Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ah, Relaxing At Last

Prior to surgery I planned a vacation starting week 14 post-op, and I am so glad I did for a number of reasons:
1) Motivation to walk on my own quicker
2) Motivation to be off the pain killers
3) Something to look forward to while I was cooped up in the house recovering
4) A way to get back some of the summer weeks/months I missed out on

So here I am, relaxing in beautiful sunny Florida with 80 degree weather and palm trees everywhere I look! Life is fabulous.

I can also tell you that I made it through a 1300 mile, 19 1/2 hour drive without an inkling of hip pain! Did I mention life is fabulous? Gotta run, so much to do . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."
~John Wayne~

I happen to notice this quote attached to a signature on a hip board I read. It stopped me in my tracks, and made me think that I must be really courageous given how scared $hitless I was going into this surgery. Seriously, I was a wreck for the last two weeks leading up to surgery. I think a lot had to do with having a young child and trying to orchestrate all the help we were going to require. But when all was said and done, I found that I just took it day-by-day, sometimes minute-by-minute, and focused on the task at hand. It wasn't easy, and sometimes it was down right painful, but I got through it and am a stronger person for it. I know what real pain feels like, needles don't bother me as much, I'm more compassionate for people in compromising situations, and yes I guess I am more courageous than I realized.

3 Month Check Up

I had my 3 month check up with the good Dr. Z today. So far all is good. I kind of laughed at myself walking into the hospital as I was behind these 2 dudes that were walking SO slow and taking up the entire hallway so I couldn't pass. To think I was wanting to pass someone, a few weeks back that would have been me at the leisurely stroll.

In seeing Dr Z, he had me walk fast down the hallway to take a look at my gait. No limp! We talked about my discomfort in what I thought is the joint capsule. He explained it's not the capsule, but where he cut the bone. The bone is healed but the tendon that runs across it is going to take months to completely heal. He also said we can look at removing the screws this spring; the good news is that can be done under local anesthesia with a 1-2 inch incision. As for activity, he doesn't recommend that I take up jogging, but I can chase my kid around or kick a soccer ball if I want. My abductors are extremely weak and need a good 3-4 months of training to bring them around. And the best news is that he said he would expect my PAO to last at least until he's retired--20+ years!!! All-in-all we both seemed please with my progress.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

12 Week Update

I have to share what I did yesterday, this is so cool . . .First I started with my 30 minute/10 mile ride on the exercise bike. Then being the fabulous day it was outside, my son was able to convince me to take him for a little spin around the block on a real bike. We have one of those bike trailer/chariot looking things that you pull behind the bike. I was nervous at first, but once we got going we toured the whole neighborhood. After making it back to the house we took a walk around the block, all with no pain or limp! It was great to be out and about, and to think I've only been without a cane for a week!

So at 12 weeks I'm definitely back into the full swing of things--childcare, house cleaning, running errands. I still have problems putting my socks on, and getting in & out of the car usually requires me to move the seat back. When moving through my PT motions I sometimes experience a discomfort that stops me in my tracks; straight leg raises, 1 leg squats, & lunges are very challenging. I have yet to sleep on my operated side, although I suspect I could for a little while. I have made no attempt at any kind of running motion (not sure if I ever will with exception of an emergency), and I'm still getting use to massaging the scars.

At this point and time I can tell you the pain is gone, but range of motion is still limited. PT says they can get me to 'functional' range, although not the norm. If it allows me to lead a semi-active, pain-free life then it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Mommy, You Can Walk!"

Some of the most precious words I've ever heard from my son as he realized I was walking on my own, "Mommy, you can walk!" Dang right I can! I'm at 11 1/2 weeks post-PAO now, and ditched the crutches and canes over the weekend. Not really by design, but as I went to the store I realized I left my cane at home and well, that was that. I haven't even needed it towards the end of long days when my leg tends to tire. I'm still cautious when in public, as I feel the cane offered me some protection or at least people would be careful around me and not expect me to be able to move in certain ways. But none-the-less it feels great to be on my own with both hands free and going about business as usual.

I'm still a frequent visitor to PT, which they now have me trying to progress to single leg presses. The first time I attempted this move I was shocked at how I couldn't hold my operated leg up by itself while my good leg did the work. There's still lots of work to be done but things are coming along. The best thing is that I have very little pain, if any, and walking & biking are done pain-free! As for my scars, my surgeon did a fabulous job as the scars are just a flat line (no more peaks!) which I'm suppose to massage daily to reconnect the nerve endings.

Oh, another really cool thing is that I finally started wearing jeans again. I guess I waited so long as I was afraid of the uncomfortableness of the waist band cutting right across the incision. Happy to say this hasn't been a problem. It feels great to feel normal again!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"I'm Not A Pimp!"

Remember how I said when I went to one crutch all I could think about was the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is walking down the street with the cane in the Dream Coat? Well there are still days when using my cane I crack myself up thinking about that crazy walk. Check it out:

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm an Addict

Seriously, I'm addicted to working out. And not to just working out, but to sweat. Must be that rush of adrenaline, but once I start I can't get enough. For instance, this morning I jumped on the stationary bike, cranked up my ipod, and started my heart rate monitor. It's the heart rate monitor that can send me over the top, and here's why: I'm pedaling along at about 80 rpms with a heat rate (HR) of 145. No where near close to the 175-190 HR I could get while teaching kickboxing. So I add upper body strength moves using a resistance band and next thing I know, my HR is in the 170s. How cool is that?! It's like mini-interval training--a few sets of back (HR 174), rest (HR 155), chest (HR 175), rest (HR 160), etc. The key is to keep the cadence up and focus on form all at the same time. Once I've had enough of the resistance band, I throw in some upper body kickboxing moves like jabs & upper cuts. I figure if I'm destined to ride a bike for the rest of my life, it has to be interesting. I'm going to work on a developing a circuit program where I ride for 'X' period of time, jump off and do push ups, ride, sit ups, ride, etc. That will be a good way at breaking up the monotony. By the end of my work out today I rode 32 minutes and 10 miles, then threw in some PT moves such as bridges alternated with sit-ups, straight leg lifts, side clam things, and squats into toe-raises. Of course now as I'm sitting here typing I have about 5 pounds of ice on the front, side, and back of my hip. Ok, so maybe I overdid it, but it felt good at the time.

I also have to add that I had the pleasure of meeting up with a fellow hip chick yesterday. Very cool! It was nice to put a face to someone I feel like I've gotten to know well. Her surgery was scheduled after mine. She thanked me for all the advice, but really I appreciated being able to share my new found knowledge and feeling useful when there was so much I couldn't do at the time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Still Waiting . . .

After my first hip surgery this past February I was on crutches for 4 weeks. Those seemed like 4 very long weeks at the time, but nothing compared to the 10 1/2 weeks so far this second time around. But what I remember most about surgery #1 is that after those 4 weeks were up and I was set free to walk on my own, I was the happiest, most laid-back person on the face of the planet. To the point my husband said I was a new person. I didn't have a care in the world other than being able to walk and care for my family, and it was a fabulous.

The one thing I was looking forward to with surgery #2 was gaining that amazing 'love of life' feeling again. To date, it's eluded me. I'm feeling cranky, irritable, and unmotivated these days. It's just been a long road and I'm ready to move on. I'm still limited in movements I can do pain-free. Basic things like taking the garbage out or getting in/out of the car can bring on a lot of pain. But these things don't stop me. I have to find ways to get things done, so I do what I have to do. In the mean time, I'm still waiting for my renewed love of life, hoping it won't be too much longer.