This is interview was done with Bill. This is his stroy in essay form talking about what it has been like to live with SCFE, Quervain Syndrome, osteoarthritis and iliopsoas impingement. Please be respectful of him and his story.
What is (SCFE) slipped capital femoral epiphysis find out here http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00052
Quervain Syndrome http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-conditions/de-quervain-syndrome
What is iliopsoas impingement learn about it here http://www.lower-back-pain-answers.com/iliopsoas.html#axzz4VV6m8CrP
My name is Bill Fuller. I’m 57 years old and live in Childers, Queensland, Australia – a small rural community of approximately 2000 people. I am a happily married man with 4 adult children and 3 grandsons.
I had a varied work life, working in mining, retail, education and horticulture before being employed in a maximum security jail for nearly 20 years.
As a child I suffered a slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) of the left hip and had 3 pins inserted into the joint which were removed about 18 months later. This had little affect on me or my mobility and I played many sports throughout my life. I suffered minimal discomfort in the left hip which was treatable by over the counter pain killers.
Over the years the pain did get worse causing mild inconvenience to my lifestyle.
One Monday morning in July 2013 I will never forget: I got up for work and could hardly move – it felt like someone was stabbing my hip and thigh with a red hot poker. The pain was the most intense I could ever remember. I attended work and one of my work colleagues wanted to call an ambulance for me, which I declined.
I attended my doctor that afternoon and was sent for X-rays which revealed severe osteoarthritis of the left hip and I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for assessment. I continued to work somehow until 4 December 2013, when I left my workplace for what turned out to be the final time. I was by this stage using elbow crutches full time, except at work, as I was not allowed to take them into a maximum security jail so I managed to slowly limp around while working. Further X-rays at that time revealed the hip-joint had collapsed and I was limited to using underarm crutches and was totally non weight bearing. By this stage I was taking high doses of narcotic painkillers to get through my days and was scheduled for a total hip replacement in July 2014.
Surgery was done however the pain, while less than prior to surgery, remained. I could also feel movement in the joint and when riding an exercise bike a discernible ‘clicking’ could be heard. Further X-rays showed nothing abnormal so I was referred to another orthopaedic surgeon for assessment. After more testing it was assessed the cup of the implant was loose and I was scheduled for a hip revision in June 2015. The outcome of this surgery also left me with severe pain in the hip and thigh and also shortened my leg by approximately 5cm or 2″. I also have nerve damage called iliopsoas impingement which causes severe spasming of my left leg and I remain non weight bearing, using underarm crutches or a wheelchair around home or when going out for any period of time.
Due to my long term use of crutches I have developed de Quervain Syndrome (a tendinitis of both thumbs) and the tendons of both my hands and wrists have been severely torn (described as shredded by the specialist) and I wear thermoplastic splints on both hands which immobilizes my hands, wrists and thumbs. I wear these for 23 hours a day to manage pain and due to my ongoing use of crutches I will wear these forever.
I have now been classified as totally and permanently disabled and continue to take narcotic painkillers on a daily basis.
My life has changed dramatically. I was always busy, building something or fixing something, taking walks with my wife, playing with my grandsons, being involved in the community. Now we cannot plan anything: it depends on whether I have slept during the night (3-5 nights a week I am unable to sleep due to spasms and discomfort) and the amount of pain I am in which dictates the pain killing medication I take. On a good day I can go shopping, out for lunch or a picnic with family members. On a bad day I will usually sit in my wheelchair or sleep.
At times I look back on my journey to disability and find it surreal, hard to imagine this has happened to me, I have friends who have had hip replacements and been back at work within 4 weeks. It’s so hard not to ask ‘Why me?’ but life goes on and for all the difficulties and challenges I face on a daily basis I try to remain positive. My wife and I have purchased a 4wd and caravan (trailer) and plan to travel around Australia later this year. We decided to do it while we can. This in itself requires so much planning due to my lack of mobility but I’m sure we’ll get there.
One of the main lessons I have learned is patience: things I can do I do a lot slower than previously, I’ve learned to adapt to my disability and will continue learning till the day I die.
Thank you Bill for sharing your story. Wishing much hope always.