So Friday of the Doctor appoint I was told I can learn to start walking but in stages and it could take 4-14 days and we will not know until I start. PT isn’t until Monday so I am on my own figuring it out.
Days 1-2 – 2 crutches, full weight both legs
Days 3-4 – 1 crutch, full weight
Days 5-6 – cane would be a good idea
Days 7+ – good to go
That is the best case, I have to listen to my body and once I get tired – then that is when I know my limits. And make sure you are not too far from a chair or something because once you are done – you are done – and it will escalate quickly to pain if you push through – so do not push through. If I get sore, ICE then Ibuprofen then Indomethacin if needed (but not both Ibuprofen and Indo as they are almost same drug and together would be bad).
I started right away on my way out the door from the doc. Made me really slow and felt REALLY weird, but I used all the things I was taught in PT with tightening my core and it helped TONS make me walk more normal. However, I couldn’t hold it. So really it was an endurance and MIND game. No pain. Tired muscles are no big thing, as an endurance athlete I could call this “normal”. But if they got tired, I went to no weight bearing or sat and rested as appropriate. Soon as the muscles recovered, I went back at it.
No pain overnight.
Already my endurance was MASSIVELY better overnight. I went to visit my friends at the HIP Running group and ended up parking on the wrong side of the building. I walked the entire way to the front door – that was a bit of work and it was slow, but it was good. I got to sit and chat for an hour, then walked back. By the time I was back to the car I was feeling a pinching in my lower butt, between the cheek and thigh. This was the only area that barked at me during my 6 weeks of waiting and PT said it is likely weakness in that glute. Makes sense. I did use a tennis ball to stretch it and iced it when I got home.
I started working on stairs. For sure unable to climb with that leg yet. Knee not real pleased either. For sure need to stretch that leg before I do steps.
Did a lot of practice walking all day, no more discomfort. Lots of 30s and 60s intervals.
Had to nap – didn’t nap all week and I ended up with a decent nap because I was exhausted!
Iced my butt before bed and minimal discomfort at night, I did take ibuprofen before bed
I moved to one crutch and quickly decided I did not like that at all. It was pulling me into a totally unnatural, incorrect gait. If I want to work the correct muscles, I need to work the muscles CORRECTLY so I made the executive decision to stay with 2 crutches BUT with an important change. Now I am putting my hands VERY lightly on the crutches, so that they are there for only the smallest amount of
Went to a goodbye brunch for a friend on swim team and I am glad I brought both crutches. Made it a lot easier to get around. Luckily plenty of friends there so I didn’t have to try to walk and carry a plate on the buffet!
I did several errands and ended up putting in some good mileage at home as well. For longer and longer I am able to just hold the crutches in the air as I walk. Soon as I tired I bring them back down, repeat.
Again a little pinching in the right butt cheek but nothing major.
Had to nap again, wasn’t a long one, but it was needed.
Feeling more and more stable now, every day better. Starting to climb steps – slowly. My kneecap is not pleased on that side, and I am not sure if it is because all of this stuff or due to the fall I had 2 months before surgery where I tweaked it.
Really enjoying the ability to pick up and carry things without using my little string bag!
Today I headed downtown to see some people and because I had no clue how much walking I would have to do I brought the crutches. I was nervous about rush hour, so I ended up leaving at 5:50am for a 7:30am appointment. I was about to get there in 1:15 which for Chicago rush hour isn’t too bad. I wasn’t real happy about driving after the first hour but it was very doable.
I did a total of 3 stops and took advantage of the handicap hanger as well as the crutches and overall it went really well.
However, another hour drive home (which is not bad) and soon after that I was EXHAUSTED and I collapsed into my recliner when I got home and did a lot of nothing. Wow, it really took a lot out of me!
Payback from yesterday, starting to get a tiny bit sore in the hip flexor issue, so I worked to really rest it and used ICE most of the day on and off.
PT was in the evening and went pretty well overall, nothing major, she was VERY pleased at how clean my gait was – actually, the PT Assistant was unable to tell which leg was the operative leg – however, I could tell and my PT could tell as i would “drop” a bit on the step down. Totally normally but actually I am ahead of where she expected me to be – she figured it would be 2weeks or so, just because I hadn’t used that leg for 6 weeks prior, there was a lot of muscles to wake up and strength to regain.
Well HELLO Hip Flexors!
Unfortunately “hip flexors” are not just one muscle but any of these bad boys.
However, from what I read and what PT said, not pissing off the hip flexors is job 1 right now because it is SO common and while irritated we are not going to be making as much progress.
What does that mean? It means SLOWING DOWN. Doing LESS. Basically I was too aggressive in getting back to normal, my body wasn’t ready. So I committed myself to Napping (YEAH!) Icing, starting back up the anti-inflammatory meds, until we calm it down and then get back to business. I also ended up bagging my PT work Sat/Sunday
Also, it means Crutches any time I leave the house. That seems to be the most likely time I am going to be moving funny.
Took it easy over the weekend. Skipped PT. Focused on un-angering the Hip Flexors.
Back to PT today, Went over what happened and how I reacted and PT said I did exactly what I should and what she would have told me to do (yeah me!). We cut out several of my exercises for now and she had me do some different things so we can focus on the stuff I can focus on without angering it.
We discussed TRAVEL as I will be heading to Florida for a couple of days. Crutches should get me through security quicker and I can board earlier but other than that nothing special.
Packing up for trip to Florida, did some research and nothing special was needed with TSA – although if I wasn’t able to walk, it would have been a bit harder to get through security. As it ended up (and maybe because we have TSA PRE) it was a breeze. I slid my crutches in to be scanned, walked through the scanner, then I went to get them. People gave me wide berth in the airport, for the most part, and with the distance at O’Hare in particular, it was good to have them. Carrying a bad was difficult but not impossible.
On the airplane was a little trickier as the aisle was so skinny I could not even walk normally without crutches let alone with! So I had to sideways crab to our seat. The flight attendant was all over telling how to load up the crutches and it wasn’t a problem even on a full flight.
DAY 12 -13
Nothing special, doing family stuff with the exception that I ended up having to nap on Day 13, I guess we were just doing too much and I was nodding off real bad. 1 hour nap and I was good to go.
DAY 14 – SWIM DAY!!!!!!
The day I had weighted patiently (or impatiently) for !! I went to the local YMCA in Florida and snagged a lane in the outdoor pool. Got 1100yds of pull sets (no kicking allowed until 12-14 weeks) – coach wanted to keep it easy for first time back in the water. Some grumbling from the body but really not a problem after a few minutes it actually felt good to MOVE again!!
No noticeable after effects either which was great!
Short nap before we left for airport, again was pretty tired.
Flight home that evening was better than the way there overall, it was not as booked but the plane was also bigger and easier to navigate. Except you girls in the monorail who were too busy on their phones to give up a handicap seat. It was a really short ride or I would have given them a piece of my mind.
the journey continues – Month 3