It wasn’t until the last two years at the age of 37 that I was diagnosed with retroversion hip dysplasia. In late 2010, I felt a sharp pain in my right hip in the groin area. I did not know what to think. I just dealt with it until the pain become so bad that walking was a chore. I made and appointment with a well known and highly recommended hip surgeon here in Richmond, Virginia. It took me over four months to get an appointment with him. On my first visit and in less than 10 minutes time the doctor mentioned that he thought I had a connective tissue disease. I had seriously thought that I had Ehlers Danlos five years prior but then a local rheumatologist nixed that… I put it on the back burner.
My hip surgeon did a series of x-rays and was able to make the diagnosis of hip dysplasia as well a FAI. He recommended that I try physical therapy for to see if that would help. During this time I also had a cortisone injection to try and calm the pain down. Physical therapy helped me strengthen the muscles around the hip but that was about it. After working with my PT and things were not getting much better I went back to my hip surgeon and I was scheduled for a hip chondroplasty. The hip scope worked. There where two labral tears that were removed. The relief that the hip scope brought was temporary and within less that four months I was miserable in pain. My hip was rubbing on the rim of my pelvis. My hip surgeon wanted to try and do as much as we could to delay the major periacetabular osteotomy surgery.
So within 11 months I was back in the operating room to have the PAO surgery. This was my 13th orthopedic surgery in my short existence. The surgery was brutal and pain was ungodly. I was bedridden for a month and out of work for just about five months. It was a great expense to be out of work not to mention that no one from my department at work called me or came to see me in the hospital. I did not even get a get well card until two months after surgery. I have only been back to work since December of 2012. Things were different when I went back most of my coworkers were very standoffish. I have been constantly reminded that I was out of work for five months. It has also been thrown in my face how hard my coworkers had to work while I was out. All of this made me feel really bad. Since my diagnosis of both EDS and hip dysplasia I have special American’s with Disabilities accommodations. There are several people who think I am faking all of “this” so that I don’t have to what is considered 2% of my jobs’ functions. And that is not having too get up and down 50 plus times a day to retrieve faxes from two fax machines. My manager has also betrayed my trust when she told a new hire that I had gotten my doctor to write a note to excuse me from this function. I am only 7 months post-op from the PAO surgery and I am still not 100%.
After my diagnosis of hip dysplasia I found this website and I read the statistics pertaining to employment and it is true. This has a great impact on one’s life but spiritually as well as financially. Even though my story seems like a bad one it really isn’t. My diagnosis of EDS as well as hip dysplasia has been life changing. I have learned a great deal and I hope that I can help others that are faced with the same challenges I have been given.
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