~1.5 Years Later, Feeling Good!

As of August this year it will have been two years post surgery. I am now running outdoors every week, using the elliptical at the gym on weekdays, and lifting weights! Waiting to hear back from Dr. Matta and team for their analysis of this latest x-ray. Radiologists said it looked great though! 🙂

February XRay

February XRay

PAO Hip Surgery > 1 Year and a Few Days

Well, I did it! It has taken six weeks in wheelchair, waiting six months to start running but I am officially over my one-year mark! I started running comfortably in June and have taken my sweet time re-learning the simplest of life’s motions. The body is an amazing device that so many can’t appreciate without perhaps having a temporary disability. Perhaps this is the part where I can try to stress importance of health, maybe even to tell you to appreciate your body and not take it for granted, but I won’t. All I can say is that I am the happiest walker/jogger/trail runner/yogie with the biggest cheesiest grin on my face! 😀

One Year Mark Progress: Excellent!

Upcoming Appointment: Soon, I am hoping to see Dr. Matta in December for a late one-year appointment. That will of course require a road trip or a flight to see him in Santa Monica, California.

Pain Level: Light. Soreness on the left hip but I suspect this is due to everyday exercise. I am now emphasizing the stretching component into my daily workout regimen.

Medication: Ibuprofen, Women’s 20’s multivitamins, green-tea fat burner, CLA, protein shakes, and espresso!

Activity: Heavy, trying not to be sedentary in my work-from-home job. It’s all too easy to forget to get up! I have been doing push-ups and running our neighborhood trail on my 20 min lunch!

Maintenance: Independent. I can do every single thing by myself! WOO! How awesome is That?!

My Theory: Wearing heels DOES make a woman feel sexy…! Hahaha, I just LOVE wearing heels again! Wearing flats for a year was awful. 😉

~42 Weeks and Running

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. I can say now that I WOULD do a PAO for my left hip if it needs it. At this time there are no symptomatic signs, no pain, and it’s pretty normal. It is a background thought in my head nowadays as I am ready to live life for a whole before going through the surgery and even more importantly, the healing time. Even now, my body feels different (in a great way) everyday. It’s like starting from scratch, teaching your hip to deal with the normal movements until it stops hurting. Walk, ice, rest. Repeat. Then run, ice the soreness, rest. Repeat.

The best thing you can do for your new bone regrowth is to be patient with it. I’m doing more and more yoga to rebuild coordination skills with each muscle group. Surprisingly, the muscle group I lost the most “communication” with was my feet/ankles. I was in my yoga class last night and was trying to rotate each foot in small circles. Uh, nope. Houston, we uh, %#^£>,…have a problem. I think the comm went to my toes?

I also had a hard time lifting my front leg and gliding it from front (toes out, standing forward) to back. Each midway point on my left there was a pop. I repeated this four times. No pain, but a pop. I don’t think I will do that again knowingly lol.

Well, point is I have work, Plenty of work carved out for me still. They say it gets dramatically better all the time within the first year. I’d have to agree! 🙂

Here is a recap of my latest hip development:
-Running 3-10min depending on pain threshold (comfort of pushing this boundary)
-lifting weights
-low fat diet/ low simple carbs
-No painkillers!

Ps. Being back at school at month three really pushed me to walk, and walk I did! It was incredibly SORE and I had to take lots of breaks on campus sitting down. Looking back, I’m glad I did, I feel much more normal now and don’t need breaks half as often. Good luck & stay patient (and don’t gain weight)!

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PAO Hip Surgery Essentials & Other Comforts

This may just be my most valuable post yet. As I had prepared for my own PAO Hip Surgery date, I kept referring to this list among other posts from Danielle, find her list here. My list is slightly adapted to meet my own situation and where I live, no doubt your list of items to purchase should too. But keep in mind your goal is to relax through this process, and let the bone heal itself naturally back into proper form. My list will start in order of importance, big helpers first! Buying lots of this stuff in advance helps to ensure your journey home is more smooth but much I also purchased the week of because I wasn’t aware. So I hope this list is helpful for the planners and last minutee’s!

1) Wheelchair! DO NOT rely only on a walker,…it strains the wrists, and another PAO Hip patient told me on this blog that you risk acquiring Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The exact model I bought off Amazon.com  was really nice, comfy for outings, scooting stuff/laundry around the house, and visits to the park for a change of scenery. I feel this is a great price too, find this wheelchair here. $139

2) Walker or a Commode (Toilet Seat). I used the walker since I lifted weights for a long period of time before my surgery, this helped lug my body rather easily and gently. I would recommend a Commode for the average person, it so much more easy to the job done. 😉 $100+

3) Shower Stool. Perhaps this should be #1 as hygiene should always just come first. I needed help getting onto my shower stool for the first five weeks. I used the walker and the inner bath wall bar to lower myself down and my fiancé would grab my legs and swivel them over with A LOT of pain. I hated this part of the day, getting in and out was so painful. I also bought my EZ2Care shower stool off of Amazon here. It’s basic, and there were times I wished it was a swivel/rotating seat. $20+

4) Handheld Shower Head (with hose). This too was a blessing we installed last minute before the surgery. Once you get on the shower stool, you feel so happy and independent for the duration of shower time. You can find one at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon here $30+

5) Crutches. They will have you purchase a pair of crutches and/or walker after you complete Physical Therapy in the hospital. These babies will get you up n down stairs and make for confidence building balancing. After insurance, mine came to $5. I only used these on the stairs of my apartment for the first six weeks, and used “man power” to push me in my wheelchair for everything else. I was also pretty terrified of falling or putting any weight accidently while using the crutches, and they were very hard to balance with on uneven pavement, so I preferred my wheelchair to be safe.

6) T.E.D. Kendall Compression Stockings (Anti-Embolism Stockings) Your leggies will never look so skinny after wearing these for a few weeks. These are essential to help prevent blood clotting whilst you are on blood thinner pills for the next 3+ weeks. I bought two extra pairs from Amazon.com here and had two from the hospital nurses, wash these every two days.  $20+

7) Gel Ice Packs (at least two, medium size). Ice in cube form or the longer lasting gel packs feel amazing on your sore hip for the first five weeks +. On the way home from CA to NV, we stopped at several gas stations to get ice cubes in a ziplock bag hehehe. It helps soothe the pain so much more! $10

8) Rubber Grip (Non Slip) ‘Yoga’ Socks’. I took Danielle’s advice and bought a three pack of pretty yoga socks here on Amazon.com. I also had bulky thermal socks with grips. The Hospital Socks they give you will do too, but just make sure they keep your feet very warm.  $15

9) Tray Table. I used this small foldable table as my main eating station. My wheelchair was easy to tuck under it and feel more comfortable while watching your favorite t.v. shows. I ended up borrowing one from my grandparents, but you can also find one here.

10) Pajamas and Loose-Fitting Sweatpants. These are your daily go-to’s. Yoga pants will most likely be too tight on your swollen operated side FYI. I often wore my fiancé’s Army shorts, pajamas, as I own too many typical girl items that are just not loose enough to remain comfortable with a big ice pack tucked on your side.

11) Grip n Grab Thing. I Didn’t have one but oh man, there were times I wished so much I had bought one! Once you drop something on the floor, you’re helplessly going to stare at it as if it will float up to you in the air. Find one on Amazon.com here $16

12) Vitamin E Lotion. Use this to help fade your scar once the Durabond glue is gone. I dab on Jason’s Natural Vitamin E Lotion nightly. Find it here.

13) Blog your experience. It helps someone or maybe many out there! It also works as therapy and a medium channel to share info/progress with family and friends!

Other convenience items are backpacks for outings, babywipes, facewipes, eye makeup remover wipes (or no make up), water thermos to stay hydrated, leg warmers on top of compression stockings, lots of pain killer medication per allotted time slots, Saltine crackers to help prevent nausea developing from pain medication, and…Netflix! 🙂

~Week 7: Walking Feels Like Freedom

Let me just say…I underestimated how I would be walking. Greatly. I was so sure that I had it down but then again, who can really walk perfect right off the bat? Bearing full weight without a supportive device (walker/crutches) was very new for me.  It was in the early morning, half awake (need coffee to be alive) and I stepped carefully on the right foot then hesitated on the left but kept one hand on the couch and the other on the nearest thing, the door frame. Left foot down- moderate pain. In the foot. Not in the hip, as I had thought it would.. So I keep taking these awkward steps, feeling oddly like a maimed duck. I used the walls until I realized they might get dirty, so then I used the walker without putting any weight on it. I kept at it for majority of the night, did laundry, made dinner, and then had to stop because it was the hip joint that was becoming a little too sore. But by the end of the eve, one thing Josh and I noticed is that my walk was pretty normal looking.

So far this morning, I feel a little wobbly but will most likely do better today (with some practice). The more I walk the more sure my steps are becoming. It feels GREAT being able to do everyday things, even if moving with extreme care slowly around the house. I have not attempted stairs yet, but will use a crutch to help me balance with the railing. Overall, walking is a great but strange experience. It feels so good to not use a wheelchair to scoot my coffee and breakfast plate to the table. 🙂

My next post will pertain to a list of Essential Items that worked for the major part of my healing process.

~Week 7: Cleared to Walk

August 29th, 2013

Oct 7th vs. Aug 29th, 2013 on the right, (Curved vs more clean cuts)

It has been a minute since I last updated this blog, but here I am finally, giving it a thorough update.

Latest (Wonderful) News: My 6 week Post-Op exam was last Monday, and it was all very very unexpectedly great news. My X-Rays look wonderful and I have been given clear ‘doctor’s orders’ to start half-weight bearing on crutches, and working my way up to full weight bearing by tomorrow. I wish someone had recorded my face, it was pure joy mixed with a ‘don’t joke with me Doc…’ reaction. Admittedly, I am a little scared to walk tomorrow, it just goes against the grain. I have been trying so hard not to put weight on it and now they tell me to go for it, no crutches! Also, they said stairs would be difficult. Other doctor’s orders included 8-12 weeks of physical therapy (2-3x a week) and hydrotherapy.

As of now, my operated leg is a little wonky and I am learning to trust my ability to coordinate a proper walking movement.. I have been crutching it around the house slowly adding weight to my left leg. You would be surprised as to how instinctive it is to not add weight to the operated leg after  seven weeks, when I have so successfully ‘conditioned’ myself to lift it up while crutching. So my major challenge has been both a focus on physical and cognitive re-training! It is really is hard to estimate just how much weight you are adding to the operated leg too. It feels strange and somehow ‘spiky’ when being stepped on, as if the blood is being pushed throughout the foot. The leg/foot was a purple-reddish hue but is now looking more normal as I progress with adding weight down.

With some of my downtime this weekend, I have been practicing put weight on the operated leg very slowly. Balance is key as is watching the leg for proper movement. You will literally be re-training your leg to walk normally, like a toddler learns to control gross motor skills.

Pain Level: Minimal, I literally have no pain with my daily activities. When pressed, it is sore and tender (scale/10: 2). This pain-level change happened at the 6-week mark!

Medication: None necessary.

Sleeping: Not well but that’s because I have a busy mind and I suspect it might be due to withdrawal to Norco (same as Vicodin).  Norco makes me sleep better so I am now going to deal with clearing that out of the way with Melatonin and maybe an ibuprofen. In the meantime, my two cats will be disturbed a little with A Lot of tossing and turning.

Progress:

  • Sleeping on my left (operated) side! It feels slightly sore so I have been rolling onto it for however long I can stand the smallest yet annoying amount of pain.
  • Bathing and dressing myself! Oh yea, feels good 🙂
  • Still can’t put on socks since I cant touch my left foot…and I’m pretty sure wearing one sock is worse in general.

 

photo 1

October 7th, 2013, notice how the bone has re-grown in a curve!