Monday, August 3, 2009

A Little Backstory

So why the hip replacement? A little backstory:

Birth to 11: idyllic childhood, mild-to-moderate clumsiness, freakishly tall, made sandcastles during tee-ball games instead of playing outfield, could run as far as my pudgy little legs could carry me.

Aged 11: Slipped the growth plate on my left femoral head. Surgeon (who I distinctly remember was wearing fluorescent spandex pants when I met him -- it was the mid '90s and that sort of thing was apparently acceptable) pinned it back on. Pins wiggled loose. Another surgeon removed the pins. My hip lost blood supply causing avascular necrosis. Still freakishly tall.

Aged 11 to 14: Crutches decorated with shiny stickers, started high-school in a bright blue half-body cast with my legs spread at 45 degrees and a hockey stick casted in between my knees, wheelchairs, jeans with elastic waists and Big Dog T-shirts, not my most glamorous years. Reached the six-foot mark.

Aged 14 to 24: Discovered wheelchair basketball, eventually played on the Canadian national team, won two World Championship gold medals and a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Athens, graduated from UVic with a degree in creative writing and a minor in history, general feeling of rock-on-ness. Decided I was able-bodied and broke a tiny bone in my foot during a step aerobics class. Learned the error of my ways, walked with crutches, was hit on with the epic line "hey, sweetheart, what's wrong with your legs? Want me to teach you how to spread them?" Got those crutches run over by a truck during a particularly memorable night. Published a novel. Moved to the States to play varsity ball.

Aged 24 to present: Got a ridiculous case of "super mono" that pretty much sidelined me, hip atrophied, went back to basketball, began getting weird "episodes" where my hip would seem to come out of the socket, my leg would turn blue, my foot would twist at odd angles, and I would shake/ throw up/ generally suck at life. No one ever figured out what exactly the hip was up to, but eventually the femoral head collapsed and I got tired of being stuck for hours with my hip flopping around like a freshly caught salmon (want to not impress people at business meetings? Ask them to tug on your leg to put your hip back in its socket). Graduated and got my Canadian ass back to my home country and, on June 23rd, headed into the operating room to become the proud owner of a new ceramic hip, ready to rock, completely unprepared for what was about to happen.


  1. While my backstory is not the same, I too an at the same result...
    AVN! It sucks! I had my left hip replaced in 2007 after having all the same issues with my hip doing just about everything (except of staying in place like it should) I was sick of face planting on everything hard b/c I kept falling so I did the op. Dr. said I was 32, it would be a cake walk ( guess he hadn't had many other lupus/ra/upside down autoimmune patients before) recovery took about a year, not the 6 weeks as promised.
    Last year I had a core decompression on my right hip... This was going to buy "years of likely time", that led to a total hip this passed March.
    I still have days it's very hard to move, let alone get out of bed & take care of myself or 4yr old.
    Now they say the AVN is attacking my shoulder, & guess what the treatment plan is? yep! You guessed it!
    I wonder when I'll be able to ride that dam horse they told me I'd be able to ride 6 months after my first surgery?
    Just wanted you to know... You're not alone!
    Hang in there!

  2. Wow, sounds like you've really gone through the wars! You should be the one writing the blog!