Monday, August 17, 2009

Six Weeks: Swim, Swam, Swum

I know that I am blogging way too much lately, but so much exciting stuff is going down. Today was my first pool outing since surgery.

I am lucky to have a warm water therapy pool just a short drive from my house. They also have an olympic-sized pool right there for when I graduate from the baby pool. For now though I'm happy as a clam floating around in the 98 degree bathwater.

I wasn't really sure what to do when I got there. Not only was I the youngest person by at least 30 years, but Dr. Mayo did not give me any pool exercises and he actually seemed reluctant to even let me go in the pool when I asked him. He said I could go at six weeks (yeah, that's Wednesday, but come on ...) but didn't tell me what I could and could not do. So I stayed with my usual restrictions. No straight leg raises or abduction or weight bearing ...

Wait a minute. Weight bearing? If I walk in the pool am I really weight bearing? In theory I am allowed to put up to 44 pounds on my operated leg. How they came up with 44 pounds is beyond me, and it's not like I am able to tell accurately how much weight I'm bearing anyway. I have just stuck with the concept of "toe touch" until now. But in the water I did some actual walking in the shallow end.

It was very odd. My body is so used to NOT walking that every time I stepped on my right leg my torso would scrunch up in a futile attempt to not bear weight. Even in the pool I had a pronounced waddling limp. It got better over time, but boy, if this is any indication, real walking on land is going to be, um, rather challenging. I had hoped walking, which I've been doing for almost half a century, would be a skill I might easily reacquire. Now I'm thinking not so much.

Over the course of an hour I did lots of floating, some range of motion exercises, a little walking, more floating, and some paddling with just my arms in a feeble attempt to get my heart rate up (kicking my legs did not seem like a very bright idea even though it's not on my restriction list).

Today was the first time in almost six weeks that I've done any activity which resembles exercise. I am sure that I overdid it. Based on the pain that's just starting to become apparent in my right groin and buttock, I'm sure I will find out in the next 24 hours just how much.


oscarsmum said...

Although I was toe touch for 6 weeks I did hydro 3 days post op in hospital and was allowed to walk in chest height water ( the deeper you go the less weight you hip will take), try and keep gait as normal as poss, I also did ROM and gentle kicking.
Hope this helps

HipSk8 said...

Kate - That's exactly what I did in the pool so I guess it was OK. I thought I had added a link to your blog a long time ago but evidently not, so I just added it today!