Monday, 18 July 2011

The Beginning - November 2005

It all started in November (2005), whilst on my University Placement. I noticed that after sitting or standing for a while, my hip was sticking in one position. When I went to move, it was niggling at me, telling me it didnt like it. I mentioned it to my Rheumatologist, and explained the increasing difficulties I was having. She X'Rayed my hips & said she would ring me after looking at them; it may be that a course of Physiotherapy would help.
The same night, she called. She told me my hips were awful, and that Physio would be pointless. She had showed the X Ray to am Orthopaedic surgeon, who wanted me to come and see him. I saw him a week later.
He explained that a Total Hip Replacement was the only option for me. I asked about having a Resurfacing instead of a full replacement, as I had read about them for younger patients. Apparently my hips were too badlt damaged to warrant a resurface, my bone density was poor and the joint area unstable.
After lengthy discussion, the surgery was planned for June/July, when I would be home for the summer. The surgeon felt I should come in sooner, but I wasnt happy at the thought of having the surgery in the middle of my degree, I didnt want the disruption! I also did not want to go back in September and have to re-start 2nd year- I would be seperated from my friends from the course :-( so it was decided. June/July it is. Of course I can last until then, I'll just take it easy.

It turns out I was wrong, I couldn’t last until June.  I got to the point where my mobility decreased so much I could not even walk 5 minutes without being in agony, my hip becoming stiff, and being unable to walk afterwards.  My left hip gave out on me one night, when I was swimming.  I couldn’t extend my hip; it was stuck in flexion (bent, like in sitting).  It remained like that all night, I could not lie flat in bed & had to sleep sitting up.  I thought it would pass by morning, but it didn’t.  The next day, on a tutor’s advice I had to go to A & E.  It was just a scare, but boy was it a good one! I have never felt so scared, the thought that my hip was displaced and I might have to have surgery there and then.  Turns out, it was just bone rubbing on bone, causing so much friction that it felt and appeared to be displaced but it was actually just my hip joint scraping along trying to move, but getting stuck in the process. After this experience, I knew it was decision time.  I chose to bring the surgery forward, I couldn’t wait any longer.  I was missing uni because I was in pain, got stuck being sat in lectures all day, and when I did go in I had to either use my mobility scooter (which I HATED) or use my car, for which I felt lazy because I only live 4 minutes away on foot.

The surgery has now been brought forward..... :'(


  1. Hey Natalie,

    I found your blog through Twitter. Sorry to read that you're having a tough time, but thought I would leave a comment that might bring you some hope. I'm 24, so around your age, with JRA since 13 and I had a total hip replacement about 6 weeks ago.

    It was hard, but it is worth it. They have you up and out of bed the next day with a walker and every day gets easier. I have a cane now, maybe for a couple weeks more, and then I'll be good as new. The pain is well controlled after surgery, and actually quite minimal. If you want any more information I keep a blog, and the first entry gives a little rundown of the surgery I think. It's Best of luck to you!

  2. Hope your feeling better & able to start getting out and enjoying your independence again. I know how hard it is to deal with RA sometimes. I was diagnosed at the age of 4 and I've had multiple joint replacements, 4 total hips(2 on each side), my right knee, right shoulder, and my left knee is fused straight among other things. Sometimes it's nice to chat with someone who knows what you're going through. Do you have a Facebook account? If so send me a friend request if you would like to talk sometime. My name is Joni Goldman and I'm from Huntingburg, IN USA. Hang in there girl & God Bless!