Monthly Archives: June 2013

Updates!

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Updates!

Alright, time for some updates ^^

Went back to my sports medicine doctor and back to PT this week. My physical therapist gave me a few more exercises to add into my routine (which, this time, I will make routine), specifically to work on stretching my psoas. My iliopsoas on my left side were super, super tight and tender. He tried to do some releases on them, and it was horrible. About the worst pain I’ve been through in sports med or PT so far (well, maybe tied with the trochanter/hip pain…), and now I have bruises and terrible tenderness, even a few days later. But hopefully the new exercises will help some.

I got to talk with my sports med doctor about my x-ray results. She said she’s not really that concerned about the degeneration of the symphysis pubis, since I’m not experiencing pain symptoms with that. But it is arthritis, and probably caused by the abnormal pelvic mechanics I’ve had for, well, my whole life, I guess. I’m just not sure what the implications of it are since I already have degeneration so young. But, I guess we’ll see.

With the hips, she basically told me what I’ve already figured out from research. Retroversion is where the acetabulum is rotated back, so the femur sits and moves in the socket abnormally. It also puts me at much higher risk for impingement and wearing down of the labrum. She doesn’t know how far back it’s rotated, nor how bad it really is, but both she and my physical therapist recommended me seeing a hip specialist. So I have an appointment with a really good one near home, but I can’t get in until September. Boo. But he’s a great doctor, and my symptoms aren’t terrible, so that’s not too bad. And, if something changes and they do get bad before then, I have the name and number of another doctor who I could probably get in to see much earlier. So I have a lot of options.

Basically, what I’ve been told will happen when I see this doctor, is that I might have to get 3D CT scans (which look freaking awesome) so that he can get the most accurate picture of what’s going on inside my hips. Then I have a few options, probably. Injections, which I already know make me flare up worse for a while and then don’t do terribly much, or an arthroscopic surgery to see what’s going on and what can be done.

I really don’t like the idea of surgery, but if helps or can fix something, that would be great. I suppose it would be better to do something now, when I’m younger and heal better, than to wait until I’m older and something more serious happens. I’ll have the time before I start grad school, but I don’t know if I would be able to fit both hips in in that time. I don’t know, we’ll just have to see what the hip specialist says in September.

Other news: I’m totally done with my roommates. I moved all of my stuff into my room (which was literally everything in the apartment), and the younger roommate is paying for the couch, as well as for some other stuff her cat destroyed during her time there. I took the electric bill out of my name, forcing them to pick it up and pay for it all themselves. I’m just glad that this roommate nightmare is over. Here’s to hoping that I’m done with roommates forever (minus possibly my BFF for grad school) XP

I also took my bookmaking class last week. Holy crap. My new favorite thing. I got all of my tools (bone folders, awls, micro spatula, waxed linen, knives!) and awesome paper and binder’s board and such, and am now making my own books! Currently working on a bound book of all of the cards that I got from my high school graduation! And I’ve been making really tiny books to put musings and such in, as well as mini books for fortune cookie fortunes! :’D I’m thinking about opening an Etsy shop or something — I’d love to start selling them and doing custom books, but I just don’t even know where to start! No matter what, though, I love making them, and will keep it up!

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Forgetting

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Today I forgot how to make a paper crane.

That might sound like no big deal, but it’s actually a huge deal. When I was in elementary school, we did a fundraiser based on the book Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes. We had a big session in the gym the day it was announced, where every one of us learned how to make an origami crane. We made more than the thousand that was our goal, and they hung all over the school, in a ranbow of colors.

I can’t remember what we were fundraising for anymore, or what our prize was for reaching our goal of 1000 paper cranes, but ever since then, I’ve always made paper cranes when I get bored. I make them out of napkin wrappers in restaurants, scraps of notebook paper in class, wrappers from candies. The steps to making a crane have been ingrained in my memory for 16 years; I can pretty much make a crane with my eyes closed and completely preoccupied with something else.

Or at least, I used to be able to. I’m taking a paper batik and bookmaking class for studio art credits for graduate school. Today I finished my book early and was bored, so I picked up a square of bright magenta paper and started the first steps to making a crane. Fold diagonally in half, fold again the other way. Fold in half to make a rectangle and fold the other way. Push all of the corners up to form a point, the flatten to form a square. Then…

I totally blanked out. I had no idea what to do next. I sat there and stared at the square of paper, turning it this way and that, trying to figure out what the next step was. I pushed the flaps in and out, without any idea of how to fold the paper to make the wings and legs. It took me about a minute of playing around before it finally kind of came back to me. I was incredibly relieved, but also upset.

I wasn’t this upset after leaving my car keys in the freezer, nor was I this upset when I forgot how to roll down my car windows. Troubled, yes, but upset, no. Those were just little things that didn’t really matter (or at least the car keys were, but forgetting how to roll down the window was pretty bad). But this — this is huge. I feel like I lost a part of myself that I’ve had for more than a decade and a half. When we go to restaurants and such, my family members always pass me their napkin wrappers for me to make cranes out of. It’s what they know me for, and what I do in my down time and for relaxation, or when I just have nothing else to do and there’s paper handy. And today I feel like that little part of me that I’m known for disappeared.

I don’t know what to do. I could go back to my doctor and ask to have my medication reduced again, but my pain levels would probably increase, and I don’t want to start next semester being in pain all the time. Or I could reduce and go on a pain medication, but that’s not something I really want right now — I’ve resisted going on pain meds so far, and don’t want to start now. I could also switch medications, but that would mean months of figuring out the dosage, if it even works. And then there are the side effects to contend with. Who knows what those might be? Medication is about balance, and I’m at a point now where I need to decide what’s important and what needs and wants outweigh the others. I was willing to deal with a bit of memory loss when it came to small things like where I left my keys, but this is much, much bigger than that. This is part of my identity.

I dunno. I should probably go back and see what she says. My next actual appointment isn’t until September (about the longest I’ve going without seeing her since she became my PCP), but I know I could get in within the week if I wanted to. She’ll probably blow me off and tell me what I’ve already said: “Medication is about finding balance between the pros and cons.” But is a little more pain control worth the continuing degeneration of my memory? I just don’t know. I need to think on this more before I make a decision.

Well that’s…unexpected

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I finally got the hip x-ray results from the radiologist the other day, and it was kind of a shock. My doctor initially thought hip impingement, which ended up not quite being the case. I’m at risk for FAI, but that’s not the underlying cause of my hip problems.

I turns out that I have acetabular retroversion in both hips, and that this puts me at risk for FAI. This is a really difficult disorder to describe, as it’s pretty abstract. Basically the socket in the hip is supposed to be rotated towards the front, so that you would be looking into the opening were the head of the femur not there. With acetabular retroversion, the socket opening is turned so that it’s not in that forward-facing position; rather, it’s turned towards the back. Here are some x-ray images that depict normal hips versus those with acetabular retroversion:

Normal hips. The green line and arrow represent the lip of the front of the acetabulum. The yellow arrow and line represent the back lip.

Hips with acetabular retroversion. Again, the yellow represents the front and the green represents the back. In “A” you can see the characteristic figure eight pattern that identifies it. You can also see the rotation in figure “B,” where you can’t really see into the socket.

My x-rays also showed degeneration of the symphysis pubis. Not quite sure what that means, but it definitely doesn’t sound good. Looking it up, it looks like it’s usually associated with aging or postpartum women. Since I’m neither, it’s a bit more confusing. Another source said that abnormal pelvic mechanics can contribute degeneration, which I guess the AR would constitute as that…But I still don’t know what the implications of that are, or how it could be halted.

I’m honestly kind of worried at this point. My hip pain has only gotten worse over the past few weeks, to the point where it’s almost constant when I walk. And I’ve been getting groin pain, which I never did before. I was reading that when a person with AR starts to get hip pain, it’s a sign that the body can no longer deal with the abnormal pelvic mechanics. Again, I don’t know what the implications of this are, but I’m definitely worried. I don’t get to see my sports medicine doctor until the 18th, so I have some time to worry, but I’m hoping to start up PT again this week, so maybe he’ll be able to give me some answers.

I’ve also had other nonsense to deal with. Particularly: roommates. Good. Lord. Can I tell you just how excited I am to live by myself next semester? I never, ever, ever want to live with another roommate ever again, unless it’s my BFF in Chicago. First, I’ve got one roommate throwing an absolute fit because she doesn’t want to pay a third of the electriv bill, she wants to pay a quarter. One roommate moved out and isn’t coming back, so it makes sense to only split it three ways instead of four (since she’s literally using no energy), but this girl is all mad because she claims that she paid for her quarter when she barely lived there the first half of the year, and that she used like no energy (not true — she does laundry like every three to four days, so her portion of the bill is by FAR the largest). We finally settled it so that I would be paying the last two week bill by myself, and she would pay a third. Which really makes no sense and isn’t fair, but whatever. I don’t want o fight about it.

Cliffnotes on the other issue, as it’s kind of a long story. My other roommate also brought back her demon cat, behind my and my other roommate’s back, after telling us she wasn’t bringing her back over the summer, and has been lying about it to us. I caught her red-handed with the cat the other day when I went down to pay my rent. The cat has already torn up the apartment and torn up my own personal leather couch. I tried to gently confront her about it all but she was really combative, so I walked away, as I did not want to fight. I then got a text from a friend with screenshots from her Twitter account, which she had made private and afterwards had an absolute freak out about me, calling me a “lunatic” and “psycho” and saying I was “stalking” her and that that was “disturbing” and “scary.” …What?! The girl is just really immature and childish. I wrote her a message addressing all this and explaining why I (and my other roommate) were upset, but I haven’t heard back from her yet. I actually had to e-mail it rather than send it over Facebook as I had planned, as she BLOCKED me over Facebook. Again…what?! Does she think this is going to make the situation better or solve anything? So anyway, I’m giving her a few days to respond, and if she refuses, I’m going to management and I am going to suggest they move her out. I have too much medical stuff to worry about right now to also have to be dealing with this. But maybe she will respond and we’ll get it all sorted out. Fingers crossed.