She’s Got Legs…She’s Remembering How to Use Them

Bye, Bye Crutches!  I’ve given the sticks the official heave-ho and I’m ramping up physical activity and physical therapy to new levels every day. Hot damn. Now, I can start to justify my over-active appetite. Apparently, no one told it that I’m not in “training mode.” I’m going to become the first morbidly obese person who eats nothing but veggies, beans and tofu. Oh yeah– and drinks wine. Some things in life are just too good. 
Speaking of good, my physical therapy sessions are rockin! I like to think that I’m the “model patient,” but everyone in there is working hard to fix one problem or another. Hello–it’s a bunch of type-A athlete types who want to get back on the court, field or bike as soon as possible. I’m not really special–just one of the many gimpy athletes who has a few holes in my leg. I was basically off crutches after 2 1/2 weeks. I would still take them to the gym or to the grocery, but mainly used them for stability…(or as a weapon if some little kid got on my nerves. )  I kid, I kid…
I’m happy to report that I had breakfast with my hipster group last Friday and everyone seems to be doing incredible at their various stages of post-op bliss! It’s encouraging and important, as the ‘fresh meat,’ to follow their progress and ask questions along the way. One thing we noticed was just how vastly different everyone’s post-op protocol has been. Granted, everyone is different and everyone’s surgeries were a little different, but the differences in our recovery treatments are pretty amazing. It just reinforced to me that it’s not fair to compare myself to anyone else in this process. (Although I am doing pretty flipping AMAZING!)

Hipster’s Anonymous (or not so anonymous)…Labral Tear Repair Gang!
I’m now swimming four to five days a week between 2500-3500 meters a pop. About 30-40% of the time, I’m still using a pull buoy in between my legs to keep my hip stabilized. The swimming I’m doing without the buoy is focusing on form, light kicking and rotation–no speed work just yet. Holy Moly, it hurts just thinking about kicking hard and fast. I actually did my first wetsuit open water swim over the weekend. I did 2000m at an easy pace and started feeling it on the last couple hundred. That was, by far, the longest I had gone without the buoy. I felt pretty buoyant, though, in the wetsuit (or perhaps it’s the extra weight I’m carrying around).  I swam with my PT, so I figured it was ok ;-).
I’m still going to PT three times per week and it should back down to two times next week. I did some strength tests today and everything is looking good. My hip flexion is now up over 120 degrees! It was 107 when I was tested two weeks ago. Awesome–that means I’m now also able to ramp up my indoor cycling time! Watch out Lance, because this little chick can now ride for 30 minutes at a time with little resistance. Yep, that’s right. This Ironman who is used to riding for 5 to 6 HOURS at a stretch is now up to a whopping 30 minutes daily! I’m also able to increase that by five minute increments if I’m not aching. It must be fun being a PT because every little affirmation or mention of doing a new activity is like a little gift. It means 1.) I’m moving in the right direction and healing properly  2.) I’m able to move my body and get back to a semblance of a routine.  I received several gifts this week.
One of my favorite exercises is the Core Thrashers on the Pilates Reformer. It’s always a humbling experience to work my core. Talk about exposing weaknesses. Hopefully, it will be exposing my kick-ass six pack abs soon. I also like to do the leg presses. We continue to increase resistance. I’m now over 50% of my body weight. They also work my balance and body positioning by forcing me to wear a band around my knees and a lovely pair of Birkenstocks complete with half-ball on the bottom to work my core and balance even further. Only in Austin can you work out in Birkenstocks. I love it. 
Maintaining Balance and Proper Leg Positioning. They don’t pass out free granola with the Birkenstocks. Fortunately, I get a monthly shipment thanks to Erin Bakers!!

So, all is well in recovery land. I’m doing some P90x upper body work a couple of times per week just because I can. I’m obviously not able to to run, jump or do any crazy plyometrics just yet, but I’m patiently biding my time.
Through all of this, I’ve definitely realized why I’m called a PATIENT. I’ve definitely needed a lot of it, but the patience is paying off every day. 


8 thoughts on “She’s Got Legs…She’s Remembering How to Use Them

  1. I want to know where to buy some Birkenstocks with a half ball on the bottom. You are making me feel guilty that I am not working out my core more…

  2. Hi there! I just found your blog, and I'm so glad that I did. I also had hip surgery on May 19, and have been having a wonderful recovery. It's quite different from yours, but I'll take it. I was in physical therapy on Day 1, and off the painkillers on Day 2. But I'm still using one crutch, and I can't drive yet – the muscle that lifts my leg isn't healed enough yet.

    I also would like to share that your journey to health is exactly the story I'd like to have some day! I have been doing sprint triathlons for the past 5 years, but due to a hormonal imbalance, I haven't been able to drop much weight. Suddenly, last year, something kicked into high gear and I dropped 45 pounds in 6 months. I was so excited that I signed up for 2 triathlons last summer. In between them, I got injured, and ended up having to skip the second one. Now that my injury is repaired (labral tear with pincer impingement and a super-tight psoas – don't know the medical term for that), I'm already planning my way back to the races. Thanks for some much-needed inspiration!!


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