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My Never Ending Hip Journey
Years and years of pain. How was I meant to enjoy my passion for dance and theater if I physically couldn’t do it without pain. My journey with my hip problems felt never ending. Like a ride that couldn’t stop or a movie on replay. Looking back at it now, I can’t remember ever not being in pain. That was how my life went though. Problem after problem.
The first doctor I went to sent me to physical therapy thinking I had some kind of tendinitis in my hips. Me, a young teenage girl who just wanted to dance again and desiring to do anything to not be in pain went to physical therapy, just like the doctor instructed me to. With my luck, there was something bigger wrong. After trying therapy I felt worse. I was miserable. My mom and I went right back to that same doctor and he decided to then take a closer look. It turned out that I had a tear in my labrum. Luckily it wasn’t too big of a tear and it could be done with a scope. That was relieving to me. Although I still needed surgery knowing the process wouldn’t be too difficult eased my mind.
“Six weeks on crutches and six weeks just walking.” That was what the doctor told me. That is exactly what I did. 12 weeks just in recovery. Once I was off crutches I was sent to physical therapy.
My surgery happened my sophomore year of highschool. I was also in my school’s theater program at the time which required some dancing. When the class would work on dance heavy projects I just sat to the side. Nothing to do. I kind of felt like no one cared. All I could do was sit and watch. Just observe with the constant questioning of when I’ll be ready to dance again.
By the time I was cleared to go back to dancing and activity overall, the pain came back and was worse. Of course we went to the doctor we’ve been seeing. After All that was the smartest decision. Right?
Therapy. Just more physical therapy. So I tried that. Again. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the outcome of how it goes from here. If you think this round of therapy didn’t work, then you’re right! However, I had switched therapy places and the new place I went to felt more professional. My new therapist didn’t have a good feeling about what was going on either so she recommended me to another doctor. That was probably one of the best decisions ever.
I had a rotation problem. My femur was rotated off and that had caused all my problems. The tear, the pain, everything. Little did I know how big of a surgery this would be. I’d be in recovery for 6 months. The procedure would be an open surgery as well. The doctor would have to break my femur to fix it properly and have a metal rod placed in my thigh to hold it. I would have screws in my hip and knee to keep it in place.
That surgery was the worst pain I've ever been in. The nerve block I was given didn’t work and I had to stay overnight in the hospital. I couldn’t walk at all so I had to use a walker for the first bit of my recovery. Luckily I got the surgery done over summer so I could recover peacefully.
During my recovery process I made the decision to leave theater. It just didn’t seem ideal and realistic for me to continue. The constant in and out was draining and making me lose my passion. I felt out of place. I wasn’t happy. I felt very very little support from teachers as well. I was sick of being pressured to dance again. It felt like everyone thought I was lying about my situation or just didn’t care enough to understand the risks of me doing something my body can’t handle yet. I’d always feel like some of the teachers wanted to use my situation as a reason for me to leave. Now I can't say every teacher was like that, but the majority of them were. However, this led to me discovering my passion for writing and journalism. I can’t express how thankful I am for finding it.
As of now, June of 2022, I am fully recovered. However, the process was a bit rough. I did physical therapy with one company and it turns out they did absolutely nothing to help strengthen me. My knee would be swelling and in horrible pain. I’m so thankful that I was able to switch to a good therapy place after that. It only took around a few months to get me to where I should be. Now I’m much stronger and can continue to strengthen my body on my own.
A message you can learn from my experience is that it does get better even though it takes time. Not everything happens in the way we want, but the final product will be so rewarding if you continue to push yourself through the challenges you face. Things happen for a reason. Sometimes we are led down tough paths, but get a beautiful outcome at the end. That makes it even more rewarding.