A whole freakin’ month, guys. Well, it’s been 6 weeks and some change since I had surgery on my hip. It seems so much shorter when I type it out, but it feels like an eternity from my perspective. My body has changed so much physically since the beginning of the year. I went from pulling 2.5x over my bodyweight, eating enough for a family of four, and filling out my clothes (maybe a little toooooo much), to not even able to raise my leg without help, take a step on my own, or wear a pair of leggings well (atrophied ass). So here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I’ve experienced so far in my recovery from surgery.
When we last talked, I was drugged up on vicodin, barely choking down five saltine crackers and a glass of water. Since then I’ve ditched the vicodin (I stopped taking those about a week after surgery, damn you hydrocodone) and have my appetite back. I’m not even eating CLOSE to what I was eating before surgery, and the scale has showed that; I’ve lost almost ten pounds. I admit, it feels good to lose a little of the muscle frosting I was carrying around, but I am struggling harder with my body now than I ever have. Before surgery, I would obsessively Google if I was going to lose muscle mass, if my legs would shrivel up, if my body would change. I tried to prepare myself mentally for the physical changes my body was going to go through. Well, guess what?
It’s changed. My right leg is floppy. It has dimples. It has cellulite. My butt cheek really isn’t all that rock hard and perky anymore. My legs look silly. Yes, some of this is probably my body image dysmorphia using words to speak here, but believe me, things have changed. I have always been 150% in control of my body, and right now, I am, but I’m not. I can see my lower body gains shriveling away and my legs looking slumpy, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I need to let my lower body heal right now, and squats and 225# hip thrusts just aren’t the cards right now. I know I’ll build my body back (and better than ever!), but that doesn’t make watching it change any easier.
I have made some good progress inside and outside of therapy. I’m religious about doing my exercises, but I’m sure you all guessed I would be. I’m able to do some light hip thrusts pain free, something that I had to give up months ago because of how painful it was. SO THAT IS SUPER COOL! I’m doing things like ad/abduction movements, step ups, biking, leg raises, core work, all that fun schtuff. I also am back in the gym 4 days a week, killing my new upper body ‘bench only’ program from my kick ass coach. I’ll be looking like an upside down pear by the time I’m able to do lower body work again, but I’ll have a monster bench press by that time, hehe. I also showered without my shower seat the other day for the first time, and honestly, I really liked the shower seat and probably will continue to use it when I want to get lost in my own thoughts while in the shower. I’m also slowly parting ways with my crutches, who I refer to as, Bonnie and Clyde. I’d say I’m without them about 80% of the time now. I still have them at my side when I’m out and about, just because it’s Wisconsin and still icey in March (eyeroll).
“Overthinking is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you no where.” -Zac Cooper
This has been my motto for the week, and will be for weeks to come. Honestly, this week wasn’t stellar. My usually high anxiety levels have been extra high, and I’ve let it get the best of me some days. I have been feeling the same type of aches, pains, and clicks in my left hip that my right hip had before surgery. So, automatically, my mind results to, “oh my gosh, I have a labral tear”, which I think is perfectly valid for me to think; All of my feelings are valid. However, it’s not okay to jump to conclusions right away. My left shoulder gets achey and clicks too. Does that mean I have a labral tear in there too? Maybe, most likely not though. So instead of freaking out about something that may not even be there, I am choosing to be preventative. Dr. Fagan already wanted to put cortisone in the other hip, which I need to do some thinking about. I am not too comfortable with the idea of injecting a steroid into a hip that had no imaging or evaluation done on, and if there really is a problem, I don’t want to cover it up with a band aid. I get that the cortisone helps the doctors pinpoint where the problem is if the steroid works, but I don’t know, my gut intuition just doesn’t like the sound of that (at this point). I’m going to be honest though, if I ever have to go through a second hip surgery, someone better put me in a home because mentally, I cannot handle that. I am not okay with that. I wasn’t okay with one hip as it was, but two? No way.
See? Right there? I did it again, freaking out over something that hasn’t even happened yet. I need to cut that shit out. It’s a rocking chair and gets me no where. It doesn’t help that I am frustrated with the PT service that I am with right now. The only reason I continue to go there, is because it’s free. Well, sometimes you get what you pay for, and in this case I guess, what you don’t pay for. I’m lucky I have such a great team to be a part of (hey, Cooper Training Institute!), because that’s the only place I feel like I’m being taken seriously as an athlete. My next plan of attack is to do some research to find a different therapy center. Something that is also part of my plan of attack is to get rid of the little bastard cyst I have behind my right knee. I’ve been dealing with that little guy since the summer (right when I tore my hip), and it hasn’t gone away since. It’s incredibly irritating and quite painful for how small it is. My PT blows it off, like it’ll go away on it’s own. Just like how my tear in my hip was going to go away on it’s own too, right? Yeah, right. Two totally different severities of an injury there, but you get my drift.
I have a lot of big goals for this year, but getting healthy, becoming stronger than I was before, is at the top. With the right team of people (which I have), I can do anything. I’m trying to push myself, but not too hard, and not less than I need to; I’m finding that uncomfortable stage where growth occurs. This is my year.