Friday, April 11, 2014

Post-Op Appointment #2 and Learning About Healing

I am finally caught with my blog and am posting in real time now!  I had my second post-op appointment yesterday.  It went just fine, but it was mostly pointless.  Dr. Keene had a 30 minute delay, so things were pretty rushed.  After spending too much time in the waiting room, I was finally called back.  Some resident/intern guy came in and wanted to compare my ROM from my right to my left.  He was a little too rough for my liking on my operated side - pushing and rotating my leg with the same force as my right.  Ummm, hey dude, I just had surgery 5.5 weeks ago!

I had to fill out some form regarding my pain and activities.  Dr. Keene came in and we chatted for a few minutes.  He just wanted to know that I was healing well and that my incisions weren't causing me any pain.  Check and check.  I asked about restrictions and he said I had none.  I asked about biking and walking and he said not to increase too quickly, but I could very slowly increase time and resistance.  I scheduled another appointment in 6 weeks.  He said that the most progress is made in weeks 6-12, so that was exciting to hear.

Today it has been 5 weeks and 4 days since surgery.  5 weeks and 5 days since I've run.  I've only recently remembered to start looking at the big picture again.  It's hard to convince myself that there's an end game to this whole thing.  I've been so consumed with never ending pain for 2 years that it's hard to realize that I'm actually on the road to getting better now.  I have a hard time describing my situation as chronic pain, as I hardly suffered like people with true chronic pain do.  However, it really did take over my entire life in a way.  I had to stop doing the things that I loved to do.  I wondered every day how bad it was going to be.  It dominated my thoughts.  It was just something I eventually accepted as part of me, because you can't move forward with your life without accepting that.  When you're running an ultra and you're alone in the woods in the dark, you are supposed to make friends with your pain so you never feel alone.  So I asked my pain out for coffee and it stayed a while.  It's not that you stop thinking about it, it's that you just get used to it.  The pain becomes your new normal.  I'm trying to remind myself that a new normal is coming yet again. 

What has amazed me in the last few weeks is the feeling of healing.  That might sound silly, but I had forgotten what it was like to heal.  After you've exhausted a dozen options and given up on having anything change, to be able to watch yourself make progress and GET BETTER is indescribable.  I know I am still early in this process and I have a very long way to go, but I'm hopeful that there will come a day where I don't think about my hip.  I want to go through the motions of a normal day, come home from work and go for a run with my dog and lay in bed pain free that night and think, "Huh.  I'm missing something here."

Every day that I walk a little farther makes me smile.  I walked 1 mile last night.  I may have ran 63 miles in a day before, but damn if I wasn't proud of that 1 mile. 

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