By Ami, from the UK, living in Spain.
I wrote a diary throughout my 2 PAO surgeries for Hip Dysplasia. I had never written before but it gave me a lot of peace to be able to get it all out on paper and it helped me to process the process, so to speak. Some of the entries were written out of sadness, some out of frustration or anger and some out of happiness, but all are very honest, good or bad. It is called ‘Don’t Worry Be Hippy- My Hip Dysplasia Journey’, and is a page on Facebook, it is a public page so you’re very welcome to have a look.
The following is an entry from that diary:
17 months post LPAO, 11.5 months post RPAO.
First time I have even visited my own page in a while. Funny how when things are going better I don’t need it anymore. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Getting back into day to day life where my hips are not the focus anymore was actually quite difficult. They were an excuse for such a long time, and then they just weren’t. I was back among ‘normal’ people, who had no idea what my life has been like and I just went back to being ‘normal’ too. After a long day at rehearsals (I am in a stage show) I would find myself waddling a little bit, and people would ask, ”Are you ok? have you hurt yourself?”, and I would, (and still do), just wave it off, ”oh no, I’m fine, just had a bit of surgery and still get tired sometimes…” and that is that. At the beginning, I wanted to explain it all to people, so that they would know, but I just realised that while I was having my 2 years of hell, everyone else’s life just continued as normal, and the sense that I was the most important thing has faded away.
Friends that I was disappointed with for not making much of an effort when I needed them, I have now just come to terms with the fact that their world revolves around them, just like mine did around me. I feel more cautious with people. I was never someone who would just let people into my life easily, but now even less so. The friends I have that have proven to be true friends feel closer and everyone else is just white noise. I have a stronger sense of empathy. I want to be kind. I feel a strong pull to dogs – Chloe was my best friend throughout and it would have been a million times harder without her little face staring up at me and seeing how excited she got every time I got on the floor with her. I have started volunteering at a dog shelter, just walking the dogs in the morning, I’m doing it for them but also for me, I love walking, I’ll never take it for granted again, its lovely.
I am working 5 or 6 days a week. Principle female singer in our show. Every night I can’t believe I am there. The feeling still hasn’t worn off like I thought it might. Knowing now, that any day could be the last, I want to make sure that everything I do, whether its work or in my free time, I do with purpose, so that if I ever have an unexpected physical problem ever again, I know I always gave my all. I have stopped saying yes to things. I am not wasting my energy and my hips on activities that I don’t want to do. I don’t want to be taken advantage of at work, I am no longer scared of losing my job or having to start from zero. Because, well, I’ve just done it once. I don’t want to ever fear losing something or someone again. And so I will only invest myself and my time in things that are really worth losing. Unnecessary heartbreak is not something I will be putting myself through ever again. I want to be 100% committed to everything I do and everyone I have in my life, so that if I lose it I know I gave it my all and I will have no regrets. I still think about the person who broke my heart when I told him about my hips and that I wasn’t going to be coming back to work. I never heard anything from him for the whole 2 years. Or since. What a complete waste of my tears.
My hips. The hips themselves don’t hurt. The joints I mean. The screws in the right are very bothersome, quite painful constantly. Both sides click a lot and I am still really aware of how I move. I wear heels for work and honestly, it’s probably a terrible idea. My knees and feet are agony in the mornings and at odd times throughout the day. Also, my back is very achy all the time. But my hips, they feel good. Well, good, I’m comparing them to pre-surgery. I am still aware that they aren’t normal, but they aren’t stopping me from doing things that I want to do.
My head feels clearer, I’ve had to move away from the UK for this job and I feel like myself again. Out in the world. I never thought I’d live in the UK, I’ve been working away since I was 17, but I feel like I miss it a little bit, for the first time ever, I was so well taken care of and I feel like I want to be there if anything else happened. Anyway, who knows. But for me quite an interesting thought.
I think daily about everyone who is going through this. People who have just found out or have just had surgery – I remember reading a girl’s blog at the very beginning, and she had already had her 2 surgeries, and was expecting a baby and her journey had taken her 3 years, I remember crying and thinking ‘oh my god, 3 years, I’Il be 33 by then, how can this be happening…’. And now I’m the one writing about my return to work. Sitting here in my old neighbourhood which was so familiar for so long, but felt like an impossibility when I was going through the hardest times. Off to work tomorrow on stage, in heels, where nobody can even tell anything is different. My scars are underneath my costumes and invisible to everyone else. Like it never happened. I am grateful for it all. And I do not feel scared for what could be next because I know that I can get through anything now.
If anyone is reading this, you can do it!!!! It is going to be ok <3
Oh, and the other night some friends were visiting for a girly reunion… and we went out…. and we danced…. and … I jumped around!!!
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