Thursday, 6 January 2011

Painfully Hip

 
Today is very special to me. Five years ago to this day, 6th January, my life changed forever and I had a total hip replacement operation.


I was born with a shallow acetabulum (hip socket) and dysplasia of the left hip that went undetected throughout my childhood. Despite regular trips to the doctor my constant pain and strange gait were dismissed either as growing pains or due to over-exercising and, in later years, because I always wore "stupid" shoes. As I got older I was constantly embarrased by strangers asking me why I was limping, offering me lifts and help carrying my shopping. It wasn't until I was 38 that I was finally X-rayed and it was discovered that my ball joint had slipped from the socket and worn away a large amount of my pelvis. A total hip replacement was the only solution and I went on the waiting list.

My surgeon was amazed at these last time I went for a check-up!

For years I'd had to wear built-up shoes and orthopaedic insoles as there was a two inch difference in my leg length (which probably explains my dread of flat footwear). My family and I never questioned why this was the case and no medical professional ever put two and two together. We just assumed I was "odd" and that was that.

Despite my "disability" I never missed a day of work, often working nineteen hour shifts as a hospitality manager and I later found out I was entitled to full disability allowance as my range of movement was so limited. My constant pain probably explained my short temper, I was a horrible boss.

I often wonder how many other festival-goers are rocking a hip replacement when I'm in the mosh-pit.

I was originally scheduled to have my operation on 12th August, 2006. I nervously spent the night in hospital only for the lady who'd had her op immediately before me to suffer a fatal heart attack. Whilst I was with the anaethetist the surgeon dashed into my cubicle and ordered her to stop as the correct sized ball joint hadn't been ordered and my operation was cancelled. I was so relieved.

When I went into hospital for the second time I was a nervous wreck. I decided against a general anaesthetic opting for an epidural enabling me stay awake throughout the procedure. Despite my pain I felt like a fraud being wheeled into theatre, a hip replacement sounded so dramatic and at my age is extremely rare. Whilst the surgeons were amputing my femur and drilling and hammering the prosthesis into place I could hear (over the piped-in pop music) them discussing how my hip was one of the worst they'd seen and I was strangely relieved that I wasn't wasting anyone's time.
After built-up shoes I have a mortal fear of flatties. Long live the platform!
I was drinking coffee and chatting to the nurses within ten minutes of leaving the theatre. The fact I was pain free for the first time in my life was un-freaking-believable. I saw myself in a mirror a couple of days later and I looked ten years younger. I insisted my legs were measured and squealed for joy when I was told that they were both the same length.
My hips don't match, one's more curvy than the other but sod it, I'm pain free!
Recovery wasn't easy, I'd had to have a bone graft and multiple blood transfusions and was sick, depressed and miserable for months. Because the damage to my hip was so severe I was told I'd probably need a walking stick for the rest of my life and that I'd have to stick to sensible shoes. I refused to listen to the experts, handed my stick back, enrolled in Pilates and Hydrotherapy classes and hounded the NHS daily for physio (not offered to hip replacement patients as the aim of the op is to reduce pain rather than make the recepient more mobile).

Five years on and there's no stick, no limp and not a hint of a sensible shoe, just that tell-tale scar that all us hip-replacement recipients share. One day I might just emphasise it a little more and get it tattooed as I'm pretty proud of it.

Cheers, my dear left hip!
(If you read all this thanks for bearing with me!)

94 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS my dear, my Mum was told 25 years ago to stop walking due to neuropathy in her legs caused by diabetes. she's still going strong, just goes to show you shouldn't always believe the 'experts'.

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  2. Vix, what an incredible story, I can't believe you suffered all that pain for so many years. It must have been complete agony to do even the most normal of things.

    Hears to you and your health, you are a remarkable person xx

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  3. Pain and suffering makes us stronger human beings. I know it changes us forever. You have indeed been through alot. I raise my glass in respect - cheers to the hip;-)

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  4. Thats incredible. Well done you for getting through all that.
    x

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  5. It's incredible that you had to go through all that before they found out why, what a shame. It's great that you have recovered so well though ~ I think you should definately go for a tattoo :)
    Kandi x

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  6. Wow, what an amazing story, glad to hear you got back in your heels! Cant believe you had to suffer so much pain before anyone figured out the problem, good old NHS at their best obviously :)

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  7. Yay you :]
    Looking stunning as always.
    That one heck of a black and white maxi. :]


    xx

    purple-peeptoes.blogspot.com

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  8. That's a hell of a lot to go through. Glad you're now pain free and wearing extremely 'unsensible' shoes x

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  9. An inspiring read, Vix, and great that you are so happy now xxx

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  10. Oh, here's to your great left hip, honey! Yes, a tattoo is a definite must I think. My neighbour had a hip replacement last year after living in constant pain for years, when they finally xrayed they told her that she had no hip left at all. She too looked years younger after the op. Can't wait to see the tattoo! xxx

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  11. Astounding that you ha to suffer for so long before those bloody idiots realised what the problem was.Poor baby.How heavenly though,that you were "re-born",so to speak,and are as perfet and sexy as can be!I reckon the platforms have been an assistance to this recovery!!!All praise!
    Hurray for hips!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXLOVE Helga !

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  12. Amazing story. I'm so glad you proved them wrong by going without a stick and continuing to wear fabulous shoes! xx

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  13. OMG! I can't believe what you've been through and the twisted logic of the NHS never fails to baffle me - no physio offered after a hip replacement???
    You are one incredible woman Vix! An inspiration far beyond just fashion.

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  14. OMG. The pain. No wonder you were ratty. And you have such fabulous legs. Thank goodness you can show them off. No physio. Bl00dy typical. Will the new hip last you a lifetime or will it need 'refreshing'?

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  15. You should be proud of it!

    My mum is currently battling the NHS for knuckle replacements - she's in constant pain and her hands are in a right state, not ideal for someone who loves sewing! On the positive side, she's been told that she's extremely unlikely to develop it in her knees or hips. Can't imagine the amount of pain you must have been in, especially working in hospitality when you're on your feet all day!

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  16. Vix, you are just one incredible woman.

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  17. Vixcita,
    Te Amo..thank you for sharing this amazing story of part of your life..I'm so sorry you had to go through crap..Docs didnt find my Chiari till 2004 and I was born with it..but you are as strong and you can get thru anything amor..yes get a tatttoo..oh I adorar the last dress black n white..so magical and dark...platforms and high heels are the key..killer shoes. :)

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  18. This pains in our lives make us the people we are today. You have come a long way to share with us, which means you are over it, and so grateful.
    I am sooooo glad to know a little bit more about you my dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  19. No wonder you always seem so happy now! Its funny that you posted this today as I have just got back from having my bunion operated on, mine wasnt too bad but I knew it wouldn't get any better and as it was causing me pain and I have to stand and walk alot in my job I asked the private healthcare I belong to if I could have it done and obviously they said yes! The hospital was really nice too and I hope my foot heals well and is flexible enough for me to wear what I want shoe-wise!

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  20. Wow - that is an amazing story and you're very brave. Here's to a high heeled life!

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  21. Yes, I stayed with you through the whole post, which says a lot about your ability to keep your reader's attention. There are so many blogs out there, and many of them are talking about personal things (just as my blog does), however, I find them painfully boring. I realized yesterday that it is all about the writing. A person can put everything down in a grammatically correct manner, but still their writing is boring; however, yours is not. This blog is about more than pretty pictures, you are a good story teller as well. Keep up the good work.

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  22. Wow Vix you are an incredible woman to come through that. My friend is in his mid-thirties and has to have a hip op now, it is great to hear how post-op therapies can make such a fantastic difference to mobility. You deserve lots of fab high heels in your life forever more! xxx Comtesse xxx

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  23. That is some anniversary. To think you went through all that pain for years and that no doctor ever decided to investigate your symptoms - unbelievable!

    Congratulations on your special anniversary Vix, and here's to a life full of high heels, gloriously painted toenails and the battle scar! xxx

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  24. Oh bloody good show Vix. The lack of physio is shocking (and retrograde). According to the 'experts' I should be in a wheelchair by now - not bothering folks with my knackerty-knees. Of course I get what I deserve riding a motorbike (the NHS hate them). Bone grafts are hellish but I'd rather have a leg (even if it is a bit racketty). Unfortunately I can't do heels now - but the crash helmet does wind folks up nicely lol.

    Having said that - I could prolly do with a pain-relief facelift!!! Nah - I'll settle for thinking it is good to be alive and kicking.

    As to a tattoo - get advice - I think going over scar tissue is problematic.

    Love

    E xxx

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  25. That's an incredible story Vix. You are an inspiration, love. xxx

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  26. wow, such an amazing story.
    Congrats on your anniversary.

    I adore those wedges where are they from?

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  27. Dear Vix, you are inspiration! I was shocked when you told me before that you'd been in pain for all those years. I'm glad you didn't listen to advice about flat shoes. You're fabulous!! Love, C xx

    PS. Loved your comment today, it's made me feel much better! Sounds like you deserve that wine!

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  28. Blimey Vix, that is a story and a half. Congratulations on your anniversary and may you have plenty more!

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  29. You just wouldn't know it!

    Even with two perfectly working hips, I still can't manage the dizzy heights of heels - good going, Vix! x

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  30. Amazing story,its so inspirational.
    I have to say I love your shoe boots, they look so awesome! Where did you find them? :)
    xxx

    jessycalouise.blogspot.com

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  31. i cannot believe you lived in pain for 38 years!! and not once in ur post did you do any medical/doctor bashing. This is what its called to be strong and beautiful from inside.

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  32. Woman, You are an abso-f*cking-lute inspiration!!! A fantastic idea to go for the epidural too - brave AND so right! My mum had an eye lift (theraputic not vanity) under a local anasthetic and you really do maintain control!

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  33. Hi my dear-oh what an inspirational story and how awful you had to endure so much undetected pain for so many years. I'm so very pleased that this story had a very happy ending and we all now know why you have such a passion for your high heels!! xxx

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  34. That is an incredible story! To recover is a lot harder than being ill. I'm glad you are free from the pain, have a happy anniversary!

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  35. Until 38 they didn't xray you?!?!? I cannot believe it! And a hip OP is a big thing. I'm so glad everything went well and you are not in pain anymore. Chronic pain is BAAAD! (and I don't like flat shoes even with no hip replacement :) xxx

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  36. Congratulations! As others have said, I'm so happy you were eventually diagnosed and treated 5 years ago and are now happy in your heels!

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  37. Thank you for sharing your story, Vix. Just feel for you that you had to wait so long to get sorted out - no wonder you live life to the full now! x

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  38. You are one hell of a woman Vix. How awful that you were in pain for so long, but wonderful that you came through it (with high heels intact). And I love the idea of the tattoo. Thanks so much for writing about it for all of us xx

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  39. You are SO CooL~
    Righteous!
    {as in: Perfectly wonderful; fine and genuine}

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  40. i respect the fact that you managed to overcome such pain!!! and i am so glad to hear that you do not have to suffer any more!!! you are amazing, darling! this was an incredible story to read. mwah!

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  41. Thanks for sharing your story Vix - It's incredible that you had to suffer for so long before getting a diagnosis, but this is so typical of our health service and you just keep hearing so many examples. It's fantastic that you did finally get the right diagnosis and treatment, but can't believe they wouldn't offer physio - still you're looking like one very fine lady now, go for the tattoo! xxx

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  42. Can't believe the problem went undiagnosed for so long. Really glad everything's worked out though. xx

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  43. wow what am amazing story, good on you for ignoring docs. My OH after his brain injury was told he would never talk in sentences or walk again, we ignored them, his walking & talking isn't pretty but he does them far in excess of what was expected!

    I now totally understand why you wear heels all the time, if I were in your position I would too ;o)

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  44. A lovely inspiring story Vix. How awful you were in pain for so long without anyone detecting the reason why; so typical of healthcare - if you don't have a life threatening illness they don't seem to care at all. xx

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  45. And so you should be proud! You had to go through years of suffering with no help which is just awful. Glad it all worked out for you eventually. You're a true fighter. x

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  46. You are freakin' awesome, Vix! So inspiring, I bet you give 'em hell in the mosh pit! XX!

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  47. I knew about your hip op but not the detail - how glad am I for you and all that suffering for 'nowt' although years ago they might have messed up - mind you I had two eye ops, one when I was 18months old so maybe not!

    you look fab and those wedges are gorgeous. no wonder you go to Goa to relax xx

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  48. thank you so much for sharing this story. you're an incredible strong fighter. this storie's very inspiring to me.

    want to see more high heels & sky high wedges... ; )

    http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

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  49. Amazing story. I remember you mentioning your hip replacement on MSE and have always found it amazing - you! A hip replacement patient! I'd never imagine it looking at you now. Those shoes are to die for!

    It's fantastic to hear your story of recovery. When I was younger I was hit by a car and shattered my pelvis, spending 12 weeks in hospital and some time in a wheelchair afterwards. I swam three times a week to build my strength up and found it the most wonderful therapy. It's still my favourite form of exercise.

    Happy hip replacement anniversary! :) xx

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  50. oH vIX, yOU ARE SO INSPIRING!!!
    (darn caps...)
    anyhoo, I hope someday to reveal my "disability" as well, but as long as my parents are alive and so many minds are still so closed and fearful, I wait.....
    The day will come and I believe the freedom in it will remove 10 years off my face as well ;)
    ( it's so funny how 'we' can see someone everyday but not really know how strong nor rare they are. thanks for sharing and Happy Anniversary you gem!
    I love you!
    xXx
    Reva

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  51. I'm in total amazement at this story. I have known people who have undergone hip replacement, but none of them are the success story you are. How could doctors not have discovered this for so many years? It must have given you an entirely new lease on life.

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  52. You are such a strong, confident and optimistic person! I admire your sence of humor. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story, it made me feel so much better (I've received a very bad news rescently and was very upset). But after this post I'm going to sleep in a great mood, because tomorrow's gonna be so much better. Thank you so much)))

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  53. Oh my gosh. This story made my mouth drop. I had absolutely NO idea!! To deal with all that trauma and stress, and still remain utterly fabulous and beautiful (inside and out) makes you an incredibly strong woman. Congratulations on your inspirational anniversary.

    And I must say I adore all these outfits, especially the skirt in the first photo (stunning colors and design) and that black and white dress. GORGEOUS!!!

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  54. Vix I read this all the while growing more and more amazed. You lady are one fricking amazing woman. :)
    You were given the chance to change life and didn't sit back and wonder or moan and complain. You got on with it...long may the fab heels keep coming.
    Inspirational. xxx

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  55. well done on your five years of being hip!!!

    i love the fact that heels have helped you recover!!
    when i was pregnant i always had on my heels refusing to wear flats just because people told me to ( although now i am a bit in love with a brogue !!)

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  56. Wow! I'm so glad you got that surgery, but just amazed that you lived with it for so long. And you and your outfits are absolutely beautiful as well... sorry I haven't been around! missed reading your blogs!

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  58. Woah! I would have never guessed it looking at you now! What an inspiring story. You are a marvellous woman! Keep rocking those heels xxx

    P.S. The above comment was mine! It signed me in on my old account!

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  59. What an inspiring post Vix! and those shoes are amazing xxx

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  60. Vix in sensible shoes?! That's unheard of.
    You would never think looking at you that you had anything done to your hip!
    I'm so glad that it all turned out fine in the end :)

    Happy hip replacement anniversary!
    I broke my right arm 5 times (one break a year) so it was only until recently that I DIDN'T break my arm every summer haha. It was like a curse!

    x x x

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  61. What a wonderful and triumphant story Vix! It is a little heartbreaking, though, that you had to live so much of your life in pain! I've currently been sick for 6 weeks (morning sickness...really all day sickness) and, as with my son, it helps me to appreciate (and have compassion for) chronic pain sufferers. I just can't imagine being in pain all those years!

    But YIPPEE! to you being pain free, mobile, and wearing awesome shoes!

    much love: much love: kimberellie miss furnellie (with a baby in her belly)

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  62. Oh my gosh, what a story and what a journey you have been through. I'm so happy to hear you are now pain free. Sensible shoes? Pleeeeeeease! They don't make cute sensible shoes ;)
    I work at a hospital so I am familiar with people suffering and in need for surgery. You are a brave woman and congratulations to a better quality of life.

    xoxo
    Psychedelicsister

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  63. How brave were you I would have had to be knocked out.I am so glad it allworked out so well for you and good on you for walking without a stick well done.
    Love your shoes too wopuld have been a shame to not be able to have worn them/
    Again you are looking great.

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  64. Wow, what an amazing story! You're so brave to have gone through with it (especially while conscious), and I'm glad it was so successful. It's crazy how much improving your health can change your life and how you go about it from day to day, eh?

    I'm currently undergoing Alphabiotic treatments to correct my posture and balance and well as balance my energy/blood flow, and it's helping me tremendously. Eating healthier than ever is helping a lot too. Suddenly I have the energy, memory, and attention span to get what I want done!

    Investing in your health is ALWAYS worth it. You're living proof of that : ).

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  65. You are an inspiration Vix. More and more, I am hearing stories of people who have shoved the doctors advice and aimed for a full recovery, and it seems as thought they almost always succeed (Allthough we only hear the positive stories...Still, you've done it!)!

    You are the coolest. Congratulations! Xox

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  66. Oh I have just shed a little tear for your bravery, resilience and general fabulousness. Wow Vix - you are amazing! And I lovelovelove your skirt!

    Sarah xxx

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  67. That's an amazing story! Unbelievable that it went unnoticed all that time! I'm so glad you can now live your life to the fullest! As beautiful shoes are naturally a big part of it!

    juliet xxx

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  68. wow....being hormonally challenged on a continual basis these days it brought quite a tear to my eye....so glad you and the high heel were finally united, happy new year, hope you had a fab time in Goa, am refusing to take anymore calls from the beach until at least March!!!

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  69. Oh Vix you just made me shed a tear into my Readybreak. I cannot believe you had to go through all that for so many years until they finally diagnosed it. I am afraid the NHS can be so hit and miss. I have been sent around surgeons for the last few months as my GP was convinced I had carpal tunnel, I finally got them to refer me to a rheumatologist and who finally recognised I have a form of inflamatory arthritis. Your words rang so true when you say you were convinced everyone else was more in need of help than yourself. But the thing that touched me most was the shoes, as ridiculous as it sounds. I try and push my pain to the back of my mind and very few people even know I am suffering but the other day I got dresses and put on my heels and just the thought of walking a few steps in them, I couldnt bear it as my knees were so bad that day. But that is when I realised I really cannot pretent this isnt happening, that it is effecting my life. So thank you for writing this post it really spurred me on, I will not be defeated in the heel wearing xxx

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  70. Wow, I can't imagine the pain, you've shown tremendous courage and determination! Good on you!

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  71. Wow thanks for sharing that with everyone, I can't believe you had to put up with that pain for so long, I'm so glad it's all sorted though. And yay for not ever giving up on the high heels!! xx

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  72. Cheers indeed! My aunt just had hip replacement. She is getting around great.

    I am so happy for you that you have no pain and no longer have to wear those damn ugly sensible shoes.

    Love you,

    SB

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  73. Sorry that you had to endure that pain for so long, but how wonderful that your recovery was so complete and that you are now pain free - it must be amazing for you! Congratulations! xx

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  74. You would never know as your specific real-life experience are character-building for sure!

    xoxoxo

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  75. oh vix, that must have been awful. I can't imagine the pain you had with it all those years. I was going to ask how the doctors never noticed but at the same time I'm unfortunately not surprised at that fact...
    BUT yay for not wearing flatties ever and not doing what you were told...and I think a tattoo to emphasize your battle scar is a wonderful idea ;)
    xxx

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  76. Thanks for sharing your story with all of us.
    You have a powerful spirit!

    Ofelia at myintendedlife.blogspot.com

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  77. Ouch, it sounds nasty, but at least your all well now and it's sorted. You have a wonderfully determined personality I think which has allowed you overcome it and still be so damn glamorous! xx

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  78. what an amazing story, sorry to hear about all the pain you have been through. but look at you now, cor blimey those heels are high! i wish i could walk in high heels, but it just hurts me too much, and i'm pretty clumsy, hehe. like you did, i also have a limp when i walk, as my left leg (which i broke when i was about eleven) ended up growing a bit longer than my other leg! it causes me a bit of pain but it's fine :)

    and no! the skirt isn't leather. just the usual high street fabric and nothing special. definitely not worth the money in my opinion. i've gave it to my grandma, she looks lovely in it. very stylish, and it fits her perfectly! x

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  79. Wow, you are an inspiration! You look fabulous and would never guess you'd been through all of that!

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  80. Wow, I can't believe you lived with that pain for all those years. I'm glad you're now living life to the full in your heels.
    Happy Anniversary!

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  81. what a story! you're so brave for sharing, i hope you have no trouble with your hip now :) xx

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  82. Woman, you have me in tears too. What a touching recount of such a distressing and gruelling condition and your single-handed fight to recover from such serious surgery. I have the deepest, deepest respect for you my dear - you have such fight and determination in you to battle through and get yourself in a gorgeous, fit state. You are even more beautiful than ever. Congratulations sweetie. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  83. WOW! what an amazing story Vix! You're a very positive person and never give up. you're a true inspiration xxx

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  84. What an inspiring story. I love your outfits and your writing!

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  85. Can't believe you have been through all that and I am so glad they figured out what it was and were able to help you. Admire your comittment to high heels - I can only do big heels with platforms or wedges.

    Carol
    www.mystylisms.blogspot.com

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  86. Oh Vix, I'm so late on this but you are amazing and so humble. You really went through so much and you came through it to continue being the wonderful person you are. x

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  87. I'm so glad you shared this story with us. You are amazing!

    I see that I'm about the 60th person who has used that same word (amazing). But it fits!

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  88. Goodness -- I can't imagine you as short tempered, depressed, and miserable. The pain before and directly after your surgery must have been horrific to make dear joyous laughing life-loving Vix feel so dark. Thank heavens for the surgery that brought you comfort at long last, and that brings happy, inspiring Vix to us, in unsensible shoes!

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  89. You're such a beautiful person !
    http://selenite.weebly.com/

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  90. I feel tearful reading that post. I too had massive surgery (bowel and rectum removed and internal pouch made) aged 32 after 10 years of horrendous pain. You never stop being grateful do you? I think people expect you to forget but you don't and everyday you breath a sigh of relief that everthing's alright now.

    I am also proud of my scars. I imagined I'd hate them as I'm quite figure proud, but they remind me of how far I've come.

    I have quite a huge admiration for you already and this just adds to it. OMG I sound like a weirdo fan!!! :-) xx

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  91. You are an incredible woman Vix.

    This is the reason why I love blogging. The essence of it.

    You are a star. A role model, an inspiration and a font of positivity. You should be getting accolades on a world scale... and this is why I loathe such things as the Golden Globes and Oscars. Self congratulatory pap, awarding mortals Godlike status based on the fact that pretend to be other people for a living.

    People like you... you should be celebrated. This is why I love blogging.
    You should be famous not for the sake of fame but to be acknowledged for your one of a kind self... and blogging has given the world the pleasure of knowing you.

    Gosh I hope I'm making sense! It's 2am here. So if I'm not blame lack of sleep, have to be up at 7 again!

    You've made it sound like a walk in the park albeit a slow one :)... but hip surgery aint hip at all!

    I am proud to know you.

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  92. o Vix thank you for sending me this link i cryed reading it it brought all mine back to me and i would never want someone to go through the same pain that i went through. Bloody doctors if they ahd only listened to my mum when she said i was walking funny they would have picked it up sooner rather than at 18 months. I to had my shoes built up but i still can't wear heels during the day only at night, or im left in pain for days. I have neve met another person who suffered the same and its refreshing in one sense to be intouch with you. You look amazing and your pain thesh hold is huge ;-) Love and hugs dee xx

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  93. Wow, Vix, you have been through A LOT, and I had no idea that you'd had a hip replacement. But I'm so happy that it relieved your pain and changed your life. Judging by your posts, you seem to get more glowingly beautiful every day, so I'll be wanting that formula for the fountain of youth ASAP, Sweetie.

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