The surgery on Thursday went well – or so they tell me. I don’t remember a thing. It’s kind of crazy to think about all that happening to your body with zero recollection.
Since I was awake, responsive and able to wiggle my toes when I came into the recovery room, they agreed to evaluate me for going home that day. I rested up for several hours at the hospital and then a PT and an OT visited to show me how to get in out of bed, get dressed and use the walker. We went up to their little gym where I practiced on stairs, in a hall and getting in and out of the car.
We left the hospital about 6PM, 12-hours after we arrived!
My own bed felt really good.
Here’s a little picture of me walking at home the day of the surgery:
Everyone told me to take the pain pills on the recommended schedule for the first 24-48 hours. I did for about 36. But yesterday afternoon when it would have been time to take another there was so little pain I decided to “wait and see”. It never really got bad. So now I’m taking a prescription NSAID and over the counter Tylenol.
A PT came to the house Friday. The first exercises are mostly designed to reestablish the neuro-muscular control around the new hip. The leg feels super heavy because the muscles have gone off line. I can lie on my back and lift my left leg, no problem. Then I try to lift my right and nothing happens. So getting the muscles to work again is step one. I’ll keep you posted on step two!
I’m having a total replacement of my right hip
April 18. It’s been a long journey to making the decision. Even further to
saying it out loud.
After all, I’m a yoga teacher, movement educator
and body nerd. I live healthy. I love nature. I wear minimal shoes.
I worry I’ve let you down. How can I need a hip
replacement? What did I do wrong?
The truth is that I’ve lived the life I’ve lived
in the body I have. And I believe I’ve been able to lessen discomfort, delay
the surgery and prepare this body for the best possible recovery.
Which is why I keep wondering if I am doing the
right thing. Because some days, my hip feels good. Maybe it knows the surgeon’s
knife and saw are coming and is trying to stay in my body.
I was diagnosed with arthritis in both hips more
than 10 years ago when I was also diagnosed with a torn labrum in my left hip.
I was told to come back for plastic and metal if physical therapy didn’t ease
I did the PT. I became a yoga teacher. I studied
anatomy and therapeutics. I found Yoga Tune Up®. I learned to see and
understand movement and the importance of strength. And I reduced my pain.
But I still had ornery hips.
Over the last year, my right hip has become
increasingly stiff and dysfunctional. My range of motion has declined. I have
pain ranging from mildly annoying to occasionally severe.
I started not doing things I enjoy to avoid
problems with my hip. Instead of finding joy in movement, I became fearful.
So I scheduled the surgery. Now it is around the
corner. I still have moments when I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. That
makes me uncomfortable.
I’m afraid my students will lose faith in me and
what I teach because I couldn’t yoga/move/strengthen my way to normal
But in truth, I believe my movement practice and
what I teach have kept me agile and mostly pain free as the joint disease
progressed. If I didn’t do what I do, I don’t think I’d be wondering if now is
the time to replace the hip. It would be obvious.
I also believe I aggravated or accelerated the wear on my joints with the way I practiced yoga early on. In those days, I reveled in my flexibility and ability to go deep and hang out there. I didn’t think strength was important. I ignored pain, thinking it meant I just needed to stretch more. To try harder. I didn’t believe yoga could hurt me.
I don’t do that anymore and I don’t teach that.
Yoga brought so much to my life. I don’t question
whether it was and is good for me. This is why I now encourage props in class
and we always find strength in our poses. This is why I teach you to feel and
map your body with therapy ball work and to notice what’s moving when you move.
I believe these are the components of a lifetime yoga and movement practice.
So, here I am. On April 18, I will be having a
total replacement of my right hip. Is it the right thing to do? I think so.
Will it be worth it? To quote Geoffrey Rush’s character in “Shakespeare in
Love”: I don’t know, it’s a mystery. I certainly hope so. I’m choosing to step
into the mystery with the intention of regaining my joy in movement.
PS. For those of you who want nuts and bolts: I’m having the anterior approach. My surgeon’s name is Michael Bloomfield with the Cleveland Clinic System. The surgery will be robot assisted. If all goes smoothly and I come out of anesthesia well, I will be able to come home the same day. But I’ll be prepared to spend the night at Hillcrest.
I welcome your calls, texts or emails!
I will miss you all and look forward to returning
to the yoga room with you.