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.

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