My leg was wet.
I thought it was sweat, the sweat that poured down my face when I almost passed out. But it was blood.
From my open wound, the skin severed merely a few hours ago, the skin stitched after surgery.
This bursectomy was supposed to be a “simple procedure.”
But as a I laid on the bathroom floor, it felt like anything but simple. It was horrifying.
“Call 911,” the woman at the surgery center told my mom over the phone.
“No,” I said, “No, no, no, this can’t be happening. God, help me.” I’d been home from the surgery center for maybe 5 minutes. I had hobbled to the bathroom, anxious to relieve myself. That was when I saw the bandage, white when we left the surgery center, now soaked and seeping red. That’s when I called for my mom, began to feel light-headed, and everything went black.
“No, no, no” paired with labored breathing while the medics rushed in the door.
“No, no, no” while they lifted me onto the gurney and wheeled me up the ambulance ramp.
“No, no, no” when I waved feebly to my grandad as the ambulance doors closed.
I felt like I was in a movie as the doors close and we drifted down the driveway, his face growing smaller through the rear doors…
That was the dramatized version of what I experienced moments after coming home after my bursectomy on November 8, 2013.
I spent a few hours in the ER. Finally got some pain meds. Finally got everything under control. And traveled home to rest.
But, wait – I still have not explained the technicalities of my first hip surgery:
What is a bursa anyway?
Let me tell you.
A “bursa” is a fluid-filled sac near a joint which reduces friction and rubbing between bones and tendons. You have bursa in your elbows, shoulders, knees, and your hips. The one that causes problems for many runners in located between the illitobial band (which runs from the top of your hip, along the outside of your thigh, to your knee) and the greater trochanter (the outside part of your hip bone).
Tronchanteric bursitis is the term for when that bursa gets inflamed.
And that was the diagnosis my orthopedic surgeon gave me. A “bursectomy” was the surgery I underwent on November 8, 2013. My bursa was removed from my left hip, and my IT band was lengthened a bit.
The procedure itself went well. There was “a lot to clean up,” according to my surgeon. (It was just the whole getting-home-to-rest thing that was problematic.)
I remember tweeting #ByeByeBursa, either before or after my surgery… (I think I had some meds in my system.) Thinking it was the cause of all my problems, I was so ready to have that thing gone!
However, in the 15 months since, I am not positive that I should have received a trochanteric bursectomy that day. I’ll say this: Do your research. Talk to other doctors – trust me. I have seen multiple doctors since then.
Not one of them was in agreement with my diagnosis and treatment. Most of them responded in surprise, expressing uncertainty in the effectiveness of a bursectomy, in the effectiveness of my treatment.
At the time, I didn’t know this. I was focused on getting better and starting the anticipated road to recovery.