slight limp. I feel as though I am walking normal - until I see my shadow! I'm sure this will go away soon as I have no pain - and not really sure why I am limping, habit maybe? I still have not been given the OK to use the elliptical, but am walking almost every day. My latest x-rays showed healing is coming along nicely - and I haven't broken or moved any of the screws, so that's good! I booked my trip to the Cape for the summer and emailed the times to the surgical coordinator at Dr Millis' office. He said there should be no problem with scheduling the screw removal while I am there - so I will keep pestering her until I get an actual date and time for this procedure!
I took Reilly for his 1 year check-up - and mentioned that I have heard his hip "pop" during diaper changes. She did the hip test and felt and heard clicking. She ordered an ultrasound and x-rays of his hips - with a diagnosis of "hip click". I was very worried that I had passed down dysplastic hips to him! He had x-rays done - and I got a copy for myself. I asked Dr Millis if he could view them - and he said he would be happy to. I mailed them along with my latest x-rays. The pediatricians office called and said that his hips were normal - no signs of dysplasia - THANK GOD! I still will feel better once Dr Millis looks at them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What Limp?

I have now been walking with no cane for a few weks now - and have noticed my limp getting less and less. After a long walk I may limp a little more- but otherwise feel "normal"! My brother and his family have been in town - so we have been on the go! Reilly had his 1st birthday and Brady had his 4th. We had LOTS of cake! We went to the Naples Zoo Monday and today went to the beach on Sanibel. Brady just noticed today that I am walking alone! We were walking along the beach and he said, "Hey Mom, you don't have your crutch or your cane!". I told him that I didn't need them anymore -and his reply was, "Wow Mom - I'm so proud of you!!"
I have been trying to schedule my screw removal for this summer - but can't seem to get Dr. Millis' surgical coordinator to call me back! I would like to have it done when we go on vacation up to the Cape in July - but don't want to book flights yet until I know when Dr. Millis can do it. I am frustrated because tickets to Boston are $206 right now!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

POP goes my hip!

I am still feeling great - and think I am giving up the cane.(10 weeks post RPAO) I am walking with only a slight limp now! I am back to my "normal" walks - about 3 miles - and am anxious to get back on the elliptical machine. I am gearing up for Reilly's 1st birthday this Thursday and Brady's 4th birthday a week from today. My brother and his family are coming into town this week - and Brady is excited about seeing his cousins. We got Brady a bike - but all he really wants is a Lightning McQueen birthday cake! (Which he also had last year!!)
My hip is feeling good - but I am getting the "popping" and "cracking" that I have always had. It didn't start back up until about week 6 or 7 post-op. It first started when I shifted in bed - but now my hip is "catching" and getting stuck - and then I have to "pop" it back. Dr. Millis informed me that the "popping" is normal. As TJ would say , "Normal for who??!!". I also mentioned it to my local doc - and he told me that my hips may always pop. I am trying to find out why this happens. What makes them pop? Why does it "catch"? Am I causing more damage?? All questions I will ask Dr Millis and my local doc (Dr Kagan). I have posted these questions to my fellow hipwomen on the yahoo group - maybe I will get some answers from them! I won't worry too much now - as the popping is not too painful - just more uncomfortable.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh yeah - I forgot I had hip surgery!

Well - I am getting back to my "old self" and not sitting still for more than 3 minutes! (except for when Biggest Loser is on and I am eating DQ ice cream!) I lost lots of weight after having Reilly and was worried that I would put some back on after surgery. As of a few weeks ago -I had not gained any weight, but have definately gotten less toned. I am now back to walking everyday - increasing the distance little by little. Yesterday I walked to Brady's soccer game then walked to my parents house (about 2 miles away) to go swimming. Today we went to the Naples Zoo and then I went for another walk and then back in the pool. I finally feel like I am getting back to normal! I can't believe that I had major hip surgery 9 weeks ago. I don't feel like it at all!
I heard from Millis today and he has "approved" my use of the cane. He will give me the OK to use the elliptical once he reviews my latest x-rays.
I will add my before and after weight loss pics in this post. (Keep in mind my before pic was 2 months after having my second child) I would like to do a before and after pic of my right hip - but my doc down here only does film x-rays and am waiting to see if NEBH can send me a CD of my x-rays taken during surgery.

Before RPAO x-ray (right hip is on left)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

9 week check-up

I went today (at almost 9 weeks post RPAO) for a check-up and x-rays with my local doc. X-rays looked good - the bone is filling in and healing nicely. Hopefully Dr Millis will be pleased once he gets these! I have to admit that I was concerned that I may have ,essed something up or moved some of the screws! My doc had me walk down the hall (using my cane) and said everything looked good. He did tell me I should use the cane UNTIL Millis TELLS me I can stop. I am still feeling great. I am going for longer walks now - still using the stroller to "help" me. I think I have been doing about 2 miles - but not as fast as I used to go! Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be able to walk farther and faster - and then before I know it I will be running again!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

8 Weeks post RPAO!

Today marks 8 weeks since I had the RPAO! I am feeling great! I am walking using the stroller to help me - and using a cane around the house and out. I will admit that there are times during the day when I don't use the cane and just limp around. I am trying to figure out how to walk again - without limping! I don't know when that will come - hopefully soon!! I remember after my hip scope I went for a LONG walk and was limping pretty bad near the end. Someone actually pulled over and asked me if I was OK! I am not going for "long" walks now - and am staying in my neighborhood. I am ANXIOUS to get back to exercising - as I feel like my legs have turned to jello and mush! The left hip has been "acting up" - but was prepared for this knowing it is getting most of my weight. I am assuming I will need LPAO sometime in my future. I will not be looking forward to it - but will know what to expect.
I have started to get more comfortable in bed - and am rolling onto my stomach (I just try not to think about the screws!). I still have not yet been able to sleep on my operated side - not because of pain - just because I am afraid I will feel pain or mess something up! I go next week to Kagan for more x-rays - and will send them to Millis. Hopefully all is well with the healing of the bone.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Heard back from Millis today -and he told me it was OK to use one crutch - (little does he know I have already done that AND switched to the cane!). I am to email him in one week with a report - and that is when I will tell him that I have switched to a cane! My mom bought 2 canes for me - a pretty pink one with roses and a leopard print one. I couldn't decide between the 2 - so I am keeping both!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tired of waiting...

So, I am tired out waiting to hear from Millis for the "official" ok to use one crutch. I have been doing it for a week or so now anyway! I have decided that it was time to GIVE UP the ugly grey crutches - and move on to a cane!! I am walking much better with the cane than with one crutch. I looked lop-sided walking with a crutch - and feel more "even" now with a cane! I am trying to find a "pretty" cane (maybe pink or flowers?) so I can be more stylish! I did see some nice "pimp" canes online! HA! I feel as though I may need the cane for a few weeks at least. I definatley feel more comfortable walking with the cane - but feel as though I get more looks now than with the crutches (or wheelchair or scooter!). I guess there aren't too many 33 year olds walking around with a cane!
Well today I was feeling brave. I walked to Brady's soccer game pushing the double stroller! I walked at a normal speed going there - but was a little slow and limpy on the way home. I was a little tired once I got home - but that didn't stop me from vaccuming and mopping the floors! I have had a cleaning lady come in every week - but now feel as though I can start doing some of the cleaning, so she will come very 2 weeks until I feel as though I don't need her anymore. (although it would be nice to keep her on for awhile!)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


As I read about my fellow "hipwomen" and "PAO'ers" - I notice a similarity. Many of us were diagnosed right around age 28. I am wondering if it is more than a coincidence!?!?! HMMM??Lucky for them - they have had or are having their surgery shortly after being diagnosed - and before having kids. When I was diagnosed - the only things that were mentioned to me were the hip scope (which I had done 2 weeks before I got pregnant with Brady) and hip replacement. It wasn't until AFTER having 2 children that my ortho down here (which I NO longer go to) briefly mentioned PAO - but told me I would be on crutches for 1 year. He basically told me to live with my pain until I couldn't take it anymore - then do a replacement. That was not the solution I was looking for! I did my own research on PAO - and LOTS OF IT!! I wish I had been told about this surgery back at age 28! Recovery has been better than expected - but difficult with 2 little ones. As a stay at home mom - I can't do the things I normally did before the surgery, and need to rely on my husband, parents and in-laws. They have been AWESOME at helping out - but I do have some guilt about not being able to care for my children. I will hopefully be crutch free soon and will be able to return to my "mommy" duties!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


It is about 6 weeks since my PAO and the incision has healed nicely. It did not look so pretty the first few weeks!! I do have numbness around the scar - but have been told it is normal. Hopefully I will get feeling back as time goes on. There are a few small scars above the incision from where the drain was.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Well, I went for my first "walk" today - and I think I got some strange looks!! I have been using the shopping carts in stores - to hold onto for support. I just throw the crutches in there and lean on the cart to help me walk through the store. So, today I decided I could go for a walk around the block using one crutch and holding onto the stroller to push Reilly. I think I looked pretty silly hobbling and limping along! The stroller is definately not as heavy, sturdy or tall as a shopping cart! I may have pushed a little to hard - and I'm sure will be feeling it tonight and tomorrow! But, it was nice to get that first walk into my recovery - now I know I can do it, I will just look like an idiot doing it!
One more thing - I feel like having a t-shirt made that says "I had hip surgery. Yes, I know am too young. No, not a replacement, it was reconstructive hip surgery. Why? Because I have dysplasia - yes like dogs get." I can't tell you how many times people ask me what happened and I have to go through the whole thing! Why can't they just leave it at - "I had hip surgery"!! I don't even dare tell them the name of the surgery!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Went to Dr. Kagan (local doc) for a follow-up appt. He said my incision has healed well and took x-rays. WOW ARE THOSE SCREWS BIG!!!!! No wonder they are sticking out!! The best part was NO MORE INJECTIONS!! (I think TJ is a little bummed at that - he liked playing doctor)
Heard back from Dr. Millis today and he has told me I can go to 50% body weight bearing!!!!! YEAHH!!! He said to keep using 2 crutches until he views the x-rays I mailed him. This means I may be going to only 1 crutch VERY soon!!! (already do sometimes - as I try to get back into my mommy role - cleaning, cooking, bathing....) He also said I may even be crutch free by week 8!!!That is only 2 and 1/2 weeks away!!! I may need to use a cane - but I will take that over using these ugly grey crutches!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Still waiting to hear back from Millis. I am waiting to hear if I can stop the Lovenox injections (blood thinner to prevent clots). TJ has to give them to me - as I am a wimp and can't do it myself. They need to be given in my belly - and I can tell when TJ is little mad at me! I also still have tape residue around the incision and can't get it off! I try to scrub it off in the shower - but don't want to scrub too hard. Also, I don't really like touching there - the heads of the 4 screws are right underneath the skin and you can see and feel them!!! It freaks me out! But, I guess it will make for an easy screw removal this summer. The incision looks like it has healed nicely - and is right on the bikini line - so isn't visible in a bathing suit. I am getting brave and "walking" holding on to various things (couches, counters, chairs....) I am driving now every day - and am getting in and out of the car easily.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


TJ is my husband every day - went shopping today!!!
Beth :)

Shopping on crutches!

I went shopping with TJ (my husband today) - brought Reilly while my mother in law stayed at home with Brady. TJ pushed the stroller while I hobbled along on my crutches. This is not the first time I have gone shopping - but the longest shopping outing so far. We were at an outdoor outlet mall and were there over an hour. By the end I needed to sit and have an iced coffee from Starbucks and rest a bit. The funny thing is - no one moves out of your way when you are on crutches! You would think that people would be sympathetic - but they're not! The only "pity" smiles I got were from old people either with walker or cane - or in wheelchairs! Then you just get the looks like - "I wonder what's wrong with her".
Anyway - TJ, my parents, and in-laws have been amazing in the amount of time and help they are giving us. I never would have been able to have this surgery without them! I am unable to pick up or carry Reilly upstairs - so someone always needs to be here (besides me). They work in shifts - morning and afternoon. (And they all thought they were retired - HA).
I am waiting to hear from Dr Millis to see if I can put more than 1/3 body weight on my leg (I already do it - without pain, so just waiting for the official "OK"). I am having very little pain and am walking and doing exercises in the pool almost every day - and working on my tan while I'm at it!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

4 weeks post RPAO!

I am now 4 weeks post RPAO. Since I didn't start this earlier - let's back up. I am 33 years old and have 2 small boys. I have been living with dysplasia and pain for 10 years - diagnosed 5 years ago. After going to many docs down here in FLA - they wanted to do a replacement. PAO was briefly mentioned to me - so I did my own research. I spent HOURS on the internet - and Dr. Millis in Boston sounded like "The Man". I was headed to MA for Thanksgiving and got an appt to have a consult. He concluded that PAO was the best option for me - but I couldn't wait too long- as I had already developed arthritis. I was lucky enough to get a cancellation date for surgey (otherwise was going to have to wait until May). I had RPAO at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston on Jan. 25th 2008. I spent one LONG week there. I had several reactions to MANY pain meds. I left the hospital on vicodin and had a rough plane ride back to FLA.
The first week home was tough - lots of naps and lots of vicodin. The next week got better. Now at 4 weeks, I am driving, standing up in the shower AND able to shave my legs, sit on a regular toilet seat, go up and down the stairs on my cructhes very easily, walk putting a good amount of weight on my leg...... I can say that the recovery is going MUCH better than I expected! I am in contact with Dr Millis once a week through email - and go see a local doc this week for x-rays and to look at how the incision is healing.