This week, I’ve come to a realization that I had been living the last 11 years of my under a lie. A lie that had limited me in many aspects of my life, restricted my lifestyle and put me in a permanent state of disability (both physically and mentally). I can’t even describe how cheated I feel for being misinformed, and how I had subjected myself to that bondage for 11 years, unnecessarily. As angry as I am for being ‘lied’ to, it is nothing compared to the tremendous joy arising from the inside. It is like the whole world opened up for me with possibilities, the shadow of permanent disability was lifted from me (to some extent). I felt free..
Ok that was the Abstract (pun intended) of this entry 🙂
I went to the orthopedics for a review on my stage 4 avascular necrosis of my left hip and discussed about the plan for my second total hip replacement (THR) surgery for the left hip. Other than impressing the surgeon on my up-to-date knowledge on the technology advancement in the hip replacement surgical technique – anterior approach (haha! thanks to dear friend who gave me some pointers and checklist to ensure that the surgeon is skilled for the job), and asking him lots of question including whether he is skilled/experienced enough to do it (haha.. i think he was caught by surprise when I asked him how many of such surgeries he had performed successfully).
One of the questions I asked includes whether the current hip prostheses system has improved rotational range from the previous generation. My question gave myself away.. upon further clarification, I came to realise that I had been living under a LIE ever since my right hip was replaced 11 years ago. 11 years ago when I was planning for my THR, I was informed and bombarded with information of what NOT TO DO after surgery. That includes limited range for my new hip, such as ‘do not bring you knee higher than your hip EVER’ – that just ruled out squatting, sleeping in fetus position, siting on low chairs/stool; ‘do not rotate your legs outward’; ‘do not sit crossed legged’; ‘do not bring your legs out wider than 45 degrees from the other leg’ – no splitting, no sitting on the floor; etc etc. Else, my hip may dislocate. I had lived the last 11 years adhering closely to these guidelines, under the fear that if i don’t, my hip will dislocate. Furthermore, it is a handicap, a disability that limits my activity and causes inconveniences to the people around me. It was both my physical and emotional bondage. Not nice at all.
And so, I realised that these guidelines and precautions are applicable only during the approximate 6 months recovery time. After the hip and muscles around it had fully recovered, the prosthetic hip can restore close to full rotation and range as that of a real hip. OH… how have i lived?! A friend described it as “being trapped in a prison cell not knowing that the door is open. I feel lied to and angry, but at the same time I was freed. Now, there is a great hope because I know the judgement of disability had been lifted. Of course as a result of 15 years of non-use (including years of non-use due to pain pre-surgery), the muscles in my body are all tight and tensed. I have a long long way to go to restore my mobility and movement range, but i know it is now possible. I look forward to the day I can bend down to pick things from the floor, squat down, sit on the floor, get up from the floor with ease and cut my own toe-nails with ease. (OMG i am crying just thinking about the possibilities…. haha). So with this, I will continue to work closely with my physiotherapist and pilates instructor to achieve my goals.
I am happy!
A note on the left hip, I am planning for my THR sometime next year. Why only next year? Because first things first. Need to get my lupus under controlled before thinking about the less non life threatening discomfort. Saw the Rheumatologist this week too… got myself booked in for an ultrasound scan and a kidney biopsy. Discussion and review on treatment options to follow…
I need courage.
Meanwhile, off to Greece for a holiday first…