I joined the gym!

I joined the gym. Horray another sign of the return to normality. It’s an incredibly expensive gym, but it has a pool and yoga classes so I’ll get my money’s worth. Yoga classes here in the UK are a good £16 each! 

The gym is close to work and I’ve arranged to get a locker so I won’t have to lug my stuff around London. Being so close to work there is no excuses, and it’ll save me from staying late at work to avoid the tube-smoosh.  

I’m struggling to do my physio exercises so the plan is to focus on strengthening at the gym. I’ll start with yoga and Aqua classes, then build it up from there. The gym has an amazing selection of classes including spin, boxing, hula hoop and ballet fit! 

2 months after surgery

I’m 2 months post op now, the operation feels like a distant memory and I’d say I’m back to “normal sore” but continuing to get better with time. I’m frustrated with how slow my recovery has been, but still feeling optimistic that my surgery will be successful. I’m a big believer in positive thinking and I’m doing everything in my power to ensure a positive outcome, including moving overseas for 6months!

At the moment I’m walking inside without crutches and outside with one, unless I’m doing a lot of walking when I will use two for symmetry and speed. My philosophy with crutches is to try and slow down, focusing on form over speed. Making sure my left leg is recruiting the right muscles. I think I’m 1-2 weeks away from getting rid of the crutches entirely which is good. Both my physio and I agree it’s better to use them to manage the pain and avoid a limp. I’m looking forward to putting the crutches away forever and hope this will be my last time on them.

I am happy with my progress even if it’s a lot slower than I expected. There are some things indicate an improvement from before surgery, the biggest being able to sit in a car for short distances without too much issue. And being able to lie on my left side for 15-20mins before it gets sore. Going up stairs, and putting on shoes, socks and tights that are the only things that I really struggle with on a daily basis. That motion of pulling my knee to my chest isn’t great and my thigh feels a bit like mince meat! Standing, sitting and walking aren’t fantastic either but I’m used to that and hope with more strengthening (and time) I will continue to improve in this area. So it’s not great, but I’m definitely past the hardest part of surgery.

The next month of my rehabilitation will involve a lot of travel as I’m heading up north to visit my mother, then flying to Bangkok to stay with my father. The plan is to stay in Bangkok for a couple of months and then go to India for some yoga therapy. So my focus will once again be on the hydrotherapy, swimming and walking. I’ll also be getting back to my daily structured physio exercises which have gotten a bit half arsed while I pack up my life and get ready to move.

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Pushing through pain for the greater good

I saw my physio today and we discussed the physio program I’m doing prior to surgery. I mentioned my increased enthusiasm to do my physio exercises has been overshadowed by the consequential pain. We agreed that given surgery is only 1-2months away then it’s a case of pushing through the pain for the greater good. I’m totally happy with this as I’d like to be as fit/strong as possible going into surgery. It’s amazing how my mindset is changing as I get closer to the big day. I’ve been doing physio exercises on and off for almost 5years, no wonder my enthusiasm drops off at times.

To the amusement of my friend, who said I’m like a child, I’ve setup a physio book where I track progress of my exercises with stickers. I know it seems silly, but it really works for me. It’s also a useful tool to discuss progress with physios, and I make little notes to prompt my memory of things to mention at appointments.

I’ll be using this book for the weeks leading up to surgery and following it. I don’t care if it’s a little childish.

Qu: What strategies do you have ensure you keep doing your physiotherapy exercises?

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Yoga Therapy: End of week 1 – reflections

I’m just about to start week two of my yoga therapy course. I’m aware of how fast the time is passing but trying not to think about it. My yoga therapy feels like it’s incredibly slow going, but life in India and on holiday is also very good therapy. I’m not spending 8-12hours at a desk, I’m not running from A to B, I’m eating well and I’m being more active. I’m walking a lot (for me), sitting on the floor a lot and every two days I do a load of washing in a bucket. Life here in India is generally a lot more physical than New Zealand. The need to move around, bend over, squat… etc is mostly very good for me and my duffy hip.

At the end of week one, progress looks like:
– Sleeping without medication for the last 2 nights
– Slight increase of range of movement in the hip
– Walking mostly without pain on a good day
– Slight reduction in the need to take pain killers
– I’ve adjusted to the noise levels and my nervous system has calmed down, moving house has helped.

Other observations I’ve made in the last week:
– Sitting in a chair is the most problematic, I notice this at restaurants and I’m wondering why.
– I’ve come a long way in regards to how I think about the pain. I’m in a fairly accepting place with it. But I’m still wanting to be physically active again. I really miss the hard core yoga, mountain biking, gym, boxing and bush walking. This is something that I toy with a lot in my mind.

Here are some photos:

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My home away from home

I had a rough start to my trip as I was set up in temporary accommodation while something more permanent was found. The place I rented for 5 days was on a main road, was incredibly noisy and cost a lot of rupees. In fact, it cost me the same as what I am paying in my new place for the whole month! Anyway, I’m in my new place now and am very happy. It’s a tiny one bedroom studio with hot water and a lovely rooftop. It’s on the outskirts of Gookolum (a suburb in Mysore) and I pass cows, chickens, goats and the occasional group of monkeys on my way to class. It’s lovely. Here are some photos:

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First stop Bangkok

After a fairly hectic couple of weeks trying to get everything at work sorted, I finished up and am no officially on my 6.5 week holiday. Yes, I’m taking over 6 weeks off… I’m so excited and very much looking forward to the opportunity to reflect and hopefully take solid steps towards making a few more lifestyle changes. The main goal of this trip is to do a 4 yoga course and keep building on the gains I’ve made with the physiotherapy. I’m also going to eat well and try to start weaning of some of my pain medications.

Travel is a lot more difficult than it used to be because sitting is still so painful, but it’s totally worth it. I have always loved travelling and I’ve got so much more I want to do. So I have to find a way to manage. I think it’s the same as life in general, you just have to find a way to work with what you’ve got. For me I think it’s fairly simple, break up the journey, recognise your limits and rest when needed.

I’m in Bangkok for a couple of days then I’m off to India. I can’t wait, but I will admit I’m a little nervous too. Not so much about travelling to India, more the question of how will my body cope with the yoga and sensory overload that is India!

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