04 November 2014

A lot happens in 6 months...


I'm going to row again. All because of this. I got inspired.

That's the latest, anyway.

Filling you in, in reverse order, on my life over the past six months...and trying to keep it brief...here's what's been going on...

Halloween happened.
Miss C kept changing her mind on what to be. I don't even know what she ended up trick-or-treating as, but she got this great big sucker that made her very happy. X was a faceless, voiceless shadow, AKA Chromeface. G was Fizz the Tidal Trickster and Q-Man was a ninja...like many other fourth graders at his school.


We hit up the very expensive, local pumpkin patch. Lots of bouncy castles and slides for the low, low price of $10/30 minutes per kid. And pumpkins were NOT included. It's such a racket. But the kids had a BLAST!
A few days before Halloween, she got an Elsa dress that, while delightful to twirl in, did not make the trick-or-treating cut.
That crazy, 10-day Fall break at my kids' school happened...

We played CandyLand and got an Anna costume...that also did not make the Halloween cut.



We went to the beach to see the sun set, ran races at the San Francisco Zoo, and did speed work at the local track.
We also did some hiking in a princess nightgown that was worn for 5 (not kidding) consecutive days.


Ragnar Napa Valley happened...

I was invited to drive for Team You're the Wine that I Want. It was so much fun. Kind of more fun that running it probably would have been...at least for me! Cathryn, Jen, Jess, Sabrina, Amanda, Janet, Jim, Matt, Rich, BT, and another Jen (?) took me on a fun trip that involved too many inside jokes and a triple espresso. I can't wait to do it again :)
Summer vacation happened...
Lots of camping in the redwoods and hiking in the East Bay hills. My hip is officially GOOD. Actually GREAT!!!! My oldest son and I got up to over 13 miles of hiking...pain-free...except for the pain in my ears from his whining...actually he wasn't really THAT bad :) And I'm feeling awesome enough to have entered to walk a marathon. I fell in love with the Humboldt redwoods and so decided to walk in the Avenue of the Giants Marathon next May.

And that's my life in a nutshell since May 12th.


What's the best thing that's happened to you in the last 6 months?


Random picture of yummy grape sorbet from a fancy Napa restaurant.














12 May 2014

Update: Six weeks after hip replacement *graphic photo warning*

...and all's well :)

If you missed my initial post-op post, click here.



The walker has been retired.

I frequently wonder where in the hell I've left my cane.

The pain is minimal, and none of it is in the joint. What a beautiful thing!

I have a set of 10+ exercises that I am to do 2-3x/day. They are so basic. I started getting agitated because the rehab seemed lame. Then I realized that I'm not rehabbing from a sports injury and trying to get back into competitive form...I'm helping my body recover from a MAJOR trauma. Seven layers of tissue were sliced open and then stitched/glued back together. Nerves and muscles were retracted. A bone was sawed in two pieces. And then a metal rod was hammered down the center of my femur.

Exercises:
  • Calf raises and some anterior tibialis thing. 
  • High knee "marches" (quad and hip flexor, challenges balance).
  • A thing like butt kicks (works hamstrings, stretches quad, challenges balance).
  • Rear leg extensions, standing with minimal movement...just enough to activate the glutes.
  • Side leg lift, standing with minimal movement...just enough to activate the glute medius.
  • Sidestepping.
  • Walking up and down stairs, alternating feet.
  • Seated leg extension.
  • Seated leg extension with quad lift.
  • Seated leg extension with slight abduction.
  • Bridges.
  • Clams.
  • I walk a lot.
I have my 6-week post-operative check-up with my surgeon this coming Thursday. There, he will determine which restrictions to continue or impose or remove. I started driving last week...that was a big change! I was cleared for "a little" driving which turned into a lot...as in my normal amount. My leg isn't happy with that :( I need to pull back, but my husband was nearing a breaking point with driving duty. Hopefully, this week will be a lighter load for me.

I'm so very lucky and deeply appreciative to have such a supportive group of online and RL friends. Many thanks to all of you for your well-wishes and advice :)


12 April 2014

A runner with a walker...the road after hip replacement.




I'm now the proud possessor of an artificial hip. And a walker.

And, let me tell you, recovery is a bitch.


My surgery happened on April Fools Day. It started at 5 pm and was a wrap by 6:15. It went seamlessly and flawlessly, and the surgical team was very happy. Yay! I walked the next day with my walker, and I went home three days later.

The time leading up to the event was NOT spent getting in great shape as I had hoped and mentioned in my last post a million years ago. Turned out that working out in pretty much any way caused me great pain...and I was just soooooo sick of being in pain. So I bagged it. I went into surgery out of shape and overweight. #winning

The best part of having surgery late in the day? You basically fast for 24 hours! Starting off my weight-loss journey ;-)

So the surgery happened. The pain came. It was horrible, but not as horrible as being massively and concretely constipated. Turns out pain killers do that, and the only way to get unconstipated is to stop the pain killers. So guess what? I'm not taking pain killers! Wheeeeeeee! Sometimes I almost get high from the pain. Sort of. I'm lying. It really hurts and there is no euphoria attached to it.

The pain is in my right thigh.

The joint feels fine.

Apparently, during the surgery they slice into your TFL and then split the muscle fibers and then retract the split muscle with metal retractors. And then they retract your quads with metal retractors. All so they can see the joint capsule, which they then slice open. Once they've sawed the femoral head off, they drop the leg down perpendicular to the rest of the body using a special table. This pops the femur up and out a little so they can drill down into in more efficiently and with greater visibility.

Are you cringing yet? I'll stop. But if you click the first link in this post it leads you to a post that has a link (you following me?) to an actual video of a hip replacement surgery...should you wish to make yourself totally skeeved out. Or educated. For me, it was both.

What this means is that my quad is ON FIRE. And weak.

Physical therapy is so humbling.

Every simple exercise causes leg shake. I have 10 exercises and a couple of "practical" things that I do at least three times a day. My PT says that I would progress faster if I were taking pain meds :( I'm going to test the waters with acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and I'll be icing after every session. Yesterday she had me go up and down our big flight of stairs (now one of my "practical" things to practice) and our goal is to have me off the walker and using the cane by the middle of next week. Graduating up to my friend, the cane :)

Most of the time I'm in good spirits. It's been challenging sometimes because I really just want to be alone. Or have people baby me. But my kids are on Spring Break (I know, I know! They are NEVER in school!) and they are still perfecting their "helpful" skills and because I can't drive them anywhere, they are ALWAYS here. (Go ahead...ask me how many times I've seen Frozen since my surgery. Go ahead...ask.)

People who've been down this road tell me that by six weeks out, you hardly even know you had the surgery...other than the fact that you don't hurt anymore :)

Others say that you shouldn't really plan on being "normal" for at least six months.

And then there's the guy who just ran a 100-mile ultra just shy of 11 months post-surgery. He finished in about 28 hours. That won't be me. Sorry not sorry. 

Will I ever run again? I don't know. I know that I want to. At least a little bit. But I have a lot of work to do before I'll feel comfortable tackling that. For now I'll be working on getting out of bed without using my hands to lift my leg up and over ...and graduating from the walker ;-)

Happy spring, people! Never ever ever take your mobility for granted :) Ever.

I've been posting a lot of this....ummmm....journey on Instagram. Feel free to click on over and follow me there.

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