Dear 17, (that d@~m right hip)
You laugh, but it bothers you. That’s a defense mechanism. You’ll learn more about that during college when you get your psych degree.
You jokingly say, “yea, that’s my birth defect” thinking that it doesn’t have an effect on you, it does. It has more of an effect than you think.
When your friend rides behind you biking when you’re in middle school and says, “Hey, are your legs different sizes?”
What do you say, accept, yep, “that’s my birth defect hahaha”… not funny.
You know your legs are different because your hips were twisted at birth, as an OB RN/PED RN/Ped NP, I think it was probably hip dysphasia. Who knows, the documentation was different back then.
You know you had casts from your hips to your toes when you were 1 month old for the next 30 days of your life. Then, braces until we walked. I’m glad we don’t remember. The stories they tell seem like they’re talking about someone else, until we look at our legs…
You think it’s worse because you favor the left one.. gymnastics dominantly left legged, driving a stick shift, etc.
Oh, Sweetheart… it’s not the clutch that makes your leg bigger, it’s not the cartwheels and round offs either. It truly is a birth defect, and you need NOT be embarrassed about it. You hear me?
It will take a lot of pain, emotional and physical… “Mom, it hurts when I vacuum,” scoliosis, muscle spasms, pulled muscles, shoe lifts… oh, the shoe lifts (eye roll) that you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY REFUSE to wear on your shoes.
OH. HELL. NO! What will everyone think? I already can’t keep up. I WILL NOT put that on my shoe for everyone to see. I’ll suffer.
Ah, youth. We suffer either way. We would have suffered with the lift too, so tit for tat.
So, the back pain continues, the hip pain continues, and the stomach pain (whole different letter, and we’ll get to that) continues. Your self-esteem will plummet, you will think it’s your fault and you should do better, you know better but that doesn’t matter. You come from a good family. You have every advantage in the world. But do you? Really? Maybe. Maybe not. Only you know. But you don’t know. That’s the problem.
You are never sure; you just don’t know, you’re afraid to know… it freezes you. Literally. What if what you know is wrong? What if you don’t do the right thing? (Heartbreak of the future: Josh is the same way. It kills me. I feel it for us at 12, 17, 23, 27, 35, and I don’t want it to hold him back too. Maybe I can make a diff. Maybe I can take what I know now and help him.)
We know almost nothing at 17, that’s why I’m writing these letters. I have so much to say, and I’m not sure how to get it out. So, I’m writing… to you.
Back to that hip, it’s gonna get worse… you won’t realize it’s your hip for years. You will pull your groin muscle… oh… duh, you’re 17, you’ve already played most of your high school field hockey career. Wish I could tell you to play at Towson U. To not be afraid. To realize you were just as good as everyone else. Why would you think you weren’t? The leg. Your hip. Your back. Your self esteem. Your anxiety. It always comes back to the damn anxiety… and the anxiety stems from physical issues that aren’t being addressed (the hip is just one of them). That unknown and uncontrolled anxiety will cause decades of pain.
Here’s the good part, you will eventually figure it out… It takes a long f^@%ing time, excuse my French. We suffer long and hard as we figure it out. It takes years. Problems with our health and problems with Joshua’s health, intellect, development, it gets pretty bad. It almost destroys us, the family us. Know you are strong enough to get through it and be better for it. Trust me. Trust us. Trust you. 😉
I guess you realize this isn’t just about that right hip. I’m writing this to help you understand how BIG the LITTLE things can be. In my early adult years, there was a book that was published called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, some of the small stuff/ the emotional small stuff needs to be sweated. (I don’t think that’s really a word, but this is my letter, so it is now.) We need to quit telling people to suck it up. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.
Sometimes, you need to accept your weaknesses, your challenges, the imperfections that are perfectly normal and who you are.
So, understand, that the hip is gonna get worse, orthopods will say you have a “shallow acetabulum yhada yhada yhada…”. Nobody will really help until you find Dr. D, the osteopath that helps you. And, she helps you figure out it’s not just you, she helps you figure out a little about Josh too, it’s not just you mama. (Insert another eye roll, the mysteries take years to unravel.)
Know that hip will limit you. It will stop you. You will use it as an excuse. You won’t understand the problem for so many years, that “yea, haha, it’s just my birth defect” is really a lot more… the effects compound.
All of the things in our life that stay with us day to day compound. Hence, The Compound Effect. You’ll learn about that one over time too, life compounds in every possible way, count on it, and plan for it.
Stay tuned; I’ll fill you in a little at a time as we go along.
P.S. btw- We are all crooked, just in different ways, it’s not just you, my dear. Truth. 😉