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Hip pain causes unexpected consequences

Sharp pain in the wee hours of the morning not a good omen

This was not the way I had intended to spend Thursday morning.

I had a gallery to finish, reports to file, websites to peruse. I also was anticipating an exciting cross-country race in the afternoon.

All those best laid plans began to fall apart about 3:30 in the morning when an unexplained excruciating pain settled into my right hip. Several hours of tossing and turning later I decided I might as well get up and see if a hot shower would loosen the joint up. I hobbled to the shower, discovering that shifting weight to the right sent icepick pains into my hip. I felt a tad woozy.

A few seconds into the shower the wooziness intensified and the next thing I knew Pat was trying to rouse me from a catatonic state.

Dried and dressed, we sped to the emergency room, where my daughter, Stacey, works. She had folks waiting for us.

A few hours later I had been stuck, prodded, poked, scanned, examined, ultra-sounded, and X-rayed. They checked for the usual suspects: stroke, heart attack, blood clots and even more dire options, all negative.

The ER doctor, somewhat apologetically, explained that sometimes, even with all the sophisticated machinery available, causes of pain and syncope (that’s passing out I learned.) can’t be accurately diagnosed. Vasovagal, he said, is an unexplained fainting spell. I think they used to call it swooning when young ladies were overcome with emotion in the Deep South.

The X-ray showed some significant arthritis in that hip, which remained painful.

The doctor said maybe I should stay the night, and we decided it best to accept his invitation. The possibility of attending the cross-country meet had disappeared hours before.

They checked me into a most pleasant hospital room-with-a-view, had I been mobile enough to get up and look out the window.

They took more blood, performed an Echocardiogram (normal) and offered me some naproxen since I don’t like the powerful pain killers. The pain began to subside. Our minister came offering much appreciated prayers and his always positive spirit. I began to feel better.

Mid-afternoon, I dozed off, catching up on a lot of missed sleep. Stacey sent me a text — Aaron finished second in the regional cross-country meet. Things were looking up.

I slept well that night, was able to walk without pain. They took more blood.

They sent me home early the next afternoon, mostly pain free, a bit the worse for wear, and grateful for excellent care at Franklin Woods Hospital. Everyone who attended me was pleasant and professional.

I have referrals to an orthopedic surgeon, an appointment with my family doctor and instructions from Pat to never scare her like that again. Don’t intend to.

The episode reminds me how fortunate I am to have her.

TAGS: Safety
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