So, I am 8 weeks out of surgery. Time to assess my situation.
Well. I can lift my leg up in the air like this:
While this does not seem like a big deal, it really is. I was completely not able to do that prior to surgery. Now, after 8 weeks, it seems easy. I was just able to do this on Sunday this week. I showed it off to the Physical Therapist yesterday. He was properly impressed. Even though he has been sort of jerky, he did understand the significance of this, as he was the one who looked at that before surgery and said, “You can’t lift it at all?” You sure?
If I walk quickly, I walk fairly normally. If I walk really slowly, it does look like I have a rolling gait, and if I walk a regular pace, I still have a few issue with my gait. I can walk up to 2 miles slowly. I have not tried more.
I am able to run in the pool now, up to 35 minutes at a time with very minimal pain. When I first started pool running it hurt each time my left foot struck the bottom of the pool. Now it only hurts once in a while and usually because I’ve twisted something incorrectly.
I’m allowed to use the elliptical, and have gone as far as 2 miles on it in 20 minutes. I love using it because I don’t have to worry about gait, or too much strain on my hip.
I’m able to do a great deal of weights at the gym, though not everything.
I am able to do all of my regular activities of daily living with no help. Dishes/Laundry/driving/Groceries/Pet Care/basic home cleaning. I no longer am exhausted from just walking to take out the trash. Carrying stuff over 30 pounds does seem to freak out my hip, like my body can not adjust to the load. (dog food.)
I can put on my shoes pretty much like a normal person does. Though I admit my left will not bed as nicely as the lady in the pic has hers bent. But post surgery, I could not get socks on and had to lift up my foot and insert it into the shoe, shoving the shoe on the foot is much easier.
I am having a great deal LESS pain than prior to the surgery. My pain now mostly occurs when I do too much, which is a problem that I do not take seriously, until I over do it. I also know many ways to alleviate the pain through certain stretches and avoiding things like pivoting.
My Scars now are extremely insignificant. In fact, I think most people would be shocked that those two little faded out spots are from a Hip Surgery. I have been careful to sunscreen them though.
Emotionally, I am in a much better place than I was even 5 weeks post surgery. I feel much more alert and able to handle things that come my way. Prior to surgery I felt that way too, I think the surgery just sort of knocked me for a loop there.
What is “not new” or New but not fun…
I still have occasional bouts of pain. Today I clearly overdid it, because I am having a lot of pain post gym. Motrin and Aleve do not really help the pain, which is maddening to me.
I still can not sleep on either side, as it causes immediate Groin/labrum pain. Of course laying on my back relieves it just as quickly. I was a left sided sleeper, and I do miss that.
My left side of my hip is still sore. It hurts to lay on it, especially on a hard surface.
I am unable to run on land. Though in 2 more months I will probably be able to do this! I have jogged a little once or twice, and noted that the pressure put on the hip is intense. I’m not ready for it.
My hip when it is not hurting feels somewhat stiff and inflexible.
My Range of Motion in the hip is somewhat limited (see above stiff and inflexible).
I continue to have to be somewhat careful about how I move. If I stand and pivot I am inviting severe pain and an accident!
I still walk fairly slowly, and am unable to adjust very quickly to changing situations….like trying to adjust and catch a ball when someone shouts “Head Up!”
After a Moderate workout, I usually need a power nap of 1-3 hours.
I am of course, concerned about how running is going to go.
I wonder if my Range of Motion will always remain this limited.
I wonder if I will always have this pain when I overdo things.
I also wonder sometimes if I have retorn the labrum, but this seems so unlikely, that I think I just wonder unnecessarily.
My Anxiety regarding my recovery made me a difficult person to be around and some people have been avoiding me. This makes me feel terrible, but I do understand where they are coming from. People who are irritable and depressed are difficult to deal with. Once I started to walk fairly well, most people expected I’d bounce into my goofy happy self. I actually got a little worse, probably because some of the support I was getting disappeared and also my expectations were probably a bit high right off the bat. I hope over time, the people will forgive me as much as they can.
Am I Glad I did this?
A lot of people have asked me this on the internet, the employee health nurse, a variety of friends and such.
While I felt like I had no choice, I am glad that I had the surgery done. I do feel better 75% of the time. I also feel that after the 24 month total healing cycle, I will be much better.
What do I wish I would have known?
I knew, but ignored the fact that I would need A LOT of help post surgery. Being stubborn, I refused a lot of help that was offered. In retrospect, I probably should have set up a schedule and asked people to come by one a day for an hour or so, for 2 weeks post surgery. Simple things, like fixing my own cup of coffee were so frustrating. I had tons of offers for help, I did not have to endure such frustration. In addition, I became unnecessarily isolated.
I wish I would have understood how long it would take to really feel improvement.
I wish I would have known I was going to suffer quite a bit of insomnia.
I wish I had understood just how de-conditioned my body would get.
I wish the Physician had encouraged me to take 8 weeks off work from the get go. He mentioned it, but, did not really encourage it.
I wish I had had more instruction on wound care! As an Emergency Department Nurse, I really had no experience with healing wounds. So by scrubbing my incisions with chlorhexidine I thougt I was avoiding infection, well yes, but I was delaying the healing and possibly making the scars HUGE.
I wish I had known more about dealing with my own anxiety and fears.
I also wish that others would have understood more about dealing with my anxiety and fears.
I wish also that I had been better equipped to clearly explain my anxiety and fears!!!
I wish someone would have told me that when I got my period my groin pain would increase exponentially, and not to worry about that. (Sounds dumb, but really not dumb at all.)
I wish I had started the pool running sooner.
I wish I had started out my PT relationship on better footing. Not sure how that could have happened though.
I started to learn to quilt. I had wanted to do this for years now. I am TERRIBLE at it! But I am enjoying it. It is creative, and I like the fact that I can make something useful and pretty.
I made a few new friends at the gym. One in particular, Rick, a man about my age with severe Cerebral Palsy. he walks with a walker. I’ve always seen him in the gym but we never spoke. When I was still on crutches he came up to me one day and just really encouraged me. We always speak now in the gym, and I love that we are friends. He is such an encourager. No matter how weird and anxious and needy I was, he was always smiling and telling me how much better I was looking each time. I hope to become better friends with him. I found some people were not as supportive as I wanted, but I have come to realize now that people are as supportive as they can be. For some, it’s a lot, for others, it is not. I am now more grateful for each expression of support, because it is what that person could give at that time.
People LOVE the handicapped Bathroom. I find that they choose it above all others. I know that rarely is there a handicapped person who needs the bathroom, but I was amazed at how many times at the gym I would struggle into the bathroom, and find the handicapped occupied by a very able bodied woman.
Emotionally, I am much more brittle than I knew. Even with trying to prepare properly for this sort of thing, i was still woefully unable to cope.
9 week follow up with Dr Brcka in one week. I am excited to see him. I am still quite worried about the trifecta of the Doctor, myself and the Physical Therapist. It seems that we are not exactly all on the same team all the time!
Getting excited about Comrades 2013!!!!