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.