So it seems to have been a few weeks since I have written about this whole recovery process and I think it is in large part due to the fact that this progress, shall we say, has been a little less than slow. I had my 2nd post-op appointment with my surgeon last Wednesday and after waiting over an hour, as he was late, to spend my 5 minutes with him, he told me that I am further along than most at 6 weeks. Is that all it’s been?!?!?! Six weeks?!?! I told them it had been 7 and they reassured me it was 6, not that I am counting. Oh wait, I am. I have been counting the weeks incessantly, willing them to go by faster so I went back and counted again…it’s been 7. Get it right doc. It was nice to hear that I am progressing to expectations.
I still have Dora by my side to prevent catastrophe after spending hours in the double digits every day and I kicked Boots to the curb which means I am on one crutch all day! I had a minor hiccup a few weeks ago because I got a little ambitious about cleaning my house and backed into my door, smashing my hip forward resulting it to spasm and cramp for a week. I can’t help but remember how discouraged I became after that night and the days to follow as that entire week I was back on two crutches, often being unable to put any pressure on the leg. Come to find, thanks to my PT manipulating the hell out of my hip, that I didn’t re-tear it, as that was my fear, but instead just “severely pissed it off.” Not only did I get to hang with Game Ready that day, but I was blessed with e-stim. Heaven. On. Earth.
He explained that the cramping and spasms I was experiencing was from the scar tissue that had built up from the surgery and he wasn’t surprised by it due to the hours I spend on my feet. It was limiting the muscle surrounding the hip from working properly and since I was using my leg all day long, a too much too soon situation, the body decided to protect my hip and tighten up causing some not so nice pain and discomfort that was not eased by any OTC pain killer. Valium? Anyone?
Thankfully after a weekend of rest and recovery, my hip was back to normal and I was back to be-bopping around the gym on one crutch. Getting overly confident, I often find myself walking faster than people NOT on crutches. The general manager of the club keeps yelling at me to “slow the eff down.” I even braved the walk to work a week ago!!! It had been, at the time, 6 weeks that I had been unable to walk to work which is sort of like my sanctuary, my way of easing into the noise and hustle and bustle of the day. And I did it on one crutch! I was euphoric and so proud. Funny how proud I was for something so small but these small feats are what keep me going.
About those small feats…after my brief setback, I motored on forward with PT. I am now doing the following…
1) Straight leg stability ball leg lifts – 2 sets alternating for 30
2) Stability ball hamstring curls 2 sets of 15 (talk about burning hamstrings. I can’t stop laughing when I do these because it’s so hard. I remember the days when I did single leg for 15 reps)
3) Side lying clams 2 sets of 15 (absolutely no mobility or strength there)
4) Side lying hip abduction 2 sets of 15
5) Leg press machine – no, not the one you see at the gym but the one solely in PT offices that have bands to create resistance and you lie completely flat. Oh how I yearn for the days I can do the regular leg press. 2 sets of 15
6) SINGLE (WOOHOO!!!!) leg press 2 sets of 15
7) Standing hip abduction 2 sets of 15 (oddly enough the left leg is harder for me)
And best of all so far…
8) Single leg balancing on a foam pad!!!!!!!! 2 sets of 1 minute each leg. REALLY PROUD OF THAT ONE!!
Never, in my life did I think I would be sweating from all of that nor would I be legitimately exhausted. But then I stop to realize how far I have come in 7 weeks and I can’t help but be really proud of myself. And my PT even told me that we will start getting more into building strength. I can’t wait to see what that entails!! I smile every time I come back from PT now. I’ll be squatting in no time!
Speaking of squatting, a lot of people at the gym ask me if I am going crazy at this point. Some days yes, but most days no. I have come to learn what it means to really be patient with my body. I have come to accept (most days) my “softer” look. There are days where I look at my body (or at all the fitness freaks on instagram and their hot little bodies) and yearn to be as lean as I was this past fall but then I remember that I had joint pain all the time, was overly exhausted, running on adrenaline and not having any fun. I had forgotten how to enjoy life for all it is and all that it has to offer.
I have had more time to do things that I love like reading and writing. I have had more time and energy to put into my job as I am busier than I have ever been. I am rejuvenated in a way I never really thought possible. I have had more time for friends and family. I have learned to value and appreciate my life and myself. There has been so much growth that I don’t think would have happened if it wasn’t for this surgery. I was forced to slow down, to take a look around and to rediscover myself. I have been surprisingly at peace and calmer than ever. This surgery was a blessing in disguise and I wouldn’t change having to have it for the world. And plus, I get to eat Doritos and not feel guilty!!
I can only be excited for my continuing progress as I know that every day my hip gets stronger. I know when my body is ready that I will be back in action 100%. For now though, I can only be happy doing my basic PT exercises. OH! Wait! I didn’t mention that I actually SWEAT the other day during my bike ride. I FULL ON SWEAT!!! Do you know what it feels like to sweat after 7 weeks of NOT sweating??? I didn’t want to stop!! It was amazing!!! I was waiting for the day when I could bike hard enough to do that and it came yesterday!!! Long term goals are great but it’s the short term ones that keep us going and sweating was one of them!!! YIPPEE!!!!
Some progress pictures with the incisions or as they are really termed, “portal holes”…