Can you say “Minimally Invasive”?

Dr. Tim only needed 5 inches to install my new hip.
Dr. Tim only needed 5 inches to install my new hip.
The day finally came to change the dressing on the wound.  Everyone got their first look at the size of the cut that was needed to insert the new bionic hip.   Now that is what you  call “minimally invasive”.  Stitches were used underneath the skin but glue was used on the outer skin layer.

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The Quiet Caretaker

In the morning, she wakes up with a headache and at night she goes to bed with a headache.  She’s been living with this condition for what seems like forever.   Yet, she doesn’t complain.  Instead she makes sure that our home is ready for me when I return from the hospital.  She makes sure that all of my needs are taken care of.  All meals….all meds….I’m covered.  But when I see her lay her head down on the pillow, her eyelids half open….I can see the pain of the day written across her face.  Yet she doesn’t complain.  This is not her time to complain.  She’s got a job to do and she is doing it.  I promised her that I would be a good patient, when really, I should have promised that I would take better care of her.  My wife Colleen.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Ain’t So Bad!

Ok.  So prior to the surgery I felt like the last great hope for the village to defeat the village monster….only I was the village AND the last great hope.  I was hopeful AND optimistic going in.   Then I had this crazy hip replacement procedure and now I feel like I’m returning to the village VERY defeated.  Instead of coming back saying “Is that all you got?”…”Ain’t so bad!” (I.E. Rocky – Very Motivational).  I’m whimpering and quietly wondering when I was run over by the MAC truck.   I have to  be positive again and realize that I AM recovering   I HAVE been doing my exercises.  My bum is getting firmer,  my ankles have never felt stronger.  it’s time to start looking at the glass half full again.  People of the village hear me!  The village monster has been defeated!  Ahem….by the way…I just took my meds 10 minutes ago!  Ain’t So Bad! I am returning to a state of hopeful optimism.

I will say this though.  I have new respect for my friend Missy who went through 2 of these.  Every time I’ve talked to her she’s had a smile on her face and is always very helpful.  She took down 2 village monsters!  Wow.  2 MAC trucks.  Amazing.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

The Post Surgery Exercise Routine

Now that I’m home, I’ve been put on a physical therapy regimen that I must do 3 times each day.  These exercises are such a far cry from old me….but it’s a start.  This is the routine:

Ankle Pumps: Sitting or lying position, point your feet down and pull your feet up.  (10 Times)

Quad Sets (Thigh Tightening):  Lie on your back.  With hip and knee straight, tighten the muscles on top of the thigh, pushing the back of the knee into the bed.  Hold at least 5 counts, then relax. (10 Times)

Buttock Squeeze:  Squeeze your buttocks together.  Hold at least 5 counts, then relax.  (10 Times)

Heel Slides:  Lie on your back.  Slide your heel up toward your buttocks, then slide it back down.  Do not lift you heel from the bed.  (10 Times)

Hip Abduction:  Lie on your back.  Place a pillow or folded towel between your knees to rmind you to not cross midline.  Slide your entire leg out to one side and back to the pillow, keeping the knee straight. (10 Times)

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Home at Last

Wow.  These hip replacements are a piece of cake. 🙂  Not really.  After going through surgery on Tuesday and the pain being completely masked by morphine for the remainder of the day…..I thought I was golden.  I had high hopes of being out the next day.  Then Wednesday came.  Ouch.  Reality set in and I realized I wouldn’t be running the day after tomorrow.  In fact, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to move again.  That combined with a pesky fever,  a plastic mattress and an inability to get comfortable led me to believe that my best days were behind me.  Enter Thursday.  A new day.  Fever was gone, I was able to move around on crutches and I got discharged.  It’s good to be out of the hospital.  One step closer to normalcy.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Nurses, Aides and PTs

So I’ve never flown first class on purpose (one time I got bumped into first class – imagine that).  The service and attention that I’m getting while I’m laid up is second to none.  The bedside manner of all of the nurses, aides and PTs is commendable.  I feel like a million bucks.  I spoke with Tamara Sheehan the fourth floor nurse manager and just wanted to let her know that I was very pleased with the care I am getting.  Everyone has been very responsive and very nice also.  So today I did PT (Or tried to do PT).  It didn’t go well.   I got 10 steps with the crutches, told them I felt dizzy and bam, the next thing I knew, I was sitting in a chair, completely drenched with sweat with tons of people around me.  I’m still amazed that they were able to move so quickly to prevent me from falling.  This truly is 5 star care.  Bedside manner is such an important thing and all of the Aides, PT’s and Nurses that I have come across have this quality nailed to a T.
Physical Therapist Carey Prepping me for PT

NIght Nurse AngeeNight Nurse Angee and her cohort Brennon were very responsive to anything I needed. I feel like I’m flying first class.

Me trying to walk just before I passed out
Me trying to walk on crutches just before I passed out.
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One small step for man, one GIANT leap for mankind.

OK, I was on my feet for the first time.  Wow…felt really woozy but no pain.  I’m sure it was a combination of no food and lots of heavy duty drugs.  This nice lady (sorry forgot her name) gave me some exercises to do during rehab in the hospital.  Nothing compared to an SDP workout, but I must abide by Dr. Tim’s training plan for the next 3 months.  All is well so far…….… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

It’s Official – I am Bionic

 Wow!  Piece a Cake!  I’m hopped up on morphine and I’m wearing some funky compression socks.  A machine is taking my blood from the surgery site, cleaning it and then putting it back in.  Then another machine is compressing my calves and forcing circulation (vascular compression).  Life is good.  The anesthitists did a great job numbing me up.  I feel nothing.  Absolutely nothing…but I am completely alert.  Hanging with my wife Colleen.
Nurse Tim will be taking care of me this afternoon.
Dr. Stacie – My Anesthesiologist – No Pain
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Christmas Cleanup

So with the help of my youngest son (Tommy – You’d love him if you met him), we got the ladder out and pulled down all of the Christmas Lights on the house.  It’s funny, these lights took 4 hours to put up and only 20 minutes to take down – love the quick clips.  Then we were off to the Christmas Tree.  Ornaments down, lights stowed away and all remnants of Christmas packed up and stored in the basement.  This was  a major task that I wanted to have completed before the surgery.   I even had enough time today to go launch some model rockets that the boys (Daniel and Tommy) got for Christmas.  Hip or not, I can still scale fences to retrieve wayward rockets.  Relaxing now.  The house is ready.  About the only other thing I need to do is turn all of my shoes into slipons by loosely tying them tight.  Anybody have any velcro shoes?  I always wondered why they were so popular with the older crowd…..hmmmmm Velcro Running Shoes….hmmmmmm……….I think I might be on to something.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

2012 Ringing in the New Year with a Run Up Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill - Overlooking the Spokane Valley
One last workout to the top of Beacon Hill. A beautiful view of the Spokane Valley
This is probably the last run I will go on (going to give the hip a 1 day reprieve before the big day).  Ran up Beacon Hill this morning at a leisurely pace.  The reward was the view from the top.  We runners are crazy that way.  I found an excerpt in the February 2012 Issue of Runner’s World (Weird that its January 1 and I’m reading the February 2012 issue – but I digress).
“The run itself, though, had suddenly become indescribable.  It wasn’t easy, but it was not hard, either.  I didn’t know until that  moment that there was a hidden gear between hard and easy.  I tried to figure out what it felt like, but it was unlike anything else in life I could think of – not like a sunset, not like an explosion, not like jumping from a plane nor swimming in a river nor holding a newborn.  Not like music or mathematics, not love nor hate nor indifference.  The moment a run becomes indescribable is the moment it becomes private – not secret, just impossible to share.”  Marc Parent – The Newbie Cronicles – Runners World Feb 2012



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Bill and Missy

Throughout the fall I have been staying in good contact with Bill and Missy.  I had the honor of coaching their kids in Cross-Country.  Missy had a double hip replacement during the fall.  I’ve had lots of questions for them and they have been very generous with information.   It has been very good for me to get real information from people who are in the trenches.  Missy has expressed more than once her concern that my active life style will get in the way of my recovery.  I have heard her and taken notice.  In the grand scheme of things….3 months is just a drop in the bucket ‘o life of mine.  They have been instrumental in helping me to understand the way that my day-to-day routine will change for a while.  They’ve given me good good info  on things I may need for rehab, from long shoe horns to special devices to pick things up (they tried that and nixed it) to suggesting I bring a cot to work (I probably won’t do that).  I feel more prepared now thanks to their input.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

The Bionics

OK So I visited with Dr. Tim today and got a good look at what I will be getting on Tuesday.  In time (if I am patient – and I promised that I would be),the bone will grow into these components.  Dr. Tim cautioned to take it slow to achieve the best results.  So Dr. Tim, has become “Coach Tim” for the next 3 months.  I am committed to the training plan that he has laid out for me.  (ugh….it’s going to be a boring 3 months).… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Stop! Thief!

So this morning I’m heading to my favorite breakfast place to grab a quick egg McMuffin.  (Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day you know).  I’m thinking about my pre-op appointment and all of the questions that are going to be answered for me when all of the sudden…..this guy with a scraggly beard wearing a tattered camo jacket comes riding by……..on “MY” stolen mountain bike.  I wasn’t positive initially, but from a distance, the bright yellow Manitou forks and the pewter frame sure looked like mine.  As I got closer, I could see the model (Marin) boldly written on the frame.  THIS was MY bike.  It was beaten up.  The grips were mostly ripped off of the handlebars and this outstanding citizen had placed a plastic bag over the seat.  I can only guess he gave the bike a makeover to look less suspicious himself.  So when he crossed the busy street, I crossed the street too.  But he turned right on the sidewalk, and I had to keep going.  So I circled around the block but I was too late, he just crossed that intersection too.  He kind of looked back at me and I probably gave myself away, because when I turned around and went a block farther, he was gone.  If only I could have taken a picture, if only I could have been more calm, if only I had my bionic hip – I would have chased after him and gotten my bike back.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Last workout with the SDP

I had my last practice with the SDP boys last night.  We did TRX.  TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise. By the end of the class, it’s safe to say, we were all resistant to TRX.  Actually, we loved it. It was comical.  A bunch of runners doing planks and pushups.  Listening to Andy and Alex grunt and groan made the whole experience bearable.  At one point it was hard to tell if Alex, with his face buried into the floor, was crying or laughing.   Tye the TRX instructor sized us up at the start of the class and gave us one hell of a good core workout.  As we’re all sweating and groaning, he’s enthusiastically telling us that this is the 3rd class that he’s taught today.   Today I can feel the workout.  It’s a good feeling.

It’s amazing what $50 for six months will give you.  That is the token price you pay to be part of the SDP.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  Every week we meet for a workout and then occasionally  we’ll grab a beer afterwards.  During these winter months, we’ve done some non-running stuff like working with physical therapists to improve running form, TRX Workouts (woohoo), and pool workouts.  Such variety!! I really am surprised that more of the SDP members don’t take advantage of the non-running workouts.  The workouts have been fantastic, but the camaraderie of the group is what I will be missing the most during the recovery period.  There is not one “heady” one in the bunch.  We all meet to run and to work hard.  Last night was no exception.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)


So the boys are getting old enough that we all got to sleep in.  At 8:00 sharp the present opening began.  There is nothing like knowing that you nailed it with your kids presents.  Tommy 11 and Daniel – 15 Ipods.  Bam!  Brandon – 20 (Seattle U)  Hip Leather Coat (Very Seattle).  Boom!  Ryan – 21 (Georgetown)  Pea Coat for those power interviews he will be doing with major consulting firms soon.   Went on a run to celebrate. 1 hour and 20 minutes.  It was slow.  I savored it.  Snow all around me in Riverside State Park…..some virgin snow.  It’s always great to lay the first tracks down the trail.  What a great start to the day.  The hip hurt a little.  But the mind and the soul appreciated it.  The whole body experience – its one of the many reasons why I run.

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Optimistically Optimistic









The picture says it all.   I was talking to 2 of my running buddies last night (Andy and Alex) and they told me that when the hip gets replaced, I’ll be the bionic man.  That’s how I feel…..the glass is at least half full. So it’s the 23th of December, and Christmas is just a few days away.  I’m hopeful and optimistic for the new year.  This year has been marked with some challenges, but I am excited for the new year and maybe more optimistic and hopeful than I’ve ever been.  Not much new to report until I go in for my pre-op appointment on the 12/29.  My Christmas gift is coming on 1/3/2012 and I’m as anxious as a little boy on Christmas eve waiting for the arrival of Santa.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

The Calm Before The Storm

So now that I know the day has come….I’m cherishing the remaining workouts I have until I head over to the dark side of the moon.  Today was easy.  No running.  Just spinning happily away on the bike followed by some lifting.  I can still work out mind you…..spinning especially is easier on the hip, but there is just nothing like a good run to clear your mind and change your mental outlook.  There are many questions that I need to ask Dr. Tim when I meet him for at my Pre-Op appointment on 12/29.  Can I lift weights?  How long before I can spin? When can I swim?  (I won’t even ask about running yet).   I’m guessing he will want to slow me down a bit and first talk about how to change underwear and put on socks.  Well I will need to know that too I guess.  It’s time to start writing these questions down so that I can be armed when I meet him.   Tonight I would like to send a shout out to the Spokane Swifts.  They are the female version of the men’s running group that I run with.  It is by their example that the Spokane Distance Project was born.  I received a nice card signed by many of them wishing me well and hope for a “SWIFT” recovery.  Thank you very much ladies…….your thoughts and well wishes are appreciated.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Welcome to Hiprunner

My name is Hip Brother Tom.  I am a runner.  I had a hip replacement in January of 2012.   A month prior to my surgery, I started this blog to share my experience with anyone who might be facing the same fate down the road.  I wanted to show my weekly recovery progress and hopeful return to running.  Hence the name…  As time has passed, I have opened this site to others who wanted to share their experiences.  There is even a Hip Runners forum now.  We are the Hip Runner’s Club.  But it isn’t just about hips.  In February of 2018, I also had a partial knee replacement.  This site serves as a community of individuals of hip and knee replacements who are seeking advice on running again.    If you find yourself getting a hip replacement or a knee replacement, and would like to become a member of the Hip Runner’s Club, we would love to have you share your story on this blog.  Click here to become a member.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)