Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Shoes and Hurry up and Wait

"Why?" you ask? Why did you ever buy such ugly shoes?! Because they are supposed to be the best thing for professionals who are on their feet all day. and that's what i am. i currently wear Danskos, which are basically the unofficial official health care professional shoe. or at least they are in the University of Utah Hospital. Nearly everyone in the hospital wears Danskos. and i'm a big fan, i've worn them for 4 years and they've done my feet right. oddly enough feet crave hard, stable foundations such as what the dankso offers rather than the soft cushion of a tennis shoe or running shoe. i know b/c i've tried to wear a running shoe at work and my feet hurt so bad at the end of the day i'm begging eric for a foot rub (okay, i beg for a foot rub regardless of what shoe i wear...) recently my heels have been hurting a bit after a 12 hour shift and i've seen acouple people around work wearing these shoes. They are called MBT shoes. I don't know what that stands for, other than it should stand for "missed but trying". They are pretty much the ugliest shoes i could have ever imagined, and now i own a pair! people at work swear by them. they are supposed to rocker you along, all the while increasing calf strength and easing lower back strain. they are also a cool $260. I did't pay that though. they were on sierra trading post and a friend at work had a coupon, so i sprung for them. i'm hoping they will make my 12 hour shift fly by even faster....i'll keep you updated as to whether or not you should buy said ugly shoe.

other news: saw my orthopedic surgeon last week. he was happy with my progress and said i was actually doing just fine if not better than most patients. I had a steroid injection in my hip socket 2 weeks ago to alleviate some of the inflammation. it actually worked really well and my activities of daily life (getting into a car, walking up/down stairs, getting into bed ) got a lot easier. however any sort of physical activity still remains out of my reach. i biked to work 2 days last week (6 miles each way with minimal elevation gain) and my hip had a hard time with it. ican't really describe the feeling b/c it isn't out right pain, but it is sore and it is tired after biking like that. it's like i can't get all the muscles in the hip organized to fire at the same time so when i first start walking after sitting down it's like i'm dragging that right hip behind a little bit. someone at work even noticed and mentioned it to me. that made me sorta depressed b/c i was so excited to start riding my bike again to work, but if i am dragging that hip it means i should probablay stop that activity. so i'm not biking anymore. i still have a lot of pain in the front part of my hip, and i'm worried i have retorn the cartilage in the socket. i don't know how i would have done that and the surgeon said he's only seen it one other time....but i still have some of the signs and symptoms of a torn cartilage. the pain in my hip is way worse now than it was before the surgery, rock climbing it out of the question. my surgeon actually gave me a time frame for that though-9-12 months from the surgery. sigh. big deep sigh. i want to heal though, and i want to get the whole thing healed properly the first time. so i will cease and desist. i am not going to try to rock climb until next march. that's hard to write/say. in fact, it also means i won't be skiing until that time either. i tried a bit of easy yoga the other day and it proved too much for the hip too. it's hard to know what to do these days- some exercises need to be done to strengthen the hip. but if those exercises then make the hip inflammed and difficult to organize, then they are counter-productive. swimming is still my best option, but with the weather turning it's harder to get into a cool-ish pool. plus, now i don't get those great tan lines either..... i am hoping that what i am dealing with is just massive, global hip joint inflammation. i'm hoping and praying for that b/c the other option is the retorn cartilage and that makes me want to cry.

Basically i am in a game of "hurry up and wait". that's what i tell my ER patients all the time. "we've done all we can right now and now you get to hurry up and wait...wait for labs, xrays, radiology, etc". i've got to wait until december when i see my surgeon again and we decide whether my pain is coming from inflammation or cartilage issues. if it's cartilage issues we'll have to do some minor surgery to remove the screws in my femur so we can re-image the cartilage with another MRI. so i am simmering until december. no pushing it. no doing anything that causes my hip to feel tight or painful. in the meantime i've got swimming, the awesome sports massage therapist i've been seeing, and eric to cheer me up. we've got a couple trips planned in october. trips that we've meant to take all along but haven't b/c they didn't invovle climbing. trips like going to see Bryce Canyon National Park. there's no climbing there, so i've never really wnated to go. now is a perfect time to visit. some friends are going to indian creek in late october. that's a hard pill to swallow b/c i think we are going to go, and i'll pack my road bike so i can at least move through the canyon walls, but i won't be climbing them. actually, i'm considering some form of one legged crack climbing, along with some major assistance form the belayer and my rope... i might make it a couple yards. i think it'll be hard to be in indian creek and not be climbing...but then again, it is a magical and spiritual place with or without the climbing. just being in the red utah desert does good things for my heart. i'm also focusing on baking and cooking- so i'm updating my cooking blog often if you want to try some new and delicious recipes.

i've also attended a knitting class the last 3 weeks. i have one more week of class and then i might sign up for a more adavnced class after this one. i suck at knitting. in fact, i've always hated it and not had the patience. tonight i started my first project though and i'm proud of myself for sticking it out. eric's getting a scarf for christmas, of course.

it's been a tough last few weeks. ups and downs for sure. i road my bike home last week and upon arrival at home threw the bike down and burst into tears for a solid half-hour. eric was great and just let me cry. sometimes, you just need to cry.

Monday, September 07, 2009

13 Weeks Post-op

And look what i can do!!!

I wouldn't say I have returned to climbing, b/c this was one of the first and easiest climbs i ever did in the Wasatch. However, it was technically rock climbing. it was mostly very easy, but that right leg/quad doesn't want to cooperate all the time. We climbed 3 routes yesterday, and my hip was pretty sore last night. i recovered well today though and we tried one of our favorite hikes in Big cottonwood Canyon- I didn't quite make it to the lake at the end of the trail,however. The 'ole hip started to get pretty sore about 2 miles into a pretty steady uphill hike. Still, what a tremendous weekend! climbing and hiking... maybe i really will actually get better after all! i also biked to work this week as well. major mile stone.

i am seeing the PA/surgeon this week because of my hip flexor tendonitis issue. it has refused to get much better and i am interested in what they think. i have been a very good patient and have only done exercises that do not affect the hip flexor so i feel that i have adequately 'rested' the hip in all the right places. i'm anxious to get the hip flexor taken care of. it is popping quite loudly at night when i roll over in bed and has started to become mildly painful with the popping. this concerns me a bit more.

i'm having a few more 'down' days this past week. it's starting to get harder to remain positive all the time during this plateau. i've come so far, and yet i feel i have so much farther to go yet. most days i do a great job of looking at the positives and feeling great about how i can move. but some days i am tired of being satisfied with a little bike ride or a swim. i want to climb! and not just top rope some 5.6. when i think about my recovery only taking the prognosed 6 months i feel kinda hopeless. but if i think about my recovery taking 9-12 months i am encouraged with where i am at. i think my surgeon was a little optomistic about my recovery rate. or may be he just didn't understand what 'recovery' means to a rock climber. probably some of both. recovery isn't just riding a bike around or doing a moderate hike. recovery is tucking my hips into the overhanging wall and lunging for a hold just out of my reach... recovery is hiking 10 miles in with a 40 pound backpack and climbing a steep rock face at an altitude of greater than 10,000 feet....recovery is ski touring a 11,000 ft peak and tele skiing the powder all the way down...recovery is squatting in the back yard garden to clean out the dead vegetation from the summer...


recovery is also taking small steps forward and at times, steps backward. recovery is also being grateful for the movement i do have. recovery is swimming. is biking. is moderate hiking. recovery is standing in the kitchen and making dinner. recovery is being able to clean the house. recovery is walking without assistance. recovery is HARD.

i blog this for myself as much as anyone else. i need to remember what i could do at certain times for myself and for a possible future surgery. i need to remember how hard it was and what i learned. i need to remember the patience required to heal. both inside and out. i need to remember.