When you have Spina Bifida every person struggles with different things because depending on what form you have some people may have more health challenges than others. If you have been following my blog you may have heard me talk about a condition that I have which is called hip dysplasia. What is hip dysplasia? Hip dysplasia is a common term that doctors use that means your hip socket does not cover the ball portion of your upper thigh which causes it to fully or partially dislocate. It is common to have hip dysplasia when you have Spina Bifida and some people can walk while others can’t but there is no cure for it and you don’t always need to do anything about it. Surgery can help correct hip dyspasia but unless it’s significantly affected your quality of life it’s not always neccessarily because you can live with your hips out of the socket without putting your health in any danger. I was born with both of my hips completely dislocated and it wasn’t until recently that it gave me a lot of pain and I needed to do something about it. In this post, I am going to talk about the realities of living with hip dysplasia to help you better understand how it affects me.
Walking is often affected- There are a lot of orthopedic issues that people with Spina Bifida can have that impacts their walking and hip dysplasia most definitely is one of those things that makes walking a little more difficult than it would be for someone without the conditions. I am fortunate that I am able to walk because according to my level of Spina BIfida, I shouldn’t be able to and if it wasn’t for my crutches I would not be able to. I make walking look easy because I have been walking with crutches since I was a young child but even though I make it look easy that doesn’t mean it is because there are lots of challenges. Hip dysplasia affects your stability and balance and although I have leg braces to help keep my body in the right alignment I still have balance issues because leg braces only improve your walking but it doesn’t cure the condition you have.
It can cause a lot of pain– People sometimes do not realize how much pain you can have when your hips on dislocated. I recently had hip replacement surgery to correct one of my hips because I could not do anything due to the severe pain my hips were causing. I cannot do high-intensity exercise that involves using my legs a lot because it can aggravate my hips and cause me pain for days which will hugely affect my quality of life.
Workouts can be a challenge- I spend a lot of time looking for accessible routines because my disability limits my ability to do a lot routines especially when it comes to fitness. Accessible workouts are already hard enough to find but when you have hip dysplasia it makes things even more difficult because a lot of workouts are designed for abled people which is strange because most people that need YouTube workouts are disabled. I can do some workouts that involve using your hips but I am very limited because there are some positions that are only possible when your hips are in the right position I cannot do anything that involves being on your knees or laying on your stomach while lifting your legs at the same time because you need hips that work for that. Workouts sometimes can be discouraging because most workouts require you to get in positions that are difficult if not possible for me but even if something is possible often I can’t do things as well as an abled person can due to my balance issues. I have been working on improving my balance and I think I am getting better at it but I still will always struggle with it because there are some things about your disability that you cannot change. Abled people complain about having to do a workout while disabled people wish they could do whatever fitness routine they wanted with ease. You never realize how good you have it when it comes to fitness until you find yourself searching for hours looking for something accessible routine and get nothing but dead ends!
Sometimes you may have unplanned falls- People sometimes think that all my falls are because I was doing something risky and always telling me not to fall. There are times when I will fall because I was doing something dumb that I should not have been doing but most times falls are not avoidable and only happen because my hip slightly changed positions. I take safety measures to prevent falls but I can’t prevent every fall and when you yell at me for falling it’s the least helpful thing to say because sometimes it’s not avoidable.
Lifting heavy things is hard– Abled people often can lift a heavy bookshelf without injuring themselves but I don’t have that ability because when I lift things my legs are not involved and it’s all arms. I can lift heavy weights because my arms are the only part of my body that works properly but when you see me lift heavy rest assured that I am not relying on my legs to perform those movements. I might be able to bench press fifteen pounds but I cannot move a piece of furniture of that weight because moving a bookshelf is not the same as sitting on the floor doing shoulder presses and there are more muscles involved when moving heavy furniture.
Hip dysplasia affects me in a lot of ways and it is more than just needing crutches to walk but everything I do is a little bit harder. When you have this condition sometimes you have to get a little creative with the way you do certain tasks because some things are going to be harder or even impossible if your hips are dislocated. The problem with my disability isn’t the fact my hips don’t work properly but it’s that we live in an inaccessible world that makes simple tasks harder for disabled people than it has to be. I did my best to explain some of the challenges you may experience if your hips are dislocated but it’s only a small fraction of all the obstacles I struggle with because of my condition. Some people may think that they understand the struggle because they know me but you will never fully understand unless you have my condition and that is okay. I hope I helped you better understand how much harder life is when you don’t have hips that work properly and if you have any more questions please comment below and I will do my best to answer your questions.
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