I am a hopeful hippie!
This journey that many of us have been given is hard. It is difficult and sometimes treacherous. It also can be traveled with hope in the forefront of the journey.
My name is Maria and I embraced the concept of hope in my life 16 years ago when my father was diagnosed with a Grade IV inoperable and incurable brain tumor. The prognosis was very poor, but my family kept hope. My mantras at that time were, “don’t worry about tomorrow as it will only zap my strength for today” and “hope will allow us to walk through the door into a future” even though I knew that the door would most likely open to a future without my dad.
Many of us have been given the door to Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI). Femoroacetabular Impingement is a hip disorder where the ball (femoral head) and the socket (acetabulum) don’t exactly fit together which then causes torn soft tissue and lots of pain. It can also lead to the long term consequence of arthritis and, possibly, the need for a Total Hip Replacement.
My story began about 13 years ago when hip arthroscopy was relatively very new and, often times, even considered experimental by the major health insurance companies. I, however, was one of the fortunate ones to complain of bilateral groin pain, have my family doctor take me seriously and order an MRI. He then explained to me that I most likely had a labral tear in my hip. I found a specialist and had it repaired all within approximately 4 months which by then my other hip had started hurting even more. I then had my second hip done and went through rehab, recovered and even got older, but better!
Almost 10 years to the day of my first surgery, I had a recurrence of groin pain after having none for almost a decade. So many things went through my mind as I worried about the extreme pain. Did I have uterine cancer? Did I have bone cancer? What about lymphoma? I went back to my original orthopedic surgeon and did not feel as listened to as I needed to be. I decided to build my team of support with a new doctor.
Having a positive team is a huge factor in your success to walk through this door into a future with healthy hips. I found an incredible and perceptive doctor who was able to show me why my surgery from 13 years ago had failed and how it could be fixed. I also had an amazing Personal Trainer who understood FAI and started training me as if I had a labral tear even before we knew for sure. Once we knew I needed surgery, we also worked 3 times a week to get me as strong as possible. Additionally, I have an awesomely intuitive yoga teacher who preached strength over flexibility, positivity over negativity and being present as compared to worrying about the future. My Physical Therapist also is wonderful and patient as she puts up with my need to set goals and reigns me in most times.
During this journey, I have met an amazing support network of people with this disorder, but overwhelmingly it seems that they have not had the successes that I feel I have had thus far. As I write this, I am currently 7 months post op from hip 1 surgery number 7 and about about three weeks from having completed my 200 hour yoga teacher certification. I started wondering if I was the outlier, but then quickly came to realize that many people that have had success do not need support groups as they have come and gone as they walked through that door into their pain-free hip future. I want this website to be a place for positivity, hope, humor and resources for success and I hope you will find it here.