Sunday, August 23, 2009

The thrill of victory

I saw Sharon this week for physical therapy and she worked on my adductor as usual. Yesterday during a short walk, my adductor tried to spasm on me and in trying to massage it, I thought it felt a bit bruised. This morning, I found a fairly large sized bruise on my leg. The hazards of a serious physical therapist! :-) The good news though . . . I am definitely winning the battle with the adductor. It's not nearly as tight and doesn't seize up on me as much when I walk.

Sharon also gave me the green light to start pushing myself a bit on things when I want. She wants to see if there are any adverse consequences from pushing my limits a bit. Wow . . .music to my ears!!! I didn't get a chance to really do much this weekend but plan to go try some putting and chipping at the golf course to see if I can get myself back into the game.

My back pain and general hip pain are much, much less too. That's another way I know that I am finally winning this war. Back to the gym and back to muscle building this week too. I'll keep you posted on how that goes but as of today, I am very optimistic. I can't believe how long it is taking for all of this to sort out and the ups and downs that I have been through with it but then again I know I don't have lots of patience and want everything to be perfect right now. I keep trying to compare this with my first hip surgery and I convinced myself that I was much better by this point with my first but I really don't think that's true. I know I wasn't as strong at this point after my first and I think some of what I have experienced with my back is just the fact that I am 50 years old and am working out harder than I have in awhile.

I have finally gotten my house and yard almost in order again after having left them for 7 weeks in the spring when it is critically important to get the weeds under control. It's taken some hard work and some outside help but it's pretty good. I look forward to next year when I will be 100% and ready to tackle anything!!

I am down to 1 physical therapy appointment a week now. In some ways it feels really scary and in others I feel ready to tackle things on my own. I have to say that I will miss seeing Sharon and hope that I can convince her to come kayaking with me sometime.

I promise to update sometime this week on my progress on upping my workout routine and how that is going. Cross your fingers for me. I really don't want any more setbacks or at least, lack of forward progress!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Winning the war!

I am pleased to report that I have begun to win the war with my adductor. I have beaten the IT band into submission but the adductor proved to be quite the worthy opponent. However, being the incredibly stubborn person that my mother raised me to be, I have persevered and the sharp shooting pain when I try to do something it doesn't like is starting to abate. I cannot even begin to describe my relief. For those fellow hip surgery patients, you know exactly what I mean. You think that something has gone terribly wrong with the surgery . . you convince yourself that it hasn't worked, that the same pain is back, etc, etc. and then it really ends up being just a stubborn muscle. Yes, that noise you just heard was the humongous sigh of relief that I just gave. :-)

I will say, too, that Sharon has been instrumental in figuring this out with me. We have decreased some of my exercises and weights and have backed down on strengthening exercises. I have not been traveling as much and have been much more committed to doing all of my exercises religiously. It appears to be a very good combination.

I went to the Indiana State Fair this week and walked around for about 4 hours non-stop. I am so pleased to report that I had NO hip pain . . a little adductor pain but even it was manageable. To say that I was thrilled, encouraged and a little giddy would be an understatement. I am trying desperately to not over-do it. I am pretty sure I learned my lesson from last time and don't want to over extend any other muscles that I might have to wage war with. The turtle and the hare -- I am going to be the turtle --- at least for awhile. That's not to say that I won't wake up one morning and decide to push it just to see but not today!

I still have no feeling in the top of my foot and my ankle is still swollen a tiny bit but it's a little better. I will be really relieved when it's back to normal as Dr. Philippon promises me it will be.

I am 17 weeks today and still have to remind myself that I am only 17 weeks today, 50 years old and pretty much a non-athlete. I am doing ok!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Update on recovery

Recovery truly is full of ups and downs. One day everything seems to be moving along as planned and I feel really great and then one event will set off a chain reaction and suddenly I feel like I have taken a great step backwards. Ugh!!! So, this week I have been traveling like crazy . . lots of sitting, wearing heels for prolonged periods of time and almost no exercise. It has not been a good thing for my hip. I saw Sharon yesterday and was tight and my adductor is still flaring up on me on a pretty regular basis. I am having good luck getting the IT band to relax but the adductor is going to be the last to actually let go I believe. My back has tightened up again and I have a huge knot in my lower back. All of these things seem to be related and I am beginning to get frustrated. We have backed down on my strengthening exercises (lower weight; more repetitions) to see if that helps speed up the process. I suspect that I do some of these things to myself and so my commitment for the next 6 weeks is to do all of my pt exercises religiously no matter what my work schedule is . . period.

The glutes seem to be the last to get really strong. I can feel that I still have weakness in my left side and I think that contributes to some of this issue too. But I also remember that my adductor was the last thing to let go when I had my right hip done 6 years ago. And, I kept thinking at the time that the hip repair had not worked. I was wrong and today my right hip is amazing.

I am about to give my hip a test by walking the Indiana State Fair with my family. My 83 year old mom almost always wears me out and won't let me ride the shuttle because she wants to walk. I am so happy to have her genes, her toughness and her dogged determination. That's what keeps her very active at 83 and what will make me push through this recovery to be able to walk the Indiana State Fair when I am 83.

I am still working on Faber slides for external rotation but am still pretty tight. I have to continually remind myself that it's only been 3 1/2 months and I am doing pretty darn well for a 50 year old non-athlete. :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Slowly but surely

The work on my IT band and adductor continues. After a week of rest, stretching, icing, roller and Sharon's mean, mean physical therapy using the Graston Technique, I am beginning to feel better. I no longer have the sharp, mind numbing pain in the adductor when I try to get in the car. Of course, I always freak out a little when I have pains and think that my labrum has torn again or something equally as bad has happened inside my hip but as the real problem begins to improve, I can breathe again knowing that it really is just a muscle issue. And before I leave this topic, let me just comment on the Graston Technique . . it's painful. It made me hold my breath and almost shout out really bad words. Sharon promised that I would feel better after the bruising healed. Yes, it's intense.

So, I started strength exercises again yesterday and still did ok even after laying off for a week. That gives me hope too. I would like to settle into a 3 to 4 day a week work out schedule but wasn't sure that would allow me to maintain my very muscular legs. It appears as though I will do just fine with that.

I am excited to pick up my golf clubs again. I plan to head to the driving range this weekend with a putter and pitching wedge in hand. Will try those for a week or so to make sure nothing else flares up and then continue on. I am hopeful that I can work up to playing 9 holes before it gets too cold here to play. I went to the USGA Senior Open in Indy on Sunday and followed Greg Norman around the course for about 4 hours. If you don't know, Dr. Philippon did his hips early on so I wanted to see if I could detect any limp or hesitation in his swing. Let me just say -- I am hoping that, just by the mere fact that Dr. Philippon has touched both Greg Norman and me with the same hands that some of his ability to hit a golf ball rubbed off on me. He is incredible!!! :-)

It was also very encouraging that I could walk around the course and stand for 4 hours without much hip pain or stiffness. I think because of the IT band issue, I was more tender and stiff than I otherwise would have been but my hip performed fabulously!!

Still working on the glute building (the buns of steel aren't quite there yet), planks for core and lots of leg work. I will get back to the elliptical and rowing machines this week but will make sure they don't aggravate my it band.

Work has been intense and I still struggle trying to find a balance between work, sitting too long in one spot, hip stiffness and working out. I continue to feel inadequate in all areas but I am hoping that this too will pass.

Thanks for all of the comments from hip patients on my blog!! I especially appreciate the words of encouragement as can only be given by a fellow hip sufferer. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I can safely now say that I am sure it isn't a train!