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5 Months Post Hip Replacement Surgery.

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I had my left hip replaced 5 months ago. The impact was more than I expected. The recovery process has been impaired by a bout of Sciatica in the left leg along with the additional stress on my left knee from the re-alignment of my leg.

I was starting to get really worried. Walking up a flight of steps was more like hauling myself up by the hand rails. Walking down – the left knee would not effectively support the leg. Sleep was never a full night of rest without some level of discomfort waking me. The bottle of Advil was out on the counter for those occasions.

5 months in – and things they are a changing.

I actually walked up a flight of steps without holding on. It took a bit of focus but I did it – and each time has become easier. Stepping up on the curb with my left leg has become easier as has stepping off the curb with my right leg.

I’ve started to phase back in Squats of various nature and form. Not easy – my knees still hate me – but it is happening and getting easier.

There are two ways forward: Favor the left leg and never recover -or- force the left leg to work and eventually recover. 

There are all too many people walking around with canes and walkers because they would not go the distance in strengthening their affected leg.

5 months in – and I have hope of finally getting back in action. Some articles I’ve read speak of the 6 month mark as  being significant – and one year to a full recovery. Seems to be the way things are playing out.

No Regrets – the hip pain needed to be rectified.

And – the Sciatica has found the exit door – not fully shut – but getting there. I wonder – what is/was the relationship between the Sciatica and the hip replacement surgery? 

52DC Starting Line

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Yesterday was Day 1 of the 2017 Winter 52DC. 
Amazing the number of people who signed up and showed up. The regulars are back, some veterans are names from yesterday – and the day before – are back; and a whole bunch of Newbies.

 

It is also – real nice – that a number of people who follow this blog signed on.

 

Even though today is Day 2 – no one has locked the door, so if you want to join the fun – Sign-up and be part of what is shaping up to be one helluva Challenge.

 

BTW – did my first “floor exercises” since 11-21-16 – felt good.

Winter 2017 – 52 Day Challenge Starts Wednesday

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The Winter 2017 – 52 Day Challenge starts Wednesday, January 4th.

I had to drop out of the “Classic” Challenge half way through when my left hip replacement surgery was scheduled for November 22nd. Following that – I had virtually no exercise for close to 30 days. I’ve recently started back at the gym. Wow! – It is amazing how quickly you lose muscle.

I still have significant limitations both from the “healing” process and the Doc’s orders. The biggest Doctor directed limitation: No floor exercises. So – no push-ups, no planks, no hip raises, no stretching, and no etc., etc, etc. I see him on January 12th, 8 days after the start of the Challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to increase the range and variety of exercises.

I have one major goal for this Challenge: Get back to where I was on November 21st, the day before surgery. (Except for my weight, which is down 5 pounds. I’ll try to maintain that loss.)

If you’ve ever given thought to joining this Challenge – Now is the Time to Sign-Up. Make this the first step towards achieving your New Year’s Resolution. 

32 Days Post Surgery

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Yesterday we got up at what was our usual gym time – 5 a.m. to do a “Cardio” work out. That meant – I walked on the treadmill at 1.5 mph for 20 minutes. This morning – we got up late and went to the Gym for an RT (Resistance Training) workout. I did what I am allowed to do and what I was able to do.

The surgery really impacted the muscles in the left leg. Add to that – 32 days of no real workout. Baby steps.

Slept without compression stockings – whoopee! Haven’t worn them all day. Leg feels fine.

Getting steadier without the cane – but – will not walk outside without it. Having fallen two years ago and smashing up the right hip replacement – I have no desire to go through the same pain and suffering again.

I am still finding the end of the day to be the hardest part. That which I could do at 8 a.m. is damnably difficult at 8 p.m. – especially the stairs.

I stopped taking the Oxycodone and Oxycontin when I went back to work two weeks ago. Tomorrow will be the last day for the other meds that were prescribed when I left the hospital.

The interesting part of this whole process – my weight. I lost the 15 pounds that showed up post surgery – never thought is was real. As of this morning, I am down another 5 pounds. Probably because of the limitations of eating out and the restricted activity which dampens my appetite.

Given the holidays are here and the first BIG meal is tonight – this weight loss is a good thing.

Tonight we go to our friends for their Christmas Eve traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes. I believe there will actually be 9 or more. The main course – Lobster. Our hosts provide the Lobster and one or two other dishes. The guests all bring another course. I was assigned to de-bone and bring a smoked Whitefish for one of the several appetizers. My hands will never stop smelling from fish. Why me – I learned to do that while working at a Deli during college.

On this Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah – May you and yours have a Joyous Holiday. Remember – Holiday food has no Calories or Carbs.

Energy

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This post could easily degrade into a complaining rant – but – please – don’t view it that way.

It is 23 days from the day I had my left hip replaced. I went back to work pretty much full time this week. In order to do that, I had to give up the heavy duty pain killers for daytime. That is the only way you can drive and think – almost clearly.

It takes me easily double the normal time to do everything to get ready to leave the house. No kidding. Time is not on my side.

I would have hoped that I would have been able to spend time at the gym each morning – forgedaboudit.

Just going through my normal toileting, showering and dressing takes double the time.

By mid day, I can feel the drag. By 4:00pm, I am worthless. Driving is an all out effort.

Home at night is a waste. More often then not, I will fall asleep while reading the news on the computer. My wife wakes me.

The old saying – that your body re-directs its energy needs to where it must – is damnably true. I’ve never had it hit me quite this hard.

No complaints – every day – is just a bit better. Every day I can do more. January 4th is just ahead. I’ll be there.

 

Back to the Gym!

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Had my follow-up meeting with the surgeon on Thursday. A number of bits and pieces were discussed.

He was happy with the x-rays and the healing progress of the incision.

I wanted to wean myself off the heavy duty pain killers – initially during the day time – so that I could drive and have a clear mind to work. Tylenol was the way to go – not Aleve which could not be taken while I am still taking Meloxicam.

He managed to add approximately 1/2 inch to my left leg to even out what had occurred after I messed up my right leg.

He showed me the positions that would endanger the new ball joint. Hope I got that fully incorporated.

He does not believe that I really needed out patient Physical Therapy – just walk a lot. He still gave me a Script for PT if I felt I needed it.

He does not want me to get down on the floor for floor exercises – yet. He’ll make that determination at our next meeting in a month.

Based on his position, my wife and I went to the gym this morning. 

I did 100 Swiss ball crunches, making sure that it was a larger ball and I was fully stabilized.

I passed by the chin-up bar and did 5. This was the lower bar where I need to lift my legs off the floor – safer.

Headed to the Treadmill. I have not done the Treadmill in a couple of years. Once my hips started to deteriorate, the Treadmill just caused pain. I had defaulted to a recumbent bike of one form or another.

18 minutes walking on the Treadmill. Started at a half mile per hour and increase to one mile an hour. Yep – crawling – but damn – I did it and did not experience the pain I had previously experienced. Yes – new pain – from the surgery – but that will vanish as time goes on. Oh yeah – held onto the sidebars for dear life.

I will continue with the gym and see if I can increase the various exercises and avoid going to Physical Therapy. Time will tell.

My goal is simple. Be ready for the start of the Winter 52 DC on Wednesday, January 4th.

BTW: It is now 18 days post surgery. My weight is down about 1 pound below my morning of surgery weight. Eating at home, sure impacts my weight. Cold weather – stuck at home – equals – make soup. We made Mushroom Soup. Turned out really tasty and fully Plan A. I just it posted as a recipe page. Check it out – Here.

Two Week Anniversary

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Two weeks ago today, I was waiting my turn to be prep’d for hip replacement surgery. You never look forward to significant surgery – but living with real pain is not the best option. I did not want to start down the road to pain killer dependency. 

For the most part the surgery was uneventful. It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the hospital was seeing a down turn in the number of surgeries and patients. Four days of quiet. A bit boring, but no real complaints. You don’t go to a hospital to eat Zagat’s rated cuisine.

Since being at home, I was seen by a Nursing Service that provided home Nursing and Physical Therapy. Nice people. Good alternative to being in a residential rehab facility. 

Yesterday was my last visit with the Physical Therapist. Nice Guy. We took a walk outside – scared me as I passed the place on my driveway where I fell and screwed up my right leg less than 3 weeks post surgery. He recommended that my Doc provide a Script for out-patient PT as a bridge from where I am to getting back to the Gym.

Today was my last visit with the Nurse and signing off on my “discharge” from these services. 

I still have two more weeks of meds lined up on the counter. I will continue to take the twice a day Oxycontin, not sure for how much longer. Will probably decrease it to once a day – at night – to make sure it has no impact on driving. The 4 hour Oxycodone is a back-up pain med which I have only take before I go to sleep.

Just not pushing myself. I want to be up and back at the gym for the start of the Winter 52 Day Challenge on January 4, 2017.

Almost forgot – as of this morning – my weight is within a 1/2 pound of my pre-surgery weight. Given the weight of the prosthetic – I’m pretty much back to where I had been.

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