February 19, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Last week started with a romantic gesture and hopeful optimism about my hip injury, but it ended with a hospital and excruciating pain.

Let's start with the good part, shall we?

In my last post, I whined about not being able to figure out what's going on with my hip until March, but then I got great news! The hospital called and said I could get in on Feb. 15 for my hip arthrogram and MRI -- two weeks earlier than scheduled! At that moment, I should've Googled "hip arthrogram." But I didn't. (This is called foreshadowing, y'all.) I was so excited to finally be on my way to finding out what it's going to take for me to run again.

Meanwhile, I was busy plotting a sweet surprise for Trea's Valentine's Day present. He loves to cook and bake, and he's always complaining that we don't have a KitchenAid stand mixer. I always say we don't have enough counter space, they're too expensive, stirring is a good workout, etc. Just so I could surprise him with a shiny red mixer for Valentine's Day! I had big plans to wake up early, put a pretty bow on it and leave it on the counter for him to see first thing that morning.

And when I came home from work Monday to finalize my plans -- the day before Valentine's Day -- I was greeted by this:

He got me a piano?! What the WHAT? Needless to say, I'm in love, both with Trea and the piano. It's gorgeous. It's a spinet grand, which I've never even seen before, and it's a shiny black finish that's perfect for our house. Not only does he know me better than anyone, but he can also decorate better than most girls. I've played the piano since I was 4 years old, but I haven't played regularly since college. I've forgotten a lot, and I'm having to relearn everything I once knew, but it's been so nice to play again, especially since I can't do much else.

On the actual day of Valentine's Day, I surprised Trea that morning...

...just as planned, but my splurge wasn't exactly a splurge in comparison to my perfect gift. The piano, without a doubt the sweetest, most thoughtful gift I've ever received. I am beyond lucky.

And after all this fabulousness, it was time for my hip arthrogram. When I saw my new doctor a couple of weeks ago, he did tell me that I needed to have a dye injection before my MRI. He said it as though he was breaking bad news. I should've followed my instinct and asked more questions based on his tone, but I didn't. He said, "You're gonna want to go home afterward and rest." OK. Cool. Sign me up. I just have to get a shot? No problem. But then when the hospital called to move up my appointment, they "reminded" me to eat a light breakfast and bring a driver. "Why? Is the dye going to make me feel bad or something?" Response: "Um, let me check." After holding for 5 minutes, I'm told that the dye sometimes makes people feel queasy. OK, well, whatever. I just want to find out what's wrong. If I have to get a big shot, I'll just have to be a big girl.


When I arrived at the hospital and had to wear a hospital ID bracelet, like a real patient, I started getting a teensy bit nervous.

I was taken back to a room that looked like a cluttered operating room. I had to lie down on a table with an x-ray thing above me. They positioned the x-ray thing over my hip, and I could see the picture on a panel next to me. This was to help them guide the needles. Needles, plural. A team of three people hovered over me and started giving me injections of a local anesthetic. OW. This was painful, but was kind of like a bad trip to the dentist. I'm still OK.

Then they brought out the big guns. This entire time, I either had my eyes closed or trained on the ceiling directly over my head. No looking at the x-ray panel; no looking down at the parade of syringes. So I don't think I was freaking out over the idea of what was happening, but the pain of the dye injection was more than I ever prepared for. There was no warning of, "You might feel a pinch here" or anything like that. Just BAM, massive needle entering at around my bikini line all the way into my hip socket, then filling with fluid and pressure. Stabbing pain and pressure. I started getting really hot and I felt sick -- not from the dye itself, I don't think, but from the level of pain. I still had on my street clothes and was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. It seemed like the ginormous injection went on forever, and by the time they were done, my hair was dripping wet with sweat.

After it was over, I lay there for a minute or two catching my breath, then they were like, "Great job, now hop down off this table and walk to the MRI room." I'm sorry. You want me to WHAT? You mean we're not doing the MRI in here? Can I get a gurney?! They assured me I'd feel better if I started moving. So I got down off the table and made it about three steps before I started to black out. I've never fainted before, but I'm pretty sure I know how it happens now. My hip hurt SO incredibly bad. I was trying to get my bearings, but then everything started going dark and I thought I was going to be sick. That, my friends, will score you a wheelchair. Finally. I spent another 15 minutes back on the table, sans jacket, while two people fanned me and waited for the color to return to my face.

The MRI was cake. Like a big noisy tanning bed. No big deal. But my hip was feeling worse and worse. I could tell things in that neighborhood were numb from the anesthetic, but it still hurt. By the time I got to the car, I was dying. When we got home, I parked myself on the couch and tried to get comfortable, but nothing was comfortable. Within an hour, it felt like the locals were starting to wear off, and all I could do was cry. No matter what I did, my hip and entire right leg ached so bad I could hardly stand it. When the locals completely wore off, I had pain shooting down from my inner and outer hip area to my knee and ankle. But I remembered they said I'd be better off if I kept moving because the dye needed to get out of the joint so it could be absorbed by soft tissue. So every hour or two, I'd get up and shuffle slowly down the hall, crying all the way. The house was littered with used kleenex, and the dog was a nervous wreck.

We all had a rough day.

I learned that when I cry, Bella cries, which does nothing whatsoever to help my mood. Luckily, that only lasted for about 10 hours or so. After that, I stuck to groans and whimpers, which didn't seem to bother her as much.

That was Wednesday, and I couldn't walk normally again until Saturday. I missed work again on Thursday because I was in too much pain to walk from the parking lot and sit all day at a desk, but I made it OK for most of the day Friday.

I never expected a test to be so painful -- it was a thousand times more painful than the actual injury we're looking for. But maybe this will get us some answers. I go back for the results this Thursday, and then hopefully we'll know if there's a labral tear or something else. Wish me luck!


  1. Y'all definitely celebrate Valentine's Day!! Those are great gifts!

    So sorry about all of the pain, but maybe they'll come back with great news?

  2. That's a pretty painful process! Sorry you had to go through that but hopefully you get the answers you need so you can run again. Take care and hang in there. Love the nice gifts!!

  3. "Luckily that only lasted 10 hours." BLESS YOUR HEART! I'm so sorry you were so uncomfortable. They should have prepared you for that so at least you would know what to expect.
    Glad Bella was there to help. Hope you get good news from the results and it will help guide your recovery in the right direction!



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