Monday, July 27, 2009

Update from Vail

It's been 12 weeks since surgery for me and I am back in Vail for my follow-up. I have been having some problems with my left adductor and I was confident that it would be solved or at least identified while I was here. I was correct, of course. The problem really is that I have an IT band that is so tight, you could almost play it like a guitar string. It's painful tight. This is causing my adductor to become prickly and the pain manifests itself in the adductor. Lindsay tried to resolve the tightness with a deep tissue massage and stretching. I thought I was going to cry. In fact, I am pretty sure that tears did come to my eyes and I might have said a bad word or two. Whew!! It was intense. The good news -- after she did some intensive stretching and massage, the adductor felt better.

I saw Dr. Philippon this morning and he confirmed the same. He felt my IT band and grimaced. Ok, it's really that bad. BUT he is very pleased with my progress and has given me a complete release to go live my life. WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! He also caveated it by telling me that I can't go out and do everything at full speed all at once (does he know me???). I have to work up to it but I have no restrictions. He was pleased and impressed at my strength scores (especially for a 50 year old) and said the IT band tightness and adductor issue is extremely common at this point in my recovery. I am quite pleased with myself today.

I have stretching exercises to do along with strict instructions to ice and buy a foam roller to use on my IT band. Painful . . ouch . . . dang . . . but ok. It should clear up in 3 to 4 weeks and I will be good to go. It's really my only issue. How cool is that????

I see him again in April, 2010 for my 1 year check up but other than that, I am free to go (have I heard those words somewhere before?) :-) Seriously, I feel like I have been released from jail in lots of ways and am so happy to have this mostly behind me. A few tweaks in my pt protocol and I am good to go.

He also looked at my ankle and said the feeling should come back in my foot in about 6 months or so. The swelling is definitely better so I am encouraged by that too.

I don't think I have said it in a while so I will say it again -- Dr. Philippon is my hero!! I don't think he will ever realize what he has done for me and giving me a pain free life back. And, thanks to Lindsay, Laurie, Sharon and Kathy for the very important part they have played in getting me back in shape, strong and flexible. I couldn't have done it without all of you!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back in Colorado

I am working in Ft Collins this week with a client. When I started driving north from Denver today, I saw the mountains, smiled and immediately felt the dark cloud lift from my head. I am so happy to be back out here. It feels wonderful. And, I typically get a terrible altitude headache but so far; so good. I feel really good. I also know that I must be in pretty good shape because I went for a brisk walk tonite and did not get terribly winded.

On the other hand, my hip is STIFF!! I don't know what's up with it but it's stiff and very tender today. Since my flight left at 6:45 this morning and I had to be at work by 11:30 am mt, I did not have a chance to work out today. Bummer!! I don't have to be anywhere until 11:30 mt tomorrow morning and I notice that my hotel has a deal with a local fitness center so I am off for a killer work out in the morning. Hopefully that and a good night's sleep will help!!

I am still anxious to get to Vail on Sunday to see Lindsay and then Dr. Philippon on Monday. I am hoping they can solve the mystery of this ever crabby adductor and solve it permanently! I am having problems with it again today. ugh!! I swear if I can get that solved, I will be almost as good as new.

But for now I am just enjoying the mountains again and the cool, dry air. Ahhhhhhh . . . at home again!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back on track

I have been crabby lately. It's lasted for an entire week which is highly unusual for me. I don't know what the problem is but I will be glad when it passes. Ugh!

On the positive side, I have had good hip progress. My left adductor is prickly (thanks to Sharon for that medical description). :-) At the slightest provocation, it will spasm and lock in place. Sharon had to work on it 3 times during my physical therapy session on Thursday but the good news is that it seemed to work. I did a full kill myself workout yesterday and no problems. In fact, I feel really good today. I kayaked for about 3 hours today and the peacefulness of the water seemed to help me relax a bit. I expected for my hip to be really stiff when I got out of the boat but it wasn't. That, my friends, gives me lots of hope. This is the first time that I haven't been incredibly stiff after sitting that long.

Sharon also checked my external rotation in preparation for my visit with Dr. Philippon and found that my left is pretty close to my right. Yippppeeee!!! Progress. That always makes me feel better and much more positive about life in general. My left side still has a little bit to go in terms of matching my right but there is measurable progress. It seems to be my adductor that is really holding me back. Still more work to do there.

I leave for Colorado on Wednesday. I am working in Ft Collins with a client until Sunday and then driving to Vail. My appointment with Dr. Philippon is Monday at 9:30 am. I am anxious to see my friends at Howard Head and hear what they have to say and also Dr. P to see if I can get back to swinging my driver. I am 12 weeks post-op as of last Thursday. It simply doesn't seem possible.

Thanks to everyone who leave me the encouraging comments on my blog. It is so great to have a support system from other hip patients!

I am drinking a nice glass of wine tonite and enjoying spending time with my sister and nephew and trying to remember how truly lucky I am!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The ups and downs of recovery

Some days I feel like I am absolutely on top of the world. Other days I wonder why I work so hard and get nowhere . . . now I know that's not true but I want it all. It has occurred to me over the past several days that I have had a pretty remarkable recovery thus far. I am leg pressing 200 pounds. I am far more muscular than I ever imagined I would be. All of that being said -- I still am incredibly stiff when I sit too long and I have weird pains that make me catch my breath and occasionally my body just doesn't want to move. But if I had to assign a number to how far recovered I think I am, I would say about 80%. My external rotation still has a ways to go and when I work out, my left side is still weaker than my right. I think the answer is probably that the first 80% goes pretty fast and the remaining 20% comes very slowly. If this is, in fact, true it could be the death of me. :-) I have said that I like forward progress at all times. I push and most of the time I get results. I don't get results when I push with this. Ugh!! No matter what I do, my progress seems to be the same right now. I think I have plateaued . . it's forcing me to live in the middle instead of at the extreme and I don't do well there. I can either be a complete lazy couch potato or I can work out 2 hours every day but there is no in-between with me. It's the same with this hip progression . . either stop and go forward at light speed.

Ok . . . whining done for the night. Thanks for hanging in there with me while I got it off my chest.

I worked out with my personal trainer yesterday who was fresh off meeting and watching Dara Torres work out. She added some new tricks to my repertoire and I am feeling it today. ouch!! Tomorrow is physical therapy with Sharon where she will push the limits of my legs and hips trying to make me look good for my appointment with Dr. P. So glad that I have her as I think I need some good stretching too.

I have been traveling for work and not doing my stretching and exercising like I should and can definitely feel it. I am stiff and sore and need someone to give me a swift kick in the ass . . . I think Sharon is just the person to do it . . and then make it feel better. :-)

The big deal that I have been working on made a decision to hire someone else today. :-( Bummer!!! We busted our butts to do these presentations and really thought they were going to choose us. I feel a little down tonite because of that too.

And, the ankle that got damaged during surgery (from the traction) is still screwed up. Still no feeling in my ankle or the top of my foot. My ankle is still swollen - a bit of a cankle. I can't wear shoes that cross the top of my foot because it feels weird. I am worried that my foot is permanently damaged. Of course, I am worried about everything tonite so this just gets added to the list.

If I didn't have a really busy day at work tomorrow, I would consider a Vicodin vacation from the soreness and stiffness tonite but it's a full day of conference calls and call reports tomorrow so I must have my wits about me . . . at least what is left of my wits after the drinking fest that was my birthday last weekend.

Yes, it's true, I turned 50 on Monday. I feel really old now when I tell people not only am I 50 but I have also had hip surgery. ugh!!!

I am a little frustrated tonite if you can't tell. Everything really is good; I just want more. . .. the story of my life!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dang it!

For the past two days, I have had a pain . . an annoying inside of my left thigh sort of pain. This morning, it was worse and in fact, occasionally would turn into a sharp shooting down my leg pain. I was ecstatic that I had an appointment with Sharon today. The diagnosis is either psoas or adductor but let me just say . . it's painful!!! Sharon did some trigger point release work on it today and it just about brought tears to my eyes. It definitely made me break out in a sweat. So tonite it's incredibly tender and complaining loudly about having been poked this afternoon. I can feel it all the way through to my back. BIG :-( I did some adductor/abductor machine work at the gym yesterday. I am thinking that maybe it was slightly inflamed and I just did it in. I don't know. I, of course, want Sharon to tell me exactly how it happened so as to prevent it in the future. She, of course, can't. :-) Deep down I know that but by now you all know that I want answers to everything period.

The good news today . . . I did 200 lbs on the leg press and moved to lunges without holding onto anything. Definitely stronger and my balance has improved tremendously. Why then must I suffer with this dang psoas/adductor thing???? Grrrrr . . .

And, I am about to start traveling for the week so my workouts will be harder to get done and I am admittedly not as disciplined about getting everything done while on the road. Coming back to work after being gone for 7 weeks, jumping into a finalist presentation and trying to get caught up with all of my normal work all the while trying to stay up with physical therapy has been too much for me. My stress level has risen dramatically this week and I am way crabby. I am really frustrated with myself for not making physical therapy a priority . . letting work dictate my schedule instead of taking the time that I needed to get back to 100%.

And, I'm probably feeling a little sorry for myself tonite as my pain level is up a bit down my left thigh and I really thought I was done with all of that. Dang!!!

I am not discouraged in any way shape or form but I do not do well with setbacks no matter how minor or temporary. :-) I want forward progress at all times. Ok, unrealistic I know so I am about to take some good tylenol pm and put my achy body to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be better!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My own Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July everyone. I am having my own personal independence day today because I feel like I have been set free. ;-) I have finally recovered from my stupidity of last weekend thanks to Sharon's help and am feeling really good actually. I did my normal workouts this week, saw Sharon twice and then my NIFS trainer on Friday for good upper body and core workouts. I feel strong and have absolutely no pain whatsoever . . .none, nada, nil.

I had a lovely day yesterday transplanting some flowers and planting some annuals in some flower pots. And then went clothes shopping with Julie. It's so much more fun to buy clothes now that I can pretty much wear anything and look decent in it. Love the core work!! :-) Treated myself to a shopping spree at Whole Foods and got some yummy fresh corn, blueberries and a steak. It made a fabulous dinner last night.

Today is raining in Indy and I am bummed because I really wanted to get out and do some kayaking today. . . not 4 hours worth mind you but an hour or so would have been lovely. Sharon also wanted me to try some light hiking through the park this weekend to see how the hip handles the rough and hilly terrain. The rain seems to be here to stay today so I don't think that's in the cards. In fact, I am having a lovely time sitting on my screened in porch listening to the peaceful sound of rain hitting the roof and the leaves of the trees so today may be my complete and total rest day . .possibly with a movie later. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow so hopefully I can hit the water before I head off to a party.

Next week is going to be all out crazy at work so I am relaxing and de-stressing as much as possible today and tomorrow. I have to head to Des Moines for a site visit with a potential client. A good thing but it will take lots of work to make it happen . . plus I have to fly through O'Hare which is solidly against my travel rules but it was the only way I could get something reasonably priced and at the time that I need to go. Ugh! Since I am flying home on Friday, I have reserved a car at O'Hare so worst case scenario is that I drive 4 hours to Indy. ugh!!!

My sister arrives at some point next week also. She will stay with me for most of July. Unfortunately, I will be traveling most of July. At least she'll be here to take care of my house. :-)

Happy 4th everyone!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back on the wagon

I am being a very good girl. For those of you who know me, you know how truly hard that is for me to do. I am a girl who likes to push my limits (and sometimes those of others). :-) But I told you that I had learned my lesson and I truly meant it. I have been very good this week . . . daily workouts but only what I am allowed to do. Ok, maybe one slight exception -- I went to Nifs last night to work out and the rowing machine insisted that I try it. I tried to resist; I looked away, I turned my music up louder but it called so loudly that I had to shut it up somehow. So, I strapped myself in and rowed. Wow . . . it felt so good. Now before anyone thinks they need to chastise me - I only stayed on for 2 minutes, I kept a slow pace and I am officially allowed to do rowing machine and elliptical as of today so I don't really think that 1 day will be the end of the world.

Today is 10 weeks . . . I can hardly believe it. A whole new world opens up to me at 10 weeks -- rowing and elliptical. I am still having some pain from my stupidity over the weekend so I am not going to jump right in and try to make it worse. I see Sharon again today for more trigger point release and a few exercises. Hopefully by the weekend, I can begin to add some additional things in . . . slowly! :-)

I have been working on my external rotation also. My left still has a ways to go to be even with my right but it's definitely improving. I'm not sure where Dr. P expects it to be when I go back to see him. It will be interesting to see Lindsay again and hear her assessment of my progress.

The summer is flying by. I can't believe it is July 4 holiday weekend already. My sister gets home from Germany today and soon my house will be even more full of family. Work seems like I was never gone. It's crazy busy as always and I have to make a conscious effort to get out of there at a decent hour and get to the gym to do my exercises.

Bottom line - everything is good and seems to be progressing according to plan. I continue to feel good, stronger and optimistic about the future . . . exactly where I want to be right now!