Or as I like to call it: The Start of Physical Therapy.
I had my first physical therapy appointment today. I returned to UPenn, where the doctor who I love works (but also where the surgeon who thinks I should take up bowling resides). At first the PT didn’t seem on board with my goals (Goal. Singular. To run again in 6 weeks), which shouldn’t surprise me given the surgeon her patients typically see. She was also shocked to learn I wasn’t given a list of restriction (crossing my legs, bending my legs beyond 90 degrees, turning my foot inward or outward) telling me her patients typically have to wait until after eight weeks before they can cross their legs.
Man, am I glad I didn’t go to that surgeon.
She still seems skeptical and so we continued my assessment. I kept stressing that running was my end goal and she eventually asked: “Any other activities you wish to resume.”
I shook my head. “Nope. I’m pretty much doing everything else. I’ve been riding my bike. Swimming. Rowing (on the erg) and this weekend I will return to yoga.”
She looked at my chart. “But you are only six weeks out.”
“And your doctor is okay with this?”
“Yes. I was told I could resume normal activity. I even double checked about returning to the gym and yoga and getting on my bike and swimming. I was told to just take it easy and not push myself.”
She seemed impressed.
“Can I ask how your doctor rationalized returning to running? Because most doctors say you can’t run after hip replacement.”
“Well, there were three things. 1. The new hips are a lot more durable than the old ones. 2. There really isn’t a point in going through the surgery if it means you can’t return to the life you want. And 3. I’m really young to have had my hip replaced. So, unless I’m hit by a bus between now and 20 years from now, I will have to have parts replaced. So, does it really matter if it lasts me 20 years or only 15?”
She smiled and said she would start sending her patients to my surgeon.
She then had me walk. I thought I was walking fine, but then she had me walk in front of a mirror and I realized even when I’m not limping, I am – it is just a light limp. Not at all cute. And now I wonder what I look like when my headphones are on and Beyonce is screaming in my ear and I think I’m strutting down Market Street.
I went home with easy exercises (mostly stretches that feel so good) until she confirms I don’t have any crazy, no-crossing-your-legs-for-another-two-weeks restrictions. But as I left she did seem on board with the goal.