This began as an Instagram post that became too long for Instagram. Here it is, with only slight edits from that format.

Well, might as well update on doctors appointment 3 for the week since that’s how things unfolded.

Kerri sits in doctors office with painting of a blue dog behind her

Backstory: my right hip has been messed up since I was born. It’s essentially dislocated (severe hip dysplasia, per my reading perhaps better described now as congenital hip disease, specifically high congenital dislocation) and being held in place by scar tissue as I understand it, with other structure-y issues compounding this. 

It took 30 years for it to start hurting unless I was in a plane seat (it actually probably caused my knee pain before the actual problem joint started hurting). This was initially understandable after waking a LONG distance… until it started hurting for weeks at a time. And then last weekend I walked ALL OF 2 KILOMETERS and it hurt for 5 days after, including most of the time when sitting/lying down which was new. I am not in a ton of pain and it eased up, mostly, minus some surrounding muscle pain with movement and continued increased “clicking” feeling. (Except then since my appointment I walked more and the actual joint hurts again. Great. ??‍♀️)

But it was quite distracting, especially as 80% of the time I move even slightly something clicks inside my hip, which I am pretty sure is not great. 

So I went to see my family doctor. He is aware of my hip stuff but I showed him a picture of my 2018 hip X-ray on my phone and his reaction was along the line of “Yikes” (not necessarily a good reaction, but a funny one!), and a brief discussion that, no, basically there is no real femoral head. 

Xray of right hip anterior view. The femoral head is significantly flattened and essentially absent
The head of the femur is generally the “ball” in the ball and socket joint of the hip. There is no real femoral head present, which a previous radiologist described as “flattened”.
It is dislocated and articulating with what is called a “false acetabulum” – I could tell you what but I failed anatomy twice.

The good news is he agrees I’m not in hip replacement territory yet. The surprising-to-me news (given I grew up constantly seeing orthopedics as a kid) is that ortho possibly won’t see me until that time comes. 

The question I had is basically what can we do so I can, you know, *do things* and not make my hip more garbage for days/weeks after—and hopefully in turn delay hip replacement as long as possible.

So back to X-ray I went. Once he gets that report and if it looks like we expect it to (AKA doesn’t look remarkably worse than before or anything?), he will probably refer me to physiatry to see what they can figure out. Physiatry (physical medicine & rehabilitation) hasn’t ever been mentioned to me—probably due to the next paragraph—so I’m curious to see how that goes.

The good-ish news: I’ve now had a second doc tell me their surprise at how well I function once they see how bad my 3 affected joints actually are. Similarly, the x-ray tech came out of the booth evidently having looked at my scans and said she was shocked I made it 30 years without hip pain… so something went right along the way!

This isn’t quite how I expected this appointment to go but I’m definitely happy with how it went. I’m, as always, super pleased with my family doc and how whenever I approach a problem with “Do we need to address this?” he either has a great explanation for why not to, or takes the concern seriously and makes a plan to do something! I presume we will confirm next steps next week—I may not have any more solutions today but hopefully some are coming. 

And I guess, shout out to the scar tissue holding my hip together for 31 years? 

EDIT: I wrote most of this on Friday. It is now Monday as I finally post it here, and I have since learned that apparently when you are not in peds orthopedics/a grown-up/not in sport medicine, you get to know nothing about your x-ray until the radiologist sends a report to the doctor about it? Clearly I have been spoiled by my 14 years of pediatric orthopedics visits and the sports medicine clinic where they show you the x-ray and then wait for a report from radiology. I knew I wasn’t going to see it Friday (I should’ve asked the technologist, I suppose!) but who knew it could be many days? (Everyone who has had normal person x-rays ever, apparently, that’s who.)

I spent a good quarter of my time in university learning about how you shouldn’t make too many life changes at once. (I spent another quarter in anatomy or stressing out about anatomy, another quarter dropping classes possibly due to the unknown learning disability and ADHD, and the last quarter probably actually “focused”. This is not an accurate, nor mathematical, representation of university for me.) Yet, here I am, doing just that, because FULL SPEED AHEAD is the only way I know how to go.

So here I am. 13 days into logging with MyFitnessPal. That is nearly TWO WEEKS people, that’s an accomplishment.
I’ve opened up the Coach.Me app again last night and set up some goal in there—go for a walk twice a week, exercise three days a week, meditate daily, pray daily, and write a blog post [here] weekly (hi!). 

And today, I went for a walk. Just to the mailbox, to send a letter to my Member of Parliament. Have I mentioned I’ve gotten all politically engaged since we last spoke in depth? This is not actually a byproduct of that but still, could be why I was more interested in the Asthma Society’s Hill Day stuff in the end. Honestly, it’s a wonder to me that given the state of this world and our neighbours to the south, how the eff people can ignore this! I digress (but likely not forever, and would be happy to grab a [decaf] [not-]coffee with you and discuss. And also I am thinking about going back to school to do political science and no I don’t actually know what’s currently wrong with me.)

This is not significant. The walk, I mean. It was hot (27-feels-like-29 and heat and I are not friends—my lungs and my whole body) and slow and except whatever I GOT OUT THERE.

Because here’s the thing. I have to start all over again. And so I am. I downloaded some bodyweight exercise app to my phone even. I’m LOOKING AT my Fitbit. Quantified self is one of those things that’s sort of engrained in my being one way or another so I need to USE that data. 

If a slow, 17 minute walk is all I get, guess what? It’s better than nothing.
If a three minute meditation before I go to sleep is all I do, guess what? I’ve started.
If prayer is a jumbled mess of words or a poem or “hey Jesus”? Yeah, my God knows where I’m at, even before I do.
If I don’t eat with any semblance of decency (or even if I’m closer than I usually am but still totally imperfect) but I am at least mindful of that, guess what? I’m one step closer.
If I start to write a blog post and I write “Listening to my body. Means. Going to sleep. Instead of writing.” and close my laptop, yes, I have figured something out. At least this time.
And if I admit all of this to you in a blog post? I’ve written the blog post. And hopefully, you’ll join me in stumbling towards those goals you think are too big, too hard, the things you think you’ll be imperfect at. Feel free to join me in the imperfection, learning the things they can’t teach in school.

Or at least watch along—because even stumbling is moving forward. 

I try to track a lot of stuff, but I like that stuff to be as effortless as possible (I’m human, right?). The more stuff I track, the less likely I am to track a thing after a few days or a week, which means I really can’t do anything with that data. There are not a lot of things that will track themselves, however, thinking about this the other day, I became curious to do a bit of an inventory to see what kinds of things I am tracking basically automagically. (Magic, yes.)

For over 2 years (actually, well over 2 years, but I think some of my data got trapped in an old iPod or something before The Cloud was such a big thing), I’ve tapped the screen on my iPhone a few times to track my sleep—I use SleepCycle, and this same app acts as my alarm clock (and lets me use my own music—I actually initially bought it years ago because of that), so I have some motivation to set it. This is, aside from wearing my Fitbit, probably the most automated self-tracking actiivty that I do. So it’s not quite automagic… but it just about could be. (The Charge HR does have automatic sleep tracking though, as well, and I did use the sleep feature regularly on the One and Ultra).

Graphs from SleepCycle. Above, time I went to bed over the last two-plus years. Below, the odd waves of different activity levels on my sleep quality…

I’ve been wearing a Fitbit since January 2012—first the Ultra, then the One, and now the Charge HR. This means, aside from the times that I’ve lost it or forgotten to wear it, I’ve been counting steps, calories burned, activity level, distance covered. Since May, I’ve got a near-continuous record of my heart rate—which is kind of ridiculous and I’m looking forward to someone getting that export heart rate thing figured out. And, since the invention of MobileTrack from Fitbit, even if my device dies on my wrist, I still accumulate a bit of data—though not as accurate as the thing attached to my body.
I also have a couple apps in my phone that serve this purpose. I’m not really sure why I haven’t deleted them yet, however.

Here’s also a little app called fit|line. It gives you all kinds of stats extracted from your Fitbit. It also says things like “You spend an average of 14 hours a day sedentary.” (Don’t worry. My Pebble Time is trying to put an end to that nonsense. Actually, I thought it would be like “You spend an average of 23 hours a day sedentary” so…)

All time Fitbit stats from Fit|Line. different view…

Here you’ll see where I lost my Fitbit, or forgot to wear it, or it died or whatever.
You can also fairly easily pick out the spot in 2013 when I was super sick and when I was no longer in school and no longer working outside of the house. 

Things I Set Up on IFTTT at Some Point And Forgot About.
Okay, let’s take a look.

  • If it rains, this gets sent to a spreadsheet in Google Drive. I was at some point going to trend this with peak flows and asthma symptoms but, ha, those don’t get logged automagically.
  • If humidity rises above 75% this gets added to a spreadsheet.
  • If I enter or exit a tennis club, these times are to be logged (a backup for logging my summer work hours).
  • This one doesn’t quite count because I have to manually check-in on Foursquare… SWARM. I have to check in on Swarm. (Damn these name changes, really.) but that does get sent to my Google Calendar. So if I forget when I went somewhere and I happened to check in on F—Swarm, then I can find out.
Computer Time.
I’ve been using RescueTime for quite awhile. So now I have all this data about how much time I spend doing what, and I really don’t do anything with that.
Similarly, I once installed Checky on my iPhone to see how many times I looked at my phone in a day, but it has to run in the background obviously, which then gets swiped closed.
Because once the guy at the Apple Store had to close all my apps and he told me he’d never seen that many apps open on a phone. And he works at the Apple Store. That’s pretty bad.
There are probably all kinds of other things, but that’s my rundown for 11:40 pm. I’ll add more here when I discover them. 

May is Asthma Awareness Month–and this coming Tuesday is World Asthma Day.  After spending a couple days together in the SF Bay Area last week, Steve and I got our networks to send out some questions, and did a very unstructured Q&A videocast to hopefully get some light shed on asthma, our thoughts, and hopefully teach some people a few new things about this disease.

Some days, my day looks like this


But my night can look like this


Maybe it’s because I ran around filming a video. Or inhaled a bunch of smoke all day drifting around with the breeze. Or sat around a campfire at lunch. Or maybe there’s seemingly no reason at all.

For me, the asthma monster-under-the-bed, I am lucky, doesn’t come around often. Maybe once a month, maybe less than that.  Most of the time, unless I’m really sick, it lurks from inside me slowly–waking up and not realizing my lungs are the reason why, usually wandering to the bathroom and back before laying down to realize “Hey, I’m pretty short of breath over here.”

Sometimes a couple puffs of Ventolin is all it takes for me to drift back to sleep.  Other times like the other night, I slip into some sort of autopilot while feeling a heaviness settled in my lungs: two puffs, fifteen minutes. two puffs, fifteen minutes, two puffs, fifteen minutes. Last night, it was after round three, or six hits, I fell asleep again.

The next day, still, can look like this (…okay, a little tired I guess!)


It’s a mind game. It’s thinking I’m fine and when I’m least on my guard, the previous day somehow grabs onto me and shakes me back into it–in one of the ways I least want to be inside it.

this guilt feels so familiar, and i’m home / i will crawl / there’s things that aren’t worth giving up i know / but i won’t let this get me / i will fight . . . / you live the life you’re given with the storms outside . . ./ some days all i do is watch the sky

i think i, i could use a little break — but today was a good day.

watch the sky, something corporate