Friday, January 13, 2012

Asking "why?", even though I know not to.

While doing my hydrotherapy exercises at the pool the other day, I realized that the fact that it hurts has a new meaning to me now. I have been doing these exercises for two and a half years now. The logic behind it was that it hurts because it needs to be worked on more. If I only did the right exercises enough, it may stop hurting finally.

That mentality may be true for physical therapy directly after surgery, for rehabilitation, but two and a half years later is no longer logical, you know? When I was released from PT and hydrotherapy two years ago, a few months after my PVNS surgery, I was told that there is no more that they can do. It still hurts me, they knew, so I should keep up the exercises at home as much as possible. I understood that to mean that there is a hope the pain will go away if I do these physical therapies enough.

I did the hydrotherapy in the pool all this time with the pain. "Of course  there is pain", I think to myself, "my hip needs this, it will help the pain". My thought process usually ended with my destiny in life is to have hip pain. I kept doing the hydrotherapy for "maintenance". It didn't occur to me that I have been doing the same thing for a long time now with no positive change, only for the worse. I would never dream that all that exercising could have been damaging.

My pain meds have been slowly creeping up. Pain was increasing.
Nobody thought to ask "why"? My famous doctor at Ichilov could only tell me that he isn't sure that all that pain is from my joint, when I TOLD him I know it is.

Listen to the patient!!
OK, they finally passed my file onto Dr Rath, to their credit. They couldn't figure me out, maybe he could. But it took two years of doing the same thing before they did. 

It never occurred to me, or anyone, that I may be damaging the hip. I always proudly told my doctors that I am a swimmer ("don't worry, I take care of my hip!").
Not until the other day, that is. Now I know that it hurts because it is damaged; the bones are impinging upon each other, and all these exercises are, in fact, NOT GOOD for it.

A hundred frog kicks while holding onto the pool wall, a hundred one-leg-up-and-down movements in water with a weight, thigh-twisting exercises and then sometimes up to 20 laps, and the hip bones were grinding and impinging with each count; with each kick.
Two and a half years of working it. Nobody told me not to. Quite the opposite.

Nobody could answer the question of why my pain meds were increasing.

The MRI's were ordered without contrast. Dr. Rath said it needs to be with contrast in order to see the real damage, or to see if there is actually any PVNS in the joint. Why weren't the MRI's preformed without contrast? The damage may have been caught earlier.

Doing the exam on my hip was enough for him to see exactly what is going on; any other damage he'll see and fix after he gets in there.

In one completely random day, this doctor finally told me why my hip hurts.

Is he REALLY going to fix it?


  1. That's a very tough realization to make after all the immense effort, time, sacrifices, and struggle against pain that you invested into your exercise. However, I think it likely that you ultimately benefited from it all, despite the effect it may have had on this issue, both because of the postive effect it has had on your overall physical health, and for the effect on your spirit. I think that it also speaks well for you in Shomayim that you showed so much care for the body that Hashem gave you.

    G-d willing, this doctor and his team will perform a complete repair. I think that I can say that the rest of us can assist with prayers, performing mitzvahs, and improving our own behavior in your merit.


  2. I agree that all the exercise must have had the effect of overall better health and strength, which will serve you well in recovering from this surgery. Hugs, Jackie

  3. I am making a siyum Sunday on the learning I did for your refuah over the last two years: Mishna Brurah on the laws of Shabbat. Maybe now is the time, with the right doctor and Hashem's help, for you to enjoy refuah shlaima! Shabbat Shalom.

    1. Norman, did you tell me this before, that you were learning on my behalf for refuah shlaima? I am- I don't know if shocked is the right word- so humbled and thankful, I don't know what to say! Two years, Mishna Brurah on Shabbat. Wow, that means so much to me, you can't even imagine.
      It is awesome that you are ending it at this time, with this hopeful surgery around the corner for me.
      Amen to what you said, and in the merit of your learning, may Hashem send my doctor clarity and wisdom on the day of my surgery to make this the surgery that ENDS all surgeries!! And may all Am Yisrael experience refuat hanefesh, refuat haguf.

  4. Sometimes it takes a long time to understand/recognize something. Been there, done that. Understanding comes in its own time. Hang in there.
    Edna Oxman

  5. Haven't read this blog yet but re-understanding: unfortunately life isn't such that we can understand everything that happens. If we could, we'd be G-d. Just like a child can't understand everything that a parent decides. Oh how much easier our challenges would be though, if we could see the "full picture"! And what strength it sometimes takes to have faith that there is a bigger picture. "Why?" is such a powerful word. It has the power to bring peace between two people. It has the power to entangle us in a web of unanswerable questions. Don't get stuck in that web, dear Sarah. I send you blessings that your incredible strength helps you through this new discovery which needs to be treated and that the treatment has results which will give you better quality of life. When I look at the last few words I wrote I think, Sarah, you have quality of life, incredible quality of life because that's what you create and have been creating! So I will change my wording and write instead an easier life. A life with less that is bitter and much much more that is sweet. Sending you much love and a big hug.
    Darlene Illouz

  6. G-d willing after the surgery you will hear good news and begin to feel much better. Yes, you are right, doctors should listen to patients more. This is all sooooooo hard Sarah, but just as you tried to be good to yourself with the swimming please be good to yourself with knowing that you did what you thought was best and that we are just not prophets. All we can do is try to do what we think will be good. We just can't always know what that is. I pray that you see sweet fruit from all your efforts. You are dearly loved. May you continue to have strength and HOPE for better days.
    Darlene Illouz

    1. Darlene, thank you so much for your beautiful words!! I think that part of what I am upset about in this post is not so much *my* effort to try to rehabilitate my hip, but the fact that the physical therapists told me to continue it. They told me to keep going through the pain. I know they aren't prophets either, and they were only saying what they thought to be best for me, clearly. I don't know, when shocking news comes, as you know (but l'havdil), we try to cope as best we can, and sometimes that means going through a phase of "who's fault is this, anyway!". I know that phase isn't necessarily a productive one, but we have to go through it just the same. Wonder *why*? ;-)

  7. Wow. What a potentially obvious insight -- if correct.
    love you!