Remember the first time you had your heart broken? As in, ripped out, stomped on and left for dead? You never thought you would recover. You never thought you would move past the darkness and depression. I remember it vividly. It still makes me shudder to look back at that shattered girl. Of course, I can also look back and say, “You’ll be just fine and you’ll be better and stronger than you’ve ever been before.” Thank goodness for growth, humility and a daily dose of TIME. It truly does heal wounds.
My hip is not unlike that first boy that crushed me. Even now, eight weeks post-op, not a day goes by that I don’t think about it first thing in the morning and revisit it right before I go to bed. Man, I’ve been having some good days, so DAMN good days. My mobility is good and my activity level is stellar (at least according to the professionals) for someone who is just two months post-op. I celebrated my first small treadmill runs this week. So, they were in one-minute increments, but I got more endorphins from those small runs than I have from any 20 miler previous to surgery. These are little steps forward out of darkness. They are teasers of normalcy and beacons of hope that I will regain strength and feel “normal” again soon.
But, like the damn ex-boyfriend, every now and again I’ll be humbled right back to reality and forced to face the pain and frustration of an injury that just won’t quit. I went into PT feeling great yesterday. I even told her my leg was basically feeling normal. Could this be the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel? Is this the point where I don’t wake up and think about it constantly? We had a great, but tough, hour-long session. I did my small treadmill run (this time at full weight), followed by some sliders and right leg “moon jumps” on the pilates reformer. Essentially, by the end of the hour, I had given that hip socket a beating and it paid me dearly for it. I headed directly to ART massage therapy where he worked the hell out of the muscles, tendons, fascia and everything else he does that hurts like a mother.
By the end of the day, my right leg went from feeling “normal” to feeling vengeful. Just like that jerk ex-boyfriend, the burning and stabbing pain in my groin progressed throughout the day reminding me of who is still in charge. Naturally, I went to bed last night lamenting about this endless loop of hope followed by frustration. The little victories followed by the kicks in the teeth.
I know this is all a part of the healing process. I work it hard and it hurts. Of course, that’s natural like any healthy exercise regime. What scares me is some of the pain I’m experiencing is the exact pain I was feeling before surgery begging the question, “Did the surgery even fix the problem?” And, if not, “What the hell is going on?” Why does my hamstring still get really tight? Why does my right foot go numb after a long swim session? Why is my hip clicking more than before? Is it possible to have a knife in my groin without me knowing it (because that’s certainly what it feels like).
The other side says, “Of course this is natural.” Scar tissue is forming and needs to be broken down, nerves are still pissed off from being in traction, muscles are tight, blah, blah, blah…It’s only been two months! Take a chill pill and relax.
Experts suggest that it usually takes six months to get over any major loss. Until then, you have to wade through the good and bad days and realize it’s all part of the growth and healing process. All I know is that on November 19th, I’m throwing a huge 6-month anniversary party and hoping that I wake up to a nice long training run!!