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I'm envious!

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Ducky, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. Ducky

    Ducky new member
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    Howdy y'all! My name is Kelly, I've sporadically posted here before, with long gaps in between.

    So a quicky bio on me: I am a 38 year old - about to turn 39 in a few weeks - woman with four fur babies and random foster fur babies. I am a disabled veteran - Army medic hooah! - because of my service, I need both of my hips replaced.

    I have been diagnosed with protrusio acetaboli (Otto pelvis from now on since it's easier to remember) and class/grade (whatever the term is) III arthritis in both hips. The assumption is that I had some sort of hip defect when I joined the Army. It makes sense, even though I never once had any issues with my hips before the military (and my parents, as RNs, were unaware of any issues with my hips when I was a child), I started having pain in my hips 4-5 weeks into boot camp.

    The US Army wants people who can push through the pain and get the mission done. I spent the next 4 years running, ruck marching, and jumping out of helicopters, ignoring the pain - until one 12 mile road march where my right leg went completely numb. That's when I knew I had to get out, I wouldn't be any good to my patients if I couldn't physically handle the mission.

    For the first few years after I got out the pain drastically decreased, I felt almost 'normal'. I was taking Tae Kwon Do, boxing lessons, I walked 4-5 miles a day...then the pain slowly increased. Now I'm in pain all the time and can barely do anything.

    Okay, so that wasn't a quicky bio, I'm a talker! I'm usually more amusing (at least in my head), but I'm having a woe is me moment and sucking all of you into it! Enjoy the ride, the long, long ride.

    All of that was to give you a background on my post title. Because my hip issues are directly related to the military (who knows if I would be at this point ever without the Army), the VA takes full responsibility for them. Which means, in order to get them to pay for the care, they have to be the ones in charge of the care. If I get care for them elsewhere, it's on my own dime AND I lose a big part of my benefits. If something goes wrong, the VA won't take me back - it would be fun to tell the government, "just kidding!" on somethings, wouldn't it?

    The VA thinks I am, "too young" for a hip replacement. They want me to wait until I'm in my early to mid 50's.

    About a year and a half ago my ortho surgeon at the VA approved me to get arthroscopic surgery on my right hip. The VA doesn't do that surgery here, so he sent me to see civilian doctors for it.

    The second ortho surgeon (my VA surgeon being the first) told me that, no, I don't have Otto pelvis nor do I have arthritis, I have impingement and a labral tear. He said he doesn't do the arthroscopic surgery, after he told me that I shouldn't be in the pain I'm claiming and that I should get a job, he sent me to another ortho surgeon.

    Enter surgeon #3. This guy was awesome! I wish all doctors were like him, he was extremely empathic, I felt heard about my hips for the first time with him (after fighting the VA for 14 years to even get them to acknowledge I had a hip issue, oi vey!). He told me, no, you don't have impingement nor do you have a labral tear. You have Otto pelvis and class/grade III arthritis. He told me that arthroscopic surgery won't help me. That I needed a total hip replacement. He didn't do those, so he sent me on to the next ortho surgeon (I go through surgeons faster than someone with a cold goes through tissues!).

    Ortho surgeon #4 was HORRIBLE. He told me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, it's all in my head, that I need to get a job. He even told me that the VA has been placating me, that there is nothing wrong. At one point I flat out asked him why he was so adversarial to me. When I walked out of there I was crying rage tears.

    After all of that, I ended up with my original VA surgeon who pretty much said, "oh well!" So now I go to acupuncture. I guess it's a compromise? Although, I'm getting close to my total allotted number of visits for that, so those might be gone, soon, too!

    What? You mean, I STILL haven't gotten to what the title of my post means? Did I mention I talk a lot?

    Okay, if you've gone this far, you deserve to know by now.

    I'm envious of all of you who are able to get your hips replaced. I'm envious that you will be able to get back to your life again. I'm envious that you will be able to go for a walk. I'm envious you will be able to clean your house without pain. I'm envious that you will be able to sleep at night without pain. I'm envious you're getting it now and I have to wait 15 or so years. I'm envious that you all have lives you will get back to, I have been a shut in for about 5 years now because of my hips.

    Told you I'd get to it, I didn't say it would be very good!

    Now I'm verklempt and dehydrated (can't have a woe is me party without crying!)

    I'm going to go get some iced tea, talk amongst yourselves. Topic, my pity party of one.
     
  2. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Oh you poor young thing! I do feel for you so. However, I have a few comments here
    I would argue with that assumption. Protrusio is the result of an infant condition called dysplasia and is also the late stage of it. I would suggest that its showing up just as you entered the military was purely co-incidental.
    Directly related? Have you been told this for certain?
    Sadly, quite a lot of young adults get told this. We hear it frequently on here and to be truthful, it breaks my heart! Do you have your xrays of this as I could give you an independent opinion on them.
     
  3. lovofu

    lovofu junior member

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    Hi 20 year Air Force Vet here and working for the VA now. You have a presumption of soundness when you enlist unless they note an issue on your entrance physical! Don’t let them tell you otherwise!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. MajorHeidi

    MajorHeidi Sr Bonesmartie

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    Oh my, Kelly @Ducky ; quite the intrigue novel!
    I hope you can get the VA to give you hip replacements; if you look on here I have seen thirty-somethings getting hip replacements and doing well. I hope they see the light and get you some help.
    My second one is Thursday the 29th; getting anxious to get on with it.
    Take a look around the site for older entries; I know I recall some folks in their twenties getting THRs.
    :dogsniff:
     
  5. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Kelly,
    You have been bounced around, not only are many people in their 20's having THR's, we have a number of
    Teenage hip replacements as well.
    Here is a score chart for you to fill out, so you can see just how limited your life is, and can show it to your doctors so they will understand.
    Score chart: how bad is my arthritic hip/knee
    Do post your x rays for Josephine, she will be able to educate you, so you do not have to take what the surgeons say at face value. A few tips on posting xrays
    :fingersx: you can proceed sooner rather than later.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. confused newb

    confused newb member

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    @Ducky. I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. This is a good place to have a pity party, because we all know the pain that a damaged hip can inflict, and will gladly join the party.
    Like you, I was told to suck it up until I was in my 50's... ridiculous concept... let's put life on hold and make you suffer in pain for 15 years, and then we'll give you the same surgery that we could have given you years ago to give you your mobility back and take away the pain... I unfortunately know nothing about the intricacies of the US healthcare system, compounded with the VA involvement, so I don't know how to help you get through that. Hopefully someone on this site is familiar enough to help you. Beyond that, I would google Orthos in your area who have an interest in younger patients. I was lucky enough to find someone who looked at my declining quality of life and did the surgery, so I have to believe that there's someone that will be able to help you as well.
     
  7. Thesoutherncook

    Thesoutherncook post-grad

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    My DH, retired Army and retired Federal employee, says you need to send this whole story to your Congressman. He or she has the power to get the VA moving or get you to a competent civilian dr. Keep up posted. There IS hope and we care!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. jaydub63

    jaydub63 graduate

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    @Ducky thank you for your service! You should be at the front of the line to receive whatever healthcare you need. Is there any way you can go back to surgeon #3 and see if he can refer you to someone else? It's got to be beyond frustrating to not even receive consistent assessments of your condition.
     

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