Sunday, September 5, 2010

What is "normal"?

Status update -- it's been a little over a month since the shot in my left hip flexor and I am back in physical therapy once a week and i have been doing all of my assigned exercises as instructed. My lower back is still KILLING me. I have a hard knot in my lower left back that seems to get much worse when my psoas is tight (ok so almost always) and I still don't feel like I can live "normally". Normally to me means being able to get out and walk and do the things that I want. I avoid situations now that will require any sort of distance walking since that will almost always cause a flare up. I rode my bike last week and I really tried to go slowly. It's just that, it's impossible for me to do anything halfway. I love speed and I love to push myself so I was not the best when I got off of the bike. Lower back was tight and my hip flexor was a little wound up too. Then over the weekend, I did lots of walking and again, my lower back screamed. In fact, the screaming was so loud that it required a night of Vicodin to quiet it. Ugh!! I thought for sure I was headed to full blown muscle spasms but somehow I managed to thwart them. My hip flexor is not nearly as painful but I still seem to be suffering from lower back issues.

Which leads me to the title of this post -- will i ever really be able to do things without limitation? I was born with bad hips and I am 51 years old. It seems that there just simply HAS to be consequences with other body parts from 50 years of walking incorrectly. As I have been talking to numerous people (doing my own informal research), I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that, even though my hip is fixed, I may not be. I suspect that years of walking incorrectly have taken a toll on my spine and the muscles may indeed be tightening to try to help some discs that aren't quite right anymore. It scares me!!

I am going to try to head back out to Vail before the end of the year and see Dr. Philippon again. It's definitely a question that I want to discuss with him. I hear from more and more patients that don't seem to have 100% success with their hips. Athletes bounce back quickly but the chronic sufferers seem to have slower or lesser results. Is this because there are other factors at work? Did my right hip surgery feel so successful because I was younger? Did I let my left hip go to long thereby exacerbating what was already being injured from a bum hip? More questions than answers really but it's been on my mind a lot these days.

I seem to be fine and feel better when I limit my physical activities. Can I tell you how much I hate that and just how much that scares me??? I had big plans to schedule a canyoneering trip and plan a great backpacking adventure. If I thought about this too long, I might burst into tears so I keep hope alive and remain thinking positively. Ugh!!!

Sorry for the downer post today and I really promise to post again the next time I have a good day and feel great! :-)