Today marks the 8th week since surgery. Weeks 4-7 felt like stagnation in a sense. There was gradual improvement, barely noticeable, and I concluded that I was a little behind schedule. Some of that was attributed to my discovery that I wasn’t using crutches correctly. Over the weekend I went completely non-weight bearing, this time the correct way, and emerged on the other side feeling a lot better.
Usually I will be sore for a couple days following a Physical Therapy session. This is normal. My therapist explained that the first day soreness is most likely from the injury itself, whereas the second day is simple muscle soreness. A good way to gauge how I am healing is to measure the soreness on both days. If the day after gets easier, then that’s a good thing.
This Monday I went into my session feeling pretty good. I explained the discovery about the crutches. My therapist (Laurie at Carolina Physical Therapy, who is brilliant by the way, as are all of them) thought that the consequences would probably not be as dire as I had feared. She also mentioned that from what she could tell, I was walking on the crutches fine, but she could not see how much weight I was putting on the hip. That’s something only I can tell.
Since I was feeling good on Monday, I encouraged her to go a little harder. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. She did not take the bait, but I completed the exercises easily and mostly without pain. This was a good sign.
The next good sign came the following morning. I woke up and felt alright. Sometimes that can be deceiving, as mornings always feel better than evenings. I’m careful not to get too carried away, because once I start going on about my day and inevitably putting some weight on the hip, it can unravel quickly.
Tuesday it held out. There was some soreness, but not nearly as much as the previous week. Wednesday was even better, which shows that my out of shape hip has become used to the exercise routine. It felt like a breakthrough week.
Due to some medicine and diet complications, my stomach did not cooperate for Thursday’s appointment. Without going into the gross details, I’ll just say that I have been weaning my way off the pain pills very slowly, meanwhile changing my diet. Since I had felt better this week, I had taken fewer pain pills than any other week, so my stomach did not situate enough for therapy.
I did manage to stop in and have a brief conversation with the therapists. I told them that this had been a good week. “How long since surgery?” Laurie asked. When I answered, she nodded her head. Even though we cannot always see it, the body is pretty reliable. There are major healing points, and 8 weeks is a major point for this type of procedure. There should be more healing points in the near future.
Even though I’ve kept a positive attitude through this whole ordeal, seeing progress boosts my confidence and outlook tremendously. I’ve been in a terrific mood this week.
We will be trying new things next week, beginning with Aquatic Therapy, something I’m extremely excited about. I’ll be in a small pool with a treadmill, with a therapist watching over me. This will probably be my first real exercise since surgery. While I expect to be completely winded and probably quite sore afterward, I’m eagerly awaiting the experience. This body needs to burn some calories, and I look forward to burning more and more, until eventually I can hold my bike up at high elevation.