July 7, 2019 Santiago
The results from my MRI last month finally made its way to me. Quite a blow really. The reason for my persistent hip problem was diagnosed as severe arthritis. It took some asking to get the complete report from the radiologist (See below).
The thing is, I have been living with this problem for a while. It became quite noticeable over a year ago. I have been exercising my way through it. The biggest issue is that I cannot run. I cannot walk long distances. But I can bike long distances without pain. I have been averaging 150 miles/week on my bicycle for several months now. I ride ~80 miles a day on Saturdays.
It is a good thing I have a better understanding of the problem. I resisting letting this get in the way of my plans. Maybe I will need to get a new hip sometime down the road. I’m thinking I can get more miles out of this one.
July 22, 2019 Bandon Oregon
I was referred to a Orthopedic specialist. Today I had my first conference with him by phone. He said I probably have no cartilage left between my hip and femur due to the osteoarthritis. The contact there is bone on bone. I am a good candidate for hip replacement. So be it. It is good to have a clear understanding of the situation.
I plan to continue my journey to Europe in August. Probably I will return to the US this fall. Depending on how I am doing, I may opt for hip replacement then. It will mean getting off the bike for a few months. Then I will need to get back in shape to continue touring.
I am encouraged by the high likelihood that I will make a complete recovery and gain the ability to walk long distances without pain. Of course there is risk. I have decided the improved mobility is worth it.