Monday, July 22, 2013

12 Week Surgeon Visit

I went to see the surgeon on Thursday, the day before my 51st birthday. As usual, it was a bit underwhelming. He started off by saying the X-rays showed my left hip looks good, but the right one is pretty bad. After my shocked "What??" he said, "oh, was it your right hip I did?". I think he was having a busy day.

My Left Hip
He says the left hip will also need to be replaced, eventually. He assured me that since I've already been through it, I'll know when it's time. I'm still hoping to postpone it as long as possible with diet and yoga. It is the irony of my healing process, that as I joyfully find more movement and fluidity in my healing right hip, I can feel the deterioration growing in the left. 

Range of Motion
The doc didn't even mention taking the restrictions off, although I've been feeling it's time for the last week or two. We even took the stinky tall toilet seat off a few days before my appointment. He said I can never cross my right leg over my left, without risk of dislocation. I wasn't expecting any 'nevers'. But he did give me the green light to stretch, gradually and carefully.

I asked him whether I can get back to mountain biking, bouncing on the trampoline, and acroyga. He said biking is okay, but single track or road riding are preferable to downhill mountain biking. He said I could break either hip by crashing on rock. Bouncing on the tramp is fine, but he recommended against seat drops or flips. I also asked him about acroyoga, which he said was fine, though I don't think he knew what I was talking about. 

A Gift
The surgeon's way of helping me decide what to do or not do, is by telling me that I've been given a gift, and it's up to me to choose how to take care of it. High impact activities, like running or playing basketball, will shorten the life of my new hip. Not that I was about to take up basketball, but I would like to be able do some leaps and jumps in dance class. I figure he doesn't know the added benefits of yoga practice. That engaging the tensegrity body, and strengthening muscles to support joints, will prolong the life of my new hip. I hope. 

Happy Birthday to Me!
Anyway, I had a wonderful birthday. There are so many things I haven't been able to do. I put my own sock on my right foot. I didn't have to use the sock pull, or ask Zack to do it. I dried the lower half of my right leg, rather than letting it air dry. I don't have to reach my right leg back anymore when I bend down to feed the cats, or cuddle a dog. I'm getting better at walking up and down stairs just like everyone else, rather than taking one step at a time.

It's not over yet...
I still have pain in my hip, and I can tell I need to be cautious about stretching. I'm dying to try cartwheels and handstands, but I'm going to wait until things feel completely healed. I have been reading a bit about dislocation after THR. It sounds like something I'd really rather avoid. 

I can't wait to get back to dancing, to riding my bike, to doing acroyoga. I could, if I allowed myself, dwell on the fact that there are certain yoga poses and dance moves I'll never do, or have done for the last time. That it looks like I won't be downhill mountain biking with my wonderful family. And that one day I'll have to pay another $2000+ for another ceramic hip, and go through all this again. But really, I am SO lucky! I could still be living with the pain and stiffness I had just over three months ago. I could be hobbling through the woods when I walk the dogs, gingerly stepping over logs because of my restricted movement. Instead, I feel like I'm preparing to fly!

Today's quotes: 
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
― Thich Nhat HanhPeace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on this Anthea. It is astounding to me that you have had to have this procedure. When I knew you you seemed to fly through the air and I was the one to hobble and shuffle along in pain. Good to hear that you are healing well and ready to soar. You words are inspirational to me as I am in the 3rd week of recovery of my new right hip. I chuckle at the mention of your tall toilet and struggling with socks. I am sure at this point you are biking downhill and feeling the wind through your hair. Cheers Joyce (from Kelly Road)

  2. Hello, Joyce! I'm not sure I wrote back to you? So nice to hear from you, and funny that we're going through the same things. Did you hear I've had my left hip done? And am writing a book?

    I am wondering about the correlation between physical activity, restricted diet, and Hip Arthritis. Any thoughts?

    I hope you are well!