My name is Daniël and I am 18 and just about to start University , I was a bit scared to post my story here because so many of you have seem to have it so much worse than me, in fact my story is really a success story
Lets just start at the beginning. I went to the doctor for the first time about this problem when I was about 8 years old when I still lived in the Netherlands. My mother noticed that something was wrong with the way that I walked and the doctors there indeed also noted the (‘chimi chungas walk’) and took x-rays of my legs and confirmed a difference in the length of my legs. I got special elevators in my shoes and that was the end of the story, but I was still in pain and walked funny.
When we moved to Canada the whole medical process had to be started over again. The family doctor was understanding and sent me to a specialist so we continued the process of figuring out what’s up. This time the specialist took an x-ray of my Hip as well and there I was diagnosed at the age of 11 with Hip Dysplasia. During middle school I had 3 surgeries done to attempt an early correction of the problem, one on the right which was very successful and one on the left which prolonged the live span of the hip but needed more work at a later date, and then one last one to remove the pins because I am quite skinny and I could feel and see them, which was unpleasant. Luckily i am quite good at school and tbh it’s middle school so I didn’t miss out on much anyways. The recovery time for these surgeries was rather minimal to the last one I’ve had
Let me also just say that I was lucky to have an amazing surgeon who came to visit me in the hospital often even on his night off just before he went to the opera with his Wife. He listened and explained everything to me and I wish that everyone could have such an amazing, helpful specialist.
The pain started to appear again when I was 17 and it was clear that another surgery had to be done, I was walking with a cane at this point and could barely participate in sports, I had to quit my swim team due to the pain. Swimming was my passion and the sport which I had been doing this whole time. Instead for exercise I met up with a personal trainer who helped me and taught me how to workout ( I think this really helped my confidence too which gets pretty low when your walking around with a cane and a bit of a hunch back like that guy from Notre dam. It was a great feeling when I bench pressed over a 100 pounds for the first time. The worst part to me in this period wasn’t my pain, I could deal with that like i have been my whole life, it was rather the lack of mobility that frustrated me not being able to sit down for an hour without getting pain, not being able to stand up, etc. I had a bed with a memory foam layer on top of my mattress and truly it was the only reason I was able to sleep at night at all. ( or maybe that was just me being a teenager.).
So I had my surgery during the winter break of Grade 12 which worked out pretty well timing wise. The surgery was a Bernese PO on my left hip and was done by two surgeons in Calgary. I Live on the west coast so that commuting sucked, plus at that time we lived on a small island so for after the surgery we hired an private ambulance to come pick me up at the airport and then drop me off at my bed at home ( see image).I lost a lot of weight to the point where the pain killers had to be inserted into my thigh because there was no fat on my stomach for the needle to penetrate. My recovery took a long time, and there were some moments where I truly thought I lost my sanity. Some of the after effects of the medication were rather unpleasant, and I’d rather not talk or remember my time in the hospital I don’t feel that to be appropriate nor on subject.
that picture is me on vacation in California on the spring break I finally got off crutches after that and switched to one crutch as I was regaining my strength. I walked with a cane for a short while and now here we are. Fully mobile, I bike to school every day and though there are some sports I am unable to do, I feel so much more free than I felt pre-surgery. Sure I can’t go for a run or hike without my cane or do anything that has too much impact on my hip but there is so much more that I can do.
Now we haven’t fully decided whether or not to do the surgery on my right hip as well but I think for now that I’d rather put it off. I haven’t felt limited by my right hip and until I do, I’d rather not go through a surgery. This hip will last me about 10 years , after that I will need a replacement hip, and I am okay with that, 10 Years is a long time for someone who has only been alive for 18.
I do not regret for a second the surgeries that I have had, I could not image living without them.
Feel free to email me or comment any questions you have. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading- Daniël