12 December 2007

One Year Later...

Here I am on Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay with a golden retriever of my daughter's. The most important thing about this photo is that I am not in pain, not limping, and capable of walking three or more miles and doing a Power yoga class.

I went back for my follow-up with Dr. Whirlow, and she said I could do just about anything I wanted to, because I understood my body. She also said that the muscles in both my legs looked symmetrical from the rear, and that I had a done a good job of rehab.

She said most people don't get back to where I am because they are not willing to do the work to get all the way back. There's no denying it: it was work. If you read back through these pages, you will see that.

But I set an intention to return to yoga, and I wanted to be able to walk the goldens, and this morning I took everybody to the dog park and it was wonderful.

22 September 2007

Ten Months Out


Three Twitterers
Originally uploaded by Robert Scoble.
That's me on the left, walking with friends in Half Moon Bay. Walked a mile with them. Notice no leaning and no limping.

29 August 2007

Summer's Gone, But I'm Back

The long tail of the Internet forces me to keep adding to this blog in response to the people who are asking me online if I am "back yet." Indeed I am. In the photo on the left, I am with my two goldens (I am the photographess) on a hill far, far above my home. I walked up two large hills to get here, and then hiked on the POST trail. A year ago I couldn't have done this AT ALL. Two years ago, I could have done it with ease.

This year I did it, a little out of shape in the wind department, but with no pain in the hip, back, et. So yes, I am back.

16 August 2007

On Balance

This is a bad pun.  I have, on balance, recovered from my hip replacement.  That means I can hike, walk the dogs, do yoga, take Pilates, and sleep without pain. I have not dislocated. I dance.

However, my balance has been seriously impacted by the surgery and the lack of a piriformis muscle, the weakening of glutes, the reliance on my right side, etc.  As a result, I am even worse at balancing on the left than I used to be, and I was never very good at it (probably because of the scoliosis).

So I think that's the next step in my recovery. I've gotten very "into" functional strength, with the help of Chip Weber, who was the final step in my physical therapy and the only one who gave me any real insight into strengthening and conditioning.  The roller exercises he made me do are still the ones that I depend on, although I now do them through a Fletcher-based Pilates studio.

This is probably TMI for most of you, but I want full functionality, and I will keep working to attain it :-)

23 July 2007

Pete Wilson

Yesterday I read in the SF Chronicle that Pete Wilson, a famous local anchor personality, died after undergoing surgery for a hip replacement at Stanford. This reminded me that hip replacement surgery isn't something to take lightly. He had a heart attack during the surgery.

And he wasn't old. And he was at a major teaching facility. Stuff happens. But I wonder if he was thoroughly screened before the surgery as I was. I had to take so many tests, and I was in so much pain at the time, that I resented each one of them. Now I see how necessary they all were, and I once again give props to Janet Whirlow, MD, who made me go through all the correct preparation so that nothing bad happened to me (that I didn't cause through my own desire to do too much too quickly :-)).

As for me, I can hike a couple of miles on a trail, be pulled along by two large golden retrievers, do yoga, do Pilates, and go to the gym. I still don't rotate inward or take my left leg across my body. I don't cross my left leg over my right. I move more mindfully. But that's about it...

17 July 2007

Camp Fluppy Puppy


IMG_0854.JPG
Originally uploaded by chelsea hardaway.
The dogs at Chelsea's house in Montara.
L.to r. Kodie and Bodie, who belong to Chelsea, and Chauncey and Luckily belong to me

15 July 2007

Second Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

Agenda and Registration


PHOENIX AIRPORT MARRIOTT HOTEL

November 8, 2007 from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Reception and meet-up starts at 4:30 PM


Looking for funding? Need a new go-to-market strategy or a partner all? Feeling the scarcity of tech talent? You can find them all at the Second Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference – a must-attend for anyone in or contemplating an entrepreneurial venture.


The theme of this year’s conference is “Success” – yours and that of such Arizona superstars as Limelight Networks, Jigsaw Health, and Zenter. Don’t know them? You SHOULD…


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:


Opening Keynote

Pat Sullivan, Founder of ACT and SalesLogix, currently Chairman of Jigsaw Health,

on why he started another company, and why Jigsaw Health.


Lunch Keynote

Surprise Guest


Workshops, Panels, and Case Studies

Being Green in Arizona

Real Estate 2.0 – Technology Changes Ahead for Arizona’s Major Industry

Exit Strategies by IPO or Acquisition, featuring the CEOs of Limelight Networks and Zenter (acquired this year by Google)

Women as Entrepreneurs: Some Surprises About How Successful They Are, and in Which Industries

Access to Capital in Arizona

The Process of Innovation: How You and Your Company Can Innovate

Recruiting and Keeping Talent in an Era of Free Agents

Social Entrepreneurship: Making Money and Making a Difference



Social Media Connection: An open invitation to Arizona Social Media Mavens to Come and Meet-up





Evening Reception

With Michael Gerber author of “The E-Myth” and world-renowned entrepreneurship advocate, host of “In the Dreaming Room


No-host Bar



Full conference, $99 before 10/15/07, $125 (regular registration), $150 at the door

Lunch only - $75

Reception only - $50

Social Media Pass - $50

Student - $50



Remainder of copy is exactly the same as last year, except omit TIE and NAWBO as partners


29 June 2007

Me and Jeremiah Owyang


Picture 014
Originally uploaded by jeremiah_owyang.
At the Under the Radar Conference in Mountain View, CA with the new hip.

18 June 2007

Penang, Phuket, Bangkok

I just got back from three weeks in Asia. The details of the trip are here; and the photos are here. The point of this post is to tell you that I climbed to the top of a 7-story Buddhist temple in Penang, and walked all over Bangkok. Also went on lots of walking tours in Phuket.

At the end of the day, I would be tired in the hip, and a little achy, but I was keeping up with people anywhere from ten to 30 years younger than I and with their own hips. I also did a yoga class a day. I notice I'm having trouble with step-throughs in flow, but not on the side of the new hip :-)

I think one of the reasons I was able to do so much walking and touring is that I also had a massage almost every day. One of the big under-reported and underdiscussed issues in the tightness in muscles after the hip replacement. part of the problem is from favoring one leg for a period of time before the surgery; the rest of it is probably from cutting and moving of muscle tissue during the surgery.

So when you pop back into your regular activity level, if you were active before, you are definitely going to have muscle spasms and tightness. I noticed on my trip that my IT band, which had been bothering me before the trip and which I had been using a body roller to release, was not a problem at all. The problem was in the glutes.

And of course I'm not you, because I also have a bad back, and the erector muscles deteriorated as a result of the surgery, too, and I had to get them back. There are many yoga poses (backbends like locust, sphinx cobra and flying cobra) that help this, and my back got better during the trip from the daily practice.

What don't I do now? Complicated twists on the left, cowface pose on the left, pidgeon on the left, and that's about it. I am careful about internally rotating, but not THAT careful. I still have occasional twinges when I move into certain positions, and I use them as indicators.

03 June 2007

Francine in Malaysia


Francine in Malaysia
Originally uploaded by hardaway.
Here I am in Malaysia six months after the hip replacement. never mind how I look, but I just got finished travelling for 48 hours. Not bad, huh?

27 May 2007

Update after six months

All of you contemplating a hip replacement out there will be happy about this one! Six months have gone by and I am almost totally back to normal. By that I mean I'm doing every yoga pose I used to do except headstand (because I haven't got the core strength yet to get up into it), pidgeon on the left side (will probably never do that, as it violates ALL of the hip precaution), and certain intense twists with crossed legs. I am also walking a half hour a day with 150 pounds of dog (2) on leashes.

I have to admit that:
1)I don't have the prettiest walk
2)I probably will never have, because
3)I was right about my back. I have moderate to severe scoliosis, which probably caused me to lean into my left hip in the first place.

But, folks, it's all eminently doable, even for an athlete. The misleading part is how they tell you that you will be walking the day after (you are), but how different that is from feeling like yourself (takes more than six months).

On Thursday I leave for a yoga retreat to Penang, Phuket, and Bangkok. I've been bringing the cane to the airport with me simply because it gets me to the front of security lines, but I think I'm finished with that, as well.

22 April 2007

Power Yoga

First time back at Power Yoga since the surgery. It showed me how tight I am on the left(operated) side compared to the right. Not in the hip joint, ironically, but in the hamstrings, calves, etc. By the end of the class, I had stretched to the point where I felt equal on both sides, but I must admit as soon as I sit down I tighten up again. I can see that I can stretch it, though.

Yoga is such a gift. You learn so much about yourself. The sense of community is awesome. And the stretching and strengthening seem so much more interesting than just doing exercises in a gym.


2438 E. Whitton Avenue

Phoenix Arizona 85016


240 Coral Reef Ave

Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

602.910.5622(V)

602.218.5272 (F)

Francine@stealthmode.com


Francine Hardaway, Ph.D


Objective

Entrepreneurship Coach and Mentor

Chairman of a Small Business Group

Corporate Board Appointment


Experience

1998-Present Stealthmode Partners Phoenix, AZ

CEO

  • Started and grew a company that is the market leader in Phoenix for startup company acceleration (fee-based)

  • 1:1 counseling for five private clients in technology, construction, and environmental markets.

  • Facilitated and administered ten successful FastTrac entrepreneurial training programs through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (applied for and received grants from the Cities of Phoenix and Tempe)

  • Facilitated a monthly Founders and CEO Roundtable dinner attended by hundreds of local entrepreneurs

  • Ran a highly successful First Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference with 500 attendees and a bottom line profit

  • Currently facilitating ENT 250, Networking and Public Relations for Entrepreneurs at Grand Canyon University

  • Writer of a blog that is a resource for entrepreneurs

  • Started a chapter of the Social Media Club in Phoenix

  • Facilitate Social Media Club meetings monthly


1997-1998 Innovative Environmental Products Tempe, Az

VP MARKETING

  • Negotiated NASCAR license for environmental cleaning products

  • Introduced company to online marketing

  • Created web site

  • Created marketing strategy and plan

  • 1:1 counseling on business strategy for CEO


1996–1997 Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA

MANAGER, WORLDWIDE PRESS RELATIONS, Computing Enhancement Group

  • 8 direct reports

  • Introduced digital imaging, Internet phone (VOIP), USB, and Intelligent I/O to both b2b and consumer markets

  • Supported Intel’s appearances at Comdex, CES, and Semicon West trade shows

  • Delivered and participated in 360 feedback process


1980-1996 Hardaway Marketing Services Phoenix, AZ

Founder and CEO



  • P&L Responsibility for $2m annual budget

  • Became largest PR and marketing agency in Phoenix

  • 15 direct reports

  • President, Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women

  • Counseled 1:1 clients of all sizes on networking and public relations

Education

1968 Syracuse University, Ph.D.
1963 Columbia University, M.A.
1962 Cornell University, B.A. high honors

Bronx High School of Science



Community Organizations

National Business Incubator Association, Phoenix Community Alliance, Churchill Club, Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs, National Network of Commercial Real Estate Women, Social Media Club, Arizona Technology Council






09 April 2007

Hostess with the Mostess


Hostess with the Mostess
Originally uploaded by chelsea hardaway.
Chelsea's Bo, part of the Golden Retriever nursing team,. welcomes me back to Half Moon Bay after the surgery

08 April 2007

Grief

I have had a horrible week. Although when I went to the doctor she told me nothing was fractured or loose, and that I was still healing well, it didn't cheer me up. In fact, very little cheered me up. I managed to make everyone in my life angry with me, because I was so self-absorbed that I wasn't "there" for any of them, although I thought I was running around trying to help everyone.

Finally I began to think that, four and a half months out from the hip replacement, still in (some) pain and still limping or leaning, I am mourning the loss of my youth. Or at least that part of my youth represented by the ability to walk gracefully without shifting and leaning from side to side or limping. When I was younger, no one could notice I had scoliosis. Now my right shoulder is visibly raised all the time. And no amount of exercise that I've done so far has been able to impact this.

I have tried very hard to embrace wisdom, age gracefully, etc., but I think I must be fooling myself.

02 April 2007

Concerns

More clunking in the hip joint when I raised my leg today, so I was told to get X-rays, which I will do tomorrow.

Meanwhile Chip, the trainer, came over and tested me. He was pretty worried for a while that the joint was unstable, but after he tested me, he thought maybe the issue was just a tight ileo-tibial band and an unconscious external rotation that turns the wrong muscles on and off.

I must say that after he massaged me, my hip joint didn't make the same hollow clunking that it had before. But there is still a chance that I will have to have a revision, which means going through all this stuff all over again -- another surgery, another anaesthesia, another rehab. I was close to tears when Chip was telling me about it.

It is, however, only during flexion, so maybe it's okay.

01 April 2007

Clicking?

After two weeks of yoga without consequence, this morning I went to the gym to do the exercises Chip gave me. When I finished the series of exercises, I decided to see whether I had gained strength (although I knew I had), so I went back to some of the exercises I used to do with the physical therapist. When I got to the marching, I noticed that when I raised my (operated) leg, there was a painless catch or click that I could feel, rather than hear, and I wonder if that's normal.
It's almost as if the joint is catching up somewhere, and maybe it's on a muscle, tendon, or ligament that surrounds it.

I'm gonna ask the experts. Better safe than sorry.

24 March 2007

Flow

I can flow! This is very important because...well, because I could always flow before. So now I feel "normal." When I went to Dr. Whirlow she told me I should stop when I felt things pulling. This morning in the flow class, I could tell when it was overstretching either the hip tissue or the groin tissue, so I just backed off. I also didn't do anything that involved crossing my legs. Oh, and I didn't really try to balance on one leg without a wall next to me.

But that was a surprisingly small part of the practice, and again I realize how important yoga is for both stretching and strengthening. And how, because it is also a breath exercise and a mental/spiritual exercise, the fact that you have done twenty pushups in an hour doesn't even occur to you.

So what's left now is some tissue healing and some scar tissue that has to be stretched and moved gingerly. But I have just had my four-month anniversary, so there's more improvement to come.

18 March 2007

Cleared for Yoga!

Dr. Whirlow cleared me to go to yoga! This is news so good that it immediately caused all my remaining aches and pains to vanish, which tells you how much of all this is psychological. When you think you're a patient, you feel sick. When you feel like you are in training, you feel like a strong athlete. Go figure.

I went to a yin class, where you hold the poses for a very long time. I asked the teacher to watch me to make sure I didn't internally rotate (the only real restriction), and she actually structured the entire class without internal rotations. The good teachers like to do that, because it makes them think, and the entire class can learn from it. However, by now I am pretty sure I know what's an internatl rotation.

Dr.Whirlow also gave me a little card to carry in my wallet saying I am her patient and I have a metal implantable device. Not that I've ever had any trouble making myself understood at the airport; you get wanded either way. I'm going to volunteer to be one of the people who try the new scanner, which I've sure will be much faster. They are testing one at Sky Harbor Airport right now.

I feel so much better.

She also told me that I had a 36" head on my replacement so it fit right and I would have very little chance of dislocating -- except with a lot of force. That's for the woman from Harvard who has been reading this before her own replacement. I hope yours went well. Now you start the tough part, climbing back to full functionality. But it can be done. I did it! I blogged it. I'm here to tell the tale.

11 March 2007

chauncey in bed


chauncey in bed
Originally uploaded by hardaway.
So this is one of the dogs I can now walk on a leash. He's Chauncey, he's five, he weighs 85 pounds and he accompanied me through the surgery. Notice that he is a male, and he therefore thinks he controls the remote :-)

He now has a baby brother, a one-year-old golden I rescued and named Luckly Puppily. Although I didn't get Luckily P. until New Year's Eve, I was only about six weeks post-op, and I absolutely couldn't walk either dog on a leash. Ever try to leash train a puppy that you can't tak on a leash? I had to defer the job until very recently.

Just an update on me...

It has been a while since I posted to this blog, because I've been at a standstill in my recovery. But I've been working with my gaiting coach, and I'm getting there -- wherever there is. My daughter still says I'm "leaning," and last night someone told me I was limping. However, I can do everything I used to do, and the only pain I have is when I arise from a sitting position and take the first step. I wonder if that's even the hip, or whether it's all the underlying back problems.

I also feel very strong. I walk two golden retrievers short distances on leashes.

I've been back to yoga, even to Vinyasa, although I didn't flow on the left side. I also don't hug my knees to my chest (going through 90 degrees), do certain ab exercises, or do plow pose or twists. Or pidgeon on the left.

But that doesn't mean yoga is not helpful or possible. What it does mean is that before you go back after your hip replacement, you should demonstrate to a knowledgeable person (surgeon, therapist, or yoga therapist) the asanas you would like to do, but have safety questions about, in order to get an educated opinion.

Or, I supposed you could just wait a year, when almost everything is probably safe.

23 February 2007

Progress!

I have about twenty pages of exercises to do from the trainer. After a month of working with him personally once a week and doing the rest of the stuff completely three times a week and partially on other days (I also have a life) I am beginning to see some real progress.

The exercises range from curling the bottom of my feet to get my arches to develop, to things for making my ankles stronger, to lat pulldowns and stabilization exercises. I am amazed at how complex the act of walking truly is. I knew not many other animals did it, but still...

The good news is that Chip Weber, ths gaiting specialist, knows what he's talking about and I am really making progress. I've graduated from a limp to a trundle (or a waddle), and I can actually make that go away, too, if I concentrate.

This rehab has been harder than I thought, but still is working so I feel good about it.

15 February 2007

Three months out (and still limping)

I am still stiff on the left side and limping. It has been three months. I don't have the patience to do much more rehab, although I've been doing the latest trainer's exercises every day. I've lost muscle mass, and therefore gained body fat was well as pounds. I'm beginning to lose my optimistic attitude. And I don't even have any complications.

The health care system still doesn't tell you the truth. Although Janet Whirlow tried, she can't compete with the minimally invasive procedure's rehab results. Well, I really don't know that, because I didn't have one. But there seems to be a lot of tissue healing still going on, and the fact that I still have pain when I get up from a seated position and have to force myself to walk without limping or leaning bums me out.

Amazing how long it takes to re-establish that glute, and how the other muscles compensate and cause you discomfort while they're doing so.

In the meantime, I'm also bummed because I have other medical issues: just had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from my nose and need to have a small skin graft tomorrow which will take up the entire afternoon; have been told by my eye doctor that I have cataracts on the way to needing treatment. One thing after the other. Growing old is, indeed, not for sissies.

09 February 2007

I didn't really "get" this before, but tissue is still healing after three months. I just didn't know that until I saw Dr. Whirlow yesterday for my three month visit.

I'm not going to remember the technical terms, so I'm not even going to try, but Dr. Whirlow told me yesterday that the first new cells are the kind that let you bear some weight, and then those that let you go about your everyday activities. The last kind to form are the kind that help grow the new hip joint into the bone--bone cells. And if you go back to weightbearing exercise too quickly, you won't form those bone cells correctly, you will form fibrous tissue instead, which is weaker and deteriorates more quickly.

Okay, that's the best reason I know not to over-exercise. Finally, she gave me an explanation that gets through to me. It's not only about making the muscles stronger; it's about making the new bone grow properly around the joint.

No wonder they don't want you to give up the cane too quickly.

So I was right to give up physical therapy, where they were making me do exercises that hurt. Stepping up on a 6-inch step for 45 repetitions and shifting my weight completely over to that hip is probably not what I am ready to do yet in my body.

Ironically, this makes me feel better and not worse. Why am I still waddling? Because I have to grow the new bone; I can't just support myself on muscle, no matter how much I work to develop it. Didn't I just find that out before the surgery, when I went to all that physical therapy? At least now I'm waddling, rather than limping.

It's the rehab, stupid!!! I was focussing on the surgery.

I have released myself from physical therapy. I'm now working with a kinesthesiologist who also works on horses, and is helping me with my gait. He has given me, among other things, a foam roller to massage my ileotibial band, which tightens up when I talk.

27 January 2007

Time goes by

Things are getting better. My surgeon recommended a body mechanics specialist who understands that it's stretching I need. As I knew they would, lots of muscles have gotten weak and tight without yoga. He gave me a new series of exercises.

I have also been going to a different PT who seems to have given me better strengthening exercises. Although I still get tired and limp, I've been taking the dogs to the golf course and loving it. And today I was practically dancing in the pool. I don't limp at the beginning of the day.

But I will say this, as I've said before: the surgery was nothing compared to what I expected. It was much easier. The rehab was nothing compared to what I expected. It is much harder. I think it depends on what your expectations are for yourself at various time periods. I'm almost nine weeks out, and I think I should be finished with all this rehab.

19 January 2007

That's it for a while...

I'm almost eight weeks out, and I'm pretty much back to my old life, give or take a little discomfort, a limp, and continuing physical therapy. Nothing that happens to me and my new hip is interesting; today I went to the gym and divided thirty minutes of cardio into ten minutes on the upper body ergometer, ten minutes on the bike, and ten minutes on the elliptical cross trainer. This is not the stuff that needs to be written about every day -- nor is the fact that every morning I march on the Biltmore golf course with the dogs to practice picking up my feet when I walk.

I'll come back to this blog when there's something worth reading. Off to the dog park.


15 January 2007

I had the greatest trip to California. Big difference walking through airports now that I have the hip replacement; I no longer look to see how far away things are -- I just set off like I used to. And I feel as though I am getting more and more stable. My back is loosening up, too, now that I'm doing some yoga. One thing I see I cannot do:sun salutations. They violate the hip precautions when I step my left foot forward and put my arms on the floor.

I'm about to blow off the physical therapy and get on my own program. I know which muscles are weak, and I know what to do to strengthen them, and I feel silly lying on the table with a heating pad, because I'm always already warmed up when I get there. yesterday I went to the gym and walked the treadmill/rode the bike for 30 minutes.

Stay tune! This is 8 weeks and I am getting much better again.

Update: went to a physical therapy when I went home and got some good standing exercises that build strength. No more of this heating pad stuff.

13 January 2007

Pilates

Once again I have come to the conclusion that physical therapy is a poor substitute for some of the kinds of body work I have done in the past.  Today I went to a Pilates class, the first clase of any kind I've been to since the surgery.  It seemed great to be in a class.  I modified a few things to deal with the hip precautions: bent my knees and pointed toes out when I folded forward, and didn't hug my left knee into my chest.  But otherwise I had a great time and I think it made me feel much looser.

And then this afternoon, I had a deep tissue massage, after which I wasn't even limping.  The massage therapist told me to go home and take a bath for a half hour in Epsom Salts, which have just re-surfaced in my life.  They were a part of my childhood, and then I somehow forgot about them.  But they do take out toxins and prevent soreness, so I did it.

And I realized I've spent the entire day without the cane.

11 January 2007

Golf course

Before I had hip problems, I always took the dogs to the golf course in the morning so they could blow off some steam and not want to tear up the house. This morning, for the first time since the hip replacement, I loaded them in the car and took them up there alone. The part of the golf course I used to walk is about a mile and a half, and I wondered if I was going to be able to do it. Answer: yes!!! It was so much fun to be out where I used to go and also so much fun to watch the dogs run and cavort that it really didn't feel like any distance at all.

One problem: at the end of the walk when I had to put them both back on leashes (one weighs 58 pounds and the other 84 pounds), Chauncey -- the heavier one -- decided to pull on me. Only when he did that did I realize I'm still not fully recovered inside. I was sore.

10 January 2007

New PT

I'm working with a new physical therapist who puts a heating pad on me and gives me ultrasound before making me walk around and watch myself. She explained that I am not transferring weight to my left hip, probably because I have bad habits, and that's why my walk looks so pathetic. She makes me walk thoughtfully on the basketball court while she watches. And then I go to the pool to try to emulate the walk by myself in water, where it's easier because I only weigh ten pounds.

I heard that a (male) friend of mine had a hip replacement on December 7 and is already walking without a cane. Made me feel bad. But I bet he had the minimally invasive kind, and doesn't have my back issues or my bad walking habits. It's not a competition.

Onward and upward, working those muscles.

09 January 2007

Real good advice

Last night one of my favorite yoga teachers read my blog. Here are the comments of Jeff Martens:

The good news, if it can be called that, about not having a pirifomis is that you probably won't ever get sciatica on that side as many times this results from a pinching of the nerve around that muscle. The pirifomis is one of the major players in outer spiral of that leg. You still have your glutes and tensor fascia lata (don't order this at starbucks).

When standing, or if the femur is in a fixed position, flattening out your lower back on that side will be more of a challenge now as might pelvic medial rotation - swinging that side of the pelvis (and raised flexed leg) outward. (yep --Francine) That old exercise of laying on non-surgery side and raising other leg upward very gently and consciously could start to build supportive synergistic muscles. You are also going to want to find ways to keep groins and adductors on inner thigh flexible as that side adductor muscle complex is losing a good antagonist and could just atrophy a little or shrink without that constant antagonist action helping to keep groins toned and stretched. (Already happening --Francine)

You might also want to explore your sartorius muscle which flexes and rotates knee and hip in relation to psoas. The sartorius is very sensitive to trauma in the form of adrenal exhaustion.

Here are some unsolicited pointers for the poses you do:
1)child's pose: isometrically press knees together and then isomentrically feel like you are moving them apart every once in a while without moving knees to gently activat enervous system and retrain to move w/o piriformis.
2)cat/cow -- really work pelvis and sacrum gently through full range of motion.
3)downward facing dog -- work tailbone up without collapsing kidneys
4)warrior II -- use glutes to draw front kneestraight over foot instead of collapsing inward. Do this dynamically, bending and straightening knee, but very small motions and knee not bent much at deepest for now.
5)triangle -- use arm of chair to support and activate quadricep strongly. Then work on "wagging" tailbone from side to side gently in the pose, as if there were a broom attached to tailbone. This will keep fine abductors and adductors toned and balanced.
6)half moon (a standing pose in which you link your hands over your head, lean left, lean right. -- This version of ardha chandrasana is good. Draw tops of your femurs in and fire legs deep into ground. This will also be good for sartorius and IT band.
7)any good backbend. I do Camel. -- It would be good to do a backbend where the femurs are fixed by standing or keeling and another where the sacrum and legs are free, as in locust (lift back legs one at a time while on stomach, then both) "airplane" and cobra.
Along with Supported bridge pose, this will keep sacrum freer yet seated "into" body (perifomus inserted on inner sacrum). you can alter knees in and straight for couple minutes each in supported bridge and breathe healing into area.

08 January 2007

Been doing the pool since Dr. Whirlow told me to. Today's the first day of my new physical therapy, so I hope things will be better. Here's a sequence of yoga poses that help stretch the back body after all the strengthening exercises physical therapy asks you to do:
1)child's pose
2)cat/cow
3)downward facing dog
4)warrior II
5)triangle
6)half moon (a standing pose in which you link your hands over your head, lean left, lean right.
7)any good backbend. I do Camel.

These are probably not in an order that facilitates flow, but that's not what I'm after :-) After I do those, I find I can walk painlessly without the cane for a while.

06 January 2007

Type A Rehabber Forced to Face Facts

Dr. Whirlow gave me my wings back today. I can fly, as long as I wear a compression sock. I can do many familiar yoga poses, including pose of the child, because I am externally rotated in the hip when I do it (everyone is). I cannot: touch my toes with my legs straight, internally rotate my hip joint, pull my knee into my chest, cross my legs at the knee. This may be forever. This means I can't do "cow-face" pose.

I asked why I still limp and have some pain. She told me I ought to watch a hip surgery so I could see and understand what I have gone through. She said I was "cerebral" enough to understand.

Short version: I am doing too much. What a surprise. As more and younger Type A people have hip replacements, the doctors and PTs are going to see this again and again -- people who are not just thrilled to be out of paibn, but want to be NEW.

I guess I can't expect to walk perfectly at six weeks after collapsing into my hip for the better part of a year. And at this stage of the rehab, I should be doing more pool and less treadmill and bike. (This comes on the heels of a morning in which my new puppy ate the waterproof MP3 player that I was using to listen to podcasts while walking in the pool. It was a Christmas gift from Chelsea, but since we both love dogs we pardoned the puppy and I ordered another one.)

When I went this afternoon for the six week checkup, Dr. Whirlow looked at my still-swollen leg and told me it might be swollen for a year. Who knew? She looked for a clot as the cause, couldn't find one (she made me tense my calf muscle and asked it if hurt), and decided the swelling fell under "normal." She said it should be treated. Was I elevating it? No, no one really told me to do that. Was I receiving lymphedema massage from the physical therapist? No. I told her the physical therapist was working on helping me stretch my piriformis, which the PT thought was the source of some of my pain.

"You don't have a piriformis anymore," Dr. Whirlow responded. " I sent it to pathology. That's where I insert my chisel (or some tool like that)." What a revelation -- no piriformis on the left side!

So I am changing physical therapists. This is good news to me, because I thought the PT wasn't helping. And I am starting to go to a trainer who will help me work on my gait. I feel like a dog going through agility training.

Dr. Whirlow also said that it takes a year and a half to regain all function if you don't do the physical therapy. The therapy speeds it up a lot, but you can see where she's coming from. It's not a simple rehab.

Oh, and I need to walk more slowly.

And we will collaborate on a pamphlet of yoga poses for people who have had hip replacements. This is long overdue.

04 January 2007

The X-Ray

OMG, I got the X-ray of my new hip yesterday.  There it is, gleaming in there like the solid citizen it is, in sharp distinction to the other side of my pelvis, where my own right hip languishes in shadows and shards. There's nothing wrong with my right hip -- it's just not titanium and ceramic.  It's pretty amazing to get a glance at a foreign body in your body, especially since I don't FEEL anything different now that the incision has healed.

Yesterday I read the blog of a football coach who had both hips replaced and blogged about the second one at www.geezerjocks.com. When he described his exercise routine after the surgery I almost fainted.  He lifted heavy weights almost immediately, which amazed me. And he was walking long distances, too. Eeek. So I went to the gym twice in twelve hours, last night and this morning.  And I'd better take the dogs somewhere tonight, too.  Gotta catch up!

03 January 2007

It's the Psoas, stupid!

Before I had my hip replacement, Jeff Martens (one of my favorite yoga teachers) , came to visit me. He brought with him a book about the muscles involved in yoga, and somehow we got into a big discussion about the psoas. In yoga, the psoas is known as the place where people hold unpleasant emotional memories. Clearly, before my surgery, my psoas had gotten so tight that I couldn't extend my left leg flat on the ground while laying on my back. Jeff's thought was that the holding in my psoas represented a failure to deal properly with the grief from both my mother's and my husband's deaths six months apart --which I tried to shove under the rug because I was working for Intel at the time.

But after my surgery, I'm still in pain when I try to bear weight on my left leg. And where? At the site of the psoas.

I had asked my physical therapist why I still limped when I tried to walk without the cane, and she merely dismissed me as too early in the process. However, I disagreed, and today when I went into the PT place I saw a different therapist. This therapist tagged it immediately: my psoas was still contracted. She spent most of the therapy releasing it, and at the end of the session, I walked with almost no limp! This is promising.

02 January 2007

I see a difference (again)

Every once in a while I make a leap (well, figuratively) forward and I'm re-energized for rehab.  This morning I walked almost effortless up the steps to the main gym floor, and I left my cane in the car altogether.  Now it wasn't pretty, but it worked.

The gym had an after-New Year's special: free body fat calculations. All my life I've thought of myself as muscular, so I submitted to the test.  Lo, I was declared to be 33% body fat.  Damn! I know that's not a really accurate measurement, but it's not far off what my fancy Tanita scale says, so I must be in worse shape than I thought after this surgery. That's something we never think about: what a couple of months of relative inactivity can do to all those calculations.

So I went to the Internet and looked up what someone my age should be.  First of all, they stop calculating after age 55. Everybody 56 and up is lumped into the same group. Ideal for women my age is 26.5-31.3. Average is 31.3-36.3. So I'm on the low side of average, only the average American is overweight and overfat.

As soon as I see Dr. Whirlow and she lets me, I'm gettin' a trainer.  These goldens aren't doing it for me :-)