My New Ride

This morning my new ride showed up at the door. Thanks to the Christmas generosity of my step-mom Cullene, I have a new way to try to fight the steady diet of carbs, carbs, and more carbs that I tend to indulge in since moving to Cornwall. I thought this exercise bike might help balance my inability to walk past a plate of eggs, sausage, and chips, better known as french fries in America.

My will power seems to have evaporated since my hip pain became an issue and I need a little something to get me moving again. I decided after a good bit of research to not have the hip surgery that I mentioned in several previous posts. The recovery was so long and people who went through it still appear to have a fair degree of pain along with a limited range of motion and I just could not convince myself to risk those odds. While I am generally an adventurous, risk taking kind of person, I felt like my inner voice was saying no … don’t do it and at my age I’ve learned to listen to that voice.

With surgery ruled out,  I decided to readjust my running (not give it up) and bring in a few more fitness options that won’t stress my hip quite so much. Now I just need learn how to say no more often when John asks me,  ” Do you fancy sausages tonight? ”  because everyone knows that sausages taste infinitely better with a side of chips.

Image from Amazon site

Choosing The Path


I saw the surgeon today for a follow up appointment concerning my hip. In case you missed my news about the big decision I’m facing, you can go here to catch up.

Go on … have a look and I’ll be waiting when you get back.


Right … so now that you know all the gruesome details, let’s get back to my doctor’s visit. First, I want to explain for any American readers that in the UK, a surgeon is addressed as Mr, Mrs, or Miss instead of Doctor. After so many years of calling on physicians in my professional life, it’s tough to break the habit of saying Doctor when addressing my surgeon. Today I had an appointment to discuss the findings of my MRA and Mr Surgeon repeated how this surgery could make it possible for me to continue doing the things I enjoy. I went in with a ton of questions along with a good bit of research including this useful article.

Because I had spent so much time reading about the procedure, I went into the appointment thinking that I would not have the surgery, but just tough out the pain instead … knowing that eventually I would need to have a hip replacement at about sixty or so. I am a long way from sixty though and my conversation in the surgeon’s office made me reconsider the possibility of having the surgery.


John and I walked 105 miles of the TMB last year through the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps and we have been planning a return trip in September when I turn 50. These pictures are some of the images I captured last year. The surgeon thought without the surgery, activities like this along with running would need to be shelved and replaced with the more sedate form of exercise … swimming. Have I mentioned how much I really dislike swimming?

I’m including a few more pictures from the TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) for you to see … while I go back to my research and try to make up my mind.  As always, your thoughts are appreciated.








You’ll Call It A Procedure, But…Questions About FAI Treatment


Elizabeth-No Restrictions

I don’t know how many of you saw Billy Crystal’s talk to his son’s classroom in the movie, City Slickers, it’s the one where he tells them what they can expect from life, decade by miserable decade…

Stop a minute and go here to see it …I’ll be here waiting when you get back.

Okay…I think now you can see where this post is heading. That’s right, straight to the OR (operating room) do not pass go or try convince yourself you don’t need it. Pain is real and when it’s constant, it is a pretty clear sign. I tend just to take some over the counter pain meds and drive on. Call it stubbornness or a left over ” Can do” attitude from my army days, but I like to act as if I just put my head down and stay focused, I ‘ll be able to out run whatever twinge, or in this case, stabbing leg and butt pain that won’t go away.

As an example of my former crazy-super-woman belief in mind-over-body madness, I once ran miles and miles every day for three months with a really bad break in my foot. I didn’t know it was broken, I thought I had bruised it wearing high heels at a business conference. So for three months, I got up early every morning, swallowed 800 mg of Motrin, laced up my Nikes, and went out the door.

By the time I saw a Podiatrist, he  took one look at my x-rays, laughingly said it was a really bad break and asked if I minded if he used my films ( x-rays ) in his next talk. I thought great …this guy is going to share my stupidity with a roomful of people at his next presentation.  After I said okay to being someone else’s life lesson for the day, I asked him what were we going to do about my foot, to which he responded, ” Nothing, it’s already healed. ” Let me say now…my left foot has never been right since. I should have listened to my body when it was sending me such loud messages back then. Maybe that foot would always have been a bit more prone to pain after the break, but maybe not if I hadn’t ignored the pain.

As it turns out, I’m getting another chance to decide what to do now about a pain I’ve had for years, but has become increasing worse over the last few months. I’ve lived with it for such a long time and gone through a fair amount of physical therapy and other non invasive treatments (a little chiropractic), that I just assumed I had a hinky hip and there was nothing to be done about it. I went to a doctor here recently for the first time since moving to England ( my first NHS experience ) to chat about HRT and aging (hey I’m 49…it’s time for those talks) and my hip pain came up in conversation, before you could say boo, my new GP had me scheduled with a surgeon for an evaluation.

After a meeting with the surgeon, I had x-rays followed by an MRA (MRI with contrast) and yesterday I received a letter from the from the bone cutter confirming my GP’s initial suggested diagnosis of FAI along with his recommendation of open hip debridement surgery.

It’s nice to know there’s a reason for all that pain, but I really wish there were more options than the suggested surgery. I’m actually kind of old I think for this solution based on things I’ve read and other sources. I think most of the time you are told to adjust your lifestyle as in swim, don’t run and just wait until you’re old enough for a hip replacement. Given that I’ve lead such an active physical life, this would be a real hardship for me. I’d be looking at no yoga, no running, no rock climbing, no skiing, … would no coast path walking be next ….. the English may call it walking, but sometimes the hills are so steep, you almost feel as if you need a harness and someone on belay so it’s not always pain free either.

I DO NOT want to give up all my fun physical activity at 49!

I’ve had a wonderful response from a dear friend who happens to be a very knowledgeable medical professional with years of experience in oncology and other areas along with some more recent skills in the area of chiropractic medicine. Steven works out of Atlanta most of the time, but his gentle and supportive email to me today made me feel as if he was sitting in the same room discussing the possible options for my treatment and recovery. I really appreciated his thoughts and suggestions and this takes me to the reason for exposing my weak side ( hip) to the world.

If you’re still reading this lengthy medical drama, I’d like to impose upon you to please send this out to anyone you know who has gone though the surgery for a hip impingement…mine would be open as opposed to arthroscopic so that is what I would be most interested in hearing more about, their surgical experience along with their recovery, follow up…and hopefully, their successful outcome.

My actual diagnosis is an ovoid/cam femoral head shape with an associated tear of the labrum.