Today marked 10 days since my second THR (anterior…left this time). I graduated from the walker to the cane. And I got my bandage off. This scar is 2 cm longer than the right side…which is such a bummer because I was really hoping they’d be matching 🙁
I washed my hair for the first time since surgery. I can now go up and down the stairs with just a light hold on the railing. It’s been a full week without pain meds…which translates into a full week of crapping every day. #winning
What I love the most about this website is not so much that it promotes or condones or celebrates running post THR, it’s more about the determination to not just take a bum hip lying down. Whether we run or not after surgery, we are all not going to be content to sit still, to take “no” for an answer, to be afraid.
I am so appreciative of this site. I am brimming with gratitude that I have a place to visit where there are folks going for the gusto more than I! I doubt that I’ll run again (anything more than chasing after my kids or escaping from an oncoming bus), but I’m enjoying doing so many other active things. I am enjoying LIFE!
So I’m here again. Post-op. Lurking in the shadows…seeing what sorts of inspiring things y’all are up to 🙂
To those who have yet to get their new hip(s)…remember:
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted here. A little refresher: I had my right THR, anterior approach on April Fools Day in 2014 when I was 50. I had been experiencing debilitating pain for roughly 14 years. I resisted surgery, was in utter denial for a year. What in the hell was I waiting for? Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and I needed to go through hell to be sure I was really, really, really ready. If you’re like I was…resisting, in denial, scared…LET. IT. GO. This surgery was the BEST decision I ever made. And this week I had the opportunity to learn from my own past experience….
Like most good stories with a twist, everything was going great. No, I wasn’t running, but a pain-free, active life was finally mine again. I was rowing and lifting starting at 6 months post-op. I walked a marathon at 13 months…and beat my 6-hour time goal. (But seriously, WHO SETS A TIME GOAL FOR WALKING A MARATHON????) My rowing was going great guns last summer. I got a coaching job last fall…my first job since 1999 (lots of kids). I was on Cloud 9, and I was strong.
Then something weird happened.
I had a detached retina…4 times. Four eye surgeries later and 7 months of not working out >>> weaker, heavier me. As soon as I was cleared for exercise, I stupidly hiked to the top of a (very small) mountain and came down very quickly. And….OUCH. Wow. How weird…my “good” hip hurt 🙁 Thinking it was a soft-tissue issue, I rested. It didn’t improve. I started PT. Still hurt. Hmmmm…. So I went to get an x-ray because it kind of felt familiar in the way it was …uncomfortable. And guess what???
Arthritis. Bone on bone. So fast.
My surgeon’s advice was to just bear it for as long as I could…nothing really to do but another replacement. Just let him know when I was ready. I cried and had a little tantrum. Then I remembered…”oh, right! they can … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Another four months have passed since my last update in which I described running for the first time after my THR. Since that time I haven’t indulged in any further running, other than the occasional sprint across the street to avoid oncoming traffic or playing tag with my kids, but I did finally start training for my walking marathon. I found a 20-week training plan with a sub-6-hour time goal back in the fall when I entered the event. Then I promptly blew off the first 6 weeks…because who needs to train to walk? Um, yeah.
The Avenue of the Giants Marathon is fast approaching, like, this Sunday. While I’m definitely ready to take on the distance, I’m not so sure about hitting that initial time goal. I didn’t follow the training plan to the letter (once I finally started paying attention to it), but I did complete 2 hilly hikes that were half-marathon distance, 1 hilly hike of 17 miles, a timed 10-miler, and three crazy hilly hikes that were over 20 miles long. Just so you know, it takes all damn day to hike over 20 miles! Well, 5 hours anyway.
It has gone the same way with the walking as it ever did for me with running. By the time that third 20-miler rolls around, I am just OVER it and ready to move on. About 2/3 of the way through this hike I thought to myself (because I don’t use music or have any company because NO ONE really wants to briskly walk up and down a bunch of hilly cow pastures ALL DAY) “Soooooo…this kinda sucks. It’s not really all that fun. I’m bored out of my mind. Blahblahblah…” All that stuff you start thinking on those long ones when you’re tired and at the end of a training cycle. Then I reminded myself how goddamned LUCKY I was to be out there walking at all. Without a cane. Without a limp. Without pain. I reminded myself that the sun was shining and it was a glorious spring day and my … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Every year between CIM and Christmas for the past four years, I’ve hosted a “race.” It’s at a local regional park and is billed as a one-third marathon at 8.almost4 miles. It’s called Jingle Bell Hell and was begun by my high school buddies back in the early 1990’s. The first year I hosted, I was able to run it. The second year, I mustered 5 miles before my hip crapped out. Last year, I simply sat there and passed out donuts. This year I ran…a quarter of a mile. It was my first run in almost two years and my first since my surgery last April. It was weird.
The first five or so steps felt easy. Then I totally peed because my had-a-bunch-of-kids-in-middle-age-and-no-longer-used-to-impact-sports body did not know WHAT to do. So there’s that. But…no pain.
I’m not too sure how much running I’m going to want to do. I started rowing again, and that really is my first love. I have it in my mind that I want to run a 5K 11 months from now (my friend hosts a sweet little Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving), but honestly, the peeing thing was super annoying. Maybe I just wasn’t expecting that to be a possibility! LOL Well, now I know!
I did enter a marathon with the intention of walking it. We’ll see how that plays out since I’ve blown off the first three weeks of training! The rowing has just been too fun to set aside 🙂
I have noticed that with the rowing, my glutes and overall core have gotten tons stronger. I’m sure that is bound to benefit any running I decide to do. You all who are really tackling it with such gusto are so exciting to follow! Please keep sharing your journeys with us!
It’s been awhile and nothing earth-shattering has happened. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not going to try running until December at the earliest…so no running to report here.
I’ve been hiking a LOT. Well, I did over the summer…dragging my teenager with me. We got up to a little over 13 miles by mid-August and then school started. I’ve been struggling to get into a routine since then, but I know I’ll figure it out 🙂 I’m managing between 2 and 4 workouts a week, it seems. Sometimes I’ll go outside and hike and other times I’ll elliptical and indoor rock climb and lift some paltry weights. I’m doing a fair amount of hip and glute strength exercises, but not as much as would really benefit me.
I have NO pain in my surgical leg. *knock on wood!* It is really AMAZING to me!!!! I am so so so glad that I did this operation. Life without that kind of pain is so freeing. Scar is healing wonderfully. Not limping either. But….I’ve been getting some piriformis crankiness in the other side. And some tenderness at the edge of the greater trochanter and a little whining from my ITB, also on the non-surg side. It usually happens if I hike really fast or long combined with a lot of driving time. Stretching, massage, and rest seems to fix it right up.
I have to confess to “running” a little. Sometimes on my hikes, the uphills just feel easier if I sort of jog a little here and there. And I do run from one end of the house to the other sometimes just because I can do it without it hurting. SO FUN. But that’s really it for now. It’s been great reading all of y’all’s updates!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Still not running but am hiking with my son a lot. I mentioned in my last post that we were doing a hilly 3-mile loop 3-4 times a week. We’ve upped the challenge a little every week. Last week we had a 4+ gentle, a 7+ total ballbuster hilly mess that included getting lost :), a 9+ over rolling hills and a 2X our old standby 3-mile hilly loop. It is pretty awesome to be able to WALK without pain 🙂
And I rearranged our garage! I couldn’t have hefted the boxes hither and yon before my surgery. It’s pretty cool to be able to find stuff in there now 🙂
Once my kids are back to school I’m hoping to do more strength work in an attempt to run again around Christmas-ish. But I’ve got to say, NO pain and NO limp is working for me just fine right now 🙂
Not a whole lot to report. While I was pretty adamant about returning to running as soon as I could when I began contemplating getting my hip fixed, I’m now pretty ambivalent about anything other than living a FUN life with NO PAIN. Running was never my “way of life.” I did that with rowing for years and years but not running. It was definitely an enhancement and I LOVE it, but at the moment I’m feeling pretty “ehhhh” about it. Part of the ambivalence probably has to to with having a lot of kids and it being summer vacation!
I’m still doing my basic PT exercises but not as religiously as I should. I had all these plans to really bust into working out, but simply spending pain-free time with my family for the first time in 14 years pleasantly derailed those plans. Three or four times a week I go hiking with my 14-year old. We do a 3-mile hilly trail loop for now.* He’s pretty much a book-devouring, videogame-playing couch potato. This will be his (and my) Summer of Fitness. Once the younger kids are in camp starting in July, we’ll start lengthening the hikes and adding in some biking and perhaps some gym-going. By the end of August, I’m hoping we will have worked up to being able to successfully hike a double Dipsea (about 14 miles, I think).
I think I’ll be ready to resume some sort of “training” regimen once school starts up again. For now… I have no pain. No arthritic soreness. I do not limp 🙂 My scar is no longer raised, but it is kind of purple. I still have a huge numb area on my upper outer thigh…it’s the only thing that feels really weird. Sometimes it tingles and kind of burns. Like, right now.
I am just so excited to not be in constant pain. I realize now what a drain it was on my energy, my body, my family, my LIFE. I went camping last weekend and was able to carry stuff! And carry my 5-year old when … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Extra points for using three hyphenated words in a row, please 🙂
Last night I saw my surgeon for the first time since I was discharged from the hospital. It has been 6+ weeks!!!! Woo hoo! He was very happy with how well the incision has healed and how I’m recovering in general. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE my surgeon? And not just because he compliments me. Even though he is not a pro-running guy, he is seriously the coolest.
Restrictions have been lifted…entirely. After we talked for about 20 minutes about how I’ve been approaching recovery, mentally and physically, he felt that I am attuned enough with my body to remove all restrictions provided that I continue my diligent-yet-not-overzealous trajectory. He knows I want to run at some point though he’s cautioned me strongly (but not vehemently) against it. His words are very compelling. He talked about how even though the devices they use are AMAZING it’s more a matter of how an individual’s body responds and reacts to the inevitable byproducts of device wear and tear. That seemed to be his primary concern. But…. I still want to do it. At least a little bit 🙂
So…no pain and no restrictions. I guess that means…
Time to start moving my body in a myriad of ways that heretofore hurt like hell but don’t anymore 🙂
As to when I might give running a shot, I’ve decided that I really need to get my right and left side a heck of a lot more balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. 14 years of degradation has really done a number on my right side quads and glutes in particular it seems. I figure if I’m able to consistently address this for the next 6+ mos, I’ll be ready to give it a go. We’ll see how it plays out. Right now I’m digging feeling GOOD!
Three weeks ago yesterday I had my hip replaced. Thanks, all of you, for helping me keep the faith 🙂
Here’s what’s going on:
–ditched the walker in favor of the cane about 5 days ago. –today I’ve been walking around the house without the cane a bit…and NOT limping, but I still fare better and more consistently with the cane. –walked about a mile (roundtrip) from my house to a local park and back this morning, which was about 50x farther than I’ve walked so far. It was probably a bit much but I did have my trusty cane and there were benches all along the way in case I needed or wanted to rest…I didn’t. –diligently doing my PT exercises 3+ times a day. They are definitely getting easier 🙂 –went for a ride in the car for the first time since coming home from the hospital. I didn’t drive. My surgical leg is my right. They don’t want me to drive for at least another week even though, according to the PT, I’m doing GREAT. –almost pain-free. My hip joint doesn’t hurt at all but the muscles and the bone and the nerve are all still questioning this move…I know they’ll get used to it. Their complaints grow fewer and quieter every single day. –read the first two books in the Game of Thrones series…in the past week. Boredom has definitely set in for me to be reading like this! The books aren’t boring at all…I’m just itching to DO stuff. The best way for me to shut that off is to become engrossed in something…like 5000 pages of fantasy fiction. –my husband is soooooo ready for this phase to be DONE. He’s doing all the school pick ups and drop offs and all the shuttling to soccer and music lessons, etc. in addition to running his business.
Can I just say that I can’t wait for Spring Break to end? My 4 kids have been on Spring Break since I got home from the hospital, and their caregiver skills are decidedly in need of serious work. No matter how many times I repeat it, they are not clueing in to the fact that constant, loud bickering is not conducive to healing. Oh, how I long to do my PT exercises and ice and walk in PEACE! LOL
Here’s what’s going on physically…
I got my bandage off at 10 days post-op. It looks like Tom’s did at 2 weeks but with more purple pen all over it. I have only taken the hydrocodone once this week because it criminally constipated me. OMG. Criminally. And I tried everything.
The PT is going great. After my therapist suggested that I might progress faster if I were to take the pain meds again, I tried it on Saturday. Sure, I performed like a champ but my BP was super low and I got really dizzy AND I strained my iliopsoas. And, of course, I had no need for indoor plumbing. I started taking Advil on an as needed basis even though people tell me that it works best when you keep a steady stream of it entering your body. In terms of pain, I’m doing okay. It gets achy and sore after I do my exercises and if I’ve been wandering the house for awhile. No more Thigh of Fire! Yay! There is the weird cutaneous numbness below and lateral to the incision, though.
I have not been cleared for the extensive walking many of you at roughly the same stage have. While I’m kind of envious, I also know how freaking tired I get from just walking the loop from my bedroom to the kitchen to the front door and back a whole lot of times a day.
My only restrictions are: no rear extension of the leg, no external rotation, and no crossing the midline or legs. I still use the walker though am now transitioning to the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I’m not able to tell stories of minimal pain or no need to medicate or “hold me back” regarding PT.
I had my anterior approach right THR on Tuesday, April 1 at 5 pm. It was done and I was in recovery by 6:11. They said I did great and all had gone amazingly well. I got to see pictures of my femur head…flat on the top. Very delineated where the cartilage ended and the bare, eroded bone began. They said it was a really good thing that I got the surgery done. The joint was beyond shot.
I FELT great at that point. By 9 o’clock, I started feeling some inkling of pain. My teeth started chattering uncontrollably. Having decided to not be a “tough guy” and to follow directions and advice of those who had gone before me, I buzzed for meds. Fifteen minutes later, when the pain was actual pain and no one had shown up with any relief (or anything, for that matter) I buzzed again. “O, right! She’ll be right there!” Twenty minutes after that when I was in excruciating pain, I buzzed again and was pretty rude and nasty and pretty much experiencing pain worse than any I’d ever had before. The nurse came scurrying in, apologizing profusely, and administered dilaudid through the IV. While the pain melted away, I suddenly vomited the small amount of fruit they had given me once I was in my room. Thus began an 18-hour alleviate pain/empty stomach pattern until they figured out when to dose and what to use regarding the anti-nausea meds. Then it was much better.
My first round of PT was so painful. I was somehow able to get out of bed with my Thigh Of Fire and stand using the walker. I got about 20 feet from my room and said I was light-headed. Back to the room I went. Blood pressure 65/32 or something like that. And thus continued my PT pattern for the next 4 sessions before being discharged.
My hip feels good but my thigh feels like it’s being branded…burns so much! It isn’t constant and they say it’s normal. I will be discharged today. They were going to let me go home yesterday but my blood pressure was scary low and I kept getting really dizzy. The only thing that’s freaking me out right now is the self-injection of blood thinner. Needles are not my favorite. The drugs must be kicking in because I’m starting to ramble and lose focus! Three cheers for THR!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I was wheeled into recovery 9 hrs ago! It took 69 minutes. My acetabulum was totally flat and looked like a Thomas’ English muffin (nooks and crannies galore). Time to call for my pain meds so I won’t write anymore for now. So far, so good 🙂… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
My lead-in is a little misleading. I’m not feeling discouraged about my upcoming surgery…not in the least. In fact, I’m still very excited about it (despite my lone, brief panic attack as the reality of being cut into and having something pretty major excised and replaced popped into my mind as I was falling asleep a couple of nights ago). I’m feeling discouraged mostly about my fitness level going into it. As I start stepping up my “training” I find the demands of daily life with 4 kids and a self-employed husband kicking my butt before I even get to the gym…and I’m going to the gym right after dropping my kids off at school! My pain level has increased a LOT. That makes it even harder. I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping due to the pain. It’s different now. It used to be achy and kind of creaky and feel sort of stuck. Now it feels like someone is running a white-hot poker down along the edges of certain parts of my affected leg. My quadratus lumborum and iliacus are constantly tight and “hot” and just pissed off. My lower leg now hurts. I used to be able to hobble along for an hour or so with my kids. Now I’m toast after 30 minutes and looking desperately for a place to lay down and live because the thought of continuing on is overwhelming. (Dramatic much?) I’ve found myself looking longingly at the motorized carts at Target again and really wishing I had a handicapped placard for parking. You guys know this pain. My friends and family don’t really seem to get it. This operation can’t happen soon enough! I’m hoping that the shift in pain will make it easier to sleep and work out post-surgery. Please tell me it will.
I’m also really worried about setting up care for after the procedure. I’m an at-home mom…my life is driving, picking up kids, driving some more, helping with homework, driving again, preparing meals, fixing boo-boos, chasing away monsters before bedtime… I have no useful family nearby and … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Yesterday was my first in-person consultation with a surgeon. I was really looking forward to someone carefully going over my x-rays with me in person and not over the phone.
I drove 90 minutes to see “The Guy” in my area in my health plan. He was pretty incredible. He spent an hour with me. I guess most orthopedic surgeons consider themselves “The Guy” but not all have novels written about their amazingness. So we talked about family life and sports and other stuff and then he said, “So you have a really messed up hip.” And then he showed me the x-ray and explained all the messed-up-ness in detail. It was so helpful. Bone-on-bone, big bone spurs, cysts in the femur head, lots of white acetabular and femoral head bone thickening…just a mess!
We discussed my symptoms and history. He showed me the implant that he favors. He told me some of the whys. Then he started telling me about device longevity, and he pointed out that I would, in all likelihood, be doing a revision down the line and probably a second revision. Then he explained about revisions…which I needed to hear but really want to bury my head in the sand about. He asked me how I felt about possibly being in a wheelchair when I was 80 and reminded me that I would probably have young grandkids at that point in time. Mind you, he wasn’t a dick about it at all…he was really cool about it and so kind and thoughtful. I mentioned that I could be hit by a car next year and wouldn’t it be awesome to have ONE year of comfort? And then I brought out the zombie apocalypse…because hobbling with the cane, when it happens, I’ll be one of the first to go! He laughed and said that by the numbers I had a “better” chance of being 80 in a wheelchair than facing a zombie apocalypse OR getting killed by a car crash. Boy, did THAT make me feel better.
Last February, I went in for an x-ray. My hip had been bugging me with varying degrees of severity since March 2000 when I had the weirdest “shot in the asscheek” feeling while on a little family stroll when on vacation in Paris. My whole leg buckled under me. The pain was INTENSE for a split-second and then gone. I was very mildly freaked out by the experience at the time, but let it go. However, when it started happening every other month and then once a month and then more and more frequently, I became slightly alarmed…actually “annoyed” is probably a better word. (I have since been told that this was, in all likelihood, my labrum tearing and then repeatedly catching and tearing more and more). Since, at the time, I was not really doing anything other than trying to cope with a newborn and 6 stepkids, I just managed it into my life. The nuisance wasn’t really interfering with life too much.
After a bit of time, the sensation morphed into feeling like I had ground glass in my hip socket. Somedays it hurt a whole lot more than others, but I tried my best to ignore it, and when my baby was nearly two, I decided to start training again (I had previously been an elite rower and had run a couple of marathons to see what the fuss was all about). When running, my hip always felt sort of stiff initially but loosened up as the run went on. Rowing didn’t really bother it other than it would be “cranky” sometimes after a long or hard workout. This went on for about 8 months, until I was 5 months pregnant with my 2nd child. November of 2001 was the beginning of a very long running hiatus.
My hip continued to be increasingly “cranky”. I speculated that I had AVN “like Bo Jackson!” and that I would need a bionic hip. We all laughed at how preposterous that sounded.