Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Three Weeks Post-Surgery

Friday May 3rd marked three weeks since my surgery. My time on the operating table seems so long ago, as with every day I have less pain, and more movement. I'm not so tired anymore, and am feeling able to return to giving bodywork treatments. I'd like to balance my receiving practice with offering others the health and wellness of Clearheart Bodywork. Besides, much as I love my home, it's time for me to get out in the sunshine!

I was very pleased to have my first physiotherapy session yesterday. It was a treat to have some outside input on my healing journey. It's a bit weird hanging out at home, wondering whether I'm doing things right, or not. As the physio said, they give the same 3 precautions to everyone, regardless of personal requirements. It is nice that at 50, technically middle aged, (or old, according to my step-daughter), I am in the 'young' category. Most people who've had this surgery are much older than me. 

I went to the Royal Jubilee Hospital physio department. My physio, Jason, was easy-going and knowledgeable. One of his first questions was "So - about the driving thing...?"

Say 'no!' to Driving?!
A few days ago, I'd started helping drive our kids to various activities. I tossed my cushion on the driver's seat to keep my hips at less than 90 degrees, and proceded with care. At the Joint Replacement Clinic (JRC) they had said not to drive while on the heavy painkillers, which I'm long past. They also said there's a danger of clenching muscles in reaction to an intense driving situation, and perhaps do some damage. My pain is not so bad these days, and I'm pretty relaxed, so I reasoned, with a little luck, I'd be fine.

But Jason said if I have an accident, and ICBC found out I'd recently had a hip replacement, they'd have a field day. Usually you don't start driving until you get your surgeon's permission. Who knew? So, back to being chauffeured until I wangle a visit with my GP. 

Jason checked my healing, and watched me take a stroll with a walker. He said I move like my surgery was two months ago, not a scant three weeks. He did recommend that I keep using the walker, to retrain my muscles effectively. He suggested a 4 wheel, rather than the 2-wheeled one the JRC told me to use. It's tough to stay behind the walker, when I can walk pretty well without it.

He says my incision looks good, and showed me some cross-fibre massage, that will keep it from adhering to the fascia. I got the definite okay to get back in the hot tub - yay! He gave me some simple exercises and stretches, which I'll incorporate in my yoga practice. 

Visit to the Surgeon
I see the surgeon in three weeks, at which I can find out more about how long I continue with the three precautions. Jason reminded me that the ligaments around the joint capsule have been cut, and since there is little blood flow in the joint, they will take a long time to heal. If I do accidentally dislocate my hip, it will dislocate easily forever after. Yuck! So no pigeon pose for me for three, maybe even six months. It's going to feel sooo good when I get there!

Since the surgeon has been up close and personal with the head of my femur and my acetabulum (hip socket), he'll be able to tell me how great my risk of dislocation is. If the femoral head sits deep in the socket, I can probably get moving sooner. If my acetabulum is on the shallow side, I'll be cultivating more a lot more patience. 

I'm Doing Great!
Generally, Jason was very positive about my progress, and said I was doing great. These are the things I attribute it to:
  • healthy diet, with lots of greens, raw juices and smoothies
  • Arnica, Traumeel and Vitamin C
  • Nettle Tea
  • lots of water
  • plenty of conscious activity and rest 
  • positive attitude and visualizing healing
  • icepacks 3 - 4x/day
  • the love and support of my family and friends!!!
Asana Practice - Standing Poses!
I busted out a few standing poses this morning, which felt wonderful. Much as I love my restorative practice, it's been a month since I've done any standing asana. I warmed up with a few modified Sun Salutations, along with some squats to bring back the strength in my quads.

For balance poses, I did a very tiny tree pose, holding a wall when I stood on my right (operated) leg. I very gently practiced Triangle pose (Trikonasana), Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana), and Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana). I did a nice standing quad stretch Jason showed me, supporting the foot of the stretching leg on a cushion rather than holding it. This allows the quad to be passive, and stretch more effectively.

It was interesting and a bit of a brain twist to remember not to fold more than 90 degrees at the hip in all postures. I focused a lot on engaging my leg muscles, and especially on drawing the head of the femur into the hip socket. After a very short time, I felt the muscles in my hip had had enough.

I opened, as usual, with Supta Baddha Konasana, and closed with a variation of it. An interesting side note from Jason, is that the hip and leg can relax best when supported in a slightly bent, and outwardly rotated position. No wonder this posture feels so deeply healing.

Today's quote: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzuChinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)   
This is the popular form of this quotation, a more correct translation from the original Chinese would be "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." Rather than emphasizing the first step, Lau Tzu regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness. Another potential phrasing would be "Even the longest journey must begin where you stand." [note by Michael Moncur, September 01, 2004]


  1. Hey Anthea,
    Hi from what feels like distant Victoria (distance is the reverse of those little bits of rubber you throw in water and turn into a dinosaur or something - just add car, and presto, the distance is tiny).
    This is the first time I've visited your blog; just read through all of your posts. Thanks for taking the time to write all of this down!! Sharing our lives - with all of their logic and contradiction, resistance and surrender, etc. - allows others to see their own with compassion, curiosity, and humour, I think. I know I haven't supported you materially at all. I hope that I've been part of the community of "spirit" in which you've been able to feel support. Take care!!

  2. HI Christine,
    I love your analogy of distance! I appreciate the support of you going through and reading it all. I've never blogged before, and it feel a bit weird, writing down what I'm going through and clicking 'share'. But I'm planning to use the door of movement closing (temporarily) as the window of writing opening, so it's a step,

    thanks for the encouragement. Hope see you soon on the dance floor!