Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shopping Spree

For my birthday, I received a gift certificate for a clothing store where I like to shop. I decided I’d use it to purchase items I will need during my stay in the hospital and afterwards. On my list: “boy cut” underwear (since my incision will be where “normal” underwear would go); pajamas and robe for the hospital (since my normal summer sleepwear consists of ratty t-shirts); supportive, non-slip, no-tie, slip-on shoes which will stay on my feet while crutching, and a couple of pairs of sweats a size larger than I usually wear.

I have two words which describe my shopping expedition: Butt Ugly. I really couldn’t find anything wearable in any of these categories. The underwear I saw looked like it would end up giving me a wedgie and I’m sorry, I’ll already be uncomfortable enough. I did buy one pair to try at home but I don’t have high hopes, and they look pretty matronly, even for me. Matronly AND uncomfortable AND not inexpensive. Trifecta.

The shoes which fit my criteria were all in shades of tan or beige and made my feet look like pontoons. I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of them, comfy as they might be, quite yet. I am sure I’ll change my tune as surgery becomes imminent, but I’m still looking for a black pair or something a bit more sporty.

Pajamas – well – I’m not into “cute” since, last I checked, I am an adult, but it seems manufacturers of women’s nightwear make only two types: Cute or sexy. I am NOT planning to wear anything sexy in the hospital, for obvious reasons. I’ll already be flashing my bare ass hither and yon when I least desire to do so. As soon as the catheters and drains are out, I want to cover it all up as quickly as possible. But I don’t want to cover it up with “Hello, Kitty.”

I did find lots of oversize sweats, not at the store, but in my husband’s closet. I may borrow his underwear too, and possibly his largest t-shirts to be used as sleeping attire. That will save me some money AND make him feel useful AND preserve my dignity, all at the same time. Trifecta.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feel the burn

Floor Burn. Yes, it's just as painful as it sounds.

My blog has morphed from Tim & Terri ice dancing, to just Terri ice dancing, to Terri's hip saga, and now the latest installment in my life, "Terri learns to roller dance."

I know my ice cronies are now shaking their heads and asking, "Why? Why skate on the floor when there is perfectly good ice to skate on?" Well, it is a bit complicated, but here goes.

Several reasons, really. First, Tim wants to, and after 3 years of him being a very good sport about this ice thing, I think it's only fair. Second, it's a challenge, and I feel adventuresome. I've been told "ice skaters make lousy roller skaters" by the roller crowd. I want to prove them wrong. Finally, I feel like I am doing less damage to my hips because I'm not hydroblading and twizzling as I like to do on ice, but working on things that are fairly simple, like defying gravity to hold a forward edge. I can't do much hip damage, yet I'm getting a workout and skating to music. If I were on ice I'd feel compelled to work on the Austrian Waltz like everyone else is doing, and that's just not good for me right now.

So instead I'm working on perfecting my floor burn technique. I had my first roller lessons today, 20 minutes on dance and 10 minutes on figures. It's good that I'm learning the basics because Tim insists we do things like Silver Samba and Fourteenstep at full speed when I have not even mastered "not falling down" when by myself. For example, we did the Harris Tango today, and when it came time for the right forward inside 3 turn I realized I had no idea how to do that, but I did it anyway (well, sort of jumped it). Hanging on, I can fake any edge and pretty much any turn. By myself, I wobble and flail and probably look like I need training wheels. Foreign concept when I've always been a better solo skater than partner. On ice, I've always said that if I can't solo something, I have no business doing it with a partner. So much for my lifelong motto.

Thus I suffered my first floor burn, which is what happens to your knees or other body parts when you fall on them on a wood floor while moving at a high rate of speed. Falls on ice seem more forgiving since you can slide. When knee meets floor, physics dictate that knee comes to an abrupt stop and then is pulled over and into the floor with far more friction than when sliding over ice. The resulting silver dollar-sized patch of missing skin is known as a floor burn. I have $2 worth, one on each knee.

That reminds me of one other plus to roller skating - it's nice and warm in the roller rink. Although I hope the burning stops soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Out Standing

I judged and refereed at a local skating competition yesterday. Judging was OK because I could sit, and the events weren't very long so I was able to get up and move around in between. But while ref'ing I had to stand for fairly long periods of time. My hips got very angry about that, to the point of hurting most of the day today.

I am supposed to be chief referee at a competition in another state 10 weeks or so after surgery. I have been reading on the Hipwomen list that traveling alone on a plane 10 weeks after surgery is probably going to be a Very Big Deal. Then to chief a multi-day competition after the plane ride/airport-to-hotel journey may be a bit ... much.

I really thought that after 10 weeks I'd be feeling great and able to resume such activities. But now I'm thinking, Not So Much. Even if I have the perfect recovery (not likely at my age, which for this type of surgery is advanced) it's going to be a major endeavor featuring muscle relaxants and walking aids and wheelchairs and fatigue and annoyance and mostly lots of pain.

I can still back out, but this is sort of an important competition to chief since it's supposed to lead to a referee's appointment, something I've been saying I was going to do for about 6 years. But obviously the timing stinks. I hadn't foreseen hip dysplasia in my future last year when I was setting goals for myself.

I also have said I'd be back at work in 6 weeks, because I only have 12 weeks FMLA on a rolling yearly basis and so need 6 for each surgery. But now I'm thinking that's not going to be possible either. It's a total shift in my thinking, but I realize this recovery is going to be longer and more difficult than I've let myself believe until now.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Building up “Quad” Strength

I went back to the roller rink last night without Tim, despite a huge blister on my right arch from the rental skates. He is on vacation, so now is my chance to impress him with my newly-acquired roller abilities upon his return. I am intrigued with the quad roller thing, and there happened to be a session after dinner and the roller rink is closer to my house than the ice rink.

It’s not that I like roller skating better, it’s just that it’s a challenge. Plus I am very limited in what I can do on roller skates, so it’s harder to hurt my hips. When I ice skate, I want to do all the things I like to do, which are hard on my hips. When I roller skate, I still get the fun of moving to music (and they have live music at the roller rink too), but I can only do easy things.

I went to a public session hoping to be incognito, but just prior to the session there was a beginning dance class, and most of the class participants stayed for the session. They recognized the fact that I was some sort of a dancer because I was working on dance elements. Then there were some higher level dancers I’d met on Sunday who were there for fun. Everyone was friendly and encouraging and probably wondering why I was there by myself.

My goal was to learn how to hold an edge on those slippery buggers (roller skates don’t dig in to the floor like a blade on ice, so it feels “slipperier” to me). After about an hour I got to the point where I could do all 4 forward edges, although I was pretty slow (um, hello, I would have gone faster but I’m not quite sure how to stop these things yet). I did linked edges and swing rolls, chasses and progressives.

Several people I hadn’t met on Sunday came right up to me and said “ice skater, right?” Was it that obvious? Yes, they said, they could tell by how I do my progressives. We ice people are easy to spot, and not just because we’re dressed for the arctic in a hot roller rink!

I then decided I must learn to turn backward gracefully if Tim was going to make me do dances like the Viennese and Samba with him. Three turns without holding on to him seemed beyond my reach, so I decided to do Mohawks in both directions. My ice technique was wrong, wrong, wrong. They do heel to heel Mohawks. Several people tried to show me how to do this but on ice, heel to heel = veryverybad; not only technically wrong but easy to step on the heel of your blade and go down. I just could not get past my aversion to doing it heel to heel, but I tried repeatedly. By the end of the session I could turn backwards pretty consistently in both directions and it felt sort of like an ice Mohawk, but my new friends shook their heads and told me it was “wrong.” Sigh. I’m going to have to learn it their way, I know, but it’s going to involve reprogramming 10 years of ice technique.

I did do Paso Doble cross rolls and those were pretty easy, although I’m sure I did them “wrong.” A couple passed me and I smiled and said, “Paso Doble!” They nodded and smiled and probably said to each other as soon as out of earshot, “dumbass beginner, stick to the glide waltz.” Yep, I probably should.

One friendly skater told me that I needed to “learn to listen to the music and skate to it.” Now really, my focus was just to start feeling comfortable out there and work on “technique,” such as it were. I was ignoring the music. I guess that’s really bad form at the roller rink. When music is playing (especially live music) then dammit, you should show your appreciation and skate to it.

The only fall I have had so far was when I went to sit down on the bench, but kept “rolling” and missed, falling onto my right wrist and then my butt. It would have been embarrassing, especially if I had ended up in a cast, but as soon as I realized my wrist was only sprained and not broken all was well. So I now have a sprained wrist and a huge throbbing blister but my hips don't hurt at all. Go figure!