Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eleven Weeks (LPAO)/Seven Months (RPAO)

Happy birthday to my dear husband Perry, who is eligible for sainthood after being married to me before, during and after two PAOs in one year. Believe it or not, I haven't always been so pleasant to be around during this odyssey.

On that note, today's update will discuss the not-so-positive side of things, because sometimes I get sick and tired of being "in recovery" since last July.

Overall I have had very positive results, but there are still things I can not do. I originally made progress quickly but I have not yet progressed beyond a certain point. I am lucky to not have any major complications, but my lifestyle and abilities have definitely changed since a year ago. I still have to make compromises in order to make it through the day. I get tired and sore and cranky. I avoid certain things - like walking more than a couple of blocks and carrying things and standing for long periods and bending over.

Righty is now at 7 months and still not back to normal. Granted I didn't really work very hard at rehabilitation while in the early recovery stages from Lefty, but now I have to get back to it. Hip flexors are still very weak despite working them in the gym. I can do most everyday things without pain or limitation, but my flexibility is still very poor so skating will be a challenge. I can climb stairs just fine, but if I have to take a big step up I can not do it without using my hands to help my right leg (and I don't even try with my left). I haven't been able to walk very far to test Righty since Lefty can't go the distance. So Righty is definitely behind where a 7-month-post-PAO hip would normally be due to all this "waiting for Lefty."

Lefty is now at 11 weeks and doing about as well as I would expect. My PT confirms that Lefty is weaker than Righty was at this point and will take longer to rehab. It's really too early to tell if there will be any long-term limitations and how it will all shake out.

I want to start yoga in the next few weeks to work on flexibility for both hips as well as balance. As I predicted, it is more difficult to do things with two bad legs than it was after my right PAO, when I had one bad and one good leg. I felt pretty confident then. Now Righty is my "good" leg and it's just not all that good. I am therefore a lot more risk averse during this recovery. The thought of skating at 8 weeks scares the crap out of me, although I thought nothing of it during the first PAO recovery.

All of this is just as expected. What I didn't expect was how tired I would be of all of this some days, while full of optimism on others. For example, the other day I was able to put my pants on while standing up for the first time. I've had to sit down to get dressed before now. This tells me my strength, balance and flexibility are improving on my left leg. But it doesn't get me much closer to doing the Cha Cha Congelado -- or even the Dutch Waltz.


ojulius said...

Give your poor body a break!! :) You've put it through massive trauma and you haven't met the 1 year mark (okay, lefty is close...but...). It took me a good 2 years to feel "normal" again. I felt okay after a year, but knew I was weaker. I only had 1 PAO. I can't imagine going through 2 in the same year. You've made awesome gains. Keep up the hard work, give yourself time to breathe, and take good care of yourself. Life will get back to normal!

Gordon said...

Hang in there Terri! It's okay to vent. You'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I am struggling a bit with my attitude 4 months after only 1 PAO. I think you were pretty brave to do what you did - and have made amazing progress. But, I understand your frustration!