Lenore – General Update 3yrs Post Surgery

Howdy everybody! I’m keeping up on reading posts via a feed to my Feedly account but I haven’t posted in a long time. 2016 was a big year in running for me because of volume. I haven’t gotten back into marathon running yet because of a few things:

1. I made a deal with myself if I could get through 2 years without an injury I’d start training for a marathon. 2016 was my second year running after my THR and I managed to keep improving in lots of small 5k’s, 3 road half marathons and 2 trail half marathons. Then after my last half marathon in November I had a bit of a back twinge was diagnosed with scoliosis. I’ve been in physical therapy for the last few months and it’s greatly relieved the discomfort I’d felt with running.  I feel more balanced but it took a while to get used to doing some exercises only on one side in therapy.

2. My left hip isn’t deteriorated enough to get that replaced yet but it was talking to me thru 2016. I think the scoliosis therapy has helped it a lot though because it was a left curve putting more stress on the left hip. I’m running a little bit and started a half marathon training program in January but got sidetracked because ….

3. I’m in the middle of switching careers to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. It’s a huge change from being a corporate financial reporting accountant! I’m currently in my first round of clinicals and I’m having a blast. But the class load is pretty heavy right now so I don’t get to run as much as I like. That’s my choice and burden as it’s just a lot of memorization right now, a lot of grunt work — it’s paying off in good grades. I was running 4 times a week and sticking with the plan, then suddenly my head was in a book or flashcards til midnight daily. So instead of being disappointed in not getting the distance in, I’m going to work on … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – late 1yr doc follow up

Last time I saw my hip doc was when he prescribed second bout of physical therapy post surgery and I was very eager to see him for my 1yr checkup to talk about how great everything was going.  Then I got stuck out of town on business because my flights kept getting cancelled and missed my appointment.  But Thursday was the rescheduled exam and I was ready to roll.

After my xrays, the doctor came in and said the bone growth looked great and everything was where it should be.  They also checked the left non-surgical side and said there was no change and it looked good-whew!  He said he was very pleased with the progress (especially after my near breakdown during summer), my flexibility was actually pretty good with no resistance in any of the directions and to keep with my stretch and strength routine – the results he saw from PT proved that was the key to my getting better and I would need to keep at it to continue running and/or to build long distances.  I will never take crossing my right foot over my left knee to tie my shoe for granted ever again.

I am happy to also say my doctor has heard of this site!  He has more than a handful of patients who run half/full/ultra marathons and talked about one of his bilateral hip replacement patients who does Ironman/Ironman distances.  Damn, they copyright the hell out of that name.  Anyway, I showed your site to a couple of the PA’s when I was waiting in line to check out and they seemed pretty interested in reading more about it.  Thumbs up, Tom!

Before he left the examination room, the doctor said there’s no reason why someone like me couldn’t keep running, especially at my age.  He said my type of hip with somebody who wasn’t doing impact sports would last 20ish years and a runner might last a couple of years shorter than 20ish years because of the liner (the doctor had to use a liner which was smaller but the only one … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – Week 53

It’s 6am on the first day of the New Year and I’m meeting a group for half of their 10-12 miler “Hangover Classic”.  Since my last post in October, I’ve very slowly built up my time from 20 minutes to 50 minutes of continuous running but I’m still not wearing a Garmin and only recently added steep hills.  I’m still adhering to my “if a twinge happens, stop and walk it in” rule which may be extremely conservative but luckily, no twinges so far.

Perhaps because of not being obsessed with my gps watch, I still have a romantic view of running which can be overly sappy.  I teared up after I ‘conquered’ my first big hill in 3 years.  I got a bit misty finishing a marked 5k route.  When the sun is shining and there’s a slight breeze, I punch my hands up to the sky and say “Yeah!”

I get my Garmin back from my brother this weekend.  He’s run 10-11 marathons and countless halfs with that thing and he’s going to help me ease into speed work.  A big part of me dreads it because I don’t want to know how slow I’m going.

I signed up for my first half marathon since the surgery, The Flying Pig in Cincinnati, OH for May.  My girlfriends whose race calendars are packed are graciously joining me for the road trip to cheer me on, I’m so lucky!  Personally, I can’t wait to get to the top of the biggest hill on the course and see Elvis and hear the men’s choir while taking in a view of the city.  My anti-GPS watch feelings may win for training for The Pig because I just want to reach the distance.

On the pro-watch side, I signed up for two triathlons.  The first one is a super sprint and I came in 1st overall for the swim, 2nd or 3rd for women in the bike and last in the run overall the last two years.  I walked them both, one with a cane.  All I have to do is run a … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 10.25 month update

For the last few months was in my second round of physical therapy.

The down side:  All this physical therapy heavy work has made me, well, heavy.  The exercises take a very long time to finish, I’m sort of burned out on them and with my work having just merged, it’s all I can do to give in to doing a round of cardio versus doing the routine to burn more calories.  I’m playing weekend warrior and getting in my cardio then.  But I’m feeling pudgy.  It’s been a test of my patience but I know it’s good for me.

The up up up side:  My surgery side is stronger and much, much more flexible.  When I first went in for assessment I was terribly unevenly flexible with certain rotational tests.  For the last 4ish months, it’s been a bazillion variations of squats and leg presses and leg lifts and lunges and balancing combined with a very long boring set of stretches. About 5-6 weeks after starting PT again, I’ve had no left hip/inner thigh twinges at all.  My fears of another labral tear were put to rest.

Staying true to the pt routine paid off.  My kick in swimming is finally starting to get stronger and I’m feeling comfortable in breaststroke again versus before surgery feeling like I’d break my leg off at the hip.  Butterfly is starting to look normal too.  Cycling is still pedestrian but I can power up some hills now.

The way way way up side:  I’m a hip runner.  I’m up to 22 minutes.  It’s not all a bed of roses but after a few dozens of months dealing with issues, it’s proven again the release I can’t get with any other type of activity.  At the end of the therapy, my PT was giving me a re-assessment required by my insurance and one of the questions was if I felt I could run a mile without pain.  I said I hadn’t tried, that I wasn’t sure if it was okay to do it yet since the reason I came back was I couldn’t … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 9 month update

Hi y’all.  I’m one of the THR runners who hit a bump in a road.

In my last post, I was freaking the hell out at the possible diagnosis of a torn labrum in my non-thr hip because of shooting pains and compromised walking form.  After 2 weeks of naproxen and icing with no improvements, I was told to try physical therapy again first before my doc would go forward with an MRI.  My first instinct was to call the guy I’ve seen the last 2 years who is a runner himself.  But I didn’t.  I decided to go with somebody new to get perspective.

So new PT tested the left leg and saw I’d lost some hamstring flexibility and my adductor, quad test and internal/external rotation tested at 5’s or 4’s on a 1-5 scale.

He definitely did not think I had bursitis on the left side which was the other possible diagnosis the pt assistant noted to him.  When he pressed on a particular area on the hip, I wasn’t reacting to pain which is what he said was a common reaction for people suffering from bursitis.

When he did this bursitis test to the THR right side, YEOW!!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 6 month post THR, other side

The doctor suspects left labral tear (non THR side) but I have to do the anti-inflammatory/ice/rest protocol first for 2 weeks before scheduling further tests. The cartilage looks good which I was happy to see. I have slight dysplasia with my left hip but it’s practically normal looking compared to how the right looked like before surgery.

I was freaked out.  Physical therapy will not help these types of tears.  Massage doesn’t help because the labrum isn’t vascular.  Maybe some hip runners out there have experience with this especially with as many who have hip dysplasia, arthroscopic surgery for labrum repair for me was 10 times worse than THR.  The incisions were smaller but it felt like somebody stuck in a running immersion blender directly into my hip and possibly let a running horse drag me by my foot for a couple of hours.  One of the post surgery risks is being more susceptible to hip arthritis but my doc said my other surgeon made a mistake identifying me as a candidate since my cartilage was already damaged and the dysplasia, both of which were not noted.  Other surgeon was a bad choice.

Compared to where I couldn’t wait to get a THR fast enough, I’m not in a hurry today. I’ll take the pills, I’ll ice and I’ll rest from fast walking and use regular gym shoes cycling.

‘Have you been running? ‘
‘If you were running you know I’d have to tell you to stop, right?’
‘I know that stinks.  Yesterday was the 6 month mark.  Okay, you have your instructions just go out the door down the right hallway they’ll check you out see you in two weeks have a good one bye.’

So two weeks to . . . something.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 5ish Month Update, Following Rusty . . .

Yesterday I made an appointment with my doc to check out my left hip (the non-surgical side).  It’s clicking for about 8 weeks which wasn’t a big deal by itself.  The last month I’ve been getting IT band like aches which I attributed to getting used to my legs being the same length.  But the last few weeks on occasion and the last four days in a row . . . I was awoken in the middle of the night by leg discomfort, sudden pains from the left hip down to my knee either from my inner or outer thigh.  I’m hoping it’s just paranoia but I need peace of mind.  I called my PT for his opinion and he said let’s see what the doc says first.  This crap pain just feels so familiar, though, and I hate it’s impacting the hip I called “old reliable”.  My left leg dragged my right leg across many a finish line in the past.  I don’t want to see it go out of service.

There’s a lot of worse things in the world that can happen so I need to put possibly having a third hip surgery in as many years in perspective.  Another year or six months of recovery is nothing compared to my expected life span.  I didn’t get a new car like I was planning yet.  My job while sometimes life draining is secure.  I already have crutches and a cane.  Sitting down to shower is kind of alright.  I just replaced my bike stem and got my saddle at a comfortable angle.  I can still swim like a fish (albeit a slow, slow fish).  I still have scar healing bandages.  I proved I can successfully run to the bathroom to throw up painkillers and work from bed on New Year’s Eve within a couple of days of surgery.  If I need surgery by the time I can run I will have completely skipped one of the high participant age groups in my area, Female 40-44.  I could have an excuse to not swim breaststroke in swim practice.

My … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 30 mile ride

I had a great time at the inaugural Tour de Lou which is now part of the Kentucky Derby Festival.  I signed up for the 35 mile route but had to skip 5 miles of it when my bike buddy’s chain slipped and she had a bad fall.  She’s stuck with me last year where I had two rear flat tire flats within 3 minutes so I wasn’t about to leave her behind.  We rested a bit at the base of one of the two hilly parks on the course until she felt ready to get going again.

I saw somebody with an Elliptigo!  Although today I kept thinking that machine was worth 4 times my car’s worth, it was pretty cool to see that thing in action.  But I also saw an old timey big giant wheel bike and was both scared and wanted one at the same time.

tour de lou(from @KyDerbyFestival)… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – 4ish months out

In the spirit of Tom’s picture, here’s my scar progress:

Scar 14.4.12

I’m of Pacific Islander origin and prone to keloid scaring but I don’t think this looks bad at all.  I would say about 4-6 weeks out when I first started swimming I was worried because the area was still tender, like the top of the scar would rip apart but I have no paranoid feelings like that another 10 weeks later.  My bathing suit hem comes about a quarter inch over the scar, that’s probably why it felt weird at first.  I moisturize this sucker a lot.

Speaking of swimming, I’m burned out.  Well, maybe not totally but walking is taking over some of the time I dedicated to swimming.  Burns less calories but I love the feeling of the breeze and the sun and the swing of my arms, the push off of my feet and the building strength in my body.  It’s been slow, I was never terribly fast to begin with but I finally broke 14:45/mile for the last mile of a long walk.  So far this month I’m getting in about 12 miles a week of walking with about 3-4 weights sessions, 2-3 swims, elliptical and some crammed in cycling.  Next Sunday I’ll have my first cycling tour since the surgery, an inaugural 36 miler for the Kentucky Derby Festival.  It’s an open course and I’ll be riding the bike I’ve dubbed “The Mini-Van”.  It’s an entry level Specialized that I’ve wrecked a couple of times (fun!) and made anti-aerodynamic by adding a dog basket/basket of holding for my group’s crap.

I cheered for my brother who ran as a mentor for a local Team in Training chapter in the KDF Marathon. I was happy/jealous since I introduced him to marathon running a few years ago.  Running has taken over his free time and he loves it with a passion.  I really hope I can join him in the fall for a 5k.

I got there early enough to see our local running hero Wesley Korir leading the pack for the half-marathon and I was surprised!  … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore: Week 6-7

I had my 6 week follow up on February 3rd and the PA said my slight listing and occasional knee pain was completely normal.  She also showed me my legs are even and that everything will eventually fall into place as my muscles get stronger.  Yay!  I got the good to go with the elliptical and to ease back into weights and after reading Julie’s post, I made sure to ask about more than just running.    Still no impact yet, ease back into yoga, wait until my flexibility is back on rock climbing and go ahead with planks and push ups.  Dancing is under the same rules, do mom dancing, no impact yet.

It’s not like I have time for all this activity at the moment – I was so busy Week 7, I didn’t get to go to the gym once.  More snow, ice and about 90 hours of work kept me at home.  I did get a lot of cycling in with the bike trainer which I need since I signed up for a local 35 mile tour for April.  Hills?  Last week I was thinking granny gear but now, woohoo!  Shifting is in the future!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore: Week 4-5.5

I guess since I didn’t post a Week 3-4 update I’ll just sum it up with work, work and more work plus hourly crooked walk and stretch breaks.

The day after my unassisted walking epiphany I was back to using a gait like Quasimodo after a slight slip on an icy sidewalk left my inner thigh aching.  It wasn’t a sharp pain, it was just a bit strained.  I was happy to be cleared to swim that weekend and do some exercise in the pool.

At one of my last swim workouts before surgery I got through 2 miles doing flip turns but only pushing off with my left foot and kind of dragging my right leg which was barely kicking.  And I think I did a respectable time for me (for an old lady at “not drowning” swim level), an easy hour.  I didn’t want to overdo it my first time in the pool after the thr so I thought I’d do an easy 2000 yds and call it a day.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore: Quick Update Post Op Week 4ish

My Week 3-4 progress post is in draft form but what happened today was so exciting for me, I had to post it.

I walked normally without a cane all day long.

No big signs of a Trendelenburg gait, no knee pain, no weird feet.  No weird feeling my legs were uneven.  No wondering if there’s a shoe that could fix over/under pronation at the same time.  No over analyzing if my right hip was dropping during turnover.

It was amazing and got me all up in my feels so I teared up a little.

Today’s the 23rd and a month post surgery.  It was a good day.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore: Week 2

I wasn’t looking forward to Monday and Tuesday because I had to sign back on to my work computer in order to approve any last minute invoices and cash transfers.  On Monday, I limited myself to just reading e-mails the first two hours then responding only to immediate action items.  Then I checked e-mail once every couple of hours because I napped – I really needed it.  Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, was just work insane.  I love California but for the mere fact our asset manager is located there, I sometimes wish that tiny part of the state would fall off the map.  I was solidly online through 6:30pm when most of the rest of the company was off by 3pm to recognize the holiday.  After that, I signed off, never to sign back on until Monday, January 6 when I was offically back.

I’m happy I brought my seat wedge home from the office – I don’t think I would’ve been able to tolerate sitting a full business day without it.  I made sure to get up every 45 minutes to walk or stand up and stretch.  I was wiped and after Skyping for overseas Happy New Year wishes and a short talk and hugs with my daughter before she went out to party, I was sound asleep by 9pm.  A wonderfully dreamless sleep flat on my back in a nice, warm bed.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – Week 1

The ride home was an improvement over 2012’s labral tear w/FAI surgery because I made it home without throwing up. I also could see whereas some adhesive residue got in my eye when they removed the breathing mask from my face post-surgery.  Seeing is always a plus as is not having to put a creamy salve into your eyes every 4 hours.

I rested very well the first night home and my daughter, bless her, took tremendous care of me.  Armed with my credit card, she picked up and made sure I took my pain meds, had saltines (even the kind with unsalted tops!) and sparkling water on my side table and fresh adhesive gauze pads for the bandages covering the drainage scar.  She even helped me into my anti-embolism socks.  I went home with a pair – I like clean socks on my feet.  I think most people do.  I asked her to pick me up an extra pair and I could switch to a fresh pair after hand washing when I showered.  She set me up with some broth-y noodle soup and a nice unbuttered roll and that was my Christmas Eve meal, the first real meal I finished post-surgery.  Finally, she gave me cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, lotion and lip balm.  Winter dry air combined with bandages adhesive residue not yet washed off, I thought I could hear my skin cracking.  Lotion helped my skin relax and in turn, helped me sleep that much better.  I couldn’t put anything on the area of my wound but lotion helped keep the rest of the leg from itching due to dry skin.  The last thing I needed were scratching scars.  The rubbing alcohol helped remove the tape gunk still stuck to my skin.  I’m allergic to latex bandages but I’m not sure if that meant they used cement to adhere things to my skin.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – Catching Up – Surgery 23 Dec 13

After my original surgery time in the later afternoon was bumped up to noon, my daughter and I arrived at the hospital about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled about a quarter after 9am.  We thought we’d be held up by shopping traffic but everything was clear.  Immediately we were escorted to pre-surgery where I was weighed and took a pregnancy test (standard for child rearing age women) then taken to a private room where I had to change into my surgical gown and somebody to help me put on anti-embolism socks.  My daughter, being a pro now at my surgeries, took this as her cue to find the hospital Starbucks for her ritual latte since it was a good 90 minutes ’til hip time.

Having fasted after midnight and the winter air super dry, I was dehydrated and the nurses had a very, very hard problem with my veins rolling and evading them.  It took a total of six tries to get my port in for the blood test and IV’s.  The bruises are finally fading away from the top of my hands, middle of my forearms and inside of the elbows 12 days later.  They had the same problem post surgery getting a CBC w/diff even though I felt like I’d drank a big pitcher of water every couple of hours. This happened last year at another hospital so I’m just used to it.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Lenore – About Me

I’m so glad I found this site!  I’ve been lurking for a few months since I was diagnosed in September 2013.

I’m a 42 year old accountant and mother in Louisville, KY.  I had a child in my late teens and my gait was changed which won’t become a blip on my radar again until 2013.  My middle/high school sport was swimming specializing in 50/100 free, 100/200 fly and 100/200 IM.  Through 2005, I’d taught aerobics and kickboxing 2-3 times a week, took others’ classes, did yoga and lifted weights as my main sources of exercise.  Running was on and off (mostly off) for me since high school, at most 1-2 miles a couple of times a week for a few weeks, maybe doing a 5k once every 5 years but eventually dropping running from the routine for classes.  In 2007, my dad had a quintuple bypass which inspired me to take running seriously. I began the Couch to 5k plan.  From there, I was hooked on how good I felt and the challenge it gave me.  By not allowing myself to drop it from my routine, I passed a mental barrier.  I started 5k’s again in 2007 and built up to half-marathons.  I took on my first full marathon in 2009 in Texas. I’ve never been a fast runner and I think at most, people would consider me “recreational speed” to “schlogger”.  I’m fine with 27:45 5k and a 2:13 half PR but if I generally hit an 11 minute pace in anything, I am pretty content.  I am in it for the zoning out.

Every year, however, I was plagued with some sort of injury including a strained hamstring, pirformis syndrome or strained abductor/adductor.  My primary care doctor referred me to an ortho and I was diagnosed with having a 2cm leg length discrepancy in 2009 and modified my shoes/used orthotics to continue running.  This worked for a while.  I’d known I was a little lopsided since I was young.  My PCP said a vast majority of people have a slight leg length difference and their bodies naturally … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)