There aren’t many books about DDH but when I come across one I am always keen to share the details in a bid to help as many people on their journey.
“Hip dysplasia, isn’t that a dog’s disease?” Those suffering from chronic hip pain often attribute the pain to activity levels or age and may be misdiagnosed by health care professionals. For 10 years, I attributed my chronic hip pain as part of being an athlete, taking on the mentality of “no pain, no gain.” It wasn’t until I was unable to walk when I finally decided to seek medical attention. When I was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia at the age of 39, I was in complete shock. Like many others, I thought hip dysplasia only existed in canines! My next steps included extensive research, interviewing six surgeons, and two periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) surgeries. PAO surgery has been regarded as one of the most invasive and complex elective orthopedic surgeries in existence, with a long rehabilitation period. I quickly learned that I needed resources and support, and learning about other PAO Warriors’ experiences was a lifesaver. This anthology of vulnerable, authentic stories is a labor of love and aims to support people with chronic hip pain, those preparing for hip surgery, as well as the partners and families of these individuals.”
Jen has set up the PAO Project which is a fantastic resource for those diagnosed with hip dysplasia, considering PAO surgery, or recovering from PAO surgery. It is also a great resource for friends, family and caretakers of those who are suffering from chronic hip pain or recovering from PAO surgery.
Jen is my ‘Author in the Spotlight’ today and if you know of anyone who would find this book helpful, please let them know.
I have a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and have been a fitness specialist for over 18 years. When I had increased hip pain due to bilateral hip dysplasia, I retired and became a metalsmith jewelry artist. Currently I am a part-time jewelry artist and now that my hips are fixed and I am pain-free, I am looking for work in the cardiac rehabilitation field.
How did you get into writing?
My experience of being diagnosed with hip dysplasia and having two PAO (periacetabular osteotomy) surgeries inspired my to start blogging, and it became very cathartic for me. Also, I realized that I was helping others by sharing my experience and that kept me writing and inspired the book.
Did you always want to write a book?
Not necessarily. I knew that my blog was one of many stories, so I was inspired to compile powerful narrative essays and poems into a book to help others feel not so alone in their hip dysplasia and PAO journey.
How easy was it to write your book?
The organisational and editing aspect was moderately labor intensive. Writing the intros for each chapter was fairly easy. Writing the glossary was the hardest part of the book!
Was writing about your own health difficult?
Writing the intros for each chapter, where I did mention parts of my journey with hip dysplasia and PAO surgery, was emotional, but not difficult. In fact, it was empowering.
How did you publish your book?
How did you use the skills, experience and contacts you built up during your career to write and promote your book?
I am relying heavily on my contacts through social media to promote the book. While I cannot pinpoint anything specifically, everything else seemed to provide a good foundation for the book coming to fruition.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from others who are faced with health challenges and
What are the biggest challenges for authors today?
For me, its having the resources (time and money) to properly market a self-published book.
Do you have more books planned?
Possibly a second volume to include more narrative essays from other PAO Warriors.
What are your top three tips for others thinking of writing a book?
Hire a professional editor/formatter, be organized, be flexible – things rarely get published on time.
What is your favourite book?
I can’t choose one book. For me, it’s the book that makes me feel sad that it’s over.
Onward is available via Amazon.com for $14.95 US