A day of milestones…

Today marked 10 days since my second THR (anterior…left this time). I graduated from the walker to the cane. And I got my bandage off. This scar is 2 cm longer than the right side…which is such a bummer because I was really hoping they’d be matching ๐Ÿ™

hipscar2016

I washed my hair for the first time since surgery. I can now go up and down the stairs with just a light hold on the railing. It’s been a full week without pain meds…which translates into a full week of crapping every day. #winning

 

So…yeah…milestones ๐Ÿ™‚

 

What I love the most about this website is not so much that it promotes or condones or celebrates running post THR, it’s more about the determination to not just take a bum hip lying down. Whether we run or not after surgery, we are all not going to be content to sit still, to take “no” for an answer, to be afraid.

 

I am so appreciative of this site. I am brimming with gratitude that I have a place to visit where there are folks going for the gusto more than I! I doubt that I’ll run again (anything more than chasing after my kids or escaping from an oncoming bus), but I’m enjoying doing so many other active things. I am enjoying LIFE!

 

So I’m here again. Post-op. Lurking in the shadows…seeing what sorts of inspiring things y’all are up to ๐Ÿ™‚

 

To those who have yet to get their new hip(s)…remember:

 

Milk of Magnesia is your FRIEND.

 

 

Round 2

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted here. A little refresher: I had my right THR, anterior approach on April Fools Day in 2014 when I was 50. I had been experiencing debilitating pain for roughly 14 years. I resisted surgery, was in utter denial for a year. What in the hell was I waiting for? Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and I needed to go through hell to be sure I was really, really, really ready. If you’re like I was…resisting, in denial, scared…LET. IT. GO. This surgery was the BEST decision I ever made. And this week I had the opportunity to learn from my own past experience….

 

Like most good stories with a twist, everything was going great. No, I wasn’t running, but a pain-free, active life was finally mine again. I was rowing and lifting starting at 6 months post-op. I walked a marathon at 13 months…and beat my 6-hour time goal. (But seriously, WHO SETS A TIME GOAL FOR WALKING A MARATHON????) My rowing was going great guns last summer. I got a coaching job last fall…my first job since 1999 (lots of kids). I was on Cloud 9, and I was strong.

 

Then something weird happened.

 

I had a detached retina…4 times. Four eye surgeries later and 7 months of not working out >>> weaker, heavier me. As soon as I was cleared for exercise, I stupidly hiked to the top of a (very small) mountain and came down very quickly. And….OUCH. Wow. How weird…my “good” hip hurt ๐Ÿ™ ย Thinking it was ย a soft-tissue issue, I rested. It didn’t improve. I started PT. Still hurt. Hmmmm…. So I went to get an x-ray because it kind of felt familiar in the way it was …uncomfortable. And guess what???

 

Yep.

 

Arthritis. Bone on bone. So fast.

 

My surgeon’s advice was to just bear it for as long as I could…nothing really to do but another replacement. Just let him know when I was ready. I cried and had a little tantrum. Then I remembered…”oh, right! they can fix this!” I emailed him the following:

 

I’m ready. Pain is no longer my jam. Let’s do this thing.

 

So there you have it. I’m in the process of scheduling my other side THR for late in the fall. I am so grateful to this site for so many reasons. You all are a font of wisdom, experience, and inspiration. Having posted back in 2014 about my post-op progress was invaluable in terms of getting me quickly comfortable with this decision. If I can handle 4 increasingly invasive eye surgeries in 6 months time, another THR is not so scary!

 

I’m hoping to pop in and out of the site a little more now that it is a front and center issue again ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Does that make me a foul-weather friend?

 

 

MRS’ one year post-op update

Another four months have passed since my last update in which I described running for the first time after my THR. Since that time I haven’t indulged in any further running, other than the occasional sprint across the street to avoid oncoming traffic or playing tag with my kids, but I did finally start training for my walking marathon. I found a 20-week training plan with a sub-6-hour time goal back in the fall when I entered the event. Then I promptly blew off the first 6 weeks…because who needs to train to walk? Um, yeah.

 

The Avenue of the Giants Marathon is fast approaching, like, this Sunday. While I’m definitely ready to take on the distance, I’m not so sure about hitting that initial time goal. I didn’t follow the training plan to the letter (once I finally started paying attention to it), but I did complete 2 hilly hikes that were half-marathon distance, 1 hilly hike of 17 miles, a timed 10-miler, and three crazy hilly hikes that were over 20 miles long. Just so you know, it takes all damn day to hike over 20 miles! Well, 5 hours anyway.

 

It has gone the same way with the walking as it ever did for me with running. By the time that third 20-miler rolls around, I am just OVER it and ready to move on. About 2/3 of the way through this hikeย I thought to myself (because I don’t use music or have any company because NO ONE really wants to briskly walk up and down a bunch of hilly cow pastures ALL DAY) “Soooooo…this kinda sucks. It’s not really all that fun. I’m bored out of my mind. Blahblahblah…” All that stuff you start thinking on those long ones when you’re tired and at the end of a training cycle. Then I reminded myself how goddamned LUCKY I was to be out there walking at all. Without a cane. Without a limp. Without pain. I reminded myself that the sun was shining and it was a glorious spring day and my kids were being cared for while I strolled through the beautiful hills of the San Francisco Bay Area with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge popping up every now and again. Even though I wanted a ride home somewhere around Mile 15 (impossible because there is no road access where I was hiking), I managed to finish more slowly than I would have liked but with a smile on my face.

 

As a part of my training, I did a weekly speed session, a weekly “hills” session, and a couple of short hikes. Thrice weekly strength training and 2 to 3 rows usually happened, too.

 

A couple of months ago, my other hip started acting cranky in a similar way to how the operated hip began its downward spiral. I’m guessing there’s a torn labrum. At my one year post-op appointment, I asked about this most recent set of x-rays. The doc went on and on about how GREAT the surgery and recovery look…just fantastic/perfect/amazing. “What about the other side?” I asked. Not so fantastic/perfect/amazing ๐Ÿ™ Not horrible, but there is a noticeable decline since the images from 2 years ago…more joint space narrowing. He did say that the cartilage is still there and there aren’t bone changes or spurs that he could see. “Live your life,” he said.

 

And so here I go, living my life. I’ll be walking through the incredible redwoods for about 6 hours this Sunday because I CAN.

 

As always, it’s awesome to follow those of you who are returning to running…and even those of you who aren’t. This is such a great site! Thanks so much, Tom, for creating it ๐Ÿ™‚

MRS โ€“ 9 months post-op report – I Ran

MRS first post-op run
I really need to work on relaxing my shoulders.

Every year between CIM and Christmas for the past four years, I’ve hosted a “race.” It’s at a local regional park and is billed as a one-third marathon at 8.almost4 miles. It’s called Jingle Bell Hell and was begun by my high school buddies back in the early 1990’s. The first year I hosted, I was able to run it. The second year, I mustered 5 miles before my hip crapped out. Last year, I simply sat there and passed out donuts. This year I ran…a quarter of a mile. It was my first run in almost two years and my first since my surgery last April. It was weird.

 

The first five or so steps felt easy. Then I totally peed because my had-a-bunch-of-kids-in-middle-age-and-no-longer-used-to-impact-sports body did not know WHAT to do. So there’s that. But…no pain.

 

I’m not too sure how much running I’m going to want to do. I started rowing again, and that really is my first love. I have it in my mind that I want to run a 5K 11 months from now (my friend hosts a sweet little Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving), but honestly, the peeing thing was super annoying. Maybe I just wasn’t expecting that to be a possibility! LOL Well, now I know!

 

I did enter a marathon with the intention of walking it. We’ll see how that plays out since I’ve blown off the first three weeks of training! The rowing has just been too fun to set aside ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I have noticed that with the rowing, my glutes and overall core have gotten tons stronger. I’m sure that is bound to benefit any running I decide to do. You all who are really tackling it with such gusto are so exciting to follow! Please keep sharing your journeys with us!

 

MRS – 6 months post-op

It’s been awhile and nothing earth-shattering has happened. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not going to try running until December at the earliest…so no running to report here.

I’ve been hiking a LOT. Well, I did over the summer…dragging my teenager with me. We got up to a little over 13 miles by mid-August and then school started. I’ve been struggling to get into a routine since then, but I know I’ll figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m managing between 2 and 4 workouts a week, it seems. Sometimes I’ll go outside and hike and other times I’ll elliptical and indoor rock climb and lift some paltry weights. I’m doing a fair amount of hip and glute strength exercises, but not as much as would really benefit me.

I have NO pain in my surgical leg. *knock on wood!* It is really AMAZING to me!!!! I am so so so glad that I did this operation. Life without that kind of pain is so freeing. Scar is healing wonderfully. Not limping either. But….I’ve been getting some piriformis crankiness in the other side. And some tenderness at the edge of the greater trochanter and a little whining from my ITB, also on the non-surg side. It usually happens if I hike really fast or long combined with a lot of driving time. Stretching, massage, and rest seems to fix it right up.

I have to confess to “running” a little. Sometimes on my hikes, the uphills just feel easier if I sort of jog a little here and there. And I do run from one end of the house to the other sometimes just because I can do it without it hurting. SO FUN. But that’s really it for now. It’s been great reading all of y’all’s updates!

MRS update…3 and a half months post op

Still not running but am hiking with my son a lot. I mentioned in my last post that we were doing a hilly 3-mile loop 3-4 times a week. We’ve upped the challenge a little every week. Last week we had a 4+ gentle, a 7+ total ballbuster hilly mess that included getting lost :), a 9+ over rolling hills and a 2X our old standby 3-mile hilly loop. It is pretty awesome to be able to WALK without pain ๐Ÿ™‚

And I rearranged our garage! I couldn’t have hefted the boxes hither and yon before my surgery. It’s pretty cool to be able to find stuff in there now ๐Ÿ™‚

Once my kids are back to school I’m hoping to do more strength work in an attempt to run again around Christmas-ish. But I’ve got to say, NO pain and NO limp is working for me just fine right now ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope all you hiprunners are enjoying yourselves and finding peace and patience in the midst of the tedium of healing.

MRS update โ€“ 12 weeks/3 months

Not a whole lot to report. While I was pretty adamant about returning to running as soon as I could when I began contemplating getting my hip fixed, I’m now pretty ambivalent about anything other than living a FUN life with NO PAIN. Running was never my “way of life.” I did that with rowing for years and years but not running. It was definitely an enhancement and I LOVE it, but at the moment I’m feeling pretty “ehhhh” about it. Part of the ambivalence probably has to to with having a lot of kids and it being summer vacation!

I’m still doing my basic PT exercises but not as religiously as I should. I had all these plans to really bust into working out, but simply spending pain-free time with my family for the first time in 14 years pleasantly derailed those plans. Three or four times a week I go hiking with my 14-year old. We do a 3-mile hilly trail loop for now.* He’s pretty much a book-devouring, videogame-playing couch potato. This will be his (and my) Summer of Fitness. Once the younger kids are in camp starting in July, we’ll start lengthening the hikes and adding in some biking and perhaps some gym-going. By the end of August, I’m hoping we will have worked up to being able to successfully hike a double Dipsea (about 14 miles, I think).

I think I’ll be ready to resume some sort of “training” regimen once school starts up again. For now… I have no pain. No arthritic soreness. I do not limp ๐Ÿ™‚ My scar is no longer raised, but it is kind of purple. I still have a huge numb area on my upper outer thigh…it’s the only thing that feels really weird. Sometimes it tingles and kind of burns. Like, right now.

I am just so excited to not be in constant pain. I realize now what a drain it was on my energy, my body, my family, my LIFE. I went camping last weekend and was able to carry stuff! And carry my 5-year old when she got tired! 12 hours of driving roundtrip and no soreness or discomfort other than what “normal” person would experience.

I’ll stick around here because I do want to run again. I’m giving it time. I’m thinking that for me, nine to twelve months post op before really giving it a whirl. Best of everything to everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

* so, yes, I have done a bit of what might be interpreted as jogging while on these hikes. Just for 10-20 steps max. It doesn’t hurt at all but does feel super weird. Like I’m a robot or something. And it’s scary.

MRS – 6-week post-op follow-up

Extra points for using three hyphenated words in a row, please ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night I saw my surgeon for the first time since I was discharged from the hospital. It has been 6+ weeks!!!! Woo hoo!
scar6wks1
He was very happy with how well the incision has healed and how I’m recovering in general. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE my surgeon? And not just because he compliments me. Even though he is not a pro-running guy, he is seriously the coolest.

Restrictions have been lifted…entirely. After we talked for about 20 minutes about how I’ve been approaching recovery, mentally and physically, he felt that I am attuned enough with my body to remove all restrictions provided that I continue my diligent-yet-not-overzealous trajectory. He knows I want to run at some point though he’s cautioned me strongly (but not vehemently) against it. His words are very compelling. He talked about how even though the devices they use are AMAZING it’s more a matter of how an individual’s body responds and reacts to the inevitable byproducts of device wear and tear. That seemed to be his primary concern. But…. I still want to do it. At least a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

So…no pain and no restrictions. I guess that means…

NO EXCUSES!

lol

Time to start moving my body in a myriad of ways that heretofore hurt like hell but don’t anymore ๐Ÿ™‚

As to when I might give running a shot, I’ve decided that I really need to get my right and left side a heck of a lot more balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. 14 years of degradation has really done a number on my right side quads and glutes in particular it seems. I figure if I’m able to consistently address this for the next 6+ mos, I’ll be ready to give it a go. We’ll see how it plays out. Right now I’m digging feeling GOOD!

At the moment, I’m walking about 2 miles a day, give or take, still taking the cane along for when I get tired (that’s when the limp becomes noticeable). Still doing my exercises 2-3x/day. No pain meds at all. After Sarah’s post I’m getting ready to dig my erg out of the messy garage and give that a whirl. Next week I’m going to start going to the gym again, too. Good times!

MRS update 3 weeks

Three weeks ago yesterday I had my hip replaced. Thanks, all of you, for helping me keep the faith ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what’s going on:

โ€“ditched the walker in favor of the cane about 5 days ago.
โ€“today I’ve been walking around the house without the cane a bit…and NOT limping, but I still fare better and more consistently with the cane.
โ€“walked about a mile (roundtrip) from my house to a local park and back this morning, which was about 50x farther than I’ve walked so far. It was probably a bit much but I did have my trusty cane and there were benches all along the way in case I needed or wanted to rest…I didn’t.
โ€“diligently doing my PT exercises 3+ times a day. They are definitely getting easier ๐Ÿ™‚
โ€“went for a ride in the car for the first time since coming home from the hospital. I didn’t drive. My surgical leg is my right. They don’t want me to drive for at least another week even though, according to the PT, I’m doing GREAT.
โ€“almost pain-free. My hip joint doesn’t hurt at all but the muscles and the bone and the nerve are all still questioning this move…I know they’ll get used to it. Their complaints grow fewer and quieter every single day.
โ€“read the first two books in the Game of Thrones series…in the past week. Boredom has definitely set in for me to be reading like this! The books aren’t boring at all…I’m just itching to DO stuff. The best way for me to shut that off is to become engrossed in something…like 5000 pages of fantasy fiction.
โ€“my husband is soooooo ready for this phase to be DONE. He’s doing all the school pick ups and drop offs and all the shuttling to soccer and music lessons, etc. in addition to running his business.

I’m looking forward to the day I can get wholly back into the game of Life. In the meantime…party on, dudes…and be excellent to each other.

MRS โ€“ 2 week post-op update

Can I just say that I can’t wait for Spring Break to end? My 4 kids have been on Spring Break since I got home from the hospital, and their caregiver skills are decidedly in need of serious work. No matter how many times I repeat it, they are not clueing in to the fact that constant, loud bickering is not conducive to healing. Oh, how I long to do my PT exercises and ice and walk in PEACE! LOL

Here’s what’s going on physically…

I got my bandage off at 10 days post-op. It looks like Tom’s did at 2 weeks but with more purple pen all over it. I have only taken the hydrocodone once this week because it criminally constipated me. OMG. Criminally. And I tried everything.

The PT is going great. After my therapist suggested that I might progress faster if I were to take the pain meds again, I tried it on Saturday. Sure, I performed like a champ but my BP was super low and I got really dizzy AND I strained my iliopsoas. And, of course, I had no need for indoor plumbing. I started taking Advil on an as needed basis even though people tell me that it works best when you keep a steady stream of it entering your body. In terms of pain, I’m doing okay. It gets achy and sore after I do my exercises and if I’ve been wandering the house for awhile. No more Thigh of Fire! Yay! There is the weird cutaneous numbness below and lateral to the incision, though.

I have not been cleared for the extensive walking many of you at roughly the same stage have. While I’m kind of envious, I also know how freaking tired I get from just walking the loop from my bedroom to the kitchen to the front door and back a whole lot of times a day.

My only restrictions are: no rear extension of the leg, no external rotation, and no crossing the midline or legs. I still use the walker though am now transitioning to the cane. I never needed the booster seat on the toilet (of course, I have hardly needed the toilet…sadly). I never used a grabber (I guess the kids have been good for something!). I was never directed to use compression hose but still had them left over from pregnancy and from distance relays so self-prescribed them for a few days during the really insane swelling period that seems to be over. I was self-injecting Lovenox (blood thinner) for 10 days but today transitioned to aspirin…yay!

Bottom line: Pain levels are way way down. Stamina really sucks ๐Ÿ™‚ Boredom factor is starting to run pretty high!

And after reading the post about the ElliptiGO, I am super intrigued!

I return for my post-op exam with my surgeon in mid-May. That seems so far away. Shutting down my whine-fest for the night ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope all you Hiprunners are doing GREAT!