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)


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)


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.
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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… take……..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.

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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)

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)

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

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)