I didn’t have a great sleep last night. Kept waking up and it was hard to fall asleep. Brad decided to work from home – I felt relieved as I’m still a bit unsteady, and consistently struggling with nausea and fatigue still.
I listened to an audiobook to fall asleep at 4:30am. Woke up at 6am having to pee, couldn’t sleep again so listened to audiobook, dozed off around 6:40. Woke up at 8:30 so got up for ice and breakfast. Fell asleep around 9:30 and woke up again at 11am. Nausea was intense today – some have said you can be affected by the general anesthesia for 2 weeks so maybe that or maybe the medications – or maybe both. I just watched Netflix and tried to sip a tea and get control of nausea.
Our landlord called and said she wanted to swing by – we knew she was coming by tomorrow but today was unexpected. They wanted to check the roof – we knew we had lost shingles. Brad dealt with that and they stuck to outside stuff today and she’ll be back to for inside check tomorrow. Insurance companies want landlords to check their properties once a year.
I tried some hamburger soup but couldn’t stomach much of it. I then watched Netflix while dozing in and out – not really sleeping but not able to keep eyes open. You know that feeling?
I decided to get a shower and besides Brad having to put on the suction handle, I was able to do everything myself today. Just slowly and carefully. My steri strips were mostly off and I pulled the last hanging one off. A couple welt looking marks that hurt. I’m really bruised and the incisions are there but look good.
I did physical therapy exercises and then spent more time with Netflix and dozing. I’m really sore and stiff today. It hurts to move at hip. A deep bone and joint ache today.
We had leftovers from our power outage Boston Pizza supper. Super light – just 2 pizzas of Italian pizza – and I managed it but nausea still had its grip on me. After supper, I offered to help with dishes as I was restless. Just asked Brad to bring my stool to kitchen and I would wash as I wouldn’t have to move. It wasn’t as easy as I thought but it worked. It’s just hard to have weight all on right side – right side gets sore doing all the work. But I did it!
Brad is going to take Ginny to the vet tomorrow. There’s been an odd smell in bedroom that we can’t pin it but last night I realized she was really scratching her ear. We’ve noticed the last week her head is a bit tilted when she gets up from sleeping sometimes. We thought it was from sleeping but I’ve heard this can happen to dogs with ear infections. I looked at her ears last night when she was cuddling me, and positive one smelled bad and it was filled with brown gunk/ear wax/dirt. I cleaned it best I can but positive that’s the smell. We had almost thought it was my leg and my incisions but they’ve been clean, even with a bit of discharge it wasn’t infected. This morning we looked again and ear looks greasy and some brown wax/gunk again so we are going to play it safe and take her in tomorrow. If not ear infection at least we checked. She has seemed a bit off too so this may be why.
Nausea finally passing, I put on pjs, did physical therapy exercises again, and put on the ice wrap again and did a couple popsicles that completely helped the nausea finally. My physical therapy was hard today. I feel the most stiffness I’ve felt so far today. And like I said a real deep ache. But I did it as I know it’ll help.
I didn’t have a solid nap today, just dozing, so I hope I’ll sleep by midnight. I felt guilty not doing anything today. I feel like I should read for thesis or do some unit planning. I just can’t mentally do more than Netflix. I’m trying to be patient with myself and give myself time.
It’s a whole week now since surgery – I can’t believe a whole week is behind us. I’m hoping by next week the stiffness improves. But I’ve been told to expect slow progress and that some days I’ll have a step back and then sometimes a huge surge forward, another step or two back, etc.
Just reminding myself constantly that even with it being a rough day, I’m still here and I haven’t quit or given up. The hospital physical therapist said there are some who become bedridden after surgeries as they are too afraid to put the work in or it hurts to much. The worst thing I can do right now is not do my exercises – so it may not seem like a lot but it’s the necessary step I need right now. Probably one of most important ones. If I can at least do my physio, then I’ve moved my big rock for the day.
We can call today “the day of sleep”. I could not stop sleeping! I crashed around 1am after finishing up Netflix’s Marcella (I sure hope they have new episodes soon!).
Brad woke me up in the morning with a gentle shake saying “Hey hun. It’s 10:30, I let Ginny out but you should get up and get some ice and pain meds before it begins to hurt.” He’s been so gentle and kind about this – I’m doing so well with longer time between meds and I’ve reduced my pain meds but if I go too long, it is harder to get control back on pain. So I got up and went to bathroom, and made my way to the freezer – glanced at the stove clock for whatever reason and see 8:33am. “Hey babe” I call to the bedroom – “the stove says 8:30! Did the power go out?” Make way back to bedroom with a muffin and ice and he has no idea why he thought it was 10:30 but we just gained 2 hours in our day – bonus! Haha. I crawl back into bed, catch up on some social media, and fall asleep again.
I wake up around 11:30 with stomach grumbling but I’m just feeling so lethargic. I force myself up for ice and lunch but I simply grab a muffin and a brownie. I’m so ashamed of this but I had nothing in me today for energy. I couldn’t even bring myself to warm up lunch or eggs. I crawl back into bed with ice wrap on, and grab my kindle hoping to settle in for some reading. Next thing I know I wake up and it’s 3:30pm.
This time I have more energy – so with Brad’s help again, we get me in the shower and today is special because it’s the first day I can go without Saran Wrap over the incisions! Finally! This shower feels amazing – I even managed to get off most (maybe even all) of the medical tape residue still left from the massive bandage I took off Thursday. I hadn’t been able to as it was too sore to try and scrub and also, I had to cover the area with Saran Wrap so I couldn’t get it off. I had residue all over my left ass cheek and all over my thigh. I swear medical grade medical tape is like super glue. It was so tender scrubbing but I wanted it off so bad. My leg was a bit smelly (not infected at all just unwashed with some discharge – can’t help the smell). The smell has gone away now with the shower today.
I had my longest shower yet, but I finally got out (with help again) and got myself dressed using my reacher/grabber. I said – heck, it’s 4:30 so screw it – back into clean pjs and a robe. My in laws had texted earlier and they really wanted to stop by today. So we had agreed after supper. Brad had ice and a jug of water ready for me. I was still nauseous and dry throat. Crawled back into bed while Brad showered and went to hang in living room. He was going to heat me up some hamburger soup in a bit. He had slept and read on and off all morning too – he was exhausted as well. I think he hasn’t slept all through night just checking on me. I know it’s mentally and physically exhausting being the caregiver too.
Suddenly the wind blew like crazy and I told Brad, he looked outside and real black clouds were coming in. He moved some furniture and candles outside to safer spots. Power went out and stayed out for a long time so we ordered pizza and salad from Boston Pizza. It finally came back on after about 1.5-2 hours – I was worried about my ice packs this whole time.
I did my physical therapy exercises in the darkening room. It’s getting easier to do and I actually can feel my hip muscles and core strengthening finally. Before surgery, the exercises barely helped as the injury just seemed to ruin anything I or physiotherapist did in just moments. It’s nice to feel progression instead of regression.
The power actually came on just as my in laws walked in – my mom in law came in and wanted to see how I made out with cleaning my leg. She is a breast cancer survivor and her own surgical knowledge for post op has been handy. Knowing tips here and there and just want signs to watch out for. She said my face looked so great today and colour was back in it. I noticed my left leg finally didn’t look as purple as it had been since around April. It’s really bruised around the area of surgery but they did take me hip out of joint so not a shock.
After we chatted a bit, my mother in law handed me an envelope and she looked like she was holding back doing a cheer. I opened the card and saw it was an amazon gift card.
I had been pondering purchasing an upright exercise bike. Originally I had thought I’d just sign up for a YMCA pass but I was starting to stress about it. One, I can’t drive yet – it would be a royal pain to beg friends and family for a ride every day to get to a bike. More likely, I’d end up only going a few times a week due to the inconvenience. It’s so much work getting ready that going to a gym is going to tire me out. To do it every day and figure out transportation – it would frustrating and exhausting. Second, it’s better to do short sessions on the bike 2-3 times a day. I’m not going to go to gym 2-3 times a day and to go once for just one 20 minute session would be discouraging. Third, $55 a month for a pass for Y, it would add up to be over $600. Lastly, this hip injury will improve. I’m positive of that. However, it remains to be seen how much it will improve and how much I’ll be affected by the arthritis I’m already developing. Whether I get full pain free function back or not, I want to make sure I focus on adding low impact cardio to my regular exercise when I get the green light to resume regular exercise training. I want to reduce my high impact running to only 1-2 short runs a week with one long aerobic run. Though the long run may have to be reduced to under certain kilometres. I want to find an exercise plan that strengthens me, not injures me or runs my hip into needing a replacement before 40. I’m still not sure what my future exercise will look like but I know that I’ll figure that out with my surgeon, my coach, and me.
Back to the bike story… I found an awesome almost 5 star reviewed upright bike that is foldable for easy storage for $150 on sale on amazon. Usually $260! Brad told me to wait – I know money is hard with me on disability but as a teacher I don’t even get disability for summer months. I always work a summer job but I can’t this summer. If you know me, once I want something, I hate waiting. But I knew this was a big decision but I strongly believed my reasons and logic were strong here. $150 for a bike I can use 2-3 times a day and not need a ride to the gym, or $600 for a YMCA pass that I’d probably go use 2-3 times a week but for only 20 minutes and be stuck on relying on friends and family to take me at times convenient for them.
So gift card in hand… I ordered an upright bike from amazon that will be here Thursday. So excited to do any kind of exercise again!
I was feeling a bit down today with all this sleeping I had done and my lack of energy that this has re-energized me mentally. Physically I’m still exhausted! My snack bag quotes today were dead on for my day:
Not sure if I’ll be up late or not. It’s already 11:12pm. I’m starting another Netflix series called “Staircase”. Wondering if my all day sleep will keep me up or not.
Brad has decided to work from home this week. He wasn’t sure if he’d go back or stay but I honestly don’t feel well enough to be alone all day. I could probably do fine for a couple hours but all day scares me as I sometimes hit a rough patch here and there. If I drop a crutch, I’m screwed too! Not being able to bend and not having hands has really reduced so many things I do need to do in a day. He can’t stay home the whole 4 weeks but at least by week 3, I’ll be a bit more at ease with movement on crutches. I cannot wait for 4 weeks to be up!
Happy Canada Day! It didn’t really feel like a holiday to me at all. Looked like lots of fun activities but no way I can easily manage crowds without really putting a lot of stress on my hip. Even crutches take a lot of effort.
My afternoon nap yesterday made for a sleepless night and I was up until 4am watching Marcella on Netflix – an interesting Netflix original series. I’m already almost finished it. I fell into a deep sleep even if late, and woke up at 9am. A deep ache in my hip overpowered my urge to go back to sleep. I got up for ice and breakfast, and let Ginny out. As I was getting ice, I realized I really needed to pee. Ever try to crutch quickly to the bathroom break? Yeah, we’ll crutching jostles you enough to want to pee even more! I barely made it. I crawled back into bed – getting out of bed has gotten a bit easier but getting back into bed is still painful. Short body and a oversized mattress equals a challenge.
I fell back asleep, and didn’t wake up until noon when Brad woke up. Decided to just shower and relax rest of day. With Brad’s help I got in and out of shower again. Damn the shower tub wall as there is just no easy way to get my left leg over it. Dressed and ready, I managed to make myself my own lunch today, and equipped with fresh ice, made my way back to bed.
My right shoulder is extremely sore today from crutching. And one of my four steri strips came off today. I’m bruising a lot across my abdomen and now with one steri strip off, my poor thigh area is definitely beaten up.
I still mostly just feel most of the ache deep in my hip joint – from the traction they have to do for this surgery and bringing hip out of joint. Surgeon told me hip replacements are actually less painful.
Today I managed to do my physio exercises and hope to do another set before bed.
It still is slow and sore but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can. I’m very worried about my future – I was right that surgeon said surgery went well but I guess I missed the part where he told me I was already developing arthritis in my hip. I’m 33 years old – this terrifies me. Brad told me Thursday when we sharing each other’s stories of Surgery Day. I’m guessing being overweight for so long and then exercising overweight at the beginning of this lifestyle change has been hard on my body.
This news has made me seriously think the last two days. I love my Spartan races but though I’m not old, I’m no spring chicken. I don’t want to spend my newly found athletic lifestyle jumping injury to injury. This experience has taught me so much and I’d never change it. But I also don’t want to force things on my body that will mean more pain and surgeries down the road. I want to find the balance of being athletic but also reducing my risk of having another hip labral tear and even possibly hip replacement if the arthritis worsens. If I can make any changes in my sports and training that will mean less injuries- I’m open to that. This hurt too much to throw it all away just because I’ve fallen in love with something. I started all of this to become healthy – not to race. For me, being able to run, even if I do it less and shorter distances, and my Conviction Fitness training is all I need. Half marathons and Spartan races were the extras.
My follow up appointment is July 20 and I’ll get more answers then. I’m not going to overthink right now but just prepare myself for making smart choices. I’m going to focus on taking this injury and surgery recovery and rehab slow and steady. I’m keeping track of all my rehab this next year or two in a 2 year calendar. Just marking down what I do. I’ll even track my exercise when I am allowed to do that. I know this will be helpful for the first year after this surgery – you never know what information can help me, my coach, my physiotherapist, or my surgeon. I love the message on the cover.
My journal is with it. My coach created these athlete journals. This is my second one. Writing about this experience has been therapeutic and I know I’ll read about this journey again in my future. You can buy a copy of this journal here:
I also made my weekly to do’s in my weekly planner. Something I’ve done since this injury began – makes me feel like I have things to do and to not let days pass by without me trying to make the day worthwhile. Each day should count for something – even if one thing.
Besides that, listening to the pop pop of fireworks going off – just some neighbourhood ones. Ginny isn’t enjoying these odd sounds but is doing okay.
Nausea hit again today. Not sure if it’s some of the deep joint pain, the medications, or still some side effects from the general anesthesia. Either way, I ended up having soup and naan bread for supper instead of tilapia fish freezer meal. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for your body – something I struggle with. I like to follow my “plan”. I’ve been flexible since my surgery in allowing some detours of my meal plan but I can’t deny it doesn’t mentally bug me for a few minutes. I haven’t been back on my usual tight macro counting daily nutrition habits. I can’t even get to my protein powder right now as it’s on a bottom shelf and the almond milk and spinach is in the fridge at a position that would require me to bend 90 degrees at the hip. Brad kindly put 3 flavours of protein powder on the counter for me but I haven’t had the energy yet to make my daily shake. I think I have to let go of making my blended smoothie and just allow myself to mix a shake of powder and almond milk or water. If I remember to bring my reacher/grabber to kitchen I’d probably be able to reach more items. But crutches are hard enough without adding holding onto a long stick thing too.
But these are all things that will get easier with time. I’ll figure it out. I have to give myself a break. Today I was giving myself a mentally rough time for not doing a lot the past 5 days. But it hasn’t even been a full week since my surgery and it wasn’t the easiest procedure on my body between the anesthesia and the traction. My body was forced to do something we normally try to avoid – dislocating my hip joint. And it’s okay to take a week or two off. The surgeon told me it would be about 2 weeks until I felt better so I have give myself that break too. I’m doing what I can – eating wholesome healthier meals, even if a little bit of my exact macros; doing my daily physical therapy exercises, which hospital PT told me she knows so many people ignore them; and I’m trying to get up for ice and things myself as I know a little bit of movement out of bed, even if on my crutches, is good for my body too.
So today wasn’t a bad day at all. I still am taking my pain medication but already at a lower dose than surgeon expected I’d need the first week. I’m sleeping well without sleeping pills now – which makes me sooo happy! I’m off at least one medication! I did my exercises even though hard and sore, and I’ll do a second round of them for the first time after I finish this post up. I’m still smiling and even with all of this craziness, I’m happy. I have an experience that I’m making the best out of and becoming a better person and athlete because of it. I’m not giving up even when it hurts, and even though I’ve lost some of the weight loss and strength training progress I worked so hard for the last 5 years.
If this injury hadn’t happened, I’d have 3 half marathons for 2018 done out of 5, and I’d be training with my team for the Spartan Kimberley Beast in just under 2 weeks. I was so excited for this trip to the mountains and had an amazing place booked to stay. It was supposed to be a little vacation. It is hard as this event comes closer but I’m figuring out how to make the best of it. I won’t let this injury make me become grumpy and sullen. As much as it is hard to hear that I am developing arthritis, if it weren’t for this injury and surgery, I’d never had known that. Perhaps knowing about it earlier is going to become something that helps me be able to have a longer pain free athletic and healthy lifestyle by making the changes to how I train now instead of when it’s too late. If I hadn’t known, I wouldn’t have even considered stopping doing multiple half marathons and Spartan races each year – and I could have ran my hip into a point where I could never train again.
So I’m growing, learning, embracing change and getting stronger – even if it is a different journey than I had planned. The next 6 months will be the most crucial but I won’t stop at 6 months. I plan to embrace this for the rest of my life.
I fell asleep last night listening to an audiobook and arm on my dog who had curled up right into me. A deep soreness started last night and the calming rhythm of her breathing helped me to fell into a deep sleep.
I had to wake up early to get a shower done with help from boyfriend before he had to go into work for a short bit and his mom came to hang with me. Ginny actually climbed into bed before our alarm and kissed me gently in the face – I was borderline hurting – and if I waited even another 1/2 hour for ice and meds, I’d have been in rough shape. It’s like she knows and woke me to get a head start on the pain building. So I got up for ice and a muffin, nausea was bad again. Managed to get muffin and pain meds into me. The ice helped immensely. Brad got up and got ready and then it was my turn.
Showering was easier second time as I knew more what to expect. Still incredibly hard and painful to lift left leg over the tub wall. I was showered, dressed, in better spirits and less pain, and warming up eggs and veggies freezer meal when Brad’s mom arrived. Brad headed up and she hustled me back to bed.
The deep joint pain hasn’t really eased off today. It’s manageable but so very very sore especially when moving. I spent the day in bed with Netflix and was so tired but couldn’t sleep. We ordered lunch – just appies and mom made me clam chowder soup to go with my pretzel appies I ordered. Nausea still wouldn’t bugger off.
Lunch in me, I tried to sleep again but couldn’t. I got up for ice and bathroom around 2 and Brad came home at that time. Mom left and I went back to bed and this time tuned into an audiobook and fell asleep. I didn’t wake up until the sound of rain and saw it was 6:50pm – I had slept almost 5 hours. Missing a dose of meds and 2 icing sessions, my hip was throbbing deep inside so I forced myself up for bathroom and ice. Brad warmed me up a chicken, potato and corn freezer meal and I put on the local football game.
I so did not want to do my physical therapy exercises tonight with this deep joint pain. But I know it will help and if I don’t, I’ll only cause future problems. I actually got my knees up today and I went through the exercises slowly. It’s such a deep soreness but I keep telling myself they wouldn’t give me exercises that would hurt me.
I’m still tired even after my nap. The side effects from the general anesthesia seem to be lingering.
Another thing I did today with my mom in law is slowly peel off the waterproof tegaderm bandages I put on yesterday for my shower. I was scared to pull them off as I didn’t want to pull on the steri strips or the stitches. Mom said she really thinks I need air to get to the incisions and I agree – just wasn’t sure how the bandages would peel off. Didn’t expect them to stick so good. But I picked a corner and went slow and they came off with no pulling on the steri strips or stitches. I’ll have to stick to Saran Wrap so I don’t have to worry about pulling the bandages off and possibly pulling on stitches. I’ve had some leaking still in two of the incisions and it doesn’t look pretty but they don’t hurt, and do not have any of the warning signs of infection so just letting it be.
Thanks to my nap, I’m waking up now and the football game just ended (my team lost). I’m going to get into pj’s, get new ice, and settle in for a Netflix movie tonight.
Surgeon told me to expect rough days throughout the recovery so today was just one of those. But each day still means progress and I’m not going to fall apart after just one bad day. If anything, it makes me stronger.
Today all my teacher friends are finishing up last things before summer holidays. I still can’t believe I missed 3 months of work, and I’m anxious to get a timeline at my follow up appointment on July 20 for a return.
Yesterday I was terrified to take off the bandage but I finally did. It isn’t the prettiest sight but it’s ok. It looks worse than it feels. I’m worried about the blood but it’s not hurting so hoping it’s okay.
I had been on sleeping pills since end of April when the pain was so bad, I couldn’t sleep. I used my last one Wednesday night and I didn’t want to ask for more as I hope to get off of all these medications I had during this injury. It took me some time to fall asleep but I also had a 2 hour supper time nap. I did a mindfulness session using the Calm app and then turned on an audiobook on audible. Since this injury, I don’t shift positions and wearing my corded Bose noise cancelling headphones don’t seem to be dangerous. I felt myself drifting off so I actually took off headphones and I fell asleep around 1:00am and I slept until 8:30am. I woke feeling really stiff and sore, and a deep joint pain, along with some nausea. I hadn’t woken up overnight so I hadn’t iced or taken meds for over 8 hours. Brad helped me get a muffin in me and some meds, and today’s first ice packs. It’s amazing how much better I feel with constant icing.
I put on my headphone to listen to my audiobook again, hoping pain and nausea would pass. The pain isn’t severe – just constant and so deep that it hurts enough to make you go crazy. After a couple hours in the dark with an audiobook, I knew I had to get in the shower. I had washed myself real good last 2 days but I was still starting to smell.
So Brad put together the shower chair we ordered, put the suction safety handle on the shower wall, and I put waterproof tegaderm bandages over my 4 incision areas and Saran wrapped the heck around my thigh. Now to get in – using one crutch as I’m not supposed to put full weight on left hip, I managed to get right leg in tub with almost a spill – didn’t think about the bath mat slipping from the weight of crutch pressed against it. Luckily Brad was there and caught it before crutch slipped completely. It was hard to get my left leg raised enough without pain over tub wall but I did it and I got onto the shower chair. Brad handed me the handheld shower head his parents had kindly installed before my surgery, and left. I didn’t think I’d be able to turn on the water and hit the shower button but I did and it felt sooo good to shower. I had left all my shampoos and soaps handy but it still was a bit sore turning and reaching for them. I was still scared about my incisions getting wet but nothing I could do as I was already under water.
Shower done, I called for Brad to help me out of shower. I had decided to use a terry cloth robe instead of bothering with a towel and trying to crutch. Wrapped towel around hair and actually got out of tub ok. When beginning to unwrap the Saran Wrap, I soaked the floor with water but between the plastic and the waterproof bandages, I think incisions stayed dry. The bandages stuck well so I’ve left them on for now. Might as well get a couple showers out of them.
I crutched myself to the spare room where I have clothes that I can wear over my leg. I set out a bunch of possible clothing before surgery. I didn’t want to have to reach or bend in multiple drawers and the closet. This has been so helpful. I bought some shorts a size bigger and I’m so glad I did. The swelling, even though improved since Tuesday, has made the shorts tight around the thigh. Slowly, using the grabber/reacher tool, I got myself dressed.
Since I was up, thought I could make my own lunch and get my own ice. Brad would have to carry my lunch to me but I could try and do some of it. While I was doing that, the teacher who was my replacement while I was off work stopped by with my teacher computer and a gift. I had gotten her a gift as she was amazing while I was away. I can’t believe she got me something as she helped me out! Ginny was hoping something in there was for her but it was all for me.
David’s Tea mug and a collection of organic teas. She knows me well and we just met when she subbed for me the day after my physio appointment and I thought I’d just be missing a few days. I’ve made a new friend during this, and she is going to be teaching French at another school in October so we’ll continue to work together when she needs any help.
By this time, I was exhausted. I crawled back into bed with ice and lunch and didn’t move for most of afternoon besides a bathroom break and one more ice swap. We had some rain but around 4:30 I got got up for more ice but thought maybe I could try to go outside for 5 minutes and throw Ginny the ball. We have the chuck it stick so I don’t have to bend. Took longer to figure out how to get my good sandals on without help. We got outside and I threw her the ball. She brings it back and I realized standing and trying to pick up the ball even with the chuck it stick was still hard on my hip. I navigated myself to a chair and was scared to sit as it was lower than anything I’ve really sat in. But I remembered I sat in the wheelchair at hospital and it was low so I slowly managed myself into the chair. I threw Ginny the ball about 10 times and I was tired and sore. It was also super hot. I didn’t want to overdo it so before I felt like crap, I got myself back up on crutches and made my way back in.
More ice and back in bed. I’m sore and hip throbs some so I may have done a bit too much, or it just may be sore from movement, but I’m happy, a good exhausted and ready for Day 4. After this post, I’ll do my physical therapy exercises I was given by hospital therapist. Yesterday didn’t go so well so hoping today has some improvement. I know I have to give myself time and be patient – one day these exercises will seem like nothing, but today it takes all my effort and that’s okay.
Each day seems to get better. Sure, there is pain and discomfort but it’s different now and I can’t explain in well. This is a pain that comes and goes, but will eventually go. The pain I had before was constant and sharp. It made every movement hurt. This pain gets better if I treat it right. It’s okay to move some if I use the crutches.
I had such a good couple days both Tuesday after surgery and most of yesterday that I was taken by surprise with a rough night. It was brought on my medication induced constipation – TMI? Well I was going to omit but if I hide behind only the good times, others out there struggling will continue to feel alone too. It’s life and it’s temporary. My goal for writing is to help others in same or similar experiences. This is something to I wish I would have been more prepared for.
My surgeon had warned me of this and had prescribed medications for it. However, I did not expect it to be as bad as it was, and I hope to never experience something like that again. The hour long ordeal left me in tears and I had definitely unintentionally overstrained my hip. Today I’m trying to add Metamucil to the surgeon’s prescribed medication. I’ve also been able to cut back one pain pill every 4 hours so far, and that should help too. Hopefully my healthy diet will also help me to restore less painful bodily functions.
When you face surgery, you only focus really on the part of your body undergoing the surgery. I was so prepared for anything with my hip, I did not fully take into account other issues. My throat has been the worst – even more painful more often than my hip. The breathing tube must have been massive and scratched the whole length of my throat. As well I’ve had deep chest congestion that I’m trying to use deep breathing to clear up. It’s also a side effect of the breathing tube. I also had a catheter which has left some pain but minor compared to the breathing tube.
I woke up today after an extremely painful night that even max dose pain meds didn’t touch so I lay in bed watching Harry Potter marathon with Brad rubbing my head. It helped and eventually I drifted off to sleep the movie still playing.
I woke up at 8am and Brad was completely asleep. He had a rough night being up with me so I hated to wake him up. I got myself up as I had to use bathroom, and managed to also make it to kitchen to grab ice packs and a muffin. Not my typical breakfast but I had no energy yet to warm up my freezer meal breakfast and find a way to carry it to bed. Been balancing eating healthy but also getting food into me when I can too – sometimes meaning something I can easily transport to bed until I can get help.
After getting my ice wrap on and settling back into bed, Brad was still sleeping so I put on my Bose soundproof headphones and began listening to the Obstacle Order Podcast – Yancy Culp was guest and he’s always so inspiring. I dozed off towards the end of it.
Brad woke up around 10am and his movements woke me up too. I asked for my freezer breakfast meal of eggs and veggies to be warmed up, and he did. I managed most of them but nausea hit again. It’s off and on. More ice and I began to feel better. I got up and decided to wash up some with sink and dress myself – thank god for my $12 Amazon reacher/grabber.
This tool has been sooo handy. I can pull on my own underwear and shorts. I decided I really wanted a tea and more ice and decided to try to go get it myself. It was 1:05pm so decided I might as well get my lunch too. Lunch was pre made already – diced turkey burger with a side of romaine lettuce, hemp seeds with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I warmed the meat in a bowl and put back into the bento box. I had managed to steep a tea. This meant cleaning out my mug from day before st sink, putting the mug bag into my lunch kit attached to my crutch and crutch across kitchen to the water cooler to make my tea. Lunch warmed up, banana put with my lunch, tea steeping, swapped ice – lunch kit only fit the ice packs and the tea mug so I still had to ask Brad to bring me my lunch – but I did get it ready myself!
Made it back it bed and ate most of my lunch and nausea hit again just at the end, as well as drowsiness. Dozed in and out a bit but I think I’ll need a good nap here soon. I really struggle with sleeping during the day but I’m getting better at accepting I need naps. The more I nap, the better I seem to feel.
The pain I feel is a deep heavy pain – it feels like the hip is trying to heal back into the socket. That it had been jarred (well in reality forcibly dislocated) and now is getting comfortable being back in joint. My swelling seems better today I think – we’ve done a decent job with icing. It’s not as easy to keep up on as you think. Either I have to ask for ice every 1.5 hours or get up myself. But my ice wrap I bought seems to keep ice cold long enough that I don’t need to rotate every 1.5 hours. We are getting 7-8 times a day of icing in out of the 5-10 tines recommended.
Today I’m allowed to take off the bulky bandage but we haven’t yet. I’m anxious and scared to. There was some bleeding yesterday I could see through the bandage so wondering if waiting for tomorrow morning may be better just since yesterday’s bleeding. But at same time – I really want it off as it’s huge. Icing will be easier when it’s off. But to be completely honest – seeing my leg bruised (most likely) and stitches is not easy for me. I think I’ll get the courage eventually – curiosity and discomfort of the big bandage is stronger than the fear of what’s underneath.
Made my follow up appointment today – was supposed to be 4 weeks post op but has to be a wee bit sooner as he’s away the week of my 4 weeks. Receptionist will make sure surgeon is okay with it but it’s only 3 days early so should be fine.
But it’s 3:17pm. Most of today is over it seems. Days seems so slow but also seem to fly by. Though last night scared us a bit and was no fun, I’m still hopeful that the worst is behind us.
Yesterday happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to write anything before surgery. A fax glitch left me without any pain meds the day before surgery, so I checked myself in for the day surgery in a pretty miserable state. Even after the surgery, the nurses joked that I looked worse before surgery than after.
I checked in at 6:30am and made my way to day surgery unit. I changed to a gown and was quickly prepped for surgery. We had issues with IV and it hurt so bad the first time they tried to do it. I warned her my veins jumped and after the nurse said “Holy – you weren’t kidding”. She had tried to do my right hand but the vein jumped and she hit bone instead. She wouldn’t try again and had another nurse who they called their IV queen do it and she did it no problem on my left hand.
The surgeon came by, chatted, and signed my left hip. I was told to bring something to do before surgery so I had brought headphones for audiobook, my kindle, and my journal but I had no time for any of it. I was given a cap for my hair and at 8:00am (surgery was schedule for 7:45), I was rolled to the operating room.
I had to move myself from the gurney to the bed as there was a special traction for my leg. I was starting to get anxious after seeing it but my surgeon came in and asked me for my name and date of birth, had me confirm it was my left hip they were doing, and then said have a nice nap.
I woke up in post op in some serious pain but they treated it with intravenous medication. Post op is a blur of seeing a blurry nurse face twice and of just moaning. Next thing I am aware of is being rolled back to day surgery unit. The nurses there let my boyfriend come in and say hi, then they said they wanted me to sleep more and closed the curtain some.
I woke up around noon and had to pee. The nurse asked if I could wait for physical therapist as she was just with another patient but I was next. I said I’d try. She said she could bring a bed pan but I wanted to use a real bathroom. In 10-15 minutes I couldn’t wait much longer. I was mentally aware of knowing it would take me longer to get up and get to bathroom so I knew I had to get up on it. I convinced them I felt like I could navigate with my crutches as I’d been using them for a couple weeks already so we went off to the bathroom which was about 30 feet away. A nurse had already put on an elevated chair for me. The therapist has come just as we started moving but she told me to go ahead and looked impressed. We got back and she wheeled me to a room with some practice stairs. Luckily our house only has 2 steps on a deck so unless I want to go to basement, I don’t have many stairs. Basement is mostly freezer for food, laundry, and my home fitness equipment. Brad can get our food, I can wait at least 10 days for laundry and Brad will do it until I can, and I won’t be needing that type of fitness equipment for some time.
The surgeon came by just as we were getting ready to go practice stairs. He told me that it went well. He was able to clean up the tear – debridement. There was fraying so he also did a capsular closure – I believe that means closing the socket where fraying was? But he didn’t have to shave off any of the hip femur bone which was a relief as that procedure can result in easier fracturing of the hip during recovery if too much weight is put on. Originally I was told I would be non weight bearing after surgery and now I’m partial weight bearing! It helps a lot with mobility. Surgeon warned it doesn’t mean putting weight on hip but that I can still put foot to floor with crutches taking most of the weight. It really makes a difference.
After we returned from practicing the stairs, my clothes were at my bed, and the nurse said she could help me or Brad, and Brad said he would. I had worn a comfy grey cotton dress. I put on my bra and slipped it overhead and went home commando. Brad wheeled me down to the front and the nurses followed (to get back their wheelchair haha) and we actually managed to get me into Brad’s Jeep with less problem than we had been worried about the day before. He had pulled it up to a curb and a boost – I’m short that I always have to climb into his Jeep. Somehow we figured it out easy but backing myself into the chair.
The drive home was short – luckily we lived just 8 minutes from the hospital the surgery was at. The angle of chair was not the most comfortable for this surgery so it was a bit hard but luckily a short drive. I managed myself inside with a happy dog to greet me. She was very calm and gentle which is unlike her when she sees me. We promptly got into bed, I grabbed my stash of digestive cookies I had in my bag for hospital and ate them while Brad went to get my 7 post op medications filled. When he got back he made me a turkey meat bun and it tasted amazing.
Mostly I’ve been sleeping or watching Netflix (right now decided on a Harry Potter Marathon using our DVD collection). My throat is mighty sore from the breathing tube and some congestion that I believe is from breathing tube too. Getting into and out of bed is the hardest part of my mobility. But once I’m in crutches it’s not too bad for about 5 minutes. More than that I start to hurt. I’m so thankful we did buy the post op recommendations such as a elevated toilet seat and a shower chair. The handles on the toilet seat have also been a huge help. They are wide enough that my big hip (because of bandage) can get in without bumping but really helps to sit down and get up with less pain. The biggest thing is making sure I get up when I need to go right away instead of waiting as it takes so long!
I can actually remove the bulky bandage tomorrow and shower if I cover the sutures.
The sutures are dissolvable too so they’ll go on their own! I asked when I can start going back to my physiotherapist and I thought he’d say a week but he said 2 weeks. I have some exercises at home that I’m excited to even have – though not like the typical exercise I do but something!
I am so glad I ordered about 80 bento boxes and 20 soup containers on Amazon for around $50. It’s going to help with less dishes. With my mom in law’s help, I meal prepped 28 breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to make it through a month. Already this has been a huge help – we don’t have to question what to make, or if we have the ingredients, and we’ve decided to just toss them even though reusable. One, we don’t really have the storage and two, having less dishes to do in this first month is a benefit to me and Brad. It feels good to have healthy options already made as the healthy food is going to be a benefit to my recovery. I even made over 90 snack bags labelled with inspirational quotes on them. Some quotes from friends and teammates and some I found myself. It’s been actually very motivating to read each time I have a snack. I’m saving each slip of paper and putting in my jar of messages I received from my team earlier during this injury.
So now it’s 5:15pm and 27 hours since I came home. I am dying for the first shower – I can’t have until tomorrow afternoon. But I will go wash up some soon. I don’t like this greasy feeling. I had just gotten up to get more ice, bathroom, make a tea (first tea since Monday!), and grab a banana (yay for lunch kit I clipped to crutches). But that excursion quickly wore me out so I had to lie back down.
I’ve been spoiled with puppy snuggles, and flowers from my parents in law and brother & sister in law. And a bag of Swedish berries because as my mom in law put it, if I remember right from yesterday, “I think what you went through deserves at least one whole bag of Swedish berries to eat.”
I’m excited for where this injury may take me. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve been through but even in my dark, hard days – I found my way through. I’m a fighter. A survivor. The surgeon said to me yesterday that keeping my weight low is going to help this type of injury. I’ve always wondered how I didn’t have more injuries during my previous obesity before I changed my life. But this injury could have been developed during those years and shovelling in that snow storm just tore it enough for pain. We will never know for sure but I’ll find my way back to fitness and keeping myself healthy.
When I meet with the surgeon at my 4 week follow up appointment, I will ask him his honest opinion about my OCR racing and even my running. I’m not a young kid. I’m not old by any means. But I know that I may have to reconsider some of my exercise options in order for not have this hip tear reoccur. I’d rather run 2-3 5k runs a week with Ginny for the rest of my life rather than run one half marathon that ends my running completely. I’m not sure how that conversation will go – he may have no limits for me or he suggest some. Either way – I’ll always be committed to a healthy lifestyle. I know I’ll continue to train with my team – even if it means some modifications and changes to goals and dreams. But my dream when I began this journey was never to collect a ton of medals or to see how many races I can do. My dream was to be healthier and happier. And I can still do that – that’s my reality regardless of how I do it. Here’s to a new chapter in this journey.
It seems like a lifetime ago when my back and hip pain first began March 5. The end of winter, all of spring, and beginning of summer has flown by. Everyone’s lives around me seem to me moving forward and I feel stuck in the middle, unmoving. It’s an extremely lonely and isolated journey even with amazing friends and family. Unless you’ve experienced over 100 days in your bed, it isn’t something you can easily say you understand.
I’ve been to 6 doctor/surgeon appointments, 14 physio appointments, 2 cortisone shots, 1 ER visit, 3 X-rays, 1 MRI with contrast, and now finally tomorrow hip arthroscopy surgery. I was diagnosed on June 13 with a hip labral tear in my left hip. So on the surface – I’m ready for surgery as I have a month of meals planned, post op mobility equipment ready, and bag packed. And my body is ready to begin healing.
But mentally, I’m a mess – scared and anxious. I’m worried how this injury will affect my future and if it will affect some of the new passions I’ve fallen for in sports such as half marathon running and OCR races, specially Spartans. I’ve realized during this time off that I want to refocus my half marathon road racing to trail running by I still want to do it. I have fallen in love with my healthy lifestyle, feeling energetic, and moving freely feeling good. I’m scared of forever feeling pain in even just walking. But a friend shared this quote with me last week from soccer player Abby Wambuch: “You see soccer didn’t make me who I was. I brought who I was to soccer. And I get to bring who I am wherever I go. And guess what? So do you. As you leave here today and every day going forward, don’t just ask yourself, what do I want to do? Ask yourself, who do I want to be? Because the most important thing I’ve learned is that what you do will never define you. Who you are always will.”
Abby listed four rules:
1 Make failure your fuel
2 Lead from the bench
3 Champion each other.
4 Demand the ball.
So who am I? I am someone who has come back from other setbacks. Since 2013 and first starting this journey, I’ve always fought to improve myself. Even now from bed, I love seeing my teammates race this summer and conquer personal goals. I am a better athlete for who I train with. They push me forward and I hope they know I am cheering them on even from the sidelines. I want the ball back. Metaphorically. Whatever that “ball” is for me after all of this. Even my rehab will be a “ball” for me for some time and I’ll strive to be the best “ball” player in my physical therapy. From there, a day at a time and I’ll come back – even if it isn’t exactly to everything I was doing before.
In Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore said: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” So tomorrow I begin to live and I’ll figure out my dreams as each day comes. A new chapter begins tomorrow.
Here’s the link to the whole Abby Wambuch speech if you wish:
On March 5, my life would change drastically but I hadn’t realized it yet. My hip and back began to hurt. On March 20, it was obvious to the physiotherapist my doctor sent me to that there was a severe injury. Physio believes I have a hip labral tear in my left hip. I was put off work the next day by my doctor and referred to a surgeon. I saw the surgeon April 5, who assumes the injury is exactly that but only a MRI can detect it. In Canada, that means a wait possibly of 3-6 months. So now I’ve been off work since March 21 and on bed rest, while trying to manage the pain and still at least eat healthy while I’m pretty much bedridden. During this time I’ve been writing in a journal, listening to podcasts, reading motivational books for athletes, working on thesis when able, using Headspace’s app for mindfulness, and reading for fun when able. This has led to a lot of learning.
I made this huge life changing decision last week and only shared with a few people. It isn’t an easy one to make but it’s the right one. I’ve spent many moments since making this decision questioning if it’s the right one and wondering if I’ll be able to stick to it. I wasn’t sure when I’d share this publicly but the podcast I listened today featuring Jax Mariash opened up the door to share as well as reassured me that I’m making a smart choice for myself.
We already know my 2018 race season is over. My surgeon hopes to get my back for 2019 but over the past 6 weeks of bed rest and missing out on training, I’ve learned a lot of myself and some mistakes I’ve made in training and racing, that may have caused and/or contributed to my injury. In this podcast, Jax talks about a hectic race season where her body just began to crash. Her kidneys were failing and numerous other problems. After race season, it bounced back and they never found a reason why. She believes it was from not having proper recovery and back to back races and said she learned that year that you got to take care of your system. The host of the podcast, Margaret, piped in and shared that as runners and OCR athletes, we can get into this pattern of feeling really accomplished so all we do is “racing racing racing”. Racing fills up every weekend or every other weekend. she said “It’s like you race, you go home, you recover, you barely train again and then you’re at again”. After 2 years of this, Margaret suffered an ankle injury and she said it was like her body saying you need to slow down and you’re not going to do it on your own so we’re going to do it for you.
Back to Jax: she said the media always asked her “what’s next?” With her own ego combined with media expectations, she thought “shit I gotta come with a really intense schedule” and she got caught up in it instead of really listening to herself, even after her body was shutting down. She made it through season but at the end, her body was done. She took a long break and today she looks at it like this: “Do you remember the results or the journey? It’s the people you meet. The adventures your travel. The epic journeys people have come from. That’s the shit that matters. Be appreciative of the surroundings and what you get to do. Take a few moments, look around, and take it all in and put it into your memory bank”. Is it about crossing that finish line over and over again or is about how your journey to get there?
Back to me. I’ve had to time to think back to my past few years. I began to change my life and then I got hooked to racing. I’ve got swept away by that finish line feeling. The quantity of races medals, Personal Bests, and finish lines overtook me and blinded me to what’s really important.
From Jim Afremow’s book “A Champion’s Comeback”
It’s not about the racing. It’s about the every day. It’s about the places that the races can take me and the people I meet along the way. It’s about the workouts and being with my amazing team. It’s about the views I’ve seen during the races and the mountains I’ve climbed that I never used to. It’s about the time I spent with my four legged running partner. It’s about being healthy. It’s about planning just a few races to have fun and to see how my year of training has got me.
Spartan’s motto “I’ll see you at the finish line”? You will but it won’t be until 2020. My decision is that no matter what happens this year, and no matter when or if I can return to training and running in 2019, I will not be signing up for any races. Maybe I’ll travel to some with my team to cheer them on and be in that atmosphere. I’ll definitely attend local ones to cheer on friends and teammates. Maybe even volunteer. But my new plan is to be patient. To listen to my body. Once we finally pinpoint the exact injury and have a solution, I’ll take the time necessary and the steps set out by my surgeon and physiotherapist to fix the injury and heal. I’ll take any negative news with the positivity. The reality is we don’t know the severity or the exact injury and there is always the slim possibility that running or obstacle course racing may not be in my cards again. That maybe I need to focus on other goals – like kettlebells and walking. Hopefully I can get back to it all but I’m not going to jump right back in and return to my current situation.
This is about learning from the situation and applying it to my comeback, not about getting it over with and repeating same mistakes. Will I miss racing? Hell yes I will. But by taking a year off, whether that means next year or even 2020, I’ll learn how to plan the right balance of racing in my life. I want one full year of just training only before I return to race season and that might mean one year off or five years off racing. When I look back at my best 5 years, the moments I enjoy most are the daily workouts and challenges with my team, with Ginny, and with myself.
I’ve neglected training the mental athlete in me and that will also become a part of my routine. I’m not going to just be a runner or a racer. I’m going to be a champion. I can’t wait until the first race again but it will come when I’m ready physically and mentally, with the blessing of my surgeon and my trainer. I’m going to start planning races with my trainer instead of booking them all on my own and telling him my goals after I’ve already committed. I’m going to learn to focus on the journey and on the memories – not the number of medals I can get in a year or on the idea that I need to have personal bests every single race. As Dr. Jim Afremow’s book says – “This is where I need to be to get my game back”.
I’m going to get back to loving the feeling of living and not just living for the moment of short glory from racing.
I’ve listened to the Obstacle Order podcasts too and they, and many guests they’ve had, have helped so much. Most memorable is Yancy Culp – OCR athlete who had to take time off racing while treating cancer. He said what got him through every day was asking each morning “What big rock am I going to move today?” This decision has been the heaviest weight and the biggest rock I’ve ever lifted and moved. And I’m proud of myself and no matter how many people might say “Why not just one race?” I’m going to remember how hard this rock was to move and not fall into that. Just one can easily become ten. Before I can race again, I need to learn to be that girl who crosses the finish line and doesn’t care that she crossed a finish line or that she was in a race but that she had an amazing journey to get to the starting line, and enjoyed every moment to the finish line, not just the finish line itself.