If It’s Not One Hip, It’s The Other
Last updated: June 2023
I went to Washington, DC over the summer to visit some good friends of mine.
I spent one of the days wandering around by myself, checking out many of the sites because the only other time I had been to DC was for about 12 hours in 8th grade.
I pushed myself to see as much as I could, not really even considering how much I might end up walking, knowing that my right hip has been pretty cooperative.
Unexpected hip pain
I really enjoyed walking around seeing everything, but by the end of the day, not only was I totally spent, but my left hip was really bothering me.
This was new. I have had almost constant hip pain in my right hip, for about the last seven years, until I had a cortisone shot in the hip in past March, which has worked and continues to work wonders for me.
Usually, the only time my left hip hurts is if I am really favoring it when the right hip hurts, but as I said, the right hip hasn’t bothered me very much over the past months since the cortisone shot.
Consulting a rheumatologist
This was different from what I experienced with the right hip, as the constant pain had become the norm, but losing function is something that happened more gradually, and not right away. When my right hip started painfully locking up or caused me to collapse upon standing up, that’s when I realized something needed to be done about it, and that’s when my doctor recommended the cortisone shot.
With the left hip, however, by the middle of the second day of my DC trip, I was dragging my left leg, limping, because it was so painful.
Maybe I just overdid it, and didn’t realize it until I was having problems. But I was really surprised that suddenly my left hip was deciding to act up.
A new diagnosis
When I mentioned the experience to my rheumatologist, I described the pain, which did slowly dissipate after I spent a week doing absolutely nothing in the hope that it would recover, once I got home. Her opinion is that I have bursitis in both hips, although the right is still worse than the left, despite the experience I had with my left hip in DC.
RA and unpredictable pain
It’s funny how when you have RA, sometimes you can overdo it and feel fine the next day, and sometimes you can overdo it and end up paying for it for a long time. It’s one thing when you are used to having pain in an area of the body, but when suddenly you experience pain in a part of the body that you haven’t experienced pain before, it can be downright scary. Because you never know whether the pain is an isolated incident or will become a permanent part of your life with RA.
Ultimately, despite the pain, I know I would have regretted not making the most of my time in DC, seeing the sites, especially since my dad was on the 8th grade trip with me, and the photos from that trip are gone. It was important for me to make new memories, even though those memories are somewhat marred with pain.
Just when I had dealt with the right hip, the left hip had to go haywire. Doesn’t it just figure?
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