I graduated from physical therapy this week! Hard to believe. It was a bigger deal than I thought it would be–walking out of the ROC for the last time. I won’t be back until my annual checkup next November. This long journey is coming to an end. It began on July 6, 2017 with my diagnosis of severe osteoarthritis due to congential hip dysplasia. A year and a half later, I have two new hips and a new lease on a life of mobility!
I did my usual overdoing after surgery and when I started PT. Then, I had to dial it back into my Goldilocks Zone. I always get way too exuberant after a surgery, so excited by what I can do that I haven’t been able to for some time. At least, after 3 surgeries in 13 months, I figure it out sooner and STOP!
But, it has been different this time. The setbacks are mild compared to what I’ve dealt with for the last few years. Before when I overdid it, I paid for weeks, even months. Since the cable came out, I had a few days of soreness and a stiff back for a week or so. Nothing like what it was. I finally feel like I’ve crested the ridge of this hip adventure and am on my way back to a more normal life. Instead of feeling like I’m in my 80’s, I feel like I’m in my 40’s! The miracles of modern medicine are truly amazing and I’m grateful to have been the beneficiary of a number of them, including these two hip replacements. I’d be in a wheelchair if it weren’t for these bionic buns of mine!
I want to express again my thanks to my surgeons, Dr. Shukla and his assistant, Davis. They have done an amazing job of reconstructing me and giving me my life back. I also want to thank Lori and Jessie, my physical therapist and her assistant, who helped me to regain strength and balance. Over this last month, they’ve given me challenging exercises to help me rebalance and strengthen my weakened right side. I had my last session with them this Monday and gave them both a big hug. It seemed surreal to walk out the door of the clinic and think, “I won’t be back for a year.”
Another very ironic event happened the night before my last PT session. On Sunday we had dinner with friends and I was showing them my cable. It had become quite the conversation piece in the last seven weeks and I’ve shown it to everyone. “Look what they took out of my leg!” The response is always, “Wow! No wonder you were in pain!”
Before we left on Sunday, I was distracted saying goodbye to people and walked away from the table, leaving the cable! I didn’t remember until the next day (the day of my official graduation from the ROC). Scott went back to the restaurant to see if anyone had turned it in, but they hadn’t. My cerclage cable was gone! At first, I panicked. Then it hit me, “It’s time to let it go.” Oftentimes, when I reached in my purse to get that nasty thing, it bit me. It was always very ill mannered. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with it, because everyone had seen it. And then the Universe whisked it away, into the trash, where it belongs. I’m good with that.
So, a new life chapter begins now, or at least, that is how it feels to me. I’m excited to see what it will bring. Already, so many of the things I wanted to be able to do again I can. For example, last week Scott and I ran a wine toss booth at a Christmas Party we attend annually. It requires two hours of standing and bending over to scoop up the rings (people get to take home the wine they toss a ring over, but most of the rings end up on the floor). Then we danced for another hour and a half to some great tunes the DJ was playing! For a few years now, I suffer after this party. I’m happy to say that I got up the next day and was just a little sore! It was a miracle!
As soon as we get some more snow, I want to try cross country skiing, which I haven’t really done for 2 seasons now. I love gliding across the snow in the pines and I can’t wait to try it again and see how it feels!
Oh yeah! I also was able to walk more than a mile on the beach over Thanksgiving without being in pain during or after! I think it’s been 3 years since I’ve been able to manage sand without pain.
I decided it was time to do another video now that shows what I can do at 7 weeks after the cable was removed, compared to what I could do before. It is the last video at this link: Rhonda’s Hip Adventure Videos. I will continue to update this blog and my videos as my healing progresses. I hope this will be an inspiration and give hope to those of you who may be putting off needed hip surgery!
This whole experience, helped me realize it is the simplest things in life that mean the most and I didn’t know how important they were until I couldn’t do them anymore. My hip adventures have been an amazing teacher about what is really important. My hope is that I will not forget the lessons as I heal. I intend to keep my life simple: do the right thing in this moment, be grateful that I am enough just as I am, and know there is enough of everything I really need right now, right here. And, of course, I am eternally grateful for my beloved Scott, my family and friends, and dear Theo the cat, for your support and love.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
And a Happy Full Moon Solstice today–an auspicious day for setting new intentions! This is the day the light begins to return to our darkened, winter world and we think of the spring to come and the new year ahead.