Thankful Thursday – The Happy Hippy Edition

In an effort to continue my gratitude adjustment, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the awesome bling I acquired on Valentine’s Day 2008.  Besides the birth of my children and being married to The Husband for twenty-someoddyears, this ranks as one of the best things that ever happened to me.  My shiny high-carbide cobalt chrome, Valentine’s Day resurfaced hip.  Yeah, I’m that sentimental.

When I could barely walk, it became clear that surgery was the only answer. But I thought I was WAY too young to contemplate a total hip replacement.  That’s when I learned about the helpful folks over at Surface Hippy.  Patricia Walker created this outstanding site as a clearing house of all the information you could ever want about hip resurfacing, including message boards where you could post all of your questions before and after surgery.  It was there I learned that not only did I not have to suffer any more, that I could actually get my life back.

And boy am I glad I did.  Thanks to Dr. Rogerson in Madison, Wisconsin and hisHipHab team at Meriter Hospital I have been one happy hippy from the moment I woke up in recovery.  And two years later, I never take for granted being able to walk without looking like Quasimodo.

Becoming a Bionic Woman has been a life altering experience.  After surgery, I kind of hoped I’d have superpowers like the original Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers,  who could leap 12 story buildings, run 60 mph and bend steel with her bare hands.  Didn’t happen.  But I’m pretty sure that given the right cape and accessories, I could still rule the world.

In search of the elusive cape

And speaking of accessories, crutches always make an outstanding fashion statement for any occasion.  Even meeting the man of your dreams.  More about that on Sunday.

Back on the Mountain

It looks like it’s going to be a happy new year indeed – I’m back on the mountain less than one year after surgery. While I was particularly nervous my first time out, more about the other people buzzing by me as I slowly snaked my way down. But I’m out there and I love it.


4 months post-surgery

Four months post-surgery and I am back on the bike – in France! After meeting our friends in Paris, we walked miles all over the city doing the usual tourist stuff. We are staying in an apartment in Montmarte – I feel like we are having a real neighborhood experience buying fresh bread, cheese and wine each day. We then travelled by TGV down to Annecy where we are now cycling the Piste around the lake. These folks take their cycling seriously here. This is my first time back on the bike since surgery in February and I am one slow poke in comparison (probably because I am nervous about falling off or doing something really stupid). But the scenery is breathtaking and the path is paved so it is a good introduciton back to the saddle. I could never have done this trip without having surgery.


I am not one to nap during the day but today I was completely exhaused. I actually just gave up, laid down and took a nap. I don’t knwo whether to think I am overdoing it or that this is the rogue tiredness they warned me about.

Ten weeks out yesterday. Hard to believe. It would be nice to be able to walk outside again but it is still snowing and I’m nervous about slipping on the ice. Things are going to well to screw them up now.

Good to Go

Had word from Dr. Rogerson that everything looked great and I am healing well. I had been concerned about a “thing” on the xray – it looked like a tiny ear of corn – thought it was a staple or something which kind of freaked me out – especially being so far away from the doctor’s office. But he said it was used to reattach muscle and he uses it all the time. So that was good to hear.

I can work out on the elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour now and walk outside when it is not snowing (and it still is!)

6 Weeks Post-Op Today – Hooray!

The time has flown by and it’s hard to believe that 6 weeks ago today I was in the recovery room about now. I’m starting to forget what the pain like, an eerie similarity to the childbirth experience.

I worked out with a trainer on Tuesday, as a follow-up to my PT, and it was clear that I overdid it. I ended up with an annoying pain in my glute but perhaps it was a good lesson that I am still not back to 100% yet. It is hard to be patient! It is a little scary because I am feeling so good that I forget my hip precautions. Last night was a perfect example. I’d build a fire in the woodstove because it was snowing again (I’m starting to think I live at the North Pole!) and I SQUATTED DOWN without thinking. It freaked me out but fortunately I don’t think I did any damage. I realize that as of today, the 6 week mark, I can test the hip precautions. I just don’t want, or need, to push them to the limits right away.

I also got to see my new “Valentine’s Day bling” at my 5 week xrays, which was pretty cool. The xray tech called it my “hardware.” I sent them off and hope to hear a good report. Not having a medical background, I am clueless what it is supposed to look like so I hope everything is where it needs to be.

I have felt so great the last week that I hardly remember that I had surgery, which can be a slight problem since I have one more week of hip precautions to go. I have been walking without assistance and it feels so normal (except for going up the steps). I asked the nurse about it and she said you have to retrain your brain about where your body is in space, which sounds weird to me but it kind of makes sense. He gave me some balance exercises and had me do some strengthing on each leg and that seemed to help. Going up the steps used to hurt so badly – guess my brain still thinks that way.

I was also able to go back to the gym this week – strictly due to logistics, physically I think I could have gone sooner. It definitely added some new dimension to the mall walks – after awhile that gets old. Could do the eliptical trainer for 40 minutes and then I walked outside with a friend. It was one of those beautiful days – a Montana robin’s egg blue sky, sunny and cool – that remind you why you live in Big Sky Country. I actually could not remember the last time I could take a walk without pain or limping so it was simply glorious! I hate to be redundant but I will never take walking for granted again.

This week, I have to go up to the hospital to get my 5 week x-rays to send to Dr. Rogerson. my fingers are crossed that the x-rays look as good as I feel. It will be interesting to finally get a look at my new bionic part.

One Month Post-Op

If you would have asked me if I’d feel this great one month after surgery, I probably would have laughed. Now it is hard for me to remember that I actually had surgery! Something amazing happens between the 3rd and 4th week out – you seem to regain so much. I have 2 more weeks of hip precautions to follow so I do have to pay attention. But I haven’t needed my crutch/cane for 5 days now – I’m on my own!!

Really, the thing that lets me know that I had surgery is that I have NO pain anymore. I still can’t quite get my brain around it but I’m getting closer. I love being able to walk and will never take it for granted again.

The snow has melted quite a bit and I was able to go walking downtown for a few hours. I even looked at a new mountain bike!


Three weeks out from surgery yesterday and it was as if I hit some sort of breakthrough. Turned the crutch around to use like a cane like they showed me. It makes you realize that you can be too dependent because you are just scared. Walked three laps at the mall – about 45 minutes, even a bit without the crutch at all! I might have actually overdone it because I ended up with what I would describe as a charley horse in my butt. Not pain, per se, but just a naggy feeling.

Hitting the Wall

Once again, after feeling so great, I had my hit the wall day that they’d warned me about. Joanna said that most people report experiencing it at day 9 (which was my travel day so thankfully it didn’t happen then). But I guess I was too buzzed on adrenaline to have it then.

I got up for awhile and then it hit me hard and I just had to go back to bed, which is just not like me. But I’ve learned to listen to my body and do what it needs. Glad I have that luxury right now with mom and dad still here. I just felt exhausted and not strong at all. But by the afternoon, I was feeling much better.

Sadly, I made the mistake of stepping on the scale in the afternoon. Bad idea. I kind of figured that since I’ve not been eating or had much of an appetite, I’d have lost weight. However, I was oh so wrong. I actually weighed 10 pounds more than when I left which was majorly depressing. I’ll just tell myself that the BHR implant weighed 11 pounds, so I’m really down one.

That also reminds me, I’ve had to instruct the kids not to tell people that I got an implant and went to rehab!

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