Sunny Days are Hardest

Walking around work today, I had to stop and take a moment to realize it’s only been a little over 3 weeks since I got my hip replaced.  Still, I make my way around the building with relative ease.  At lunch I was driving back to work and the sun was out and I was recalling the runs that I usually take during my lunch hour on the Centennial trail right by where I work.  Today would have been one of those days.  Being out in the sun – even on a cold day – running – it has therapeutic values that non-runners don’t understand.  Sunny days are definitely the hardest.  I’m close to 1 month into this runner’s purgatory.  Keeping the glass half full, that is 1 month down with only 2 to go.  I remain optimistic, despite these quiet non-running days…..… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

3 WEEK REPORT

It is exactly 3 weeks and one day since the hip was replaced.  I’m up off the crutches and I’m finally able to get a weight workout in.  That is all good.  But if I could rate my weekly progress compared to the first 2 weeks, I would have to say that this is the week that I have made the least progress.  Week 1, it was great to see the wound heal and get moving around on crutches.  Week 2, the crutches were ditched and I was able to walk around without the aid of support.  Week 3 feels like I just ditched the crutches yesterday.    It’s still uncomfortable to sleep and I can’t sleep on the hip side at all. I still walk around gingerly protecting the hip – it reminds me when I don’t.  I know I’m not superhuman, but I was hoping for a little bit more progress in this third week.  I’m sure down the road, I will probably laugh at this post.   After all it has only been 3 weeks.  I think I need to re-read the advice that my friend Greg gave me about being patient. Also, I’m still on target with my recovery timeline.  Tonight I’m going to watch my youngest son Tommy’s basketball team go out and collect a ‘W’ for the undefeated Stags (St. Al’s Grade School – Stags – get it?  It only took me about 8 years to realize that).  After that, it’s off to join the fellas for the 5th Quarter.  I won’t be starting because I will be late, but I will still get plenty of playing time :).  OK, so after 3 weeks….it’s not so bad after all.  Still as optimistic and hopeful as ever…… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Jeremy Update

Just received an email from my fellow cohort Jeremy who is home and recouping after his 1/17 hip replacement.  I have to admit, I think my recoup time at home was a little more peaceful than his.  He’s  home channel surfing and using the internet.  He’s got two kids under the age of 3 (who I am betting are just happy to see their daddy home).  I’m sure he’s happy to see them too, and he’s probably trying to be that dad they are used to being with.  Not the perfect combination when you’re trying to heal from a pretty intense surgery.  My youngest is 11 and he would just hang out with me and watch sports or our now favorite detective show “Psych”.  Jeremy is probably enjoying a lot of Barney and the Wiggles.  Just a guess…..… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

It’s A Start

Ahhhh.  Finally I get to do some kind of workout.  Ball situps, bench flies, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.  Although It doesn’t make you sweat like running, at least it’s a workout.  Finally!  Each day I get closer and closer back to normal.  The hip pain is healing.  We had a big cold front move in making everything slippery and icy.   I’ve had to be more careful.  This has caused my hip to hurt more.  I think it’s because I’m tensing those hip muscles more than normal.  It’s  not stopping me from doing some strength work.  With each new day……the optimism grows…..… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

BIONIC FOR REAL

My oldest son Ryan is finishing up his final year at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  He texted me this picture with the caption, “It’s you at the Smithsonian”.  As you all may or may not know, I’ve been referring to my hip replacement as “bionics” since the beginning.  Need a refresher?  Check out these posts:  “The Bionics“, “It’s Official, I am Bionic”, and my favorite, “Optimistically Optimistic“.  It was nice to get validation from the Smithsonian on my choice of words.  As I’ve said in the past, I feel sorry, really, for all of my future competitors, I do I have one ….. er …… leg up on them with my new bionics.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

SNOW DAY

Last night my son Tommy and his friend Ned (5th Graders) made a pact.  “If tomorrow is a snow day, we’re going to go to Jack and Dan’s for lunch and we’re going to go sledding.  Deal?” .  Tommy exclaimed “Deal!”  We all chimed in, “Who’s Buying?” :).  So this morning I looked out the window and there was no new snow…..just the snow we got from the day before.  I promised my son Daniel that I’d check the school website as soon as I woke up and let him know whether he had to get up for school.  When I saw no new snow, I didn’t bother checking.  About a half hour later, he comes walking down the stairs and says…..”You told me you’d tell me if there was no school”.  He had checked it himself.  Here I was making their lunches and I didn’t have to.  Sure enough there was no school for either of the kids.  Then I started thinking about the timing of this hip replacement.  Running in the snow is good exercise but it truly is a pain.  I couldn’t have picked a better time to take a break, but I’m hopeful for the spring….and testing the new hip.  So with 2 bagged PB and J’s sitting on the counter, I headed off to work wondering if the boys had enough $$ to squeeze ME in for lunch at Jack and Dan’s today.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

2 of a Kind

I was recently contacted through this blog by a friend of a friend who is a runner in his 30’s and he too had a bad hip. Jeremy got his replaced on Tuesday (1/17). I’m thinking there may be an epidemic of hip replacements going on here in Spokane. In his last email to me, his spirits sounded good. It will be good to get his input on his recovery. The best advice I ever received was from my friend Mark the pizza guy. He said the
first thing he had to convince himself about was that it was not an “Old Person
Disease”.  That discussion happened a year before I had my hip replacement.   It helped me to accept the inevitability of surgery. Jeremy is just another example of accepting the fact that hips go bad with anyone. It is now time for optimism. I ran into Mark and asked him how his hip was doing. He demonstrated hopping on one foot using the replaced hip. “Never Better!”. This is a new experience and I’m free falling into
it with great hope and optimism. Jeremy and I will be running when we’re 80. I
remain hopeful and optimistic about that.

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Crutches Be Gone!

losing the crutches
I had my first post-op appointment today.  I thought I’d get my hand slapped for giving up on the crutches.   Dr. Tim wanted me to use them for 2 weeks and I ditched them on Saturday.  I was surprised to hear that they want  me to put weight on my hip and if my hip can take it I-Have-The-Green-Light!  Sweet.  So goodbye crutches and hello mobility!  I am just that much closer to being the old me.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

TAKE…..IT…..EASY……BE….PATIENT.

So I met up with a friend who I met through The Flying Irish Running Club.   Greg is an all-around nice guy.  The people who run at the Flying Irish Running Club are all that way.   During the spring, summer and fall, the club meets at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille in downtown Spokane.  It’s a fun club and its gotten incredibly popular.  So popular in fact that you have to bring a DTH(designated table holder) if you plan to have a seat in the bar after the weekly run.  Otherwise, it is standing room only.   Greg contacted me a few days ago asking if I wanted to meet up so that he could impart wisdom from his own experience on the whole recovery process.  His advice was simple and to the point.  Take it easy and be patient.  He had knee surgery several years ago and he too was antsy to get out and moving again.  From what he told me,  he tried to get back into his workout routine too soon and paid the price for it later.  It also sounds like his surgery didn’t go as well as it should have.  I need the constant reminders to be patient and wait.  I too am getting antsy to return to my regular routine, especially with the old hip pain gone and the hip healing and improving each day.  He leads a group of people every Saturday through “crossfit like” exercises and invited me to come along.  I may have to take him up on it at least while my running has been curtailed for the next 2 1/2 months.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Yet ANOTHER testimonial

Oh I like this one because it shows before and after proof.  All it takes is a positive outlook and Boom!  Great things happen.  Here is one comment from this article….

“About 1-year post op I was back to playing in a competitive league basketball, only now with much more flexibility and pain free. And 2-years post op I ran the 2000 Peachtree 10K Road Race with a time of 51:01.”(Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

10 Day Assessment

So it’s been 10 days since the bionics were inserted.  I’m finding myself relying less and less on the crutches.  I know…coach Tim has asked me to carry them around for 2 weeks and I’m trying to honor that request, but it is so much easier to prepare my waffles in the morning without having to carry my crutches under my arms while I’m walking my plate of waffles to the table.  The good news is that there is relatively little pain.  Coach Tim wants me to go to a cane after the crutches period is over (next Tuesday) – but I may have to draw the line.  On Tuesday I get to start walking for a little bit without the crutches or canes….I’m going to see how I feel.  I have to say, once the hip is finally fully healed and I start running again, I DO feel sorry for all of my opponents.  It’s really actually unfair that I have all of these bionics inside me and they have to compete against that.  All I can say is “Get your own bad hip!”. 🙂

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Distractions

I just pitched a new technology approach for replacing our aging servers at my company.  It will be a fairly large investment for the company.  The bosses gave me the thumbs up.  For the next 3 months, I’m going to be buried learning and implementing this new technology.  This will be a good distraction and hopefully break me out of the funk that is beginning to overtake me.  The busier I stay….the better it will be.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

5th Quarter Teammate

Every year during the winter months, a bunch of my buddies and I take to the hardwood to relive our high school glory days playing basketball.  When I signed up this year, it was before I knew I was going to have hip surgery, so I was a bit bummed about missing out this year (and this year only).   But I am only missing out on the first 4 quarters.  For the 5th quarter, I’m still a starter.   The fifth quarter is usually celebrated at our favorite watering hole – Jack and Dan’s.  Tonight, I was texted that the team had won again.  Instead of drowning my sorrows in a cold beverage, I’d be celebrating a win.    This year’s team has some mojo.  They are riding a 2 game winning streak.  Sure beats the last couple of years I’ve played with these guys when we’d get thumped night in and night out.   Wait a minute, who is missing from this picture?  Was I the weak link?  Well, still happy to be a 5th quarter teammate and a member of the team.
(Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Day 2 – Even Better

Wow.  If I see improvement like this each day…..then I might just have a shot at the Olympics this summer!  Woo Hoo.   Not even half as fatigued as I was by the end of the day yesterday.  Days like today make me hopeful and optimistic about my recovery timeline.  It’s like riding a bike.  The first few times you get on it and you fall over…you just want to quit.  But after repeated tries, it starts getting easier and easier.  I got beyond that today.  Today it was like trying to ride with no hands (not a smart idea when you are just learning).  I have to be careful with my confidence.  I was zipping all over the building going up and down the stairs when one time on my way up, one of my crutches missed the next step but my body kept going.  I put all of my weight on my recovering hip….ouch.  It was a reminder…..to take…..it…..easy.  Still feeling optimistic though…..”And in lane 8 representing the USA, Tom Fuchs, an out-of-nowhere running sensation, has the fastest 10k time of all the athletes in the field“………{dreaming…}  But I know that would never happen, because bionics aren’t allowed in the Olympics.  I know….sucks to be me right?

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

End-of-Day Report

Shew!  Made it through the first day.  Dr. Tim (or should I say “Coach Tim”) told me that I would be feeling tired.  He was ok with me going back to work but, he suggested a more scaled back back-to-work approach than I could accept.  So I came in today with Guns Blazin’.  Now its 4:00 O’Clock….and I’m out of freakin’ ammo!  Drained.  Ready to go home and hit the hay.  I will call day 1 a success though.  The ladies in the accounting department are keeping after me making sure I don’t overdo it.  I just give them a quick “harumph!” and continue on my way.  But they know I appreciate their concern.  DAY 1 = SUCCESS.

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Mid-Day Report

Well I’m halfway through my first work day.  I am an IT Manager for a company (EDMO Distributors, Inc) that sells aircraft avionics, installation supplies, pilot supplies, etc.  It’s a desk job.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better job to greet me on my first day back to work after hip surgery.  I am spending the day following up on emails, taking care of year end stuff, fixing issues with our mission critical business app…..all while I sit on my rump at my desk.  The founder of the company (Ed – The “Ed” of EDMO) stopped by my office to check in on me.  His wife Pat has had several hip replacements. We’ve chatted before about the fact that I was headed in that direction.  He always gives me a bad time about being overly active – all in fun.  It was good to see him.  I have gotten up occasionally just to stretch the legs, but so far, being back at work is a piece of cake.  The first Monday of each month, the company treats all of the employees to a free lunch.  Today it was Q’Doba.  Did I mention I have a pretty sweet job? 🙂… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

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.

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

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)