Lingering, Neglect

I think it was about fifteen weeks into my pregnancy with Natan that my left hip started hurting, bad. Dr. M said it was round ligament pain, and I accepted that explanation. It was about two days into my hospital bedrest with Natan that the pain in my left hip became excruciating. The nurses said it was to be expected. After my labor with him, it hurt even more. Upon leaving the hospital, everything ached, and I was ok with that – because it was a physical proof that something bad had happened. The pain was intermittent, I don’t remember how often. It returned more regularly and in full force later in my pregnancy with Baby Man, and when Dr. K asked about pain, I just said, “oh, just some round ligament pain like before.”

At physical therapy yesterday, I discovered my pain is not caused by a pulled or torn ligament. Rather, my hip is dislocated. And has been for a long, long time. Long enough that all of the muscles nearby are so atrophied that my left leg was quite a bit shorter than my right and she could tell just by looking at my leg. I am very strong (normally). She bent my right leg and said to resist her pushing. She couldn’t make it move at all. Same thing, left leg. She barely touched me and my leg collapsed. How have I not noticed that happening?

“Goodness,” she said, “With your pelvis like that, labor must have really hurt.” She called over another therapist who went over me as well, and they both wondered how I had possibly managed to walk around for so long, but then the first therapist answered all of our questions.

“Mothers often neglect self care.”

I’ll say.

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12 responses to “Lingering, Neglect

  1. Dude! Allow me to state the obvious– this is bad.
    What’s the plan for fixing this? They have one, right?

    Oh, and Dr.M? A complete and utter ass.

  2. Neglect self care? uh…no…you asked questions and they gave you bogus answers. Dumb doctor.

    I’m glad you have some answers. And I hope you have as easy a time as possible fixing what ails you.

  3. We do neglect. Oh B., this sounds just awful. I’m hoping your PT people are as kind, compassionate, and patient as mine. They’ve been putting up with me for almost seven months now and I think they all get how important this is for a variety of reasons. I really saw my injury as a set back not only for my physically, but for my grief. It meant I couldn’t lose the weight which was my priority at the time and depressed me further. I’m only now beginning to see the small light at the end of this tunnel, which in turn has changed my mood, my diet, my attitude. Don’t underestimate how this will make you feel the whole way around, and make sure the people working on you get that too. It’s important.

    thinking of you!

  4. Thanks for the advice, Tash. For the moment I’m kind of numb about it, shocked and surprised. Catherine of course is right but still, jeez, how come I always just accept the explanation that I’m a wimp? I remember telling Dr. M. “But it really really hurts.” And he smiled (I now see as condescendingly) and said, “I’ve had to put women on morphine drips in the hospital to cope. Do you need that?” Which of course scared me and I shut up about it.

    As for the plan, well, she put it back in place but the muscles are in such bad shape it slipped out again by the end of the day. She expected that. The plan is for me to get a belt to hold it in place and to work on strengthening the muscles at PT so that it will eventually stay in place. Or at least that’s it so far. She put me on a different PT’s schedule because she’s a muscle/ligament specialist and she wants me to be with a joint specialist. So we’ll see if that person has some other plan.

  5. Sound like a good plan, B. PT is all about getting everything strong again, and they’re very conscientious about how the rest of your body deals with the specific injury. I had the same thing happen where my good leg started overcompensating for my bad one, and it through off my posture and everything. Now that we’re ramping up to running again (finally!) they’re going v. slowly and cautiously, and taking care to build up all the other muscles in my legs that have been on vacation since October. Before I even run a step.

    I think we put up with a lot of pain — women in general. I did, and it wasn’t until one doc just perscribed steroids (directly into my heel) without asking me that I realized just how much pain I’d been in. And sometimes clearing that up a bit not only helps you through a session, but helps your mind a bit too.

    This really all sucks. I feel for you greatly.

  6. Wow. I hope you are going to get better with physical therapy. Ouch. Here I was worried about losing my voice at around 6 months, weeks after I had a cold. I don’t handle pain well at all. You are amazing for suffering through that.

  7. Ouch! Here’s hoping the PT and strengthening do the trick.

  8. Wow, that really sucks. I am amazed at you, i mean really. You *are* strong.

  9. You guys are amazed that I let myself walk around pain and with a hip out of joint for so long? Amazingly clueless perhaps. I should have complained louder and longer long ago. Thanks though. I hope it won’t be a terribly long recovery.

  10. b, i hope your recovery goes smoothly. don’t be so hard on yourself, there are too many shouldas already. your hip pain was being masked by pg symptoms. i blame the docs.

  11. oh B, wow. i totally get how this could happen, though…so much about pregnancy is subjective and i think too many caregivers do NOT pay careful attention to the person complaining of pain, and too easily write them off as a wimp. and hell, who wants to be the repeat complainer? so we suck it up. i am so sorry, and so sad for you, and hope that the plan for recovery starts soon and works fast.

  12. B you are so tough. I think it is shameful the doc wrote you off and you’ve now ended up with so much work to do to recover.

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