1 Year Post-Op Update / Hey new hippies ~ You’ve got this !!

My new hip turned one year old last month. Happy Late Birthday New Hip!

Last year around this time I was well on my way towards recovery. Still very tender, fragile and new I was determined to fight to reclaim my life.

Fast forward a year. I’m not in pain. Seriously, this cant be overstated. My breaking point to accepting I needed a THR was when my first waking thought was: I’m f#cked. Great news: THR will resolve your pain.

Again: No Pain.

Life is 1 million % better and none of the incredible fears I was obsessed with came true.

Pre Surgery I was 100% miserable 100% of the time.

Today: Happy.

I was told by some I would have to settle for a sedentary life, not true.

Humble Brag /Quick Highlights of Year 1:

Run & Play with my Children: A LOT.

I can work at a high level again.

Swam the 4.4 mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim.

Ran a Sub 6 mile.

Lift & Train Cardio Bootcamp Classes: A LOT.

Got down to under 10% b/f – I put on a lot of weight the year before surgery.

Ran 4 miles last night Sub 8 pace. Fairly easily. No pain.

Signed up to do a 1/2 Marathon next month.

I share these things not to brag but to highlight that YOU can do ANYTHING.

I was told (by some) I would never do any of the things above again.

Special thanks to Tom for starting this and to all of you Hip Runners for sharing your stories. This was the first place I saw hope when I desperately needed it.  I got to see people reclaiming their active lives after Total Hip Replacement. THANK YOU ALL !!

4 miles  7:55 ~ 1 year post op

Hope is a very powerful thing.

Don’t let Fear win.  YOU GOT THIS !!!

Happy Birthday Hip.

 

10 Month Post Op Update – NO FEAR

Hippies,

I was inspired to post when I read someone sharing about being afraid.

My THR was 10/2/16 and I was TERRIFIED. Totally stuck and consumed with fear of the unknown and what felt like a death sentence of a doctor prescribed sedentary lifestyle and the end of my youth.

I was thrilled to find this site before my surgery and get a glimpse of hope.

The reality is 10 months in i’m probably in the best shape of my life.

I got focused on health and started to regain the things I thought were lost.

I was in constant pain, consumed with fear and basically hopeless about the future.

In the last few months I swam a 4.2 mile open water race, ran a 6:05 mile, and jumped tall buildings in a single bound… maybe not buildings but some tall boxes.

The black cloud of fear is gone.

Its hard to tell anyone not to be afraid, but speaking from experience….  Don’t be afraid.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

You’ve got this !

7 Months Post Op – Time takes Time

Quick check in fellow Hippies.

In the past 7 months, I’ve regained almost everything I feared losing and more. I’ve been incredibly focused and disciplined, however there are good days and bad. I really only mention this because I can forget it was only last October I had my hip replaced. The last few weeks have been challenging, with nerve / joint / soft tissue pain. It’s easy to let my mind get the best of me and jump to conclusions.  With the amount of rehab and training I’ve done its not a large leap from leg pain to ” OH SHIT – REVISION ” fear. Fortunately, my surgeon is very accommodating. I’ve seen him twice since he’s declared my hip totally healed.

This last visit he explained in much greater detail, about some of the nerves and soft tissue around the site. What I’m feeling is totally consistent with normal post surgical healing. The other discomfort will gradually dissipate, and its totally appropriate to take a few days off to rest. Rest and Advil.

Hardware is great. Soft tissue takes time.  My big swim race is in June, I have to remember to listen to my body.

Sometimes the answer is DO NOTHING.

Good news – Hip is healed. Next scheduled check in 24 months from now.

BOOM !

 

6 Months Post Op Update – Garmin is back

It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since my hip replacement. It’s also hard to believe how much my life has changed in that same period of time.

The incredible fear, pain, and hopelessness that were a black cloud over my life prior to surgery were left in the operating room with my old hip.

There are days I forget I had the surgery, and I can easily forget the darkness before it.

So much fear of the unknown. Fortunately, none of that is true today.

A friend recently asked me how long it took me to totally recover. I got the green light to start actively recovering at about two months and I haven’t looked back.

I was diagnosed with FAI/DJD/OA with the solution being THR after shaving a hour off my best half iron tri.  I refused the solution for a torturous year. During that time my Garmin old forerunner died. I refused to replace it, and made a mental note to never replace it because I didn’t think i’d ever run again, and if I did certainly not fast enough to care about the time.

6 months post op and that changed.

I’ve worked my ass off to get back into shape. Two a days for months, total diet / nutrition change, I swim A LOT.  I run occasionally ( as opposed to obsessively ) but my last run felt so good, I found myself pushing the pace to a point for a long enough distance that I was genuinely curious how fast / far I had gone. My guess sub 6 for about 3/4 of a mile – until I started to feel my hamstring go. ( I may have gotten a bit to happy during this run. ) None the less, when I got home that night the spies at Amazon notified me of a Flash sale on Garmin Forerunners – and now….. I’m back !

Still need to be smart and listen to my body but now I’ll be tracking my swim, bike, runs and maybe… God willing…. get a little F…. A….S…..T…EEEEEERRRRRRR!!!!!!

If you’re on the fence about surgery,  know there is a totally new you waiting on the other side.

You got this ! GET SOME !!

5 Months Post Op

The performance training coach at the Y asked me yesterday if I’m crazy. She is part of a long line of people who like to ask this question, which includes, my wife, parents, friends, and most people I know. The crazy question revolves around training intensity with my new hip.

Why are you doing box jumps ? Are you crazy ?

Why are you pushing so hard ? Are you crazy ?

My total hip replacement was Oct 3, 2016. The year prior to that was one filled with incredible pain, loss of mobility, depression, fear and hopelessness.  I got to the point where my first waking thought was doom. I believed I would never be able to do anything athletic again. I believed I was done, which was crazy.

Today I push myself because I can. If that means burning some time on the back end of the prosthesis, so be it.

I followed all of the post op protocols and was patient.

Today – I push myself because I can. I listen to my body. I feel absolutely grateful and blessed to have a new lease on life.

Living in pain is crazy.

Living life to the fullest is the sanest thing I’ve ever done.

GET SOME !!

 

 

4 Month update

One of things discussed during my pre-op consult was the possibility that I might forget that I ever had my hip replaced. I recall the timeline for this being somewhere around two years. Fortunately, four months in and I’m already having this experience.  I’m back to boot camp style HIT classes, treadmill running, swimming, biking, yoga and lifting. I’m back to feeling like myself. My energy level and stamina are back to normal.  I actually listen to my body now, I listen to pain. I let it guide me. I’m looking forward to adding some longer runs and eventually adding speed work. So far 2017 is off to a amazing start, I’m happy to be a hiprunner.

 

First Post Op 5K

I was convinced that 2016 would be the year I would qualify for Boston. In 2015 I had taken over an hour off my half iron distance tri. I was conversationally running in the mid 7’s. I was dialed in and focused, it was only a matter of time. I would finally achieve the elusive goal that I had previously toyed with but never really took seriously. The only mild issue was a nagging deep groin pull and pain that I couldn’t shake. At the time I incorrectly thought, this is just par for the course when you’re middle aged. No pain no gain.

I was able to deny the pain for awhile but during a 1/2 marathon BQ speed trial, I was forced to face the music. First 3 miles were right on pace but my hip radiated pain throughout my body with each stride. It was excruciating. I ended up hobbling to the finish line, but was never able to shake the pain.

I knew something was wrong but was in denial about the severity. The first x-ray and MRI conclusively showed FAI and DJD. It took the doctor 0 seconds to blurt out – I’m sorry to say but you need a hip replacement.

He must’ve been speaking Chinese, because I certainly didn’t accept his diagnosis. I spent most of the next year exhausting non surgical options and searching for better doctors who would surely find a different diagnosis and solution.  As I searched the pain increased and quality of life decreased.

In many ways the hip diagnosis felt like death. Fear and loss consumed me. I slowly accepted my running days were over and came to terms with the death of my youth. As unpalatable as having my femur amputated and hip replaced was, my first waking thoughts became: I’m in pain, the day is over. I usually had been awake for 15 seconds before this reality arrived.

Once the pain took over the only realistic solution became surgery.

Surgery was 10/3/2016.

I walked that day, climbed stairs the next.

I ditched the walker almost instantly and walked a lot.

As it became medically approved I appropriately added non impact cardio machines and lots of swimming.

This past Saturday I did not intend to run a 5K. I though I might push the kids in the stroller and cheer on my wife and sister. When I found myself at the start I was overcome with excitement and decided to just give it a shot and play it by ear. Running does not feel the the same, but it doesn’t hurt.

I pushed the girls at a 12+ min pace for the first mile. Slow and steady. My sister could see I was itching to go and graciously offered to push. I took off. Adrenaline surged with each person I passed. I settled into a pace, found my breath and it dawned on me – HOLY SHIT  – i’m running ! I became a sensory sponge, taking in the beautiful scenery of the park, feeling the crisp air in my lungs, and the glorious warm glow of the sun. Pearl Jam’s Alive came blaring through my brain, like it had been waiting for me to hit play. I chanted the mantra – GET SOME  – as I passed more people. I’m still alive. Then as quickly as it started it was over. My new hip PR and final time 29:56.

I couldn’t be happier or feel more complete.

The doctors will tell you that you cant run.

Most other will tell you that you shouldn’t.

Don’t believe them.

You can and you will, if you want too.

You are a HipRunner !! GET SOME !

First jog 3 months post op

I’ve trained almost every day since I got medical clearance to resume normal activities.  I’ve substituted swimming, biking  and low impact cardio machines  for running, hoping this would pave my way back. All traces of arthritis pain are gone, but I haven’t totally recalibrated to the new normal.  I have very little surgical numbness, range of motion is dramatically improved but there is still lingering low grade tingling and pulsing in what I believe is soft tissue. I’ve scheduled a appointment to re-confirm healing is complete and hardware is set. With all that in mind, and my surgeons strong bias not too, I was reluctantly given the green light to run, if I must.

I chose to start on a treadmill in a effort to minimize some of the impact. Through lots of roadwork walking I’ve discovered I prefer the feel of the road more then cushioning.   I’ve moved away from heavily cushioned Hoka’s, and landed on Newton’s. My balance, stride and gait have changed and less shoe  counter intuitively feels better.

I started to envision a 5k with 1/4 mile repeats at breakneck pace as I drove to the gym. I’m thankful I recognized the stupidity of this as I found the machine. Even still, I started too fast. I was high on adrenaline. After a few short strides I put the speed at 7 for a bit, then 8 and 9. It didn’t take long for my hip to tell me to lay off the throttle. I settled into a measured pace at 6 and stayed there with brief returns to 7 for the duration of a mile. I could’ve gone faster and further but I was able to connect with the truth. I haven’t run in over a year, heavier, had my hip replaced three months ago, and this wasn’t my crucible. Reluctantly, common sense won the day.

As I write this, I’m thankful I took it slow. My hip feels fine but the rest of my body feels the impact. All in all, I feel great. I did not expect to be back this quickly. I will slowly add more mileage and speed with a heavy emphasis on listening to my body.  2017 GET SOME !!

6 Weeks Post-Op Check Up

Today’s 6 week check up went great (Direct Anterior Approach). My next scheduled appointment is in 12 months. I’ve been given the green light to bike, swim and lift weights. Told to hold off  another 8-12 weeks before doing leg strength training or running.

Over the last six weeks I’ve walked a lot for PT. Started gradually but built up to walking 10 miles on Sunday. Muscle memory and flexibility seem to improve each day.

With today’s Dr approval I was finally able to test out the hip: 1000 yds swim, 30 min spin bike, 1/2 treadmill. No Arthritis pain and significant flexibility improvement. I was finally able to reconnect with something I thought might be gone forever.

I know it takes another month or so for the implant to fully heal into the bone.

What are your thought on stretching or yoga  six weeks in ? Too soon ?

 

 

 

 

 

Two week post op check up

For all the fear and terror I associated with THR, I’m glad to report thus far it was a paper tiger.

Surgery went great.

I was on my feet, using the walker hours after surgery.

The next day in hospital PT  suggested I give the stairs a shot and was able to handle that too.

I was given very strict instruction not to do anything strenuous that might interfere with the bone healing into implant, so for two weeks I focused on taking it easy.

Two week check up was told to forgo all physical therapy and concentrate on walking limp free. Again focusing on listening to my body and not overdoing it. Also told I could reintroduce very light weight lifting on machines for high reps, obviously nothing that might involve the hip.

Tuesday I walked with a cane for a mile and half.

Yesterday was able to do just under 4.

Prior to hip diagnosis my fitness goals included qualifying for Boston and completing a full iron distance tri.

I was terrified I would never be able to run again.

It’s been a little over two weeks and I know I will run again.

I might have to adjust my goals, but my pain is gone.

With no pain, hope blossoms and I can feel my competitive spirit return.

I’m told nothing strenuous for three months, and I will obey.

I’m looking for a 5k in January !