The first workout at the new gym 

Finally. After YEARS of pretty very crappy hip pain, two surgeries & two rounds of CRPS I’ve recovered to a point I can go back to the gym! I’m feeling super happy and excited. Don’t worry I’m building myself up slowly and carefully. I admit I was looking longingly today into the dance fit (ballet) & spin classes, but a girl has to have goals aye? Thai boxing, box fit & the hula hoop class are also on my wish list. In addition to yoga of course. 

Today for my first workout I cycled 5miles (8km) with some hills in there too. I also did some long overdue foam rolling & abb strengthening. I’m trying to get my strength & fitness back before I do the fun stuff. My left leg is still a bit thinner and obviously weaker than the right, I really hope they even out with time! 

I’m so proud of myself for getting this far and not giving up hope. I know I’ve got a fair way to go, especially as the other joints are still playing up somewhat. But I really believe in what my physio is telling me. Strength & muscle tone will protect and strengthen the joints, this will reduce the instability and problems caused by the lax ligaments. I feel like I’m almost at the final corner before I sprint to the finish line. Nearly there. 

  
 

Orthotics

It’s taken several months but I’ve finally got some orthotics which we are hoping will improve my gait and reduce a bit of the pain. Instead of referring me to a podiatrist my physio had me walk on a electronic pad which measured my walk. We could see how I’m not quite loading my weight in the correct places on my feet. The files my physio took were then sent to Canada where the orthotics were custom made for me. I’ve been trying them out today and I really like them. My feet feel supported and I feel like I’m walking taller.

I guess I’ll need to get new shoes so I can wear them in the office. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a shopping trip.

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The road to recovery continues

Wow, it’s been 3 months since I last updated the blog. So much has changed since then, but in a way – not a lot has changed!

I’m still dealing with hip/thigh pain, I still take a lot of medication, I still have trouble sleeping and I’m still working with the pain clinic. But I’ve been working hard with a physiotherapist at my gym on another ACC rehabilitation program and we are getting great results. My hip function is improving, I’m walking without a limp, able to do some yoga and I’m able to pull long hours at work again. Best of all I’m starting to be more social and I am actually starting to feel ‘normal’ again. This is great. Another thing that has really helped my wellbeing is finding out I was very anaemic, taking iron supplements has improved my energy levels.

Since I last wrote I’ve also met with my surgeon and had another round of tests (MRI arthrogram and CT). The local anaesthetic in the joint and impingement testing confirmed that the hip joint is where the pain is coming from. After the injection I had several hours of pain free bliss, I was able to lie on the couch without a pillow between my knees and sit without pain – ah the things people take for granted. The CT/MRI shows the joint has deteriorated since last year, I’ve now got a grade 4 defect with an underlying cyst, as well as the FAI. Grade 0 is normal, grade 4 is as bad as it gets and means the cartilage damage exposes the underlying bone. Ouch. Finally some medical tests that help justify the pain.

My surgeon is not very good at explaining things, so I’m a little unsure of my options forward. He told me to enjoy summer and come back in February to discuss potential surgery. This is good because I need time to get used to the idea of surgery and I want to get much stronger and fitter first. As much as I respect my surgeon, I really want a second opinion from someone who can answer my questions and explain my options better.

So.. That is where I’m at. I’ve got another 6 weeks or so of rehabilitation program left. Then I’m off to Thailand and India for a holiday. I’m on doctors orders to enjoy summer, so enjoy summer I will!

Kick Boxing!

Last Monday I had my first go at kickboxing in over 2 years. It amazes me how the body can remember things, my physio could tell I’d done it before. It was awesome, I’d forgotten how much fun boxing is.

The good news, I can still box, there is one kick that’s not a goer for me but I did much better than expected AND I wasn’t in horrific pain afterwards (unlike last time). We only did 15mins or so, but it’s not a bad starting place.

The not so fabulous news, it kinda flared things up for a few days and my pelvis has been feeling a bit out of sorts. But in the scheme of things it’s totally worth giving it another go. My physio has given me the name of a trainer at the gym and she will let him know how far I can be pushed. I’m going to book in for next week.

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The end of my gym based rehab program

Just had the last physio session (gym based rehab) of my return to work plan. It’s been 4-5 months of physio 2-3x a week at the gym. Starting with hydrotherapy in the pool, finishing up with a land based program using gym equipment. Today, despite being in the middle of a flare up I even pushed the limits and managed 20mins on the stationary bike. Result.

So now the rehab program is over my physio is recommending I continue to work with her but less often. I’ve been told to go to the gym x3 a week and I’m guessing if ongoing physio is approved I’ll see her every 1-2 weeks to tweak the strengthening program.

I’ll be kick boxing in no time! 🙂

A fairly quiet week

After writing about the stupid irrational pain I’ve had a fairly quiet week. This is a good thing, for once the pain isn’t at the forefront of my mind. What a relief.

I am now on my 3rd week back at work and am enjoying working 3hrs a day. I’ve been going to the gym/pool regularly and do my physio/hydro exercises between the supervised sessions. Except for one day when the side of my thigh (ITB) was very hot/inflamed my pain levels have been fairly good. My leg still goes a very faint purple, it comes and goes and I’m not too worried about it.

I’ve been working on my limp by trying not to drag my leg through. It’s funny, when I first started to do this I felt like my walk was highly exaggerated ie, like I was in a marching band. I felt really silly and awkward. Then one day I looked at myself in a shop window while walking without a limp, to my surprise I looked perfectly normal. Interesting how the brain works, it seems I’d normalised limping.

I’m still on one crutch while walking outdoors. I asked my physio if I could loose it and got a stern “not yet”. As part of my 10 week rehabilitation programme we are aiming to have me weaned completely off crutches and walking 20mins. I can’t wait. In the meantime I definitely need it for bigger walks, getting the bus (it gets me a seat) and walking up the hill to my house.

Not much else is happening…. I’m still doing singing lessons and am singing in a new choir. I managed to swim 30 lengths in the pool for the first time on Friday (1km). I also got stuck in a fire evacuation, so I was on a main street in the central city wearing swimsuit and towel (not a great look). I’m also watching a lot of DVDs and have read two books in the last week. So my body is getting plenty of rest.

One thing that has slipped over the last few weeks is my meditation practice, I know what a big difference it makes so I need to be mindful of the slippage.

Tonight there was a huge fireworks display in Wellington harbour. I opted to watch it from home. Here is a photo:

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2nd rehab session opens pandoras box of pain

I am finding the rehabilitation program so hard, it’s stiring up pain, emotion and frustration. I still think it’s ‘good pain it just needs to be managed better and calmed down.

I had my 2nd session yesterday. Im now on two crutches, over tired from no sleep and unable to go to work. The pain was carefully contained in my groin/hip and it’s like rehab had opened pandoras box! The worst is a new nerve pain running down back of my legs. My lower back is now pissed off as well as my hip. Awesome, thanks new physio.

Good news, seeing pain psychologist at hospital today and I’m not leaving without sleeping tablets and better pain relief to get me through the first few weeks of rehab.

I just NEED someone to tell me how much is too much. Ive pushed through pain before to end up in hospital and on bed rest for a month!! My physio won’t (can’t?) tell me how much is too much. I guess I have to trust he knows how far is safe to push me. And not do anything extra without his permission, this is not a good time to start up kick boxing or ballet!

Sigh… I will get there. It’s Thursday so I have my weekly massage today, thank goodness!!! I also feel a lot better after a big cry! It’s a long overdue release.