I have been absent for a few months, and while there really is no good excuse other than anxiety and being busy, I have been put through quite the ordeal recently.
The medical shitshow:
It started a few months ago, I was having minor trouble getting out of chairs. I let it go, thinking I strained my hip or pulled a muscle, but the more time passed, the more debilitating it came. Eventually, it turned into excruciating, grinding, clicking pain in both of my hips that brought me to the verge of vomiting every day. I was referred to a rheumatologist, thinking it was arthritis, but after countless X-Rays and blood tests (needles make me gag), it was clear that arthritis wasn't the issue. The entire process of ordering tests and getting passed between doctors took months, but felt like years of suffering through a horrible limp and borderline immobility.
I also got some pretty aggressive bandages since I was constantly getting stabbed with needles.
The official diagnosis (this is just medical information, feel free to skip to the rest)
Boy did I learn a bomb ass collection of medical terminology. Halfway through my medical journey, I could speak in fluent “Doctor” which had my mom - who obviously came to every appointment with me - stunned. So here’s the deal:
- I have hypermobile joints, which means that they can bend way more than they’re supposed to. I tend to sit into them instead of using my muscles, so they stretched too far and eventually just gave out. I have no outer hip muscle now. None. Literally none.
- I have pincer lesions, which means I was born with a bone overgrowth in both of my hips, so they do this super cute thing where my bones click together as I walk and make me die.
- I have labral tears. Due to the gloriousness of the previously mentioned afflictions, the soft tissue in my hips said, “NOPE, NOT TODAY” and ripped and filled with fluid. So that feels good.
It was humbling
Friends and family have been utterly invaluable to me. There were points that I physically could not get out of bed, and had to be pushed out. There were times I couldn’t get out of my car without falling, and I had to put my sassy independent attitude aside and ask for help.
When I went to the doctors, I sometimes had to wear some unsightly items of clothing in front of others. That’s when you just need to turn it into Fashion Week 2018- hip impairment addition.
I got a cane! ITS PINK!
I got a cane and the first week of using it was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a while. It afforded me a lot of physical independence which was amazing, but it also drew a lot of stares, which made me even more self conscious. The loud tapping of it down the hall drew so many eyes and I wanted to crawl inside of my jacket and die.
“Why does that young girl have a cane??”
They didn’t even just stare at me, it felt like they looked through me. My mom told me that I should wear a sign that said, “If you want to know my story, buy me lunch” which I found amusing.
For the record, I’m a big fan of paninis.
How are you doing now?
I’m doing much better, thanks for asking! I’ve been working really hard at physical therapy and taking the worlds worst feeling medicines, so I’m actually healing pretty well now. Because naturally, the bad side effects of a medicine positively correlate with their healing power. Naturally.
It still hurts, but I can now walk without looking like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, which is nice. Unfortunately, I had to quit my job at Starbucks since it’s too physically demanding for me to heal properly, which is sad, but since I’m graduating I should be able to find something where I’m not standing for 10,000 hours at a time.
What I learned:
While you are your best advocate for your own healthcare, the people around you to support you through this time are important, amazing, and should be cherished. So thank you. Also, I learned that MRIs are literal death and anyone who says otherwise should not be trusted.
- Please do not stare at people with physical impairments. But you can smile at them, smiling is nice.
- If someone gets out of their car in a handicap spot and looks fine from the outside, don’t be an a-hole and just assume they’re lying about their injury or illness- they have a placard for a reason.
- It’s really hard to use a cane and drink hot coffee at the same time, but if you can dream it, you can do it! Just believe!!!