24 March 2007


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.