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After years of sloth, I am now a mama who runs and practices yoga. I write about exercise; parenting a grownup child as well as two little kids; and whatever is annoying me at the moment.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Hipsters, help and -- yay -- I'm two weeks post-op

As of today, I'm two weeks and a day post-op from a hip arthoscopy to fix a hip labral tear (torn cartilage) and a femoral acetabular impingement in my hip.


My surgery was done the day before the new presidential administration took office, so you could say my recovery has tracked the new administration. Let's just say my recovery is going much more smoothly.

Some observations:

  • When people see you in a hip brace and crutches, they automatically assume something very bad happened. It just looks worse than it is -- it's pretty good so far.
  • I can button my jeans again this week. SWEET!
  • My family's been pretty great in helping. My 7-year-old just learned to tie his shoe (because his mom just got around to teaching him, oops) so he's gotten to practice on me, since I'm not supposed to be doing deep bends, which makes putting on my right shoe hard. 
  • Doors get opened for me, cars stop to let me crutch across the street (this is a good thing in Chicago), people even bring me food. (Yum. I wish that last part could continue indefinitely.)
  • Binny's delivers. Yes!
  • I'm sleeping in my 5-year-old daughter's "My Little Pony"-adorned bed right now, so I don't have to navigate stairs to my room in the middle of the night. She thinks it's one big slumber party, enthusiastically agreeing to sleep in her plush unicorn sleeping bag on the floor. I think she thinks I'm going to stay there permanently. The cat sleeps with me there, too. 
  • My running friends are SO nice to set up reasons for me to leave my house and gab for hours. Non-running friends (who I imagine are like yeah, dummy, running is bad for you) have been so nice, too, with cards and even a book to read while I'm off work. Which I haven't yet started, but I will!
  • I'm so grateful for a FB group that calls ourselves "hipsters" and shares surgery and recovery stories. Reading of others' experiences of having multiple hip surgeries, I'm attacking my recovery like a double cheeseburger on a camping trip. It's like quitting smoking -- I really, really, really only want to do this once, thankyouverymuch.
  • Hip surgery does not automatically mean hip replacement. I've been asked that a lot. I'm not old enough to join AARP yet and, therefore, using only vanity for logic, I'm obviously too young for a hip replacement. (According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the average age is 50 to 80. OK, so I'm closer than I thought. But not there yet!)

One of the challenges of all of this has been going from exercising six days a week, with sweaty runs or spin classes several days a week, to, well, not sweating at all.

I realized how much I depend upon exercise to keep me well below "snarling" level. I felt really down several times this past week. (Though, compared with problems others are facing now, I kept reminding myself a lot that I am really, really lucky.)

I'm allowed to ride a stationary bike with no resistance for 20 minutes every day, on which it s impossible to break a sweat or generate much in the way of endorphins. I asked (ok, maybe I pleaded with) my physical therapist, who cleared me to lift weights (upper body) and that has lifted my mood. It always pays to ask for what you need.

I will be able to give up crutches as early as next week, so that's cool. The clunky brace in a few more weeks. Drive a car again some day. Eventually attempt the elliptical machine (six weeks) and -- the sweetest gift -- running (four months).

I'm getting there. ☺✌🏃

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