Listen while you read.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Few More Exercises

I asked Cameron to pull out his highliter and let me know what exercises I can do on my protocol. First he tested me out with them, to see if I had any hip pain, and then let me know HOW MANY of each one I could do per day. I asked for a number and joked that I would be doing 150 per exercise per day if he didn't limit me. I have turned another corner and finally feel like I am rebuilding some of what I lost. This week I biked 40 minutes two times and 20 minutes three times. I am now doing wall slides partially down, balance board activities while hold onto something, some leg raises to the side, and pool walking for 20 minutes at a time. (I haven't made it past 15 minutes yet due to boredom.) With all of that, I feel really strong. My hip pain that was so bad earlier this week has almost gone away completely. On that note, Cameron was working on it yesterday and had me in some sort of funky position, and it pinched up! I screached and fought to be let out of it immediately, instinct. He held on and let me out slowly, so I didn't hurt myself. He thought it was a cramp, I thought it was a pinch, but either way, it was excruciating for that moment. After he finished with me, he watch me walk without crutches and there is so much improvement. I chalk it up to pool walking. I am getting stronger on one crutch, and know I still need it, but see a big difference between Tuesday and today in regards to strength. It is nice to feel the huge jumps forward despite the tiny steps back.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Morning Muscles!

I waited all day yesterday like a kid the night before Christmas. I had it planned. The girls had their sports physicals, then we all had dentist appointments. In between we had to pick up and finish laundry because Allison is coming today. I had to have it all done by 4pm, so I could spend the evening at the GYM! Spin class was at 5:45pm, but I wanted to "pool walk" and eat dinner before. Mission Accomplished! Although I thought I would be able to pool walk for at least 20 minutes and spin for an hour, I only made it through 10 minutes and 40 minutes. I have been advised to stop when it is enough.

Pool Walking: The first minute was a bit iffy. I have been struggling with not getting my WHOLE foot down on the ground. When I do that it straightens my leg and stretches the front of it. Something that is kind of important, and something that also hurts a bit. So I thoughtfully walked flat footed. After 2-3 minutes, it felt like heaven. For the first time in a long time, I wasn't limping. I wasn't hurting. I was walking completely normal, with water up to my neck.

Spin: I kept the seat and handle bars high, took off all of the resistance. I did "clip in" which I am not sure is okay. I will be asking today. The riders around me sprinted, they climbed hills, they stood up and sat down, all while I sat there barely plugging away. My effort level was there, don't get me wrong, but if you looked in the mirror, I looked like a 90 year old climbing Mt. Everest on a beach cruiser. Stop laughing. Around 30 minutes, I was looking at the clock every 2-3 minutes, and I made it to 40. At this point, I pulled my right foot out of my shoe and unclipped it manually, as I have learned from pre-op, that will hurt. I grabbed my crutch, got a wipe and cleaned my bike. This was the point that the very frustrated instructor, frustrated with me, realized why I had ignored every single one of his pleas to join the rest of the class as he stated over the microphone, "Oh wow, I didn't see that you were on crutches! That explains so much!" I smiled. I could feel my quads during the class, and heeeellllloooo, I can feel them even more this morning! They are what I call a "perfect sore!" I used to hope that I would get this kind of sore a few months ago. Not too much, just enough to know that you worked enough to wake-up those muscles.

I was a bit frustrated that I only made it through 40 minutes when the day before I had made it through that at PT; however, that was in two-20 minute segments, and it was my rear end that gave up, not so much my legs. The one thing I have learned about recovery: just because you can do something one day, doesn't mean you can do more or even the same the next. It is definitely a two steps forward, one step back process. Cameron will tell me repeatedly, mostly when he keeps me on crutches day after day, that he doesn't care about what makes me happy today, he cares about what will make me happy a year from now. His point: he can make me happy by taking me off of crutches today, but in a year, I will be miserable when things aren't right.

I feel stronger today. I think the pool walking really has something to it. The pain is slowly, I mean slowly, dissapating, but still there. Emotionally, I feel about 90% back to myself. The other 10% will come over the next few months. Overall, I am extremely happy with my progress so far.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic - You know...

It actually feels like any other day for now, but it's only 7:15am. In a few hours I will venture out into the world IN MY CAR! I realized I have no idea where my driver's license is because the last time I had it was at the hospital, so that needs to be found. The CPM machine has officially been moved to the floor, next to the couch, where it will sit until it is picked up - hopefully today! The house is slowly being put back to normal.

Tasks at this point: (3 weeks post-op)
Late last week, or maybe even over the weekend, we switched back to our sides of the beds, I dumped the meds down the toilet, put paperwork away - which I have since pulled out, and sent back my Game Ready. I can wash the laundry, fold it, and put it away, but still can't carry it up and down stairs. That goes for everything. I can't vacuum or weed. Oh bummer. The girls are great at helping with vacuuming, but hate weeding, so that fell upon Marc yesterday. Maybe my dad will help a bit when he comes. The cleaning lady is still coming weekly and will through next week, which will put me at week 5 when I have to do any real cleaning. Then she will come every other week, like normal. This I would strongly recommend for peace of mind and taking the pressure off. My daily activity is fairly normal to find that I am pretty tired late afternoon.

Bump in the Road: (Pain)
A couple of days ago I reported that I had a horrible day of pain. (Tuesday) This pain continued yesterday as well. I still don't know today. Anyways, during PT last night, my gut was telling me that something was really wrong. I had so many days that during the day my pain level was a 0-1, at night higher, but not during the day, now I was sitting at a 7-8-9. I was worried. I would catch something inside and want to scream. I told my PT last night that I was concerned. He really started to analyze it. And then work it. He eliminated the bone. He eliminated the hip flexor. He asked about my posterior labrum. "Did Dr. White do anything to that? Usually it is too hard to get to." I had no idea. This is when I dug out my paperwork. My MRI showed I had a full-thickness tear on my anterior and a partial tear on my posterior. I pulled out the photos of the actual surgery. Yep, Dr. White has photos of both. Cameron has asked to see these a few times, so I guess it's time to bring them in. It may explain some things. Even without these answers, he said 2-3 weeks is the time that scar tissue builds up. I had the wave, which they were trying to create scar tissue, plus the repair, all will create scar tissue, and it seems I am pinching some of it, which is not good. It needs to break down. So he worked with it, plus I need to bike, again without resistance, more. I biked for 40 minutes last night. I get to bike for up to an hour to try and break this down. SPIN CLASS! I will just be sitting there, on my rear end, not making any adjustments, but I will be a part of a class, pretending. I also get to work on my gait by walking in the therapy pool with water up to my neck. I am excited! I can set up my road bike on the trainer with granny handles too...options, options.

I have PT again tomorrow, but I see a weekend of pool walking and moderation, of course! I am the queen of moderation, that is why I am here in the first place.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Halee in High School

I am taking Halee to Falcon High School this morning, the first time we have ever been there, to get her schedule! I think I am more nervous than her, because it is done by last name and not by age. We will be exploring the halls with the Sophmores, Juniors, and Seniors. Marc and I told her that there may be some mix-ups, confused about classes, etc, but if she just laughs about it, things will go smoothly. (I might cry for her.) In her words, "I was nervous about middle school and it was okay, so I know this will go okay." Such a smart young lady!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not Quite Ready

Today was a normal day, like any other. I had a day planned with girlfriends at the pool. Somewhere along the lines, I decided I wanted to know what taking a step, without crutches, would feel like. I took a couple (in my bedroom) and stopped immediately. It was unbearable, so I decided to quit cheating immediately. I have been so good, but I was scared the PT would take me down to one or to none, and I wouldn't be prepared. I guess that's his job.

The rest of the day resulted in pain. I'll give a 7-8 on the scale. I couldn't get rid of it no matter how much I rested. I spent the day doing a lot of laying around, at the pool, until I went to PT. I was honest with Cameron, and he said, "It's okay, you're not quite ready." He is perfect for me. He asked me to try one crutch so he could watch me. One crutch it is...for now. He calls my hip "grouchy" on days like today, but I call it "miserable." I prefer the good days.

As I was leaving PT, I asked, "ABOUT how many days on one crutch?" Then I heard exactly what I KNEW was coming, but thought I would only hear it during my nightmares, "14 more days." He is chalking it up to the "wave" healing which takes extra long. So it looks like I'll be on 'em 115 days. What's another 14 days after 101? Another two weeks and the first day of school! Goals are great, but learning to be flexible with the recovery process is good too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sit Back and Enjoy the View

I am relishing, not really, my final days of laying around in the CPM, riding the carts at Walmart, and walking with crutches. This Thursday marks the magical point in which I get to have a tiny bit of Independence, like drive myself from point A to B and not devote 4 hours on a bad day or 6 hours on a good day to the couch, IE. CPM. After 101 days on crutches (this Thursday) the crutches have become a permanent fixture on my body: I know how to walk holding stuff, open doors, do cartwheels with them, okay, okay, not really, but I have the hang of them, I will not miss them.
The carts at Walmart have been the best part of it all, except when I see one person right after the other that I know. That's about the point I wish I had a paper bag to go over my head. Oh ya and I have noticed that unless you weigh 300-400 lbs or are at least 60 years old, a good percentage of the shoppers judge you and think you are going for a joy ride. Maybe it hasn't been that fun.

Although this has been great, I am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying some better views!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Guess I'll Just Say It

"It just isn't the same!" For now, for today, it was nice to see Marc run a race and feel a sense of accomplishment. I enjoyed being able to watch Shari and Lori cross the finish, exhausted. However, that was it. We took a few pictures, got some food, and left. That may have been why I fell in love with the marathon, or even the ultra. I like hanging around, spending the whole day at an event, minimally an hour. Since Dr. White and Cameron have both said I just need to slow down, not run on roads, and eliminate major downhills from now on, I am going to hope that distance can still be a part of my postoperative life. For now, watching my friends and family enjoying the great satisfaction and accomplishment that they are finding running and racing, will have to do. Why not? They have all been spectators, on the side-lines, watching for a while. Now it's my turn. For a while.Me and Marc
Shari and Lori

My Most Faithful Running Partner

Tuff! I ran as a young child, maybe around age 5, in community track meets and all the way through the middle of high school where I burned out. I got married and had my two girls. It was then that I realized I missed running and wanted to get back into it. It happened about 6 years ago.

I was a casual runner, 3 miles on the treadmill. A long run was 4 miles. I turned 30 and told a close friend, and ultra runner, that I would run a marathon by the time I was 40. That was all it took. I opened up my big mouth. "You can do it now. You're ready!" So I bought a book, and trained for my first marathon completely alone, using a book to answer questions and guide me.

At the time we had an older dog, a Dalmatian named Anni. She was about 11. I TRIED to take her on some of my shorter runs, but she would sit down and the dreaded day came when I had to drag, and it looked pathetic, I mean drag her back home. She didn't want to run. During that marathon training, my long runs were actually long, and I would run in "convenient" locations versus beautiful. One day, I was running 17.5 miles for the first time ever in my life (something you never forget) and a man, with gloves, was sitting under a bridge, in summer. I was about 15 miles in, and ran my fastest last miles of a long run EVER. I went home and told Marc that I needed a dog to run with, that would protect me. We asked our friend, a vet, what I should get, and he thought a boxer would be a good fit. A few weeks later Tuff came home to live with us.

He didn't "run" until he was almost one to allow him to grow properly. He had a full year of training. We ran early in the mornings in the neighborhood when I was freaked out because I was sure that Leather face from Texas Chainsaw Massacre was going to attack me. We ran on desolate trails when I was sure a wild animal was going to lurch at me and chew me to pieces. He ran with friends and I in fog and darkness, when we couldn't see a man out in the middle of nowhere. I still wonder what he was doing out there. He ran with me on sunny days when there was nothing to fear at all. He ran with me in the snow and buried his face in it as he patiently waited for me to catch up. We ran and ran together.

Unfortunately, Tuff has not gotten to run so much lately. When I first went on crutches, I came down stairs, ON CRUTCHES, but I was wearing running clothes (probably for a bike ride) and he got all excited! I looked at him as he was bouncing around and said, "Tuff, I can't go running, I'm on crutches." I think we laughed together.

In the last few weeks, he has developed a tumor. He was looked at by our friend who said it needed to be removed and it was a higher grade than Chewy's tumor that was just removed at the beginning of July; however, he was leaving on a week long trip. So we waited. In the meantime, this tumor is now bleeding, Tuff has to be bribed to eat, he is irritated by it, and you can almost watch it grow! As of today, we bumped up surgery to get him in on Monday. Bill, his beloved vet, will be back on Sunday. I have told Marc that my PT goal may be changing. I would like to run with Tuff again. He has always been my most faithful running partner.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Running Race

I get to go to a running race tomorrow. My first one since surgery, and first in quite a while. I ran Boston, then a week and half later went to watch Marc run one of MY races (suppose to be my 50 miler, but he opted for 25 with only three weeks to train). Scheri ran the 50 miles without me, and it was the first time that everyone kept asking me, "Do you wish you were out there?" and I actually thought, "NOWAY!" I hurt so bad from Boston and just hurt in general, that I didn't want to run anymore, that is until things were fixed. But tomorrow, I get to go watch Marc run another race. This time it was his doing. He registered for it, not just a transfer from me. I helped a little. I pulled the registration out of the mail, put it on the counter for a few weeks, talked about how fun the race would be, then talked him into it, he agreed excitedly, and then I registered him on-line. Okay, okay, so I miss being a part of it. I have a few friends running it, all for fun! And that's exactly what it's going to be.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sleep...Two Weeks Post-Op!

is overated, I guess! I haven't been getting too much since I went back off the pain meds. The comfort level just isn't there yet. My back hurts when I'm on it a lot, my hip has gotten a little stiff and so stretching the front while laying on my stomach is a little unbearable, and now I resort to laying on my good side with a pillow between my knees and feet...the pillow to keep my leg straight. I am waking up earlier and earlier again, today 5am which I won't complain about because I go back to school in TWO short weeks. I waited and waited all summer for my surgery and now, I am already two weeks post-op with two weeks left until school. I can't believe it. I am excited about starting a new school year, without crutches!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Daddy is Home!

My dad just sent this photo of him arriving in San Fransisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge above him! He has been sailing from Honolulu to San Fransisco since July 2. He flew to Hawaii on June 23rd, so he has been away from my mom for about a month, the longest ever for the two of them. All of us have been emailing frequently, but it was nice to hear his voice when he called me and told me he was home this morning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No News is Good News?

Things are finally moving along a little quicker. Not that I am rushing my days away, but I remember waking up last Monday and thinking, "Oh my gosh, it is only Monday, how am I going to make it day after day, to get me through a week, or two?" Now, I am just a day away from two weeks already. This second week has gone much better. I am back off of the pain meds, officially didn't take anything for sleep last night, and all is well.

I did have some "pinching" right in the hip joint itself, and today, Cameron figured out I was doing an exercise wrong. As soon as I started to feel it on Sunday, I stopped all of my home exercises just in case, so when I woke up this morning the pinching was gone; however, I waited for PT to do anything. And then, I got to ride the bike. It was 10 minutes of trying to figure out if it was uncomfortable, or fun, or...not sure, but I did it and it is another step.

Since I won't even be "trying" my first running steps until 6 months post-op, I'll settle in and enjoy the bike for now. Either way, I still love PT, and can't wait to go back.

Oh ya, and since you didn't hear from me yesterday, I'm hoping you assumed that "No news was good news!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Google is good, but...

like my blog, it is just MY experiences. Lately, I have been consumed with blogging about my hip, and what I am going through, which I am doing to help others who are going through it. When I started going through this back in February, I am sure that it was accompanied by a google search of hip flexor or something since that's what I thought was wrong. Then when I was limping, I googled limp+running+hip flexor. The searches continued and got more frequent the more I went along with the process. There is so much information out there, but at the same time, not that much. That was when I decided to start blogging more about my hip than the other parts of my life.

My dad is in the process of sailing from Hawaii to San Fransisco, a dream that he has had for most his life. Amazingly enough, he has email communication, so we have been writing back and forth. He has been gone since a bit before my surgery, so he hasn't been able to read my blog to keep he asks questions and then I remember things I need to tell him, about the surgery and my recovery, and my life. I wanted to share some correspondence between the two of us:

Me-"Doctor is worried because he says there is a place when he went in where my cartilage is not attached to the bone. He fixed it as good as he knows how. Time will tell."

My Dad-"Cartilage is not attached to the bone... Hummmmm. Did he say that it will attach itself or grow together or you just wait and see what happens as it all heals? I'm sure you have googled this and found out as much as you want to know. He sounds like a great doctor and I, like you, totally trust him."

Me-"About my cartilage not being attached, the doctor aggravated it in surgery, to make it bleed and cause scar tissue, in hopes that the scar tissue will reattach it to the bone. Since I have a phenomenal doctor, I don't find myself googling my injury anymore. I can talk to him or call him, and he is super good. He talks to me for 30 minutes at a time if I need. Plus, I know so much now, and have finally gotten to the stage where whatever God's plan for me is, it is okay. I don't need to know what will happen in 4 months, or 6 months. He found the perfect doctor for me, when I didn't trust Him so now I decided there is no sense in wasting time with that."

I wanted to share this because there was a time that I wanted to control everything about this injury. I was obsessed with WHEN my surgery was going to be and with WHO my doctor was going to be. Ultimately, God was in control and His timing and choice was so much better than what I could have made for myself. I have summer to rest and recover post-op and a doctor that understands his needy patient. I haven't googled post-op about anything related to this. I have a few people that help me understand so-called "normal" through this, and I read their blogs regularly, but other than that, I am finally taking it one day at a time and I finally, once again, have been reminded that God has a great plan for me, even when I try to take charge.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Turned a Corner

There was a time that I couldn't imagine being out of bed, out of my CPM, because it was the only thing that gave me comfort. It took my pain from a 10 to a 9 during a good hour. I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't walk. Sitting down to go pee was a process that took decades, and going downstairs was impossible. That time was just a couple of days ago, and now, I have turned a corner!

I am not sure if it was going back on the pain meds, which I am still on, and not in any hurry to get off of this time, or the one week point, but either way, from Thursday afternoon until this afternoon, life has been manageable. I am still kind of sensitive, and a little grumpy (blaming the Oxy) but I don't live in bed.

Don't worry, I'm still taking it easy. I've been doing all of my home exercises for PT, and I'm in my CPM as we speak. I'm not going to do too much too fast. But there is a light, and I see it now that I made a turn.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Mysterious "Wave"

I am sure there is a more technical medical term, but a "wave" it is! I had a doctor's appointment and was able to ask some questions, and get some x-rays. All looks good, as far as healing. While I was getting my x-ray, Dr. White talked to Marc. Marc told him I was doing well, which I am now. So much better than just 28 hours ago. Dr. White had hoped I would heal slowly, and he told Marc that he is concerned that I will get better too fast, and then think I can do more than I really can. I will be good, I promise. Marc told him that our insurance covered as many PT sessions as I wanted to go to, no limit, and he said he had never heard of that, but was super happy.

He said I am using my crutches right, and most people don't. (Lots of experience.)
My stitches were taken out and steri-strips put on.
He wanted to "talk" before he examined me. That is the best part about Dr. White, he always takes time and just sits and talks. I never feel rushed or that I can't ask him what I need to.
Why was my labrum bruised? Sign of injury. It was still going through trauma before surgery.
Can I sleep on my stomach, as long as Cameron has given me the proper way to do it? Yes, it is good for stretching. After examination, he said I am tight as far as my leg straightening out. It bends to 110degrees up, but is still slightly bent when I try to straighten it. So my feet hang off the end of the bed with a pillow from my chest to my thigh, and my feet stay straight.
Do I HAVE to stay on Naproxen? Yes, and then he showed me x-rays of a boy that didn't take it and his bone grew into his muscle. He said to tough it out.
I told him about my pain and meds, and he said good, take the Oxy for sleep. He only prescribed me 12 to begin with, so the fact that I still had 6 left, he thought was great.
He asked about the Vicodin. "It makes me mean and grumpy!" He said, "Okay. Don't take it."

Then he examined my flexibility at this point. Just up and down. He said it looked good. He added that I could lose the booties at 14 days. I told him that I haven't used them too much, because I have been in the CPM so much.

During my exam, I asked him about the "wave." Here it is: The labrum is attached to bone. It is attached so it's not free floating out there. I have a place where it is NOT attached. He said he fixed it the best way that he knew how; however, there hasn't been enough time with this specific repair to tell how successful it is. His words exactly today, "This isn't good!" We kind of left it at that, because when I was in the hospital I said, "So if I am in pain in a year, we know what it is?" And he said he didn't want to go there. I don't blame him, I don't either.

One last funny thing, and all of you who know me will laugh. I asked him at exactly what point did I go to sleep? What was going on the room? He always laughs at me and my questions. He quickly said, "You were out! You had a tube in your mouth..." I clarified,"Was I asleep when I got the spinal block? They said I would be awake, but I don't remember? Did I talk?" With a little chuckle, "You didn't say anything you should be embarrassed about." Marc and I had come up with all of these stories that I must have told them, oh my! Oh ya, and Marc joked with him about my constant questions in the hospital! He laughed at that too. Marc told me on the way home that he is probably use to his patients asking all sorts of questions post-op, but then he said, "No, probably not. You are a detail girl. You have to know the details about everything and most people probably don't care right after surgery." Who knows, but it was funny.
I go back at 6 weeks.

One Little Pill!

It is amazing what one little pill can do...I had a great night of sleep! I will be going to see Dr. White today, so I'll write more later, but I had the best night of sleep yet! Thank you Oxycontin! It is addictive for a reason.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Week Down!

I have waited forever to say that! Well, what feels like forever. I had another night in agony. I was classifying my pain at a 10 and ready to go back on Vicodin. I was nauseous all morning, and things were going downhill fast. Until..Lori was taking me to PT and I saw Marc. I called him, and he offered to pick me up after I was done and go to lunch. I was SO happy!

PT: I did some resistance exercises. I got a major back rub! He checked my strength, and then added some things, still little, to help start doing what I could. He said I could bike as soon as I wanted to, but I decided to wait until next week. I told him about my horrible nights, and we figured out that the way I was propping a pillow was doing more damage to my we shifted it, and I will try it tonight. Some runners may want to know this part-Cameron discussed my running with me today. "Only time will tell," Cameron echoed exactly what Dr. White said, "but unless you want to be back having another surgery, you should not run asphalt or downhill. Rolling trails are okay. You should also not do it for speed. No more PR's." Simply said, and I understood completely what will be expected. PR=Personal Records, I'm done with worrying about getting any faster than I use to be. I am VERY okay with this, as long as I can run. He didn't shun marathons either. So I have a little glimmer of hope.

Marc picked me up and we had lunch, came home and took a nap, and then enjoyed live acoustic music by the pool. Perfect afternoon! I haven't been able to say that since surgery, so it feels good. I just took an Oxycontin so that I would be pain free tonight and able to sleep. I have to go for a drive's appointment in Denver.

I know this is totally random, but another hipster, Noell, posted today and I found I could seriously relate. She gives great details. Noell's Post

Well, one week down!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh...Physical Therapy

I am happy to say that once again, I love my insurance. The physical therapy office said they would call today to see how many visits I am limited to in a year, and then let me know. (Not sure how common this is.) But I jumped on it this morning, and my insurance said I'm not limited. I am prescribed 2-3 times per week, so Cameron and I were hoping I could go three times until I go back to work. I will have a jump start on recovery and hopefully be ready for work then.

My first session consisted of a lot of "teaching." He taught me how to get up and down off of higher places, how to make sure I am lifting my leg still with my hands-which I am, how to lay on my stomach, how to roll over without letting my legs flop everywhere, etc. He stretched some areas as well. He also dug around for the mysterious "butt" pain that I have been suffering from. He found it and worked on it for a while. It is very deep. Can't remember the name of the spot now, but basically an overcompensation from all of this. A big knot. I asked about when I will be able to drive...3 weeks, when I get off of crutches. I have another appointment tomorrow, so I think we will get more into things then. He gave me four exercises, more like stretches, to do at home.

I am completely off of pain meds. I haven't had any in 36 hours. However, I only slept 3 hours last night. I am going to call Dr. White today to make my 14 day check-up appointment and ask if I can take Aleve or something more natural for sleep if I can't take Aleve for pain. It was pain in my lower back last night. I also had my usual bout of nausea this morning, so I am going to ask about that too.

I wanted to say one last thing...thanks for the kind comments on my entries. They mean the world to me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"It's Okay to Be Upset"

I woke up this morning, like every morning since surgery, with intentions to shower, make the bed, clean up my night stand, maybe fold some laundry, put some dishes in the dishwasher - as long as the girls unloaded it first, and minimally, comb my hair. I have made it as far as the shower each morning only to find out that by the time that is done, I am worn out and ready for a nap, all by 7am. I find myself in the same CPM machine, Game Ready, and my bed 8 hours later.

Let me back up to about 7pm last night when I realized something kind of important. I had been on Oxycontin since surgery...also Vicodin, but started taking myself off of it all on Sunday. Last night marked the 24 hour mark of being off of Oxy. Previously, I thought I wasn't in much pain, naturally, and that I really didn't need the pain medication, it wasn't necessary. Here comes the realization...I was at a level 9+ last night. Not a 10, but close enough. I believe a 10 is crying, and although I held back tears, they never came. I took ONE Vicodin to get through the night and made it. So back to this morning. Those great intentions...I showered, I got back in bed. Lori called and ask if the girls wanted to go to Villa. I said I did. I know it isn't sitting in bed all day, but once I am there, I wear my booties in the shade and follow doctor's orders, so I asked if she cared. The only thing, I had been sick all morning. Nausea. She was okay with being flexible, and came and got the girls and I. I WAS GOING TO HAVE A GOOD DAY!

I got to the pool and ran into another friend. I was coincidentally sitting right between two friends. I was set. Well, besides the excruciating pain in my butt, and the nauseousness in my stomach, and...I was now crying. I had hoped that going somewhere would magically take away the misery of the situation. What can someone say? Nothing. Well, I didn't think so. I sat there for a while, and we had lunch and left.

I rested at home for a bit with ice and the CPM before physical therapy. Marc took me to my appointment and on the way, I decided to let it out and tell him just how hard this has all been. There is the physical apect of this whole situation, but what is tied so closely with that is that running was an outlet for me. It was a time with girlfriends, or my dog, or a date with my husband. It was a time for me to sort through difficult situations. It was my identity. I was a runner. I ran with...I ran in such-a-such race...I placed in the was a lot! Now, I sit on my bed all day. Marc is okay with this being hard, but always tries to be an encouragement, which I understand and is okay.

Cameron, my PT, did the whole "interview" before we began. Then he had me lay on my stomach. I was so happy. It hurt a tiny bit, but he held my leg, and I got through it. I can start stretching my hip flexor. Not strengthening, just stretching. As we worked together, he started talking to me about running. I had been pretty quiet. I guess he picked up on my hard day. He leaned down next to me and said, "You know, it's okay to be upset. So many athletes struggle because they think it's not okay, but it is. You're in a tough situation and it's okay. But you can be upset and then also choose to work towards getting better." He added, "No one has ever talked to you about this part of it. The doctors?" Dr. White is phenominal. I am learning more and more about him as I go, and I think the world of him. He EXPECTS nothing but the best. He takes a lot of time, but we haven't talked about this part, the emotional part. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though and now maybe I understand why he said repeatedly, "You'll be good?" He even said, "For someone as active as you, this recovery will be difficult." Even if someone would have warned me, I am not sure I would've understood. But now I do. And it's okay. And if I have a bad day, I'm not going to beat myself up for it. But I will try to do what I can to keep moving forward, and I will work towards getting better.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!-Day 4

The good is obvious, the waiting is over. My surgery is done. I am on the road to recovery. I finally feel like I am moving forward on this journey and couldn't be happier. I get to catch up on all sorts of computer work for teaching mostly. I get to rest which is what my body needed. I have met new people. Life isn't just about running, but socializing and spending time with friends and family now-new perspectives.

However, I don't feel like this blog would give this surgery the respect it deserves if I didn't touch a little on the bad and the ugly, post-op! I also have been writing this in hopes of helping others get those, "Is this normal?" questions answered. Not too much to say, so here I go. I have mentioned the heartburn that accompanies Naproxen and Aspirin. This heartburn feels like a large, hot, steel ball that rolls up and down my esophagus constantly. I have finally taken so many antacids, including pills, liquids, tabs, and home remedies, that it is under control. It has not gone away completely though. You would think narcotics fall under the "good" category, but the bloating and constipation that accompany them don't. I was sent home with "stool softeners" and let me just say it, "Skip those and go straight for the laxatives!" I waited until late yesterday, and now I think my stomach has stretch marks from being so bloated. Not really, but don't wait it out, it's not worth it. On the subject of narcotics...there are lots of bads, but goods too. I'm not on anything for today, so we'll see how it goes, but I do like Oxycontin for day and night. I was taking Vicodin at night to help with sleep, but Marc gave me one for going to the pool yesterday. So I don't like them for the daytime. I was super grumpy in the hospital and yesterday. I can't handle anything. Then I go from grumpy to super depressed and crying. Marc might say, "Well, I'm going back to work tomorrow." Next thing you know, I'm crying. I didn't end up taking one last night and only slept half the night. Not sure what I'll do tonight. Trying to get off of them altogether.
The views are good for a few days...
...but then after a while, same ole, same ole.

The ugly, but not too bad! I want to point out that it is gauze with a water tight seal over and around it which allows me to shower, or sit on the edge of tub with a shower on me, fairly easily. There are three incisions under the patch. There is swelling which is probably hard to see, but just slight bruising.

All in all, I know there will be more "goods." This is where the word "patient" comes in!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 3-Post Op

So far so good. I had a few hours last night where I couldn't even move my leg over, with the help of hands, but other than that, things are going great! I was able to go to the outdoor pool and relax for about two hours. I did an hour with booties on a lounger, then about 30 minutes on the edge of the pool, feet cooling off. The other 30 minutes were walking back and forth to the car. I did have nausea coming and going, but was okay once I settled in. I will admit, my bed, the Game Ready, and the CPM felt like heaven when I got home!

One note: I have had excruciating heartburn. We read the side effects of my meds and it is the naproxen-this helps the bone and cartilage heal separately, instead of together. I have to take it. I have gotten it under control with antacids, Maalox-Extra Strength, and warm milk. It still tries to creep back.

Marc and I also decided that one activity a day is enough for this week. So if I have physical therapy, I shouldn't schedule anything else. You don't realize how tired you are or how much work it is until you are out and about. That's all for now.


A Lady Bug (Ella) and A Butterfly

Halee did some fantastic face painting! (Miles)


Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Made It!

"At home."I am home and Day 2 post-op. On Thursday, after surgery, I made it out of recovery around 6pm and was moved to my room. I don't remember any of it. I don't ever remember waking up in recovery or being moved. My first memories are of the middle of the night post-op. I had a pump to push for pain meds, which I was allergic to and got a rash from, and I was SO relaxed that I would stop breathing. They had oxygen on me, but it made my nose itch, so I kept taking it off. Then the nurses would rush in and put it back on. By about 3:30am, I was ready to get up and clean myself up. Not really. But I thought so. Marc explains it like this, "You would wake me up and want me to help you get ready, only to find out that you were passed out a minute later. So I would wake up and get ready to help, look over, and think, 'Are you serious?'" The CPM and the Game Ready are straight from heaven. I will be in them both 20+ hours a day. Dr. White said I had the choice to sleep in the CPM or the booties, I choose the CPM. I don't know how to explain it, but it is comforting and it doesn't allow me to get too stiff. I didn't get sick until last night, at home, when at 4am, I decided I wanted to take a shower and change my bandages. This is when Marc said, "I thought this would be a daytime activity." I was thinking 4am was daytime...when you are awake a lot, or asleep a lot, can't tell what I am really, there is no day or night. I got sick and went right back to bed and waited until 6am. He changed my bandages and I was able to take a shower. I have been laying here since. Pain when I am laying down, 2. Pain when I am trying to walk to the bathroom, 5-6. I am off of Vicodin during the day already-just at night. I am on Oxycontin still, but will use that at night only after today.

I did not have a microfracture, but Dr. White is concerned about one part of the cartilage that he could not fix. It is "waving" away from the bone. I will ask him more in two weeks, but am not too worried about it. Here are the best photos from game day.
"Getting ready to go into surgery!" "I don't know if I'm coming or going...And I can't believe I'm sharing this, but even I can laugh!"
"All set up-Day one post-op, in hospital."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Last 5 Months...

Running Log Entries:
February 19-"Feeling hip flexor pain since after Wednseday's run...possibly an injury."
February 21-22 Mile Run "When I came home I had to nap, so apparently the run took a lot more out of me then I thought during. I also CANNOT step forward at all with my right leg, which is a direct result of my right hip flexor tightening up during nap. hmmm. Not even sure what I want to do about that."
March 4-4 Mile Run "Decided to take it easy to try and rest my hip AGAIN! This isn't fun. I am not pleased with the progress. Doesn't hurt when I get warmed up, but hurts after and through the night."
March 14-18 Mile Run "Good run today. Took me a little bit to warm up and then was okay. A little stiff after for a few minutes here and there, but overall the Aleve is working."
March 16-7 Mile@8:00. "Scheri is nice for saying, "we" slowed, because it was all me. I was hurting from trying to run with my students at hip, AGAIN, and was very tense the whole run. Then, post run had very bad stomach cramps and aches. So not sure what is going on. Overall, just didn't feel good at all. 9:15pm and still feel bad."
March 18-"Ran with Marc around Villa. Hip hurt so bad the entire time. Appt with Dr next Thursday."

On March 19th I took a week off from running. I had not taken any breaks from running since I started, any breaks for injuries. I took recovery weeks, but never HAD to take a break.
March 26-Unofficial diagnosis-Labral Tear, sent for first MRI to rule out stress fracture
March 30-First MRI-Diagnosis: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture
April 8-Second MRI(Arhtrogram)-Diagnosis: Three Labral Tears, One complete, Two partial
June 21-Third MRI:Hip Stress Fracture Cleared (I couldn't have surgery with a stress fracture.)

Today, surgery! And on the road to recovery. I am excited to move forward with the next chapters...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Night Before Surgery

And all through the was in perfect order, well- kind of, except I have the cleaning lady scheduled to come tomorrow so when I get home, it will be perfect. She will be coming weekly for three weeks so I don't go crazy. I had a great day today. I was busy from the moment it started until now. I am super tired. I twisted balloons, oh I will post photos when I get them, for 10 or so First Graders! Twisting balloons is something I wanted to know how to do many years ago, so I bought some books and learned how to do it. Now I only do it at my school carnival and for my very close friend's this case, Ella, Scheri's daughter turned 6. The balloons were a hit, but it reminded me of the first week of school when the energy from the classroom and everything I put back into teaching wears me out and I am asleep by 7pm. And these little ones were only 6!!! This is exactly why I teach 5th grade and not 1st. As cute as they are, they have A LOT of energy! My favorite request for the day, a wallaby! A what? I suggested a ladybug, or a cat? She settled on a zebra in which the Sharpie did most of the work on a white balloon. It was a fun time. Christian helped me while Halee face painted.

My CPM machine came today. It is actually a very nice one. I was happy. Nice cushion on it. It is an upgrade from that 1980's picture I posted a while ago on my blog. My bag is kind of packed, and now I just need to get my last night's sleep without booties for a while. I am thinking I should say this is my last post before surgery, but I hope I can write a sentence or two in the morning! If not, I'll write as soon as recovery permits.

Bike Ride turned Photo Op!

Scheri and I went for our last ride on Monday at the AFA before I had to get my bike in for some serious maintenance, and before surgery. I told her to bring the camera since we have very few pictures of us biking and it would be a great chance for us to have some fun. Plus, it was an absolutely gorgeous day with the sun shining and the crystal clear blue sky surrounding almost every shot! It was a blast!
I made her laugh!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Some Questions Answered

As I said earlier, the phone rang and rang and never stopped. Marc came home and I told him it had been going on all day. I write as much as I remember, and I forgot to post some answers that I received the other day - and more today.

My CPM is delivered to my house tomorrow at 10am, so the day before surgery. They show me how to use it and then they pick it up when I am done. The braces that I sleep in are waiting for me in the hospital and I do not talk to anyone (a rep) about those...they are just there post surgery. My Game Ready will be delivered to me at 9:45am, at the hospital before I check in. My check in time is 10am for a Noon surgery. A nurse called me today to go over the hundreds of questions, and then tell me what my day would look like.
9:45am-Game Ready Delivery
10am-Check-in at admissions
10-11:30am-Get my lab work done, meet my physical therapist and anestesiologists, get my IV put in. (Might be missing something.)
11:30am-Dr. White will come talk to me for a bit about my surgery.
12-4 or 4:30pm-Surgery
4-6pm-Recovery room with physical therapist
6pm or so-they will take me to the 6th floor, the osteo something floor. I'll tell you later.
My physical therapist goes with me upstairs and continues to work with me.

The nurse never gave me the "end" time for physical therapy. Maybe there was a reason. My husband can stay the night with me. I was happy. They also didn't tell me what time I would be able to leave the next day. Anyways, it's a busy day!

Ring, Ring, Ring...Total Craziness

For all of you "planners": No matter how well you plan, there is so much that is beyond our control. I do say "our" because today I find my phone ringing every 10 minutes with calls from my doctor here, insurance personel, durable medical equipment companies - a few of them because the equipment doesn't come from one place, and Dr. White's office. I had this whole week to just sit on my bum and do whatever I wanted and it has turned into a bit of a "scheduling" session. So don't put off too much for the last minute, just in case.

Garden Update

I have been waiting to post photos of my garden...waiting until the Miracle Grow kicked in. Since I live at 7000ft, sometimes things take a little while. Needless to say, I am still very pleased with the way things are coming along. We have eaten dill, green onions, lettuce, terragon, oregano, and basil.
The squash box has finally kicked it in and I am sure we will have some pumpkins for fall too! Happy gardening.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekends are the Best!

I had a hard time sleeping last night. It rained here, and I love the rain, so that wasn't what kept me awake, but with the rain comes a ton of moisture. I have been struggling with a very minor cold since last Tuesday. I have been taking Airborne everyday to try and kick it quickly and been praying it doesn't turn into a sinus infection. You see, when I get a cold, shortly after, I inevitably have a sinus infection. So far so good, until about 3am when I woke up and actually had to clear myself out. Great. Now that I am up, I can tell that it is still just a cold and I can actually still breathe through my nose, so I think all is good. Now that you know all about my snot so fun stuff...

We had the best weekend! Saturday, Marc and I woke up, whenever we felt like it, and hung out. Then we got the girls up. They were tired from their slumber/birthday party, so they were still catching up. We all went grocery shopping together. After, Marc and I hung out at Villa for the entire afternoon! The girls were still tired and wanted to stay home. (Plus Halee was babysitting and making the big bucks...she raked in another $70 this weekend for something she loves to do! Kind of sounds like teaching for me.) Sunday was another perfect day. Marc decided to head out for a run at the Incline and then up Barr Trail a bit. He is on a team for the Colorado Relay and also going to attempt a faster 10K here in town in just a few weeks. I am glad he has taken up some races so that I can go watch and still enjoy the sport, as a spectator of course. I worked on a gigantic flower bed in the yard. Our back yard flower beds pretty much take care of themselves, except for every other year we mulch them - this was the year, and I thin them out once a year if necessary. Yesterday was that day. Weeding has proven to be the worst thing for my hip. The bending and pulling at the waste leads to aching later. I decided to just bite the bullet and get it all done. I am happy I did. I need some R&R after that, so we headed to the pool again. From reading my blog, you would think I love to sunbathe...but it's not that. I do wear 50SPF, I just love relaxing by the pool or in the pool! Later we watched the movie "Timer" at home, and then went over to Christian's best friend's parent's (phew) house for a bit to hang out with out girls.

Not a lot to do these days. It's nice. Scheri and I will do one last bike ride today at the Air Force Academy. It's gorgeous out. She said we could hang out and chit chat, but I am fearful we will have plenty of time to do that later and would regret not getting in one last one. (My bike goes to the shop tonight and tomorrow for a tune-up-so it will be ready when I'm ready.)

Almost forgot: Hipster patients-I called on Friday to make sure my equipment would be at the hospital, or wherever it needed to be, and they said they didn't have the orders that they would call my doctor and call me back. Be sure you follow through on all of that stuff. It would be a bummer to show up for surgery and not have anything.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Last of the Last

Well, I am ready...kind of. All of my things that I had to do to have peace of mind are done. The last of last, that is that dreaded list I have been attempting to complete is finally done. Today, Marc and I went over to my parent's town, a place they occupy two months out of the year, to make window treatments for their two kitchen windows.
It was either a birthday gift, or maybe a Christmas gift, but since they haven't been here between then and now, I procrastinated until today. Those are done. That was the final thing. Yesterday I finished my classroom. It is also ready for me to walk into on August 5. I will have a few hours of work time before I have students which I will need, but it is just about there. I have things that aren't on my list that I should do to get ready, like weed one last time, but those weeds will be okay if I leave them for a month - I PROMISE! And I should probably do laundry one last time, and I will. Maybe throw together a backpack for the hospital, but other than that, that little friend called relaxation is calling my name.

I have compared this experience to having a baby so many times, and yet again, I will say these are my final days that I will enjoy total relaxation before the big day. After finishing the window treatments, Marc and I enjoyed the pool and sunshine. I asked him if he ever felt like I wasn't in enough pain to get the surgery? (Today is an extremely great day, and I always forget the bad days so quickly.) He answered exactly how I wanted him to, "If you ever want to be active again, even just a cyclist Sara, then you need to get the surgery. You hurt even when you get off of a bike." I love him for reminding me that I am not wasting OUR time with this.

One more thing that I almost forgot to blog about...I won tickets to a Sky Sox game, our minor league baseball team here. It was a radio thing, which I never listen to, and I raced to get the tickets and was the winner. (Literally across the street from a doctor's appointment, figures.) We went last night, as a family, and enjoyed the fireworks after. It was a great time.

Happy 4th of July to all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Less Than a Week

I figured since today was pretty much over, that I could say I have less than a week until surgery! I have waited for what seems like forever to be able to say that. My week has been so busy. Project after project, a long bike ride, and a double birthday party have kept me booked to the max. The projects should be done on Saturday with Marc's help. I promised my parents that I would make valances for their town home, and since they don't get here until August, I have procrastinated. I will also spend one last day at school finishing my room. There isn't a lot to do, but I have a bit of printing, some books, and that is always easier to do at school.

My long bike ride: the goal was 50 miles. Some of you reading this might think that is nothing, but gosh, running 50 miles sounds easier to me than riding it. I have never claimed to be a cyclist, my strength is running, then swimming...last, I can survive on a bike. So Scheri and I headed out for a loop knowing that Harsha would be available if we needed to call him for a ride back. For the locals, we went from Briargate, up Hwy 83 through King's Deer (in a round about way), then to County Line, and over to Palmer Lake. When we crossed I-25 on the other side of Monument Hill, I was kind of shocked, but also thought it should be a lot of downhill back. Downhill, not so much, a headwind, YES! I guess this is the point that I should say that the longest I have exercised for one period of time SINCE BOSTON is about an hour, maybe an hour and a half! We had a little picnic and headed back through Palmer Lake to Monument. We had the brilliant idea to take Baptist all the way over to Hwy 83 because it would be the easiest uphill section between the two places. Once again, I am not sure what we were thinking! We climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and...okay, I'll stop. I began to hurt and wonder if how long I could keep doing this. Surely once we hit our long downhill section I would feel better. However, when I hit that part, I wanted to cry, more! I have wanted to cry only a few times while doing something like this, when I ran with Scheri right before I was diagnosed, when I ran Boston, and yesterday. There may be others, but those are the ones that stick out to me. I hurt so bad. Everything. I couldn't say what specifically hurt, but it all hurt. Today, it feels like I am walking bone on bone again. Back to our ride...we paused for a moment and Scheri said she was miserable. That was my opportunity to say, "Let's call Harsha." And we did. We finished our ride with 45 miles on the Garmin. It was 87 degrees. I iced at Scheri's and headed over to Villa to get in the cold pool. I ended my night on the couch. I had the aches and a sore throat later last night and this morning, although I am feeling better now. Halee had that a few days ago, so I am sure it is a quick cold, but either way, I'm sure it didn't help on my ride. All in all, it was my "departing" ride. I may do a shorter one on Monday, but my bike goes in for a tune-up Monday night, and after that, I'm too busy. So it was fun to do, and glad I had Scheri along for the ride.

Now, the double birthday party for Halee and Christian. 8 teenagers, a mall scavenger hunt, BBQ, cake and ice cream, movies and popcorn, and then, hopefully they sleep. I am heading off to school in the morning after making them waffles. I'm ready for my last weekend presurgery. I have a feeling much of it will be spent at the pool, just lounging around!