WOW – it has been one month since surgery – I cannot believe the progress of my recovery. Therapy is still humbling, but gains in strength and mobility are noticeable.
This post, like many in the future are going to be about things that helped me through my injury, surgery, recovery, and finish line process. I don’t know if they will work for other people, and they are certainly not intended to be medical or physical therapy advise. Just want to write down what works for me in this journey, anyone else that has something related or a comment on their Gurney to Finish Line Journey is welcome to weigh-in.
Here I’m writing about my pre-surgery preparation. As typical for me, there was an abundance of overthinking. First, I assembled a team – primary care physician, wellness/maintenance chiropractor (Chiro), massage therapist, surgeon, and physical therapist. Without this team, I would not have had the confidence and optimism to go forward. The discomfort of living with the torn labrum was not what I wanted, but the unknown of going into surgery could have been paralyzing. I can’t thank this team enough for the courage and wisdom to go forward.
With the team’s help, I created pre-surgery preparation plan. I wanted to prepare my body for recovery – good general condition and prepare my hip. Swimming and water-based exercises were the best option. For five weeks, I swam 6 days a week and performed a series of hip mobility exercises. It was a struggle at first – it was sort of like my mind and will were battling the natural reaction of my body to protect my hip. Swimming had become more of a challenge than I ever remembered, and the hip exercises were very uncomfortable. The first day I only managed to swim 200m and performed 5 reps of each exercise (six exercises in total). After a couple of weeks, I felt like my mind and body were back in sync and working together. The week before surgery, I was up to swimming a mile each day and doing 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise.
I also made a few home-based preparations. I feel the most significant thing I did was to practice getting around on crutches. I had never been forced to use crutches before and had no idea how to navigate the house (especially the stairs) and carry things around with me. It seemed important to build these skills beforehand rather than try to figure things out right after surgery and in the post-operative fog of discomfort and drugs. I’m happy to say, this worked out pretty well for me. Even when I felt miserable, I had the confidence to get myself out of bed when needed, and when I wanted.
In short, putting together a team, physical preparation, and developing some anticipated skills helped be go into surgery one month ago. I knew the journey was going to be challenging, but I looked forward to it – no fear.