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Sunday, December 26

1 year anniversary of FVFG coming up!

Hi my countdown begins! Jan 8th will be my one year anniversary of my FVFG! Unbelievable now I look back and see how far I have was a LONG way! I have a flight out on the 23rd to go to Duke in NC to see Dr Urbaniak on that Monday the 24th for my annual check up. I am so excited to hear his outcome...I haven't had an xray in 6 months but would imagine all is well. I cant complain at all but am so excited! I am now starting to write down my questions that I have for him because I KNOW when I get there...I will be soooo excited sitting in the office that I will forget my questions! Write them down!

Wouldn't mind a few positive thoughts to come my way for this trip! So please keep sending them!
One year...unreal. I am in awe...

Tuesday, December 21

People Like me/Common Issues

I have to say that I am thankful for people like me. People with the same issues, people with the same problems, if you will. For example a person I work with, lets call him Brendon, has been a great support group for me. Not only do we have common hobby interests but he has bone/joint issues himself. He has some knee problems but I have noticed some of the same feelings, limitations he has that I had/have. He had surgery on his knee some time ago and I lended him my wheelchair at work and etc. I am thankful that he has been my friend. It is real good for the soul to communicate and have a bond with someone with the same common interests, better yet, common bone/joint issues. Thanks Brendon for being there at work. I am also thankful for his wife (who I dont know very well). From what I know of her she seems to be down to earth and a civil person. I also like the fact that she isnt (or doesnt seem) jelous of other females that are friends with her husband, like me. I see Brendon daily at work and enjoy his company. I am thankful for the both of them, for being supportive of one another and supportive of me.
Thanks and Merry Christmas you two.
:) Star

Monday, December 13

Hop,Skip & a Jump...still healing at 11 mo postop

So for whatever reason I did a little jog the other day...not a jog but skipped or ran if you will about 10 feet...not far...just was hurrying with some stuff in hand and didn't want someone to see me so I did a small jog. Like I said, not far, about 10 feet. Well it proved that #1 I am still healing and #2 I need to start doing more exercises with my leg. I think I pulled the muscle (where the achilles tendon is) but not too bad. It hurt to walk the next day and so then I rested it for two days after. Its fine now but it HURT the next day. I need to exercise it more, stretch that muscle...I guess I been slackin and it was a reminder. Plus I want to be the best I can be for my annual appt in Jan at Duke.

Just keep that in mind.
:) Star

Sunday, December 12

11 months post op

A friend of mine and I went to dinner last week and we were talking about "good days" and " bad days" and what the difference between the two general. She asked me, "What is a good day for you?" I answered, "A good day for me is if I do not hurt and can walk at the same time." She gave a perplexed look for just a moment and stated, "I guess a good day is all about perspective and what is in someones world."

I agree.

Sunday, November 7

Tests for Osteonecrosis

There was a post to me about how to test for this disease so I thought I would make an entry out of it for all. I copied and pasted a few things in here to answer that question:

MRI is quickly becoming a common method for diagnosing avascular necrosis. Unlike x rays, bone scans, and CT (computed/computerized tomography) scans, MRI detects chemical changes in the bone marrow and can show avascular necrosis in i ts earliest stages. MRI provides the doctor with a picture of the area affected and the bone rebuilding process. In addition, MRI may show diseased areas that are not yet causing any symptoms.
The goal in treating avascular necrosis is to improve the patient's use of the affected joint, stop further damage to the bone, and ensure bone and joint survival.

How Is Avascular Necrosis Diagnosed?
After performing a complete physical examination and asking about the patient's medical history (for example, what health problems the patient has had and for how long), the doctor may use one or more imaging techniques to diagnose avascular necrosis. As with many other diseases, early diagnosis increases the chances of treatment success.
It is likely that the doctor first will recommend a radiograph, commonly called an x ray. X rays can help identify many causes of joint pain, such as a fracture or arthritis. If the x ray is normal, the patient may need to have more tests. Research studies have shown that magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is the most sensitive method for diagnosing avascular necrosis in the early stages. The tests described below may be used to determine the amount of bone affected and how far the disease has progressed.

X Ray
An x ray is a common tool that the doctor may use to help diagnose the cause of joint pain. It is a simple way to produce pictures of bones. The x ray of a person with early avascular necrosis is likely to be normal because x rays are not sensitive enough to detect the bone changes in the early stages of the disease. X rays can show bone damage in the later stages, and once the diagnosis is made, they are often used to monitor the course of the condition.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is quickly becoming a common method for diagnosing avascular necrosis. Unlike x rays, bone scans, and CT (computed/computerized tomography) scans, MRI detects chemical changes in the bone marrow and can show avascular necrosis in its earliest stages. MRI provides the doctor with a picture of the area affected and the bone rebuilding process. In addition, MRI may show diseased areas that are not yet causing any symptoms.

Bone Scan
Also known as bone scintigraphy, bone scans are used most commonly in patients who have normal x rays. A harmless radioactive dye is injected into the affected bone and a picture of the bone is taken with a special camera. The picture shows how the dye travels through the bone and where normal bone formation is occurring. A single bone scan finds all areas in the body that are affected, thus reducing the need to expose the patient to more radiation. Bone scans do not detect avascular necrosis at the earliest stages.

Computed/Computerized Tomography
A CT scan is an imaging technique that provides the doctor with a three-dimensional picture of the bone. It also shows "slices" of the bone, making the picture much clearer than x rays and bone scans. Some doctors disagree about the usefulness of this test to diagnose avascular necrosis. Although a diagnosis usually can be made without a CT scan, the technique may be useful in determining the extent of bone damage.

A biopsy is a surgical procedure in which tissue from the affected bone is removed and studied. Although a biopsy is a conclusive way to diagnose avascular necrosis, it is rarely used because it requires surgery.

Functional Evaluation of Bone
Tests to measure the pressure inside a bone may be used when the doctor strongly suspects that a patient has avascular necrosis, despite normal results of x rays, bone scans, and MRIs. These tests are very sensitive for detecting increased pressure within the bone, but they require surgery.

This is an excellent question and hopefully this has answered that area. Keep the posts coming so I can post info based on them. Thanks for your input!

Sunday, October 24

More light at the tunnel

I didn't say end of the tunnel though! :)Thought I would share another "feel good experience" with you.

This week two events took place for me...hunting season for big game and a trip from my mother. Now I understand that there are plenty of people against hunting so please bare with me here...its not the act...its all that went with it. I'll explain: Again, another event that I couldn't do last year because of my condition of my hip. I couldn't hike, I couldn't take the cold, I couldn't camp...I could walk on my crutches! This year (this week) I did hike, I did handle the cold, and I did it without crutches and pain! Now I cannot say I was 100%because I would be lying. But I can say that I did it! I rested whenI needed to. I took breaks. I did NOT overdo it! I did it! Yippeeee, another accomplishment that I could not do last year.

The second event was that my mother came to visit for 3 days...she wanted to see how I was doing and actually see me walk! I was so excited to show her how I can walk...the last time she saw me she was caring for me at her house in bed. It was such an exciting thing to show her I was walking and not limping and not using any kind of aide. We took stairs, we shopped in the thrift stores and even WALKED to the dollar store! Granted it wasn't far but I could walk.

So to summarize, I don't tell these stories to brag, nor do I tell them to display my types of hobbies (etc hunting, baseball, etc) but they are mildstones to me. Things I could not do last year because of our disease and now I can do them. Again, not 100% but I can do them. So there is light in the tunnel. I dont say end of the tunnel...its all a tunnel...just depends on how we go through it and if we see it and how we see it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my bundle of joy of two experiences I recently had. These things mean alot to me and I wish to share them. Painless days and sleepful nights for all, Star

Saturday, October 23

To Work or not to Work...thats the Question

That is a really GOOD question! Actually someone just emailed me that same question and let me see if I can get it for was my response...

"You really need to listen to your body on whether you should go back to work or not. I am a person of all traits at work...I actually get products and services and train them to Credit Union staff. This entails alot of sitting for preparation and then travel for the trainings in the branches and then alot of walking around and up on stage so to people. So I got a mobile job so to speak but not all the time does it demand that. Hope that helps in your decision making process. If you just sat at a desk that may be too much and if you stood all the time...the same. I would think somewhere in bewteen is right and depends on how your body is and how you feel. I would always consult with your Ortho first before making any life decisions like this. Took me a while to get back in the swing of things at work too. At first I took it real easy, left for home when I needed to and worked at home some days."

To add to what I wrote another person in the quote above...I started back to work 4 months post op. Like we always say, everyone is different and certainly the first person to chat with about this is your Doctor. I chatted with my local Ortho and Eunice about this before I started back and also had the option at work to curb my patterns...meaining if it was too much, I could work at home. I started working PT and then FT with doing 4 hours at home and 4 at work a day. That got me used to the travel, the prepping to get up and dressed and etc...that takes a long while to get back used to...or at least for me it did. My energy was still not 100% then but I worked on it and didn't push too hard. I also kept an ice bag at work in the freezer and put my leg up with ice as needed (That reminds me, I need to bring that home now. :)

There are many alternatives so take one day at a time to work toward your goals. Dont over do it...its easy to do so after a few feels "well" again but still healing...same with me now. I feel great and am doing all these things but I remind myself daily that I am still healing.


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