23 February 2007


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.