You know that you are a health science nerd when you compare your friend's hair style to the tranverse colon (honestly what was I thinking?).

I feel so bad, it was her birthday too and I think she felt a little insulted with that comment.

At work we have to wear these disposable caps like shower caps (I'm working in a chocolate factory) and she has long hair. This day she had plaited it and then put in in a bun in the morning but by the afternoon it had fallen out. In the cap I could see it lying in a position just like the tranverse colon does so I told her that her hair looked like large intestines, she was not impressed!
-I told her it was a complememt but I dont think she bought it!
So I finally got the rest of my results back.
Biochemistry - 69% (cringe)
Human Body Systems II -84%
Human Development - 88%

Taking my best 7 subjects this turns into a very healthy 79.6 gpa apparently.

I am relieved that I have them, slightly disappointed with my biochem results but then I came out of that exam realising all the mistakes I made so I am happy I passed really.

Now the big wait to see if I get offered a place in physio school with those grades.
So today is my one year surgery anniversary…its weird thinking that one year ago today I was sitting in St George’s hospital waiting for surgery. I remember being so scared about post op pain to the point of wanting to cancel surgery. My Mum said she would kill me if I did, thank God she didn’t let me as it has been worth all the pain of surgery (not that it was really that bad) to get to the point of where I am today.
This time last year I could hardly walk, sit, stand, sleep or do anything because my hip was so painful, I had no pain free flexion basically. I couldn’t reach my right foot and getting my socks and shoes on was a mission (I had to get someone else to cut my toe nails for me, luckily they hardly grew). I couldn’t play any sport or run or do so many things I still cant believe that several doctors didn’t seem to believe that something was wrong?!
Now I can walk with no pain, sleep (even starting to on my right side), run about a bit, putting on my socks and shoes is a breeze, I can even cut my own nails and 90 degrees of flexion is easy. I am swimming regularly, have played table tennis and badminton and have got back into dancing-yay! I have also just started attempting to wear something other than my trainers although it has to be something pretty special like an interview or a graduation dinner! My bike has even been dusted off and been for several walks (I don’t think I could say I went must faster than that but you have to start somewhere). All the pre-op pain was gone when I woke from surgery and the only time anything like it came back was when I fell down those stairs recently-I am happy to say it was short lived thank goodness. I get little tiny twinges of similar pain when I have my leg in flexion and internal rotation but I was told to expect that so I just make sure as much as possible that I don’t put myself in that position.

I was hoping I would be back to running and it’s a bit disappointing that I still cant deal with standing still for more than 2 seconds but then you cant have everything and I am still going around saying wow I can do…wow I can do…but I think these other issues are due to combinations of things (feet in particular) so I cant really blame my hip totally.

Something that is starting to concern me and I must bring it up when I go back to see my surgeon (I think I’m going back soon anyway…) is the continued tenderness and sensitivity around the incision site. I can just run my hand along it gently and it hurts so every time I bang it and trust me this is a lot, it hurts like hell, especially around where the greater trochanter is. I’m not sure this is normal and I would have thought that by now it would have got better and I had my screws out to deal with this so go figure. I have been in two minds to mention it to anybody at all as I feel so bad about it, I mean I don’t want to come across as ungrateful as I am so grateful its not funny but I think that maybe he has the right to know I am a little concerned about it. It’s certainly liveable and I wouldn’t switch pre-op pain with this for anything but I just want to know if there is still a chance it will get better over time.Even with this and the RSD symptoms, I am still totally happy with the surgical results and consider I am a 100% success as far as everything goes and as I said before, if it wasn’t for all the other complications I seem to have I think I would be better than I am right now-that’s pretty good now don’t you think!
It has been 3 weeks since my last exam and I still haven’t got all my results back. My second to last exam result has been available for half of that time but nothing of the other 3 yet - I call that shocking!

I have been checking once or twice a day (ok maybe more like 4-5 times) and every time I do I get butterflies as I scroll down the page to see second semester papers, and every time I am disappointed, enough already – I don’t care how bad they are, I just want to know!
I am waiting on biochemistry, human body systems and human development. Epidemiology results are out and considering how badly I did in the mid semester exam I was surprised and relieved with the result I achieved, I made some serious comeback in the final exam apparently!

It was the exam I found the hardest and even though I got an extra 20 min (bringing it to a total 2 hr 20min exam) I still struggled to finish the whole paper in time. Considering I thought it would be my worst result and then got a B+ (76%) I am worried that it wasn’t my worst exam after all. I was only hoping on getting B+’s in my best exams…I don’t really know what to think and I am getting impatient about having to wait and wait and wait!!!!!!!!!
...well I dont think it was such a good idea-I hurt my shoulder.

After about 2 weeks I gave in to my friends and went to get my shoulder checked out. I mean it wasn't too bad, I just couldn't wash or do my hair, get dressed properly, or write at all (and I was seriously swearing, something I do not do-no not too bad at all...)

Anyway trying seeing doctors here is almost pointless as you have to wait a least a week-sometimes two so I went back to the physio school clinic. I love Sue, she is the amazing lady at the desk and knows me quite well now so I went in to talk to her and see what she thought I should do, umm well she thought I should be seen pronto and gave me an appointment that afternoon with a postgrad student under Steve's watchful eye (inward groan from me).

Turned out I had damaged some of the nerves around my cervical spine which they were a bit concerned about and because of my complicated history I spent over an hour and needed to go back in the morning to continue the eval. as they hadn't even got around to seeing if I had really done anything to my shoulder or if it was just referred pain.
Well after 3 more than hour long appointments it was decided that I had damaged the nerves and just to be careful and let them settle and that it was possible that I had also damaged my shoulder in some way. I had my final exams and was supposed to be studying for them so I said I had no time for physio over the next 3 weeks and I would come back then to see what was going to be our plan of attack...( I am a bad person, I would have told someone off for doing this but I am a stuborn person and my exams took priority).

So after my exams (by the way my shoulder made me cry several times through these as it is sooooo painful) I went back to see Steve and this is where we are at:
Yes my shoulder hurts....
Yes I have damaged it somehow...
Ok so just now we are thinking damaged tendons, one possibly 2 (I think this turns into rotator cuff tears)
Maybe a torn labrum (yes you have them in your shoulder too) but hopefully not.
Need an ultrasound to check out what is going on.
He gave me 3 exercises to do in the meantime and I have to say that for the first time I am a slacker...they make it even more painful, doesn't seem to matter when I do them and so I am not doing them religiously as I did for my hip. He did say not to do one of them if it made it worse but right now I know that the other 2 are making it worse too so I am not keeping up as I should be.

I am going home tomorrow-my Dad is on his way down right now and then he is driving me back home tomorrow, I am so excited!

And Steve and my home doc have got together and on Tuesday I have an ultrasound and x-ray appointment all set up ready to see if we cant find out what is going on inside this naughty shoulder of mine.

Ok so it is positively screaming at me for having done all this typing-it is sure not a happy joint right now...
So, the interview was scary, I was so nervous and I could even hear it in my voice!
They asked a specific set of questions and I tried to answer as best as I could, remembering everything that I had gone over in my head beforehand. I wish I didn't have such a shocking memory-I came out and couldn't remember if I even said that physio's need to have good communication skills! I hope that I did say it though. Several times I answered the next question while answering the previous one that they asked, so I hope that is a good sign, I dont know really though.
It was nice to see how everybody got all dressed up for their interviews though-made me wish that we had more occasion to, everybody looked so smart!

I have no idea how the interview went-I am not too sure that I did ok and we do not get told. I will have to wait till I think its the 22nd or 23rd of December to find out if I get offered a place-and that is still dependant on if I pass this semester's exams at the required level which I hope to find out before the end of November.

My second semester exams are now all over and such a relief it is too! I had 4 this semester in 8 days and the last 3 in the space of 4 days so I am so very tired now that they are done, I just hope and pray that I did well enough to still hope for a place in physio school. Realistically I dont expect to get offered a place first round as so many people apply for all of the professional courses available. I am hoping though that when they have chosen their first choices (things like med and dent) that I will then get offered a place on second rounds-all my fingers and toes are crossed!
Number 3 (pass second semester) is comming, we have our exams starting in less than 2 weeks BUT....

I am so happy, for some reason I really thought I was going to miss out or they would muck up and not offer me one or something.

Yesterday my friend was over and she helped me decide on what to wear, I had to see if I could wear my nice black shoes as I havent worn anything but my trainers for the last ummmm....well since Feb 2006 so thats 20 months!

My orthotics have been changed since then so I was worried they wouldn't fit but the do so I'm pretty all set-even have a set of clothes for warm weather and one for cold weather-how organised is that.

Bring it on I say-inbetween stressing over what they are going to ask!
If you look this drug up on medsafe or whatever and look at the long list of side-effects I'm sure many people would be put off (I know of people who were put off). I mean, after talking to a few people who knew someone who'd taken this drug-every one of them told me they would never take it after seeing what effects it had on people.

I was determined to still give it a go-I mean if it has that affect on me then I can always stop taking it, but I HAD to give it a try-I was driving myself crazy with the pain and if this was an option then I was giving it a go.

Apparently it makes people loopy, they feel like they don't have their head on and say strange things don't know what they are doing and cant function-well all I can to that is "welcome to my world" I'm like that all the time, without meds-it's what the bang on the head did!

I have now been taking it for a week, building up the dosage daily and have been taking full dose for 3 going on 4 days. I am daring to hope that it is making a difference already! Although my foot still looks about the same and its still frozen if I touch it-it is not bothering me nearly so much, I can actually concentrate for some length in lectures without my foot consuming my thoughts. And the part of my thigh that had turned supersensitive-well I am happy to say I can actually were my trousers without always having to make sure the fabric is not touching. Boy this is exciting.

The only not quite exciting parts are that I have to take 2 capsules 3x day and I get one of the side effects.
The first lot that I take in the morning make me awful dizzy-like I cant stand upright dizzy, I sway in the breeze and cant hold my head up. Make study go into the too hard basket, I have been trying to write up notes and its funny how hard it is to get any work done. Its only if I eat as well though...if I dont eat then I don't get dizzy, I tried eating an hour after but then I still got dizzy but if I dont eat at all then I dont get dizzy (I just faint because I need to eat) After I have taken the next lot I am fine so this is rather strange. I'm hoping it goes away when I have got used to the drugs in my system.

On Monday I did a little whoopsee, I hadn't realised how dizzy I was and was going down the marble steps out of our lecture theatre and fell/fainted down a handful-all I can say is thank God it wasn't near the top and that there were students around who knew what to do!
...(above the required percentile)..........................YAY I DID IT!

This is kinda weird as they say there is no pass or fail but if you got in the 0-25 percentile then basically you can't apply for dentistry, med lab sci or physio, you can apply for med but the reality is you wont get in.

I wanted to apply for physio and had to get over the 25 percentile in all three sections, I am so relieved that I did that and better!

There were 3 sections with lots of questions, you got a certain length of time for each and couldn't go back or forward if you ever had any spare time. Its a crazy test, I barely finished the first and last sections in time but I did complete the whole thing so that was better than some people who didn't.

The percentile ranks indicate my position relative to the other 2007 candidates (I think that means I performed above "this" percent of people who took the test)

Drum roll please.............................................(ok a bit dramatic but thats how I feel)

Section 1 - Logical reasoning and problem solving.............73

Section 2 - Understanding people.....................................96

Section 3 - Non-verbal reasoning......................................82

Overall ranking 87

.......I performed higher that 86 percent of people who took the test!?

Anyway I was over the moon when I found out and have since put in my application to physio!
Only 2 more hurdles to conquer on this road to Physio school-wish me luck.
So after all this injury stuff I'm finding that my body don't like pain. In fact it might just not like pain so much that my nerves have gone crazy in response to pain and for the rest of my life I'm going to have to just live with it.

Ever since a slip down a step I have had these weird things happening with my right foot and leg,
Extreme cold,
Colour change-a lot of the time this is extreme too especially when I cannot elevate it, a lovely purple/grey/blue foot and ankle is very appealing!
A feeling that it is so swollen it might just explode but no real visible swelling.
Loss of balance, I always seem to be falling over it.
Extreme hypersensitivity, I cant bear things touching it, sheets, socks above my ankles and anyone try touch it, the sensation becomes more intense!
My foot tends to look real shiny
And the rare occasions when it is warm it burns like hell, feels like I have it in a pot of boiling water.
Last but not least-INTENSE PAIN!!!!!

Before my hip surgery, RSD was put out there as a possible cause-because of my hip injury, not explained but basically used as an answer to the symptoms. I was told that having my hip fixed was the best thing to do and in the process hopefully my foot and leg symptoms would come right. I have to say that after surgery, my foot did seem to come right to some extent, not completely but the pain etc were certainly less.

Here I am almost 10 months out and after another little fall (you guessed it, involving the same foot) they are all back with a vengence. But now that my hip has been fixed everyone is being more cautious with the RSD label, maybe its circulation ( I know I have poor circulation but I'm sorry that doesn't create one-sided symptoms) something in your spine compressing on a nerve or something (this is potentially fixable but I don't know that I want to go there either) I don't know, all I want is some relief from the pain!

Just now I'm on a vasodilator (for the circulation problem) and so far all its really done is put me in danger of fainting everywhere since it lowers your blood pressure.
And I'm waiting for the ok from the health funding authority for a trial on Gabapentin. Apparently it works on the nerves in some funky way and hopefully the pain will get better. It remains to be seen if it will get subsidised and if I can tolerate it-I really hope I can. Time will tell.
So before all this hip saga started, I was an active chick, sitting still was not on my to do list! I enjoyed tennis, table tennis, running, biking, dancing, skating, swimming, anything that involved being active and being outside enjoying the fresh air. All the jobs I had involved physical activity and my first full time job, even though it was an 'office' job, involved running around town various places and up and down stairs all day. For the first 6 months I didn't even have a chair to go with my desk and never noticed! For the last 3 years though, I slowly lost one activity after another because of the pain factor, even though I tried to hang on to some things like dancing, many of my activities faded into memories as I couldn't deal with the pain or my body just wouldn't do as I asked it to.

Since my surgery, it has been my long term goal to regain all these lost activities as much as possible. But 9 months out I am still getting there, rehab is such a slow process, you don't want to do yourself anymore injury and you have to keep reminding yourself that for 3 years the muscles didn't work properly. The first part of rehab was simple, learning how to walk properly again! Remembering to flex the hip, straighten the knee before heel strike, and land on your heel and not toes like I did before surgery. Spreading the weight bearing evenly between both limbs and not just the unaffected side all the time. I even had to retrain myself to stand on both legs not just one. Even though I found this quite hard at the start is was the relatively easy part. Once I had mastered this, I was ready to start on the big stuff! Once your muscles have regained some of their strength, you then need to build up endurance.
Running long distances for fun is out of the equation, if I am to have my hip last a reasonable time before a hip replacement I have to look after it and running is not classed as 'looking after my hip'. Oh well, I'll just have to find something else to do for exercise. I had been going to the physio pool for hydrotherapy exercises twice a week, I spent half an hour at the side of the pool doing various stretches etc that are much easier in the water. But by now I'm thinking I really need to start swimming and prove that I can actually still swim, I am past my sideline exercises!
So a couple of weeks ago I took my goggles and took the plunge, after my warm up exercises I decided to try out the slow lane. I swam 12 lengths the first time and was quite happy with that achievement, I thought-leave it small then it is easy to improve on next time! Well the next time I was able to swim 22 lengths and this is half a km! I was so proud of my achievement even though I was bright red in the face after my effort. So now I am keeping up with my 22-24 lengths twice a week till I get to the point where they are quite easy and I don't get so short of breath and tired. I am hoping by the end of the semester I will be able to swim a whole km-how great would that be!
I have this love/hate relationship with my diary. I love it because I need it and I would be totally lost without it but at the same time I hate it because I wish I didn't need it and it is a hassle writing in it all the time!

I'm not talking about a "dear diary" no, just one of those day planners that everyday people use to organise their schedule. It just happens that mine is more than just an organiser-its my memory.
Ever since my head injury, I have a non-existant memory and have to rely on written memos to remind me to go to appointments, what and where my lectures are each day and any other important appointments and also bills, library books and birthday reminders etc. It also serves as a good place to write random things like what pain I am experiencing today, what I want to talk to someone about and to remind me to do things like vaccum my room, do my washing and watch tv!

The only problem with this system is you have to actually remember to write in it! I can hear you say "how hard can that be? When I do, it is great, although you also have to remember to look in it too. But my biggest problem is actually remembering to write in it and I don't mean I don't try, I do-but its amazingly hard. I get my diary out, find a pen and then the date and then sit there and go "what was I supposed to be writing in this....?" Sometimes I have several things I spontaneously remember I need to write and while writing the first thing I have forgotton the others. I find this so frustrating and annoying and so I go through periods of not using it. Whats the point if you don't remember to write things in the first place-what use is that, it cant remind you then, thats why I hate it. But its not the diary's fault, the poor thing tries hard, I mean it has lots of space for me to write whatever I want, it never gets lost and it holds lots random bits of paper I decide to put in it. I just wish it was able to read my mind and write things in itself, then I could never hate it-how useful that would be!
So as part of my application for physio (providing I get that far) is supplying evidence of a current first aid certificate. What could be hard about that? Everyone knows you can have a lot of fun during first aid class while learning how to save a life so I got organised and signed myself up. 16 hours of interactive role playing, goofing about and of course learning.
So Day one was ok, we spent the day learning primary response DRSABC, CPR and choking protocol along with stuff about medical conditions. So we get down on the floor ready to prove our ability on the manikins-piece of cake, or so I thought. Who would have known that kneeling down sitting on your knees leaning forwards would cause so much pain? Its the most awful position I have put my hip in since surgery and by the time the day was out I was crazy sore. I tried to put my body in a different position, kneel on other knee, stick operated leg out the back so my hip wasn't so flexed (if you can imagine that position then I guess you will be laughing about now) bend down try to give rescue breaths and start CPR, ok for the babies but certainly not on the adults-"this poor guys not going to last very long if he's relying on you to save his life" kind of thing, we were rolling around the floor in fits of laughter and in danger of failing our assessment!

Another thing I had trouble with was being put in the recovery position, my hip dosn't like internal rotation but I cant lie on that side yet either so when my partner attempted to put me in the recovery position my knee wasn't anywhere near the ground like it should be and she was worried I was going to "roll back on my back and be in danger of closing my airway and dying" (hypothetical of course) needless to say we had tons of fun!
Apart from those slight inconveniences the day went well and I was looking forward to the next weeks class!

Rule 101 - what not to do during first aid class

Try to refrain from injuring yourself during a class exercise, the actors have set up a car crash site and don't want all the fun ruined by you falling down the stairs!

Oh sorry, I think I missed that instruction and certainly didn't do it on purpose!
I have no idea how it happened, one minute I was walking into the room, the next I was sprawled at the bottom of the stairs wondering how I got there. I felt so embarrassed, it was weird as I was shaking like a leaf and couldn't talk properly and didn't dare move for fear of falling again. It was so funny because the first aid tutor was right on to me doing the whole reasurance thing (just like she had taught the weekend before) and all I wanted was to be swallowed up by the floor and disappear. One guy was concerned that I was in shock! We think I rolled my ankle on one of the stairs and it certainly feels like it but apart from that I have masses of bruises all over my hips, knees, elbow and a very sore wrist to show for my little trip. Nothing like a little more than you bargined for-luckly we had done all our assessments so I had passed the course and didn't waste all that money!
It’s the next step that is the hardest part by far and I have to say that 9 months out I am still recovering, still making progress and still have post op goals I want to meet.

Even though my surgeon told me that it can take a full year to recover to a certain point, even though I had others tell me the same I really didn’t believe that it was that big a deal, surely how hard can this recovery thing be? Now I have experience, now I know better, rehab is the hardest most rewarding experience in my life to date.

Another thing-if anyone had told me that I would be up and walking on crutches less than 12 hours post op I would have laughed in their face, even now I think back in awe of the physio, she must have been one tough cookie because I sure as hell wasn’t thinking about even moving a muscle and the next thing I was standing up out of bed being handed my crutches and told to walk across the room! It amazing how that makes you feel, even though you have tears running down your face because of the pain, you feel shocked and full of motivation and determination-I can do this!

There have been numerous milestones/goals so far in my recovery. Each one bringing joy and restores the motivation/determination as sometimes you feel like it all gets too much and is way too hard.

I weaned off one crutch, was able to put my own socks on, walk around the mall with one crutch, cook dinner for my family, had to relearn how to walk properly (this is much harder than it sounds), regain balance and be able to stand on one foot, finally get rid of the other crutch, TIE MY LACES for the first time in years! Walk without the funny penguin waddle gait. Walk several miles without surgical pain, run for a little on the treadmill, start using weights in the gym to strengthen my weak muscles just to name a few, there have been so many I cant remember them and there are still a few to go-I would like to be able to get my foot in a good position so I can cut my own toenails and even put on some nail varnish would be nice!

I have since had my hardware removed (just recently) so I am back to strengthening my muscles and building up to running again but all in good time, it’s the hard work that makes you appreciate the small things and I for one will never take for granted the ability to walk in a “normal” fashion. Every now and then I reach a new goal and celebrate the achievement, there are still celebrations ahead!

BUT the single best thing about all this? The pain I lived with constantly before was gone when I woke up after surgery and has never returned-EVER, thank you so much for giving me my life back!
Surgery is the easy part (just forget the freaking out beforehand) you get a date, prepare for that date, arrive and get quizzed by the admitting nurse, have your surgeon arrow and sign "the body part", wait half a day and then finally they come and whisk you away. The anaesthetist puts as many holes in you as it takes to get the IV in and the final "what side are we operating on" gets asked and then, only then do you start to feel like its really going to happen. But its easy really, you get "put under" they slice you open, chop your bone, dislocate your hip, have fun monkeying about in there “fixing” things and then when they are done screw you back together and sew you back up. All the while you know nothing till you gain consciousness and then the surgery is all over, piece of cake – who am I kidding, this is when all the hard work starts! I don’t remember being in recovery, I was there a good few hours and so was my Mum! She had spent the whole day at the hospital with me leaving the rest of my family to fend for themselves and when I was in recovery the nurses got her to be with me. I had a bit of a hard time, was really sick and they had trouble getting my pain under control because I’m allergic to NSAID’s-oh the joys. My Mum informed me that I didn’t say anything random (in fact I didn’t say much at all) but several of the people who came and went while I was there were “interesting” hmm…
So now I wait to see the surgeon, all the time wondering whether or not he is going to think that what is wrong with my hip warrants surgery (should it really affect me this much? Am I just making a big deal about nothing, should I just be able to deal with it?). I cant take all this stress-I worry way too much.

But the weeks of waiting weren’t in vain; I got hold of my MRI report and find that it showed something more than the doc told me about. I ring up and ask what they think this sentence means and got told “oh that could mean anything we don’t take any notice of that” so curiosity sets in and I start searching online for some answers.

I find something I don’t really want to know, don’t really know if I have understood right since it wasn’t mentioned to me before and therefore cant understand why they wouldn’t have known the implications it creates. But at least now I am aware that this may be more than we originally thought. That what “could” be wrong with my hip may not be just the quick fix arthroscopic surgery I have been informed of. Yay more to worry about but at least now I have some inkling that this is just the beginning of understanding what is going on. Until I get to see the specialist surgeon all this is just speculation so I try and tell myself I am making too much of it, after all I’m no doctor…

My Mum took me to my appointment and we were early, I was so nervous that I made her sit in the car till just before my appointment time as there way no way I was going to sit in his waiting room! I made her come so she could write down everything he said since my memory is so shocking.
First impressions-I have no idea what he first thought of me, he asked me what the problem was and I just sat there frozen! Thank goodness my Mum was with me and she explained I had a head injury and then started explaining what was going on!
After that not so good start, things went on much better, we pulled my films out and my original so called “normal” x-ray came out. Not so "normal" surprise surprise-he could see perfectly where my problem was! The relief was immense at the same time I felt angry that all this time there was a reason but no-body had seen it.
He did a small physical exam, nothing compared to what others had put me though, he decided not to carry on as he could see quite plainly that I had some issues and didn’t see any point in putting me through more pain than was necessary.

Then he looked at my MRI films and discussed options, (needless to say the extra findings on the report I didn’t get told about had a big bearing on surgical intervention).

The official diagnosis-anterior superior labral tear with bony impingement on the Femoral head or CAM FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement).

So instead, the arthroscopic surgery I was led to believe was the answer to my problems basically turned into (in his words) “not an option” I needed major hip surgery!
I was so glad I had done my own research and had already prepared myself for this senario otherwise I think I would have properly freaked out at the thought of more intense surgery!

My impression of him? I love him!!!! He spent lots of time explaining everything, treated me like a human being and because I have some knowledge of anatomy etc he explained things on my level using terminology I understood and even gave me the journal article of the surgical technique! He provided information on how he learned the surgical technique (as it is a relatively new surgery and not many surgeons have this expertise) and really gave me lots of info so I could make an informed decision and didn’t rush me through all my questions. All we had to do now was wait for surgical approval and then schedule a date.
Test results

So finally the tests were done and I was waiting for the results, I hate waiting! It kills me the not knowing part, all the time you are waiting, someone knows what your results say and that someone is not you. All the time you are waiting, thoughts are spinning round your head:

What if they don’t find a labral tear?

What if it really is arthritis and there is nothing they want to do about it yet?

What if I need a hip replacement?

And my worst nightmare…what if nothing showed up - what will they think of me then?-I swear I am not making this hell up.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait long to find out, the doc rang me up to schedule an appointment-I was finally going to find out for myself.

So it goes like this, chit chat – how are you feeling today? …I'm ok thank you (anxious as hell, I just want to know what they said-cant you tell?)

Your walking is a bit better today. …I haven’t been up to much lately that’s all (please don’t decide just because I’m walking better that I'm ok cos really I'm not)

How’s everything else going since I saw you last? …Sorry? (Ok enough already, I NEED TO KNOW what my results say….NOW)

Ok then so he put me out of my misery and relieved my worries – something showed up on my MRI’s, SOMETHING SHOWED UP-I want to run and jump and scream and shout! I don’t know how to explain how I felt except immense relief and also excitement. This was the first time I had proof that there was something wrong with my hip and the necessary information to go on to the next step what ever that was going to be.

At this point all I was told (and shown on my films which was kinda neat) was a labral tear in my hip, apparently an unusual diagnosis as not many doctors are aware of this pathology in this point in time, never mind my fantastic physio had already come to that conclusion! He explained the anatomy of the hip detailing what the labrum and capsule etc was (needless to say I have since found out through my anatomy lecturer he was slighty wrong but never mind, he tried).

Next step was to be referred to an ortho surgeon who specialised in…yup you guessed it – labral tears in the hip!
Waiting for Tests

This gave the doc some time to reflect on my hip “issues”. It is a well known fact that hip pain can be referred back pain, that’s fine I understand but please don’t forget that I have very limited passive movement in my hip joint. Surely that has got to count for something even if you aren’t totally convinced by my “my back is fine it’s my hip damit!”
It all came down to cost (the reason he had to reflect), whether I just got a hip MRI or if I got my lumbar spine done at the same time. They don’t like having to pay out lots of money for tests and MRIs aren’t the cheapest things in the world.
The good doc reflected and decided that both were warranted (I felt so special), and to make me even happier he informed me that I would need dye injected into my hip joint prior to the MRI-WHAAAAAAT? The cartilage in the hip joint needs dye so that it will show up properly in the images.

I had a bad experience with a previous MRI so I was freaking out about that and then freaking out about the intra-articular injection and also freaking out that the MRI would show nothing and then what would I do? Can you see I was worrying way way too much?

The test itself went well; the guy who did the injection into my hip (not the most wonderful thing to go through but certainly not undoable) was really nice and made me feel as relaxed as possible. The lady doing the MRI kept me calm and talked me through everything and all through the scan let me know that I was doing great and how far we were through and that she was getting good images etc and I felt so proud that I made it through the hour and a half-when you put your mind to something you can do it.
And then it was over, now all I had to do was wait for the results to come through…. And did I mention-they put some local anaesthetic in my hip and for the first time in so long I could tie my laces without that awful pain-amazing!

To be continued… after that fall down the stairs I was now desperate for an answer to my problems and some relief but it wasn't an easy task...


This was the second hardest part, the fun part. How to get someone to believe that there is SOMETHING WRONG with you. Do you know just how hard it is to get someone to actually give you some credit when you are in pain?

Just because I am young doesn't mean there is nothing wrong.

Just because x-rays were "normal" doesn't mean you discredit your patient, x-rays are not the be-all and end-all.

Just because you deal with attention seekers doesn't mean you get to label me as one of them, hell I took over 2 years to finally decide to get checked out (does that spell attention to you?).

Just because you don't have any idea what is going on doesn't mean you fob me off with some nonsense (I would admire you if you admitted you didn't really know but were willing to help me find out or send me on to someone who might).

And lastly just because you are a doctor doesn't mean you can't listen to another healthcare professional occasionally when they have an idea of the cause but are not able to order the diagnostic tests required!

A physio saved my hip and my sanity; he treated me with credibility and gave me the strength to persevere when I wanted to give up - HE ACTUALLY BELIEVED ME! He even tried to talk to a doctor for me and explain what tests needed to be done but no, the doc knew better. But thanks to Steve I soldiered on and finally found a doc who listened to my story, did a good exam and cared enough to help me find the cause of all my pain (thank you Doc, between you, Steve and my wonderful surgeon I am now looking forward to "being normal"!)

This was just the beginning of a diagnosis though, tests needed to be decided on, ordered and then the waiting game for them to be done!

To be continued…
There is so much more to surgery than the actual procedure - symptoms, diagnosis, surgery and rehab. In fact in my case the actual surgery was the quickest and easiest part by far!

First things first, It is not the greatest idea to pretend that you are fine and dandy when your body is telling you you're not. I thought I was fine, I can deal with this, I could still carry on most of my activities, study, active job, dancing, tennis, table tennis, running etc (albeit in pain), it was just things like putting on socks and shoes, standing still, sitting down comfortably, sleeping, climbing stairs and anything that involved hip flexion that was the killer. It took 2 years of 'dealing' before I told a doctor about it, she did an exam, checked my ROM and then ordered an x-ray while at the same time telling me that I was too young for arthritis and she didn't expect that there was anything wrong with it really. 2 months later I got my x-rays and sure enough the results were "perfectly normal films" her next suggestion was a steroid injection into my hip without even knowing what was wrong so I ran a mile and decided to just carry on and deal. Fast forward 6 months and I could no longer 'deal', was living maxed out on pain meds that barely helped and I walked like an old woman and just to make things even better - I tripped down some steps-the perfect answer to all my worries!
To be continued...
....and my first blog.

What am I thinking? Thats what this is for right? I don't know where to start, I have so many things I could say, so many things have happened before today that have changed my way of life. I will leave them for another time.

Today is a new beginning; the start of good things to come-I hope.
I am on a journey like I said in my profile, I want to prove that I can reach my goals-so what are my goals you say? Good question! Just now I have a few I can think of, some small, some not so small.

Small - be able to cut my toe nails on my right foot (and maybe a little nail varnish would be nice?)
-get my proper gait back, I had only just celebrated reaching a normal walking gait and now find myself with my waddle gait again (more on this in another post)

Not so small - pass this pre-med year well enough to apply for physio school.
This has a few hurdles to jump:
1 - pass all first semester papers (above the specified grades)
2 - pass the funky pre-med exam (above the required percentile)
3 - pass all second semester papers (again, above the specified grades)
4 - qualify for an interview (having successfully done the above)
5 - impress people in the interview enough to be offered a place

Piece of cake!?
I have passed hurdle 1, YAY! my first semester grades are well above whats required. Just 4 more hurdles to go and I should be in, Its going to be a tough semester.