My name is Ariel and I am 15 years old. The day I was born my parents noticed my hips looked ‘odd’ and were not in a normal position. My dad asked the doctor what was wrong, so they checked me for hip dysplasia. That day I was diagnosed with congenital bilateral hip dysplasia, CDH. Understandably, my parents were very alarmed.
The doctors put me in three diapers for 5 months. My parents followed all the instructions and once I finally got out of them, the doctor said everything was fine. Years later, aged 6, the pain started to come back, I would tell my mom my hips hurt all the time but my parents didn’t think much of it, assuming it was just your average growing six-year-old.
The pain grew worse and aged 12 I had to quit basketball, gymnastics, ballet, volleyball, and even swimming. In 6th grade, I finally found a sport I could play, softball (YAY!). I pitched and had other people run the bases for me. In high school, I was the only pitcher but after every game the next few days were full of agonizing pain and lots of icing. The pain became so unbearable and extreme we decided it was time to see another specialist.
We went from specialist to specialist and received mixed answers, none of them completely correct, some even sent me to other doctors because my case was too complicated. Finally I reached a doctor we had been trying to see for a long time. He gave me the answer we had been looking for a long time. He said I still had partial dysplasia, a torn labrum on both sides and bone spurs all over each hip.
I had my first two surgeries with him and it finally seemed my long struggle with hip pain would be over. The first was the summer into sophomore year and the second was a week before the first day of school, so I missed a month and a half.
In both hips he shaved my bone, cut off my torn labrum and removed a lump of tissue my body created in an open space on my pelvis due to the dysplasia. We were sadly mistaken that the surgeries had been successful and after months of a new hip pain, we left and went to a new and higher up doctor.
This new doctor re-diagnosed me with dysplasia from birth and said I still had loose/unstable hips caused by extra stretchy ligaments in my hips. I had my last 2 surgeries with him in the middle of the school year and everything seemed to go well. I missed another 4 and a half months of school and I was in a brace for two weeks after each surgery and I am continuing with physical therapy.
With each surgery I reacted worse and worse to the anesthesia and medicine. With my 3rd surgery I had an anaphalaxoid reaction to demerol and developed hives all over my body and nausea. With my 4th surgery I had another more serious reaction. I was fine at first, until they gave me oxy codone for my pain and then the oxy made everything spiral downward.
I started feeling super nauseous and threw up 9 times that day, I could barely stay awake and I started to stop breathing, I had to be put on oxygen until my breathing became stable.
I'm currently 2 months post op surgery number 4 and I doing physical therapy everyday. My journey is not nearly over but I am thankful for who it has made me today. I cannot wait to get back to playing softball!
"I'm thankful for my struggle because from it, I have found my strength."