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After the Physical Therapy

It has been over a year since I had to have my hip replacement revised.  The original surgery was over 19 years ago, so I felt fortunate that things had gone well for so long without any problems. But one day I woke up to extreme pain when I put weight on my leg to walk. After an MRI, it was confirmed that surgery was needed, my hip was out of position within the socket. I had to wait to “schedule” a time that I could take several weeks off for surgery and rehabilitation.

After waiting 5 months, I was psyched and ready. I knew this was going to be a bit of a recovery and require extreme motivation to work through the post surgery phase of “moving through the pain”.  For several months I put my best energy into recuperating, following the daily exercises and meeting with my physical therapist. It was a job that I took seriously.

Then came “getting back my normal routine”. Here is where the flaw begins to emerge,  being able to go back to daily activities and still find the time to do all the exercises. I was good for a while. The exercises were fresh in my brain. But as time went on, I tended to find less and less time for the full range of exercises that I had been doing. I do not remember being told that I needed to do all of them forever. I just figured I had done them for months, my leg felt strong, and what I did find time to do was adequate.

Bad idea. It is now almost a year since surgery and my knee is killing me. I did not mention that my hip recovered to well that my knee soon emerged as also needing some orthoscopic surgery 6 months after the hip revision. Because this surgery was seemingly less significant than hip surgery and I was back to a normal routine earlier, I gave recovery less time and attention.

What I know now is that exercising is a forever thing. Not just for fitness and good health. It is because  muscles have been compromised and need extra strengthening and stretching. Where did I miss hearing this??? Are surgeons afraid that if we knew this before surgery we might opt out?

Have you had surgeries and discovered that your muscles are not quite as strong as they had been and need some constant attention? How are you able to incorporate it into your “daily routine”.

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

2 responses »

  1. Several years ago I hurt my back and was in extreme pain for 20-22 months. I was faithful, then, at exercising and like you, Mary, I drifted away from that routine. Now I hardly ever exercise and I know it is a matter of time before my lack catches up with me. I KNOW this.

    My daughter uses a calendar to chart her movement. She has a goal of “moving” 30 minutes each day. For her that tends to be yoga, a walk, using her scooter or juggling. On the days she does this a big, bold, colourful X is placed in that date’s box. Her goal is to keep those X’s going. I love that idea. And will be trying it too.

  2. Mary Byrne Eigel

    We can know it, but not want to even consider the monster returning. I love your daughter’s concept of the X’s. I tell myself a day is not complete until I have done some form of exercise. So guilt is my current motivator. it is working.

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