Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ahhhhh physical therapy

So I went to see Sharon today and confessed my sins. She was marvelous and did some trigger point release work on my hip. It helped tremendously!! In fact, Sharon was quite easy on me and said that I really didn't do anything all that bad. I definitely tightened up some muscles unnecessarily and she lectured me a bit on the downside to doing that. All things that I already knew but it was good to hear it from her. I am back on the straight and narrow tonite. I learned my lesson . .. that doesn't mean that I won't have to learn it again but for now, I am good and am committed to not doing more stupid stuff anytime soon.

I upped weights today on the leg press. Yippeee!!! I love to watch the muscles flex in my quads when I push the weights out. It thrills me! More hip machine and single leg lunges. Then I came home and did core work. Tomorrow will be a killer workout at NIFS and I am thinking that I will be ready for it. Again . . back on the straight and narrow. Even with the sore, overtaxed muscles from this weekend, I still have no hip pain and feel remarkably good.

I have just about a month before I see Dr. Philippon for my 3 month check. I absolutely cannot believe it's been 9 weeks already. I would say time flies when you are having fun but some of it wasn't so fun. What has been fun though is having no pain and getting strong again.

The other thing I will say is that I absolutely did the right thing in staying in CO for 6 weeks of therapy but I also feel very lucky to have found Sharon here. I have gotten stronger since I started working with her and she continues to challenge me. I will be sad when I have to stop seeing her too. I found out today that she lives pretty close to me and owns a canoe. It will be my personal challenge to get her on the reservoir with me before the season is over. :-)

Even though I was a bit sad to leave Colorado I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying spending my summer hanging out with my friends. Thursday night I am off to see The Fray with girlfriends and am looking forward to it. . . especially since Friday is a non-work day. My sister comes home from Germany next week and then will be here to spend most, if not all, of the month of July with me. I am looking forward to hanging out with her too!!

Here's to 2009, summer and turning 50. Woohooo!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ok . . . I'm not 100% yet

I overdid it yesterday. I don't know why I have to do it but I do. So, 45 minutes of biking as hard as I could and 4 solid hours of kayaking wasn't enough so I had to hop back on my bike and ride some hills. It was too much. I don't think there is any permanent damage, of course, but I am stiff and tender today and thoroughly disgusted with myself. I was doing great . . .no pain, little stiffness and certainly no tenderness and then I had to push it. I had surgery 9 weeks ago . . why can't I get that through my head? I see my pt tomorrow and am planning to confess my sins to her to see what she can do to fix me. That's the way I do things . . . I do things that I am told not to and then expect someone else to make it go away. :-)

Ok, so I am good but not perfect yet but it still feels darn good to say that I biked, kayaked and biked again. It has been years since I have been able to do that so the mere fact that I can do it and then complain about it is pretty amazing.

I had dinner with some amazing friends tonite. I am constantly thankful and a bit overwhelmed by my friends. They are supportive, caring and make me laugh more than one person should probably laugh in one evening.

So tonite I am reflecting on my life, where I have been, where I am and where I intend to go. And, the bottom line -- I still feel like I am one of the luckiest girls in the whole world!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Life is Good!!

So, we were notified yesterday that we made the final cut!! We are hosting a site visit at our home office on July 10. I was told that it will be Relationship Manager versus Relationship Manager . . . bring it on!! Are you kidding me . . after all I have been through in the past 8 weeks I can certainly face down another relationship manager with a competitor. And, add to that, I have the best team in the industry with me. We will be hard to beat!

Ok, so the hip -- if I haven't said it lately -- I love Dr. Philippon, Lindsay and Laurie . . not in the weird stalker way . . but in the . . you gave me my life back way. I saw my Indy pt yesterday. She has again amped up my exercises -- i am now using 135 lbs on the leg press, doing one leg lunges with my knee all the way to the floor and spending 3 grueling sets on the hip machine. My legs are shaky when I leave but I am strong, strong. No hip pain whatsoever. The tightness is really starting to abate . . even when I sit too long and first stand up, it is easier to unstiffen (is that a word). I know I wanted all of this within 2 weeks of surgery (ha!) but it seems to be coming blazingly fast now. And, the absolute best part --- NO PAIN! not a twinge, not a shooting pain, not an inkling of how my life used to be. The great staff at Howard Head checks in with me periodically to see how things are going. That feels so good since I really feel like they are part of my family now. I still miss them and look forward to seeing them again at the end of July. I hope I am in rockin shape by then so they will be proud of what they put in motion.

So, today is a killer workout at NIFS and since it is sunny and beautiful here how can I resist throwing my kayak on the water for a few hours. If you can't tell, I am loving my life right now!! The only down side -- work is crazy and I spent my Friday night working instead of playing. :-( It's temporary and since I love what I do, it doesn't feel that bad. And, since you all know that I am a tiny bit competitive, being up against another RM will certainly get my adrenaline jumping. Not as much as jumping out of a plane but it will do for now until I can get back to that.

Happy Saturday! I am off to refine these lovely new muscles!! Here's to turning 50 in possibly the best shape of my life.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Putting my hip to the test

I am sitting in the airport in Omaha, NE after doing a finalist presentation today. First of all, the presentation was beautiful!! I can't say enough good things about the people I work with . .. they are simply the best! Keeping our fingers crossed that we made a big impression and will be selected for a site visit next month.

So, my hip got to experience sitting in a small, cramped airplane seat, walking through O'Hare and changing terminals and up and down during a finalist presentation. I am pleased to report that I am well on the road to recovery. I am still stiff if I sit too long but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I have become a work out freak and took an hour last night to go work out before dinner. It definitely makes a huge difference in how my hip feels so I can't miss. I also have to say that I love the result of all the working out that I have been doing. I bought a new black suit to wear today and received comments from my team on how thin I am now. Yipppeee!!!

I don't get home until 1 am tonite and see my new pt tomorrow morning. I am anxious to see her and get my butt kicked as well as get stretched a bit. This Thursday will be 9 weeks for me. One more week and I can up my bike riding and get back to rowing. Amazing!!

I feel like I have a whole new lease on life . . . absolutely no pain and my muscles are all trained now on how to act so it's just a matter of continuing to build them. I feel like I will be pretty strong when I go back to see Dr. Philippon at the end of July. Can't wait to actually do some hiking and enjoying Vail this time.

Thanks to everyone who has read my blog and left comments and best of luck on your own surgeries and recovery!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It just gets better and better!

So, I bought a kayak and I am thrilled!! I love it and it's exactly what I needed to reward myself for all of my hard work over the last couple of months. Thank you Rusted Moon in Broad Ripple for all of your help! I spent the day at Eagle Creek Reservoir on Saturday and love it even more than I did when I paddled it before I bought it. The only bad thing is that sitting in a kayak requires externally rotating your hips and hooking your knees up under the cockpit. My left hip complained loudly after I got out so I will have to be careful of the amount of time that I am paddling for awhile. That's ok though. I am living my life again and it feels awesome!!

Have also worked up my bike time, gears and surface so I am no more riding like a grandma. :-) I went out for a nice ride tonite and was pleased with my strength and endurance. I haven't worked up to riding through the park yet on all the hills but hope to be there by the end of summer or early fall.

Continue to LOVE my new physical therapist. She asked what I wanted from her and I told her that I wanted my butt kicked every time I was in there. She is making good on her end of that bargain. She changed up more exercises last week and I can definitely feel the results. Again . . muscles in places that I really didn't know I have muscles.

And, I have gone back to my personal trainer to work on upper body and core strengthening. I am looking forward to being back in shape and on a maintenance regimen instead of a weight loss and muscle building regimen.

This hip surgery may have been the best thing that has happened to me in awhile. I am in better shape than I have been in for a long time and I feel great. That doesn't say anything about the fact that I have absolutely no hip pain in either hip anymore. . . . hallelujah!!

My life has returned to normal . . whatever normal actually is. Work is crazy (just the way I like it) and I did 4 hours of yard work today. I am flying out this week to do a finalist presentation and am pumped about that. Did I tell you I love competition?? :-)

Life is good!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New physical therapist

Yesterday I had my first appointment with a physical therapist here in Indy. I was nervous and slightly apprehensive because I didn't think that anyone could really compare with Lindsay and Laurie. I can also be really picky about people. Ugh!! I am very happy and pleased to say that my new PT is AWESOME!! She totally gets it, is a stickler for details and is excited to learn about my surgery and what was done to get me where I am right now.

I am also pleased to report that she did some strength and flexibility assessment and thinks that I am pretty strong. Yipppeeee!!! I thought so too but it is really nice when a professional confirms it. She changed up some of the exercises that Lindsay sent me home with . . . definitely made them harder . . . and promises that I will be really strong when I go back to Colorado to see Dr. Philippon the end of July. I am seeing her twice a week for several weeks and then once a week since I am good about working out on my own.

My hip feels really good. Still some stiffness when I sit too long at work but otherwise I feel better than I have felt in a long, long time. No hip pain whatsoever, my adductor issue has finally calmed down and all of the muscles that need to be working are actually working. It's fabulous. And, I have to say, in the big scheme of things, this has happened really really fast. Tomorrow will be 8 weeks from surgery (seems like yesterday and years ago at the same time). My new pt was definitely impressed at my fitness level being 7 1/2 weeks out from surgery. I know I owe it all to the incredible staff at Howard Head. When I had my right hip done 6 years ago, I was still walking with a cane at my 6 week check up with Dr. Philippon. This time has been so different. I didn't lose nearly as much muscle after surgery and it has helped me in the recovery so much I can't even explain.

The other funny story from yesterday -- she asked me to lie on my stomach and lift my leg, one at a time, straight up. Of course, I have been well trained by Lindsay and Laurie to fire my glute first to lift my leg which is exactly what I did. She sort of half screamed that most people don't do that and she was giddy that I did it correctly. I, of course, had to explain that I have been trained like a Labrador Retriever for the past 8 weeks by Lindsay and Laurie. :-) She and I are going to get along fine.

So, here's to buns and abs of steel. Woohooo!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week 7

And I am officially approved to start riding my road bike. Yippeee!!! I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. So, on the day of week 7, I got on my road bike and rode for my prescribed 15 minutes on a flat surface in low gear. It was mildly satisfying. It would have been exhilarating if I could have ridden flat out for as long as the rain held off but I was warned by Lindsay and felt it best to follow her advice. That being said, I had no pain and it felt darn good to be out on my bike again. Apparently there's a little (ok a lot) work to be done on the quad muscles but I know they will come right back with some coaxing.

So, week 7 . . . the exercises that I left Vail with have become a little easier which tells me that I must be doing something right and I continue to see improvement in my muscle tone. Still a ways to go but it is definitely improving. I finally see my new physical therapist on Tuesday and am looking forward to having her work on range of motion as I just can't seem to do everything myself.

I am struggling a bit at work in sitting too long at a time. I stand up and realize that my hip is so stiff that I can barely walk. It's almost like I need to set a timer for myself to remind me to get up and move.

I can't row yet so am buying a new kayak so I can get on the water. I am not allowed to row until week 10 . . . 3 more weeks will kill me so I am doing the next best thing.

I continue to feel better and better! No hip pain, I am stronger and I am thrilled with the results of everything and look forward to my progress each and every day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Time flies when you are having fun

So it's Sunday evening and I am headed back to work tomorrow. Seems it was just April 17 and I was having a total meltdown over leaving for 7 weeks. All the things that seemed so important then have been long forgotten . . . I shaved my own legs and polished my own toenails. My grass got mowed, my mail got picked up and sent on to me and I was able to pay all of my bills thanks to the miracle of online banking. It all worked; actually, it worked perfectly.

The hip -- again me making mountains out of molehills -- I just knew that I would be lost without Lindsay and Laurie but I seem to have managed ok. Lindsay gave me a list of exercises and I have dutifully followed them to a "t". I can't ride my bike until week 7 (Thursday) and it was beautiful this weekend and it almost killed me not to . . .but I didn't. I know better. I have seen what happens when someone decides not to follow their best advice. I will wait until next weekend and then I will ride with a huge smile on my face and people will wonder what I am up to.

I saw Kathy on Saturday and she did stretching and range of motion with me. It helped tremendously. She also beat my very stubborn adductor into submission so I felt really good this weekend. I plan to see her a couple more times before I see my new physical therapist on June 16. I am hoping that will keep me on track. I am also scheduling a standing weekly appointment with my personal trainer so she can continue to push me too. I swear I will be in great shape at 50 if it kills me. :-)

I still miss the mountains. I would be severely bummed if I didn't have another trip already planned out there at the end of July. I have completely adjusted back to life in Indy but I long for the mountains.

It's still sinking in that I have TWO good hips now. My left hip is completely pain free . . I just need to get all of the muscles in line but I know that will come with time and effort. I make some progress every single day now and I haven't had a bad day in awhile. Very encouraging!!

So, now my focus becomes what I am going to do and where I am going to go. The possibilities are endless!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Home again

Shouldn't I be thrilled to be home? Just 7 weeks ago, I was freaking out about leaving here for 7 weeks so it seems I should be ecstatic to be back here . . . but I'm not.

First of all, I am having some hip tightness and I just know that I am missing my range of motion exercises that Lindsay and Laurie used to do. Am I doing too much or not enough? I don't know. Ugh!!

Second, where are the mountains? Seeing mountains every single day was more therapeutic than I can explain. I loved the blue of the sky, the warm days even though it was only in the 60's and the dry mountain air.

Third, why did I pack so much stuff to take with me. It seemed like I would need it all but now that I have it all back home, I have to unpack it and put it away. I took way too much stuff. And then there is the issue of walking around doing all this stuff . . .is that too much for my hip? Will I inflame something that I shouldn't and regret it for days? Will I be making the 911 phone call to Howard Head? :-)

Fourth, I have told you that I am a pressure player . . . I work exceptionally well under pressure. Well, the pressure is off . .. I made this happen. It took me months and months of planning but it all worked and it worked perfectly. I am home now and the pressure of making this work is off except for on-going physical therapy and working out . . which seems minuscule compared to what I have just been through. I feel a little lost.

I have made an appointment with a physical therapist but I can't get in until June 15 because she is on vacation. I am on my own until then and am feeling like the bottom has dropped out of my therapy right now. I know it's because I had Lindsay and Laurie and saw them every day and I know that everything will be fine because I can do lots of things on my own but it still leaves me a little shaky. I am off to NIFS today and tomorrow and hopefully that will give me a boost of confidence as I do much of this myself.

I am back to work on Monday and am looking forward to seeing everyone there. Being back in a work routine will help me assimilate back into a "normal" life so that will be good.

I will continue to update my blog with my progress and my experience with physical therapy here versus Vail for all of those who are fellow hip patients and are curious about my experience.

Back Home Again in Indiana!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Follow-up with Dr. Philippon

I saw Dr. Philippon on Monday for my almost 6 weeks check. And here's the benefit of staying in Vail for as long as possible and working with the fabulous physical therapists at Howard Head -- he was very pleased with my progress. In fact, thinks that I might be a little further along than what he anticipated. We discussed the difference between my hip surgery 6 years ago and this one . . . recovery has been night and day. I know I have joked about Lindsay and Laurie and the things they have made me do but the result at 6 weeks has been so worth it!! At my last hip surgery, I was still walking with a cane at my 6 weeks check-up. Now, I am walking for an hour with no issue and my hip feels strong and stable. I am back to see Dr. Philippon at the end of July but for now he is pleased with both hips so I am free to continue with my pt in Indianapolis.

So, I have a pt protocol with me and have made an appointment with a physical therapist in Indy and am ready to move on .. . . .not really but I don't have a choice. :-) I think I really would be in the best shape of my life if I simply moved to Vail or somewhere nearby and did all of my physical therapy with them. As of now, I am left to my own devices with the exercises. Lindsay was always chastising me for trying to cheat . . . roll a hip up or hold onto the table to make it easier. Who is going to stop me from that for the next couple of weeks? I may indeed undo all of her good, hard work. :-)

I also learned a lesson the hard way about overdoing things. I tried to do too much and am suffering from some awful tightness and pain. Ok, got it. Just enough . . not too much.

So, armed with everything that I have learned over the past 6 weeks and my binder full of notes and pictures I leave Vail for the journey back home.