6 Week Post-Op
Guys – it’s been 6 weeks since my surgery to repair the labral tear in my left hip BUT I AM STILL NOT RUNNING. (although I am planking a lot)
Yes, dear readers, we are getting to the frustrating part of recovery. To be honest – I think that recovery (just like injury) goes through many “stages”. So far I have experienced the following:
- Happiness – “My injury is fixed.” “It does not hurt.” “Wheeeeeee! Let’s sign up for all the races.”
- Grief – “What is this soreness?” “I thought everything was supposed to be “fixed”.” “Did I pull, tear or worse re-injury myself?” “Arghhhh – where have my muscles gone. These clothes don’t fit the same.”
- Anger – “Why is my doctor/therapist/husband telling me I can’t do x,y,z. I feel fine!” “Why am I STILL doing the same exercises – these aren’t helping.”
- Sadness – “Will I ever do “x” again.” “Look at all these people doing “x”. I wish I was doing that.” “Facebook – stop telling me what I was doing 1, 2 or 3 years ago – it’s not helping!”
- Repeat (at least until that sport (or thing) that you used to do is back in your life.
Don’t get me wrong – I was super excited (if you follow me on Instagram) when I went to physical therapy on my “5 week surgery anniversary” and was told physical therapy protocol had changed. YES! Now I could (and am) now able to really get to work!
The first couple of days after I was given the “all clear” and actually started doing these new exercises my hip was sore – it freaked me out a little because my new fear is that the repair will somehow “pop” or re-tear. BUT I think that it was just that these exercises started to re-utilize muscles that had been in active for 5 weeks.
Squats, bird dips (with weight), and leg raises to name are now included on the approved list of PT exercises. Cardio, however, still only consists of walking and the stationary bike (although I have been slowly upping the resistance).
I did have a fill-in therapist last week and when I asked if I could start using the elliptical she said that she did not see why not but did not give me specifics on how to start. So in the interest of being on the safe side – I am going to speak to my regular therapist this week and find out how (and if) I can start incorporating this into my recovery routine.
It’s been slow but after weeks of slowly walking during lunch and being faithful to my PT exercises I have been seeing some (albeit small) results and improvement. When I first started incorporating a small walk (around the block) during my lunch break, my legs were so tight and sore that I thought I pulled something. However, with a little bit of stretching and rope work – those are a distant memory.
My pace and ability to stay on my feet has also increased and everyday is a little bit better.
I have been staying active but still also give my body the chance to continue to heal. It’s been tough (see stage of recovery numbers 2-5) as my Facebook feed still continues show many of my friends running and racing all over this darn state. It’s inspiring but also frustrating to the point that I sometimes have to step away and take a deep breath.
Funny – in August when I was still on crutches and planning the epic road-trip Mark and I are taking in October, I foolishly mentioned that it might be a good idea to sign up for an “easy” 5k in one of the cities we were staying. Mark called me crazy (very lovingly ). I probably was, but in my mind thought I would (despite what my doctor told me) running by now.
Clearly – that is not the case.
BUT I have a follow-up with the surgeon the first week of October where I hope I will be cleared to start incorporating walk/runs back into my life. That would be great – although I know I will look like a newborn baby deer once I am given the “all clear”
Even if I can’t run on our vacation, I will be bringing my PT exercises and equipment with me AND have already mapped out local gyms to continue to get my sweat on as we travel south.
So that’s the update – forward (albiet slow) progress. However – if it’s these “boring” exercises that will get me back to running – I will bird dip until the cows come home!