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. 🙂 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.


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.


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.


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