Friday, August 6, 2010

Good news

Yesterday was such a long day, but was overall a very good experience and yielded some reassuring news.

Let me start by giving a run-down of the experience (I want to keep you in suspense!). The drive wasn't bad- had to go to the Waltham, MA campus of the hospital for the Xrays and MRI. Everyone there is so nice. Children's Hospital is the least hospital-like hospital I have ever been in. Its warm and friendly- all the walls have kid-friendly art; waiting rooms have fish tanks and rainbow color changing lights. Even the telephone rings are fun and whimsical. I wish I could go there all the time.

X-rays were no problem- had to hold some funny positions. Chris, the radiologist doing the 'rays asked me my birthday and when I responded correctly he gave me a high-five. FUN. Haha The MRI experience was weird. I've never had one until yesterday. Dee, another super nice person gave me an injection of contrast material. After that I had to walk around for 15 minutes to stir it up in my system. Buzzed around the hospital with Ethan a bit, then went in for the MRI. I was sort of panicked because of my claustrophobia, but my head was mostly sticking out, and I was sleepy enough that I just closed my eyes, listened to the music and cat-napped a bit. The radio cut in and out a bit but I distinctly remember hearing Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." and The Beegee's "Dancing." FTW! :) The MRI was 45 minutes of loud obnoxious noise, but I was laying down and resting, so it wasn't all together too bad.

After the radiology was done, we zooomed over to Boston proper, which only took about 1/2 an hour. Found our way to the orthopedic department pretty easily and proceeded to wait an excruciating 90 minutes to be seen by Dr. Millis. When he did summon us, Ethan and I walked into a room where the doctor and 2 other people were waiting- I had a team! One was a resident from Harvard Medical school (Dr. Millis teaches there) named Eduardo and the other was the head of the Physical Therapy department- I think her name was Jen. Dr. Millis was nice and funny; made me walk down the hall, talked family history and then pulled and poked and prodded. He made me stand on one foot each foot (I have terrible balance) and touch my toes. he said I was strong in the arms which was good should I need crutches. After the physical tests, we sat and looked at the MRI. He told me that the dysplasia doesn't look that bad and is likely not the cause of all my pain! He pointed out an abnormality on the top of the femur bone (the "ball" of the ball and socket) that is a bone fragment getting caught and pinching tendon/cartilage. He thinks this is the cause!

He wants to have my docs up here inject me with cortisone and novocane in the area he thinks is the problem. If the pain subsides, we will know that's the problem! At that point, they can do minor orthroscopic surgery to shave down the bump, and voila! cured! If it doesn't stop the pain, we'll need to try something else, but he really thinks this is it!

The moral of the story is: always go to the experts first. I could have saved myself years of worrying about serious major surgery having seen this expert in the first place. What a relief this has been- I slept like a baby last night and I'm much less stressed-worried. The thought of a more simple solution to this problem is very exciting.

I'll keep you all posted on the progress, and thanks for all the well wishes yesterday!

All my love,


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thursday Approaches

Hello again, friends.

My appointment in Boston is Thursday and I'm in the midst of preparations. Below is a list of questions I drafted to bring with me. These are important things that I need to now the answers to.

What are the steps leading up to the operation? Can pre-op stuff be done at Maine Med?

How long is the operation? What are the risks? How many days will I be in the hospital?

What's the recovery process like? Will I wear a cast and for how long? What pain meds and for how long? What are my physical limitations during recovery?

What is the success rate? Can rehab/PT be done at Maine Med?

Will there be outward physical differences to my body (taller, shorter, walk different)?


I think that covers it all, but I am sure after the appointment I'll have many more. If you can think of any, please share.

I'll keep you posted after Thursday's appointment.