What’s Next?

I hate to say that I was a little naive about this surgery, even though I researched close to 2 years about it.  I mistakingly thought that most of my issues would be solved by the surgery and then I could start back to running at around 3 months.

It’s almost 5 months post op and I can’t even begin to think about running.  I’ve been struggling to find answers about my muscle imbalances and ways to fix them.  They are causing me a whole different kind of pain & discomfort, which I’m afraid is from the years of compensation for my tear.

My joint pain is gone, that much I am relieved about.  I am able to aqua jog, which is not the same as running and I look like an idiot doing it, but it has benefits.

My issues currently are my tight (right op side) adductors.  My (left) QL, SI joint, TFL, and IT band are almost always tight and hurting.  I feel like my SI joint slips in and out way too easily.  I strengthen, I do core work, I foam roll and roll on a lacrosse ball, but something isn’t activating.

I’m going to be trying two new things in the next couple of weeks.

The first thing is MAT or “Muscle Activation Technique”.  You can read about it here, if you are interested.  I’m afraid some of my muscles have shut down, making the stronger ones stronger and the weaker ones, weak and tight.  I actually don’t have to travel far to get this.

The second this is Bodywork.  I contacted Erik Dalton who is also in OKC, but is booked way past April.  He referred me to someone else that is good and hopefully I can see her soon.  To learn more about bodywork, you can click here.

I’ll update and tell you whether either of these things are working for me. I feel as if I can just get my pelvis stabilized just a little bit more, then I can really focus on running and getting my cardio fitness back.

Frustrating, but things could be worse.

Here’s something that I cannot get enough of… it makes me smile every time.

 

I’m a Graduate! (and other news)

It’s been busy in my world.

 

1. I have graduated from physical therapy.  I’m unsure about my gait and I still can’t quite figure my body out.  My pelvis and SI joint slips in and out too easily, I feel like.  Apparently this happens to women a lot.  Dang my woman body.  I had gone as far as I could with my PT and I will continue to try and figure out the rest of my issues on my own.  I still have a lot of strengthening and work to do on my glutes and muscles surrounding the hip.  I’m consistent with my strength training and I know it’s working, but I spent many years with different compensations for my labral tear.   Research research research.   The story of my life.

 

2. I have been pre-approved for a house, so I am now looking!  It’s so exciting!  It’s a big step and commitment, but I know in my heart that it’s the right decision for me.  I am so ready to be settled and back in OKC where my job and friends are.  Not that I won’t miss my family & friends down here, but Dexter and I are ready to have our own space.

 

3. Paleo/Primal.  You’ll be hearing me talk more about this in coming blogs.  I notice that after I eat certain foods, my body responds to it in a negative way.  The other day I ate a chicken sandwich at work, and it was on wheat bread.  About 30 minutes after I was done, I got heart palpitations & I felt instantly drained.  Sometimes that happens after I eat wheat, but only certain brands.  This cannot be a good thing.  Also, after eating other types of food including wheat, I notice my muscles ache more and my joints are in more pain.  I do not know if this is all psychosomatic, but I have been reading about gluten intolerances and inflammatory foods, and I believe I may have either a sensitivity or something to the effect.  I hate to jump on the gluten free train, but I don’t want to substitute with other crap carbs.  I would prefer go whole/real foods in substitution.  Like I said, I will post about it later as it is next to impossible for me to start this lifestyle while living 3 days here and 2 days there and then 2 days over there.  No way, not going to happen until I am settled down.

 

I look forward to 2014.  2013 kind of sucked, to be honest.

I’m happy once again and apparently it shows on my face.

I’m looking forward and I pray that this year I can begin running again, all the while listening to my body.

 

Happy New Year!

Unstable Strength (Post Op 4 Months)

Technically I won’t be 4 months post op until this Thursday, but I figured I might as well update.

I feel strong, or at least that I’m getting stronger.  All the exercises I’ve been doing for my PT has really helped my glutes and hips.

I feel unstable.  How can you feel strong, but unstable?  Well I can.  I feel like my pelvis and SI joint pop in and out with too much ease. Only on my left side though (my good side).  My right side actually feels wonderful and I don’t think about it too much.  Every now and then after work or being on my feet, I can feel the swelling begin and sometimes my adductors get tight, but other than that, it was nothing like before.

I think maybe with continuing doing my core stuff will make my SI joint more stable, at least that’s what I’m hoping.

If anyone is curious, this is what I’m doing as far as my exercises go:

- 20 minutes on stationary bike or 15 minutes elliptical
- Foam roller (mainly both adductors and TFL/IT band, sometimes quads)
- Stretches (quads, adductors, hamstring, TFL/IT band)
- Quadruped (
On hands and knees rocking back & forth into child’s pose x 20)
- Hip Triangles 4 lb weights on ankles *leg straight *leg bent 2 sets of 10 (I tried to find a video or picture on the internet, but couldn’t find one.)
Hip Extension 4 lb weights on ankles 2 sets of 10
- Balance board squats, 2 sets of 10
- Wall squats with exercise ball, 2 sets of 15
- Bridges with exercise ball, 2 sets of 20 (this burns!)
- Planks (various times, how many I feel like.)
- Reverse lunges, 2 sets of 10
- Walking Lunges with medicine ball
- Stool scoots with resistance (At PT only)
- Ball rebounder with foam wobble pad 3 sets of 10 (PT only)

Thrilling isn’t it?

Eventually I think I’ll figure my muscles out.  My pelvis definitely does not feel stable enough to try and start running yet.  I’m not ready and neither are my joints.

 

Back Among the Living

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, sorry.

I started back to work after being off for 3 months.  I’m not going to lie I was nervous because this job can be very physical at times and I didn’t know how my hip was going to handle it.

I’m only working two days a week for awhile, however they are still 12 hour shifts.  If you’ve never worked 12 hour shifts before, especially as a nurse, you cannot appreciate the energy it saps from you.

My first day back, they had mercy on me and gave me a pretty easy patient.  I did help out with other patients, (lifting, turning) and I was on my feet quite a bit.  I work 7 am to 7pm, so at 4:30pm, I was D-O-N-E.  Physically, mentally, hip-ally.

I usually feel the swelling the next day, so that’s when it’s the most painful and sore.  I just basically try to take it easy, ice, and ibuprofen if it gets too bad.  Unfortunately my doctor said that it could take up to a year before the swelling goes away from being on my feet.  Fortunately he stressed that once I start back to work, I need to listen to my body and cut down on my at home exercises.

I’ve been scheduling an off day between work, but I’m still in PT so I go on those days.  Maybe not a wise decision, because my PT decided to incorporate some crazy lunge and squat routines into my exercise mix.  I can tell it really helps stabilize my hips though.

Everything has just been so crazy with starting work, trying to find a new place, and driving back & forth for 1.5 hour drives.  It’s hard to keep track of the days.  I am actually excited for Christmas this year, it’s always fun to see the little kiddos excitement when opening presents.  They are both at the age to where their personalities really shine.

If I don’t post before then… Have a Merry Christmas!!

photo

 

Check Up (3 Months)

Currently I am sitting in Chicago and I just had my 3 month check up with my surgeon.

Overall he is very pleased with how I’m progressing.  He says my range of motion and strength are right where we need to be.  I am to continue physical therapy (once a week), and he asked me what my main goal was.  I said that running was my ultimate goal. (Obviously)  He said he didn’t want me to try to start running until 5-6 months.

I completely understand this, and I agree.  I don’t want to try anything crazy too soon, and he wants me to make sure the muscles around my hip are strong enough to support my body while running. He said he didn’t want me doing yoga yet, and he said pilates would be better to build my core.  He wants me to start building my strength up with squats and “closed chain” exercises, whatever that means.

I’m also cleared to go back to work, which I’m still super nervous about.  I’m excited to go back somewhat, especially to have some income since I have become quite poor.

This Sunday is my first day back at work, I will be sure to post an update.  Also, some snowy/icy weather is coming in so it’s a great time to start work.  HA.

 

3 Months Post Op

3 months?  Is that even possible?  I can’t believe that it’s been that long.

Not a lot has changed really, my updates will become less frequent because who wants to see every single week of me doing the same thing.

I’m still doing my PT exercises and my breathing exercises as well.  It’s definitely becoming easier to breathe through my stomach/diaphragm than it is upper chest.  I’m hoping this really helps with my adductor and hamstring tightness.

I see Dr. Nho next Tuesday and then next Sunday I start back to work!  Eek!  I’m nervous and ready at the same time.  I figured starting on a Sunday would help me ease into the job, but knowing my luck it’ll be a crazy hazy Sunday.

My sports doctor recommended I try the “Deflame” diet or technically the Paleo diet.  I have a lot of inflammation in my body and maybe this would help with my chronically tight muscles?  I’ve been researching a bit about it. You basically remove grains, dairy, sugar, and all processed food from your diet.  I tried to do the gluten free thing for 2 weeks, and I had horrible horrible headaches.  I’m assuming that’s withdrawals or die off, but I couldn’t take it anymore and started eating wheat again.

I’m not starting this process until I move out though.  It would be next to impossible to stay true to that diet when someone else cooks delicious food all the time.

I asked my PT about running.  Obviously I’m not ready for it yet, but I was just wondering what she thought in her opinion.  She said just to be safe to wait around the 5-6 months mark and also that I can do the elliptical for 40-45 minutes at a time without pain.  I can deal with that, because ideally I would like to lose some of the weight I’ve packed on during this 2 year injury.

Ta-Ta for now!

11 Weeks Post Op

I know, I skipped a week.  I promise you that this post will be fulfilling.  Okay, maybe not, but I’m going to spit out a lot of information.  Some things have changed and I have learned a great deal of information in regards to my body.

First off, let me rejoice that my pubic bone and right abdominal wall burning pain is almost 100% gone.  That’s not to say it won’t come back, because this recovery giveth and taketh in many ways.

My PT has changed me to going only 1 day a week now and she is going to recommend to my surgeon that I continue to go once a week for 6 weeks, just as an in case and then I should be done.

I have also been seeing a sports chiropractor in Tulsa for a few weeks now.  Yes, it’s a long drive, but I believe it to be very beneficial.  He has actually worked on my muscles very little, instead we have been focusing on breathing.

Breathing? Uhm, shouldn’t I already know how to breathe?  I should, but apparently I’m not breathing appropriately.  It sounds crazy, and I would think it was as well, but after working on my breathing, the aches and pains that I’ve had in my muscles have decreased dramatically.  All the muscle tests that he does on me agree.  I don’t want to get into too much detail and bore you to death, but basically if you are breathing correctly (through your diaphragm & stomach instead of chest/pecs) you are activating your “soft” core.  When your “soft” core isn’t stable, guess what takes over and tightens up?  Your “hard” core (hamstrings, HIPS, glutes, etc..)

Anyway, I have to do some exercises for 5 minutes a day that he gave me and see him in 2 weeks.  Here is an article he wrote for Oklahoma Sports Magazine about back pain and there is an excerpt in there about breathing that explains it better than I can:
The Pain That Keeps Coming Back

Also, this all based off principles from Janda and Lewitt.  Here is another article that kind of explains it as well.
DNS as the missing link?

I am continuing to do my PT exercises.  I am also able to do 15 minutes on the bicycle and then 15 minutes on the elliptical right afterward with no pain.  I feel hopeful that this will lead me on the right track to start running again.  I’m not going to jump into running anytime soon, slow and steady is how this is going to go.  I don’t want to have a setback since things have been okay lately.

I did get some dry needling done on my adductors while I was in Tulsa by the chiropractor.  Dry needling is where they inject a needle, the size of an acupuncture needle directly into the muscle and it’s trigger points.  It wasn’t horribly painful during the process, but afterward my muscles were awake and angry.  It took about 4 or 5 hours for them to calm down, but they feel better afterward.  If you are interested more about dry needling, here is a website that tells a little bit more about it and a video (not my doctor though):

What Is Dry Needling?

 

 

Forever Rescued

isaiah

 

These past 3 months have been super tough.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has supported, held, and carried me through a lot of darkness.

My feelings of everything has come in waves.  I’d like to think I’m handling it all very well, but am I really?

In the past 3 months I have endured a major surgery with a long recovery, that alone can cause depression.
I have ended an almost 2 year relationship, which was for the best, but still was very emotionally taxing.
In that same moment, I have moved away and am now living with my family until I find a place to call home in OKC again.
 (Don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful for having such a wonderful family that moved me when I was on crutches and let me stay with them, invading their space.)

I am currently not working, although I do still have my job that I will be going back to in a few weeks.  Money is tight, so that leads to extra stress.  I also have been privileged to have great friends who let me sleep in their guest rooms while I attend physical therapy.

I am a ball of stress.  Again, I like to think that I’m good and that I can handle anything that comes my way.  I am not under the illusion that my life is the worst in the world.  I know that I am beyond blessed and every day people die and are hungry, homeless, beaten, and broken.  However, in my tiny little world inside of this big nasty world, this matters to me and has been hard to deal with.

I want to believe everything will be okay and for the most part, I think it will.  This is the part where I believe I am being strengthened and supported, but carried when it gets too rough.

I know that this is all just another bump in life’s road and that there will be more to come.  It’s a great comfort to me to know that once again, He will be there, holding me up and forever rescuing me from myself and this wretched world.