THE SIZE OF MY MONSTER IS NOT THE REAL PROBLEM

My mom has had hip problems for years now.  Twelve years ago, she had an injection into the ball joint of her right hip and that helped for awhile.  Eventually it wore off and she refused to go back and have anything done about it.

Thus began the decade of * needing hip surgery*. 

Her pain gradually got worse over the years.   Seeing a chiropractor helped but even that stopped working.  It would catch at times and she would have to stand there until she could walk with it.  She has bought more Icy Hot, Advil, Chino (that is not really what it is called but you get it at the Asian Market and I love the way that it smells...), BenGay, Alleve, BioFreeze etc...etc...etc... than I could even care to imagine.  I am guessing basket loads.  She takes a pillow to sit on every where that we go for the extra cushion and support (lmao the kids grew up calling it the poot pillow).  She even has a lazy susan on the driver's side seat of her car.  I kid you not!  They make such a thing! It is really cool and allows you to swivel around to get out and makes it easier on your hips.  If it involves the hips....she has tried it. 

About 10 year ago, she began to tell everyone that she needed hip replacement surgery but that she didn't want to commit to that until she just could not do anything else.  Every doctor appointment that we go to, she mentions that she knows that she needs hip surgery.  Every doctor she tells that to ask*Who is your surgeon?*  She has no answer for that.  She tells me that the original doctor that did the injection told her that she would have to have the hip replaced. I was there and  I am not saying that he did not tell her that.  I am saying that I do not remember that being said.  I do remember that he told us that she could come back and get more injections but she *did not want to go through that again.*  And so, she didn't.  When my daddy was alive and well, he made her a table that she could lay across her lap so that she could sit things on it after she had the surgery and was recuperating.  Seriously, that is how long the hip thing has been going on.

And it just got worse.  Some nights the pain was so bad that it woke her up and she had to take meds and put ice on it.  When I told her back in November that I was going to retire, she decided that she would have surgery after I retired in March.  I asked her then to go ahead and call the doctor to get the process started but she wanted to wait.  I told her that it might take awhile and I would rather us have a date that we could shoot for. Again, she stalled.  She wanted to talk to her eye doctor first to make sure that surgery would not hurt her eyes.  Dr Eddy quipped *Who is your surgeon?  I know some good ones!*.  She had to tell them that she did not have one and that she was told years ago that she needed the surgery.  He assured her that kind of surgery would not affect her eye problems in any way.  On the way home that night, I asked her to call and get an appointment.  She said that she would.

And days ticked on.....She drug her feet on getting an appointment.  I totally understand.  That is one major surgery and I am sure that there is a lot of pain involved.  Plus, there is rehab after that.  She kept telling me she was ready and then she would stall.  The pain would get bigger.  There were certain places that she would not go because it would hurt to walk there. 

I finally called her one day and told her that I did not get to take my sick leave with me when the job was done.  Basically, it was  money lost.  I told her that I wanted to use that time to go and see her doctor and start the process rolling.  Told her that I would make the appointment if she wouldn't.   She was not happy with me but,  she made the appointment. 

Two weeks later, we roll into Childress Texas for the appointment with her surgeon.  It was a good day to go because she was in a lot of pain.  She talked about how the doctor would know she was not faking because of the pain.  It took us forever to get from the parking lot to the lobby.  She had to use her cane and stop several times.  Then, they sent her to x-ray.  She said that pain was excruciating because of how they had to move her hip around.  Shortly after that, we met with the Dr's assistant who was a doll.  She did a lot of movement tests and kept asking about the previous doctor that had told her that she needed the surgery.  She had her get down and walk.  Moved her leg around.  I told mom that I wished I had known that she was going to do that cause I would have certainly got some pics of my mom lying there on the table and the young lady trying to get mom's leg high up into the air.   

The doctor comes in and was so nice.  He remembered her from when she had come in with a friend of hers that is a patient.  We all chit chatted for awhile.  I was very grateful that they let the doctor and his assistant out of school so early to meet with us.  I am sure that they were skipping PE or something.  He asked her a lot of questions about where it hurt and what was going on.  She answered everything and then, with a big sigh, she asked when surgery could be done.  I think she would have let him do it that day because she hurt so very much.  He looked her straight in the eye and said

*I don't know why you have convinced yourself you need surgery.  You don't.  You have hip bursitis.  Your bursa is inflamed.  I am going to give you a shot today and you will see almost immediate relief.  You might need to get a shot every 6 months.  You might never need a shot again.  But, we are going to give you a shot today and then I want you to call Mr. So and So to set up some physical therapy. Both of those things together should fix you right up.*

SAY WHAT?  I sat there a minute...totally dumb founded.  My mom looked at him and again asked when the surgery would take place and he explained it all again.  We all sat there in stunned silence.  He asked her if it was alright to do that shot that day.  She told him yes and asked when her next appointment would be.  He told her that he would not make her another appointment because there might not be any need for it.  Just do the shot that day and physical therapy.  If it got to hurting again, come back in for a shot.  Then he was gone.  I guess he needed to get back before roll was taken in Ag.

The assistant came in and gave my mom a shot in the hip.  Mom said that it really did not hurt.  The assistant told us that the lidocaine in the shot would go to work really fast and that the steroids would take effect over the next few days.  She wished us luck and said that she hoped that she never saw us again.

By the time we got to the lobby, my mom was walking pain free and was not using her cane.  I think that we were just in shock the whole rest of the afternoon. She would just stop and look at me and tell me that there was really no pain at all.  We were just dazed.   The hip continues to do well and is just giving her a little bit of a problem.

After leaving her in Clarendon, I rode back to Plainview with the windows down and the music full blast.  That did not even calm the thoughts that were racing around in my head.   Eleven years and six months in pain.  All that time, LIVING IN OBVIOUS PAIN, simply because she thought that she knew what the problem was, diagnosed herself and decided that she knew what was needed to fix the *problem* but was afraid to fix it.  All of those bad days, sleepless nights, expenses for meds and relievers....all of that could have been avoided if she had just faced her fears head on and went to the doctor.  She had a long drawn out surgery and weeks of rehab all on her plate and it was not even her plate at all.  All it took was one shot. 

Then I got to wondering, how many times have I done the exact same thing?  I have some *problem* and immediately I slap a label on it and list all of it's pros and cons.  I wrap it all up in a box and duct tape it.  Write on the side what it is in Sharpie. (Or as Rachel says, take a button and sewing a vest to it)  All the while never REALLY looking at it....never facing it...because I *ASSUME* what it is, how horrible it is going to be and how I might have to deal with it if I ever take the duct tape off.  How much simpler my life might be if I just handled what is given to me.  Meet it head on so to speak.  How much unnecessary pain have I cause myself because I have been in my head...and not on the logical side?  What is it that I hide behind? I carry around a lot of wouldn't, shouldn't and couldn'ts.  I have had to do a whole lot of thinking about Mindy in this. 

And now?  Now she refuses to do physical therapy.  Sometimes I guess it takes us awhile to learn the lessons. 

Comments

  1. Oh, dear! I was already asking myself how many times I've done that, before you even mentioned doing it too! This is good stuff, Mindy! I hope she will do the PT, maybe it will help keep the pain away for longer.

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    1. I hope she does too but it is very doubtful.

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  2. Bravo!!!! I love this story so freakin' much and then ya had to go and make it, well, useful. Well done, dude.

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    1. Lol of only they could see me talking with my hands while I tell the story. Lol

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  3. The whole time, I was saying, "bursitis." Wow. Just wow. Your voice was ringing in my head. I could hear you and that made me happy.

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  4. This is so typical of so many people. We think it's going to be so bad but it isn't what we thought at all! My sister-in-law suffered for years with her hip. She finally bit the billet and had it replaced. Less than one month later she was 100% better. Very little discomfort.

    Sometimes our fears cause us more pain and agony than reality.

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