Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hip Update: 6 weeks post-op

I feel like a broken record saying this, but it's hard to believe that it's been almost 6 weeks since my hip surgery on May 9th! I would say that the first 3 post-op weeks craaaaaawled by as I despised being on crutches. But the past 3 weeks have gone by really fast and have been way more enjoyable since I can walk and have very little pain.

This may bore some of you, but I thought I'd share some of the progress I've made and things I've learned since my surgery.

- My activity level has slowly progressed. In week 4 I was able to add resistance while biking. Last week I got cleared to do some pool work and swim laps. When I swim laps I have to alternate using a pool buoy between my legs so that I don't overuse the muscles around my hips. This week I got to start to use the elliptical for short periods of time (10-15 minutes). Next week I get to start to bike outdoors,which I am SUPER excited about! I've also been able to add more challenging PT exercises like shallow squats on a bosu ball, planks, and step-ups (only on a 4" step, but I've got to start somewhere!).

- My incisions have healed remarkably well. I had no issues with my incisions which I'm so thankful for. I actually had more trouble with my skin's reaction to the adhesive from the bandaids/steri-strip tape as that area is more red than my incisions. I still have some pain around my incision when I lay on that side or bump up against something but all in all, it hasn't been bad.

- The biggest struggle has been realizing my limits. A couple of weeks ago, I biked at the gym, cleaned most of the house, did laundry, ironed, installed my garden fence, and then went to a BBQ in the evening. In the past I could have done all of that and been fine. Post-surgery, I can't do that much in a day. I paid for it as I was in quite a bit of pain and had to ice my hip and take tylenol. It's hard for me to look around at all the things I could or should be doing, but I am realizing that I can't be on my feet as much as I used to, especially if things like squatting down or crouching are involved, as was the case between cleaning and installing the garden fence. Now I know that cleaning is the equivalent of a workout for me. It's sad, but true.

- Dang, surgery is expensive. All of my surgery bills came through as of last week and the grand total for my procedure was about $27,000!!! Luckily I have a PPO insurance plan instead of a high deductible plan, so my out of pocket is only around $1,000. Thanks goodness for insurance.

- It's hard to be in a prolonged state of recovery. I'm getting stronger every week, but I have a long ways to go before I will be cleared to run. I get really frustrated with how 'lame' my workouts feel. Logically, I know I can't compare my current workouts to my pre-surgery workouts as I'm still in a state of recovery, but emotionally, it's easy to get down about how weak I feel and how long it's taking to fully heal and get back to running.

All in all, things are going well and I'm right where I'm supposed to be in terms of the recovery process. I'm constantly being reminded that patience is a virtue that I really need to work on, but this experience is giving me lots of opportunity to do just that.

18 comments:

Nora said...

Thank goodness for insurance indeed! Medical bills can be so brutal.

I enjoy hearing progress updates like this because a) it's good to know you're healing well and nicely and b) I know it's such a big part of your life right now.

Thanks for sharing and being candid with us!

Leigh said...

Holy man, that's crazy expensive!! We never see how much things cost here unless it's at the dentist. And I will say, thank goodness Brian and I have great benefits through work for that as it's super expensive.

Glad to hear that you are healing well. I bet you are getting frustrated with how limited your workouts are, but it will get better :)

Linda said...

Glad you are recovering well!!

Yeah my back surgery when i was a teenager put me in the hospital for a week and I overheard that it cost 60K AFTER insurance. Sorry parents :(

Raquelita said...

The cost of medical care here is absolutely shocking. I'm glad your insurance plan is covering the vast majority of your costs for our surgery!

I know you are frustrated with the limitations on your activity now, but it's amazing how resilient your body and mind are, Lisa! It will get better. Think how far you've already come since the operation in just a few weeks.

Marlys said...

Recovery can seem so slow, but you really have done remarkably well! Once you can get on that bike outside, I know you will enjoy it a lot!
It does sound like you over did it that day, but you learned your lesson! And patience is something lacking in the family of ours! The desire to do more is a good sign that you are healing, though!

Carolina John said...

PT has got to be the worst part of that. it takes so much patience! Stay with it.

I had a bad skin reaction to the steristrip stuff once too. Something in that glue is just unholy.

Sandra Bond said...

I am so happy to hear you're making progress! I know it must still feel incredibly slow for you, but hopefully that surgery and all will pay off in the long run!

The cost of medical care in this country is mind-boggling. It's still one thing I can't wrap my mind around that people don't want a more efficient system. I feel $1000 out of pocket is still A LOT.

Gracie said...

That's great that you're doing so well. And you'll just keep improving!

Abby said...

You are amazing and your patience is a huge inspiration to me!!! It is so hard - especially for "do-ers" like us! You are doing remarkably well!!! I am excited for you to get to the outdoor bike! That will help your mind a bit I am sure! Especially during MN's best season!!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Glad you are slowly getting better! I am always relearning that amount of things that can be done in a day lesson, lol.

Charbelle4 said...

It's HARD to figure out our limits! I've tried to be aware and to not get frustrated but I catch myself being unrealistic. You are doing so amazing but I had 0 doubts. I am delighted to hear you are walking with very little pain! I too am very thankful for insurance! I learned something new last week too, my friend who had the micro-preemie said the hospital bill was $400,000 (I asked her to repeat that). Apparently the hospital can only charge something like $12,000 a year per patient and they are required to write everything else off. I know that it's nice to be able to be more active especially now that it's summertime in Minneapolis!

Caroline said...

Glad you're slowly getting better! One thing I've learned in the past year is how important health insurance is... it's been probably one of the biggest stressors dealing with not-so-great insurance and paying medical bills.

Amber said...

Wow thank goodness for insurance is right!! That's a hefty medical bill.

That is good you are figuring out your limits even though it's annoying that you can't do everything you could in the past, better to take it easier and NOT be in pain! Can't believe it's been 6 weeks already! Being able to bike outside will make a HUGE difference for quality of life I bet.

katielookingforward said...

uff da, that's a tough price tag! Its hard to recognize new limits but sounds like you're taking it in stride! way to go on getting into the pool!

Stephany said...

That's awesome that you have great insurance! Paying $1,000 for surgery is nothing, in the grand scheme of things! (I'm on a high deductible plan, so I cringe when I think about needing surgery!)

I'm glad the recovery is going well, too. You're making great progress!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am glad you are healing well and are at least able to do some activity, even if it's not as much as you would like. It's hard when you compare to before, but think of it this way, even now you are more active than many people!

I used to work for a workers comp insurance carrier and we had to price out how much it would cost to get someone back to normal after an injury. Many times it was worth it for us to just settle with them for $100k or something like that! Surgery is expensive!

Jeanie said...

Lisa, this is a post I'm so glad to read, especially since I have been away for a bit. As I drove past signs for Charlotte, I thought of you (and said "hi Lisa!" at Asheville signs!) This is all good news. And isn't insurance a blessing. Three cheers -- keep it up!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Glad to hear you're doing pretty well, and that things are healing up nicely for you :-) Yeah, that was definitely a lot to do in one day, post-surgery or not! Wow, that is insanely expensive; I never even thought of that; glad you only had to pay $1000.