Scott’s Post

Blissful amnesia


                I bet you have had this happen to you.  You are running along and all of the sudden you realize your brain has shut off for the past 2-3 miles. You don’t know where it went but you are quite satisfied because for a few miles you weren’t thinking about what you had to get from the supermarket, or what had to be taken care of at work the next day, or how did your teen age children learned exactly what buttons to push, or that your feet, calves, back, knees, hips, shoulders have been hurting for the past 3 miles.  I guess I will refer to this as the blissful amnesia of running.

                Often I would revel in those lost mental miles, but for the most part I usually like to remember things even during the bad runs.  Forgetting is not something for which I actively strive and yet often I find myself longing for a few precious moments of amnesia.   Even though the forgetting I was seeking through running then and the forgetting I seek now are both forms of escapism, the former I felt like I was running away from things, while the later I feel I am running toward something.   

                So why am I babbling on about forgetting?  Recently I was able to get out on my bike for the first time since surgery.  I went to the loop at Stone Mountain and told myself I would take it very conservatively.  That lasted until the first downhill.  It was nice to be out on a 60 decree day chasing down other bikers and pounding it up the hills (old habits die hard).  It was toward the end of the ride that I realized two things.  The first was I did not realized how much power I had lost in my left leg due to the OA in my hip.  Even though it was my fourth day of riding in a row and my legs felt kind of dead, I was able to keep up a pace on the rolling hills that I would have struggled with before the THR.  Second, for a few minutes it was just me and the bike and the road and the wind.  I had forgotten that I have a prosthesis in my left leg.  Instead of forgetting the miles I had traveled, I was savoring each curve in the road.  It was a new form of amnesia that I experienced but one that I will be actively looking for again.

                 The hardest part is that even though forgetting may happen in the pool, during a ride, or in a spin class, I always come back to the reality that I have an artificial hip.  It is not the stiffness in my upper leg or the disappearance of pain in my hip.  Rather my anchor to reality is a 10 inch scar that I see on my backside every time I shower of after exercise.   So the bigger revelation while I was ridding was not that for a few moments I forgot that I had my hip replaced, but rather that I will have to balance this forgetting and remembering.   I will have to remember when I exercise that I had my hip replaced and that is why I have to do things differently, and yet while I am exercising I need to find that space where I have forgotten that I am part titanium and not be afraid to fly.

5 thoughts on “Scott’s Post

  1. I LOVE that Bliss! Don’t be afraid to fly Steve. Just remember to listen to the hip and don’t overdo it. 🙂

  2. Two things you mentioned have been on my mind a lot lately. Though I’m not back at all activities yet because of a lazy quad muscle, I’m putting in lots of laps at the pool. I can’t believe how much stronger of a swimmer I am post surgery. More power kicking of course but upper body as well. I’m not terribly competitive but it feels pretty damn sweet to pass other swimmers. 🙂 The other thing is what you call forgetting/remembering. Last week I was in a yoga class and they were giving a lot of time to side crow. If you’re not familiar its a crazy awkward knee tucking twisting arm balance. Two weeks ago I looked like Edward Scissorhands attempting basic yoga. Last week I thought I’d just try setting up the side crow pose. Surprise – with commitment I could have achieved it on my surgical side. But I stopped, wondering if it would be safe. Not wanting to be “the woman who dislocated her hip in yoga on Friday.” I’m not comfortable with that aspect of recovery. I do plan on proceeding sensibly but are head trips going to be a thing to deal with now in training? Hesitation when you feel like you should be pushing yourself? Or does it fade with practice? I emailed the athletic trainer at my doc’s practice and he said go for the crazy side crow as long as it feels comfortable. We don’t want you to do anything that feels physically uncomfortable, but if you feel solid about it go ahead. I was glad to hear it but it’s still hard to accept.

  3. I hit that blissful state for the first time a couple weeks ago while running. The hip pain was gone! I haven’t been able to achieve that state for years. I really don’t focus on the fact I have a THR, I really focus on how great life is with it. Titanium is my friend!

  4. That’s the feeling I’ve craved for so long as I’ve watched people run the streets and trails around town. I’m a long way from that at this point in my recovery (3 weeks) but even this early I feel that the possibility is out there. That didn’t even seem possible prior to THR when the bum hip was taking over my mind in a very bad way. The mind is so powerful! This week I took off down some stairs with my mind on something else and was at the bottom before I realized I’d taken them one foot per stair like a normal adult. Later that afternoon as I left work I couldn’t make my mind make my legs do it again. Good news is my mind and legs have reconciled and I’m now solidly going down stairs like an adult. Your post does a great job of reminding us that there is a physical recovery and future as well as a mindset recovery and future.

  5. Hi, Scott
    You seems really enjoying your sports activities again. I am the same, When I am running , If I see slow runner , my mind suddenly say “over take!” Particularly, When I am in the race. My fighting spirit comes back. When I finish it, Suddenly, I remember, I have got bio hip. I always say to my hip, ” well done! You did good job”. I have to look after more. I am pleased to hear your story that you feel your bio hip working seems very well.

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