21. New Found Skills

It has been almost a month since I have posted on here. I have been doing so many great things time just flies by. I have had no PT for a full month. I am still do the things that Joe taught me at the gym and continue to keep working. I am hoping to see improvement still in strength and endurance. I am hoping to see Joe this summer and show him what a great improvement I have made.

As the title says I have some new-found skills. I am very excited to share them with you all. The first takes a few pictures and explaining.

Tying Shoes:

For a year before I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia I could not tie my right shoe at all. Some days I could do it. Most days I would tie my shoe and slide it on. After a few weeks at pt in 2012 I was able to once again bend enough to tie my shoe, but in my own way. I will show you.

This is how I tied my shoes before surgery.

This is how I tied my shoes before surgery.

old way

This was a lot of bending of my back to do this. Let’s say that Joe did not like it very much. I was happy that I could tie my shoe again. ūüôā Over the moon after not tying my shoe in a year. This is how I did it right up until surgery.

For six weeks I was not allowed to bend past 90 degrees so my lovely Mom or Dad tied my shoes. Thank you guys.

Well after going back to my old method the more flexible that I got I started tying my shoes the way I did before my hip bothered me. This is how.

This was my compromise.

This was my compromise.

Siting on a chair or the couch to tie them. Still bending my back and a little bit more at the hip.

Well Joe decided that I needed to learn a whole new way that would flex my hip more. Let’s say that I was not very excited about this. It meant a lot more work on my part. I will show you the pics then explain.

Look at me go!

Look at me go!

This is my new way to tie my shoes. My right hip bend past 90 degrees every time I do this.

This is my new way to tie my shoes. My right hip bends past 90 degrees every time I do this.

It is more work on my part because I now need to get down and up off the floor often. It has made my right leg stronger though. I can now get on the floor by using my right leg first. Great. That probably makes no sense. Well I am enjoying my new way. It is taking time to getting used to. I need to break my bad habits and remind myself to do it that way. I am happy that my hip is bending more and that it takes some of the stretches I would do away. It will become natural just like everything else.

Squatting:

Yup I said squatting! Joe had started teaching me to squat it helps bend the hip to 120 degrees. It is rough because it is something that I have never done in my life. I can get my hip to 120 degrees but as of right now I need to hold on to something.

Started by holding on. I can bend to 120 degrees doing this.

Started by holding on. I can bend to 120 degrees doing this.

This pic is after weeks of practice my hip bends a little better when not wearing jeans. I can now squat at a students desk when I am teaching as long as I can balance on their desk. I have done it a couple of times without even thinking about it. It was great.

The next pic was only the second time I had tried this. I was able to hold it for about 30 seconds.

Squatting sort of. First real time with out holding on. Look at that hip bend.

Squatting sort of. First real-time with out holding on. Look at that hip bend.

It is getting better every time that I do it. As it becomes easier it becomes natural and that excites me. Even before surgery this was something I could not do. My hip wouldn’t even bend past 90 degrees no matter how hard I or Joe tried. What an improvement.

As the weeks and days go on I learn that I have many new skills that might seem simple but are a big deal to me. It can be something as simple as lifting my foot without my hand to put on my shoe. Or sitting through a movie at the theater not having to move because of pain or move at all. To climbing to stairs alternating feet and then coming back down the same way. That puts a smile on my face every single time. To knowing that I am returning to my “normal” whatever that should be. I am getting stronger ever day and I can see it. Just on February 25 I stood up off the floor with my right leg in the front with out holding on for the first time!! I was super impressed with myself.

I saw this sitting on the counter the other day and it brought a smile to my face.

Pain

You may ask why this brought a smile to my face. Well just about 7 months ago I was taking these every four hours just to make it through the day. I now might take them once a month. I am proud that I no longer need them. My pain is pretty much gone. I have muscle pain from teaching them how to work all over again. That is what brings the smile to my face.

Yes there are goals and skills I have not reached yet but I can see them in the near future. The major one that is going to take time is getting the rock out of my gait. I have what you call a reserve Trendelenburg gait or Trendelenburg lurch. It will take strengthen muscles in my right leg but I am getting there.

I always seem to think a lot when I am typing for this blog. But hay that is what it is for right. Life is always changing and I am seem to be ok with that now. Change used to be so hard for me to deal with. Yes it is still hard but I seem to deal with it better now. I am breaking a lot of old habits and forming new ones. I guess you can teach an old doge new tricks. HAHA. It may frustrate the heck out of me to have to change so much but it is ok. I am happy to do it as long as it is going to help. I am and have always been happy with who I am. I am also happy with where I am. I am getting the strength back and even more. Now that my right leg is working so much better I notice that my right arm might be able to be better.  It might be time to return to OT. I know that has nothing to do with my hip.

I am more than happy that I had this done. It has given me my life back.¬† Who ever knew. I am enjoying work at Wegmans again and teaching and love every day that I don’t need to turn down a sub call. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Here is a trip to Hawaii in my near future, to hike Diamond Head. That goal has taken me far.

Blaire

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20. Life Continues!!

The title says it all. Life does continue. So many little things equal to many big things. This week showed me many different things.

Monday brought me another good workout. Still no real pain and I have been going since last Thursday. The five-hour shift at Wegmans treated me well. No extra pain like the last time. Once again what a difference a few weeks makes. I am happy that I had the guts to take that leap and work the 5 hour shift. It just showed me that yes I can do it and it will be OK. Today was one of my last PT visits. Many great things happened during PT today. First is I was able to squat better than I could on Saturday. I had been practicing. Still holding on well-doing it, but if I tell you that there was no way even holding on that I could do this before surgery you would be amazed how far I can do it now. Next my pt had me put on my Bioness and asked me to walk with it on. It is going to show you how much my hard work has paid of and what a difference the THR has made. I was walking with the Bioness and my PT noticed that I was walking faster than the Bioness could respond. My hip has let me increase the speed that I can walk. This made me smile I always thought I was going to be pokey. Now I am pokey only if I choose to be. One time after I stopped walking I looked over at my PT and he had a big smile on his face. I asked him what he was smiling at. He said that both of my feet were pointing forward. I told him that is what he had taught me to do and I worked hard to get it to do that. My right foot before surgery was pointed out at a 20 degree angle. Since before surgery and after I worked very hard to get it to point forward. It is now and I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I was happy that he noticed. It was great that something so simple made him happy. Well for me it was not so simple. The day ended great.

Wednesday I weighed myself in and in almost a year I have lost 54 pounds!!! Very proud of myself. It was a lot of hard work and still working. When I look back and think how much work it was with a half dislocated hip and pain. It makes me even more proud that I did it. I went for another great workout today. I hit a couple of mile stones today. I went up and down the stairs 4 times. That equals half of the 99 stairs that I will have to hike up Diamond Head. 48 up and 48 down. I was working on the stairs for a surprise for my PT on Saturday. I will tell you more when that happens. Second major mile stone was that I did 2 miles on the elliptical in just over 30 minutes. Best distance yet. I am excited that all these new things are not causing me pain like they were in the past. It is an amazing feeling.

Friday was another great day. I taught again the first time since January 16. Today I was a kindergarten teacher. That is my favorite. The kids were amazing and it was so much fun. Half way through the day I posted this on Facebook. I have made it a half day so far with ABSOLUTELY NO PAIN. As I sit here typing this I have tears of joy running down my face. THIS IS AMAZING!!!! As the day came to an end I decided to sit on the floor with the kids. I sat on the floor for a good 15 minutes Indian style. That put a smile on my face that I was able to do that. A year ago it would have been possible for me to sit there but not Indian style and would have been a lot of work to get up and down. My PT and I decided to move our last visit to tomorrow so I could meet his family that I have leaned so much about. I was very excited. I felt great when I got home the only pain was back pain above my right hip. I took 2 ibuprofen and all was better. It was an amazing day. When I think about it, it was hard to believe that three weeks ago that I was in so much pain that I didn’t want to move. Still sleeping with my ice pack at night but hoping to lose it soon. But I kinda like it now. The day ended great no real extra pain. Here is to Saturday.

Up early for my last PT visit. Well if you haven’t figure it out yet I have been seeing my PT Joe since November at my home. When he left his job at the clinic I thought that it was pointless to start with a new pt that knew nothing about me. If this was my doctor I would follow him too. It was the BEST decision I could have made. Well I have been working with Joe for just over a year on and off, so I didn’t but did want to say goodbye. I am ready for my life to move on and see what I can do on my own. Today Joe was moving my leg around and said that my hip was bending at 105 degrees. Nice. After some stretching, I had a surprise for Joe. I told him that I could go up the stairs WITHOUT holding onto railing. So up I went showing him. Yes it is easier with Bioness on but I can do it with it off. He was impressed. I had told him that I had been working very hard at it. It is not perfect but I can do it most of the time. I will keep practicing until it becomes natural for me just like my foot pointing forward. The second surprise I had for Joe was great too. Joe had been teaching me squat while hanging on to something. When I first did it a week ago. I would hit about 90 degrees before I had to stop. Well I worked very hard all week-long. I was able to do it today and bend my hip to 120 degrees which is what a normal hip should bend to. Even before surgery my hip no matter what we did¬† would not go past 90 degrees. What a major improvement. I will take it. After a lot of¬† hard work I got to meet Joe’s lovely family. His wife is awesome and his two kids are great. They are very happy young boys. I enjoyed sitting on the floor with them playing with toys. Put a smile on my face. It was very nice to meet his family since I had heard so much about them. Finally time to say goodbye to Joe. ūüė¶ First a picture.

This is my PT Joe. He has done amazing things with me. Thanks for everything.

This is my PT Joe. He has done amazing things with me. Thanks for everything.

One last time I want to tell you how great Joe is. He has been there since the beginning. He has pushed my limits. Thank you Joe. He has gotten me to do things that I have only dreamed of. Thanks Joe. He has helped me see that I might say I can’t which I rarely say, but can push the limits and get there. Thanks Joe. You should me the PT can be fun and helpful at the same time. You have handed me a key to my life. You are truly amazing. Now that you have a big head I feel better. So thank you for everything you have done. Maybe I will hire you as a personnel trainer one day. It is going to be weird to not have an appointment two times a week. It will be the first time in 4 and a half months. ūüôā

As I have mentioned in the past music has played a major part in this journey. I have had songs that speak to me at certain times in my life and this one has come back again. It means a lot to me because it explains my life. Since day one the doctors never believed I would make it this far, but I believed I would. Check out this song and you will see what I mean. I Believe

As I sit here and type this I have thought about many things. I know that I can continue doing things on my own but know I always have help when I need it. My major thought that might seem weird is how strange it is to work and live without pain. Might seem crazy but I had gotten so used to the pain so to not have it bothers me some times. May seem weird but when you have lived with pain on and off for 10 years it becomes your normal, it is hard when that changes. Trust me I don’t want the pain back ever. I love that my life is now becoming closer to my “normal”. One day I will get there and will be happier than a pig in mud. As you can see life does continue after a THR at the age of 28. The light at the end of my tunnel is getting closer and closer.

I would like to thank everyone that is reading this blog. I hope that people are finding it helpful. There are many young people out there that need to hear the success stories. I hope mine has helped.