Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Apocalypse No

Ho hum, looks like the world didn't end. You didn't really think I'd stop blogging, did you? Besides, I had a big BIG big BIG big BIG very BIG Humongous breakthrough tonight. I have already shown or told everyone at the rink, several times. Now I can tell the rest of the world through the magic of blogging.

Tonight Coach R and I worked on the Blues Choctaw and figured out a way to get my lazy hip to push forward. I won't go into excruciating detail (L., I will tell you privately since I'm sure you'll want to know), but suffice to say that I did about 20 Choctaws, with more speed than I have managed since surgery, and they finally felt like Choctaws. Let me say that again - THEY FINALLY FELT LIKE CHOCTAWS. !!!!!! That's big news. I've been trying everything and anything for the past year to fix that turn and this is the first time I've had success of this magnitude.

A few other turns I have not had much success with I was able to do in a very limited, developmental way today, which is still an improvement over nothing. These include the Mohawk at the end of the Paso, the Quickstep Choctaw, the Argentine Twizzle, the Westminster Mohawk, and, just barely, the Foxtrot Mohawk. If the world did actually end, I guess I'd die happy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

When Hell freezes over, can we have a patch* session?

With the end of the world imminent, I wanted to put a little closure to this blog.

First, I want to apologize to my readers for many months of boring posts. This blog has morphed into a catalog of things I can and can't do on the ice which may or may not be hip related. This appeals to about 3 ice dancers who have nothing better to do because their ice is down for repair before the rapture.

And I know what you're saying. "Terri, you were so much more witty and entertaining back when you were lying in bed all day with your pelvis broken." And you're right, I was. Occasionally readers even laughed out loud, which helped them deal with the pain of their own dysplasia diagnoses and upcoming PAO surgeries.

I hear those readers who tell me that "hip dysplasia is so 2009, get over it and move on already." You're right. The details of my hip dysplasia saga are archived here for all eternity, which might end tomorrow, for anyone who wants to read them. I can still give major updates when appropriate, but there's really not that much left to say.

I also hear those readers who say "ice dancing, major yawn. While we appreciate the entertainment value when you post videos of you falling on your doubly-PAO'd ass, can you please write about some of your more interesting hobbies instead?"

Why, yes I can. My very interesting hobbies include the following:

~Blogging: I don't think a blog about blogging would gain much traction.

~Judging Figure Skating: Snore.

~My On Again, Off Again Obsession With Yoga: I'm not even interested enough to write about it.

~Bargain Shopping: While I am the queen of the bargain clothing shoppers, bargain blogs are a dime a dozen (actually a dozen costs just a nickel at The Rack). Besides, if I posted my secret source for Michael Kors cotton blouses at 90% off retail there'd be fewer bargains for me. For those of you who are not my size, contact me privately.

~Sewing: While I thought my one post about sewing was fairly entertaining, I am not sure everyone shares my view. There are many other more entertaining sewing blogs, such as The Selfish Seamstress. I admire her fashion sense, clever use of third person and, well, selfishness.

~Criticizing the Table Manners, Driving Habits, Child-Rearing Practices and Grammar of others: This idea has potential.

~Making Fun of Current Events: Ah, so much fodder for fun here. For example, the recent circumcision ban proposed in San Francisco just begs for blog attention, but I am not sure I want to blog about the politics of foreskins.

~Making Fun of Myself: Narcissistic, but this is a blog, after all.

Signing off ... for now ... must change into something more appropriate for the end of the world. You can catch me next week, probably from hell, which I hope has frozen over and is not full of hockey players.

*"Patch" - A figure skating activity during which each skater is assigned a strip of ice on which to practice school figures (figure 8s). Interestingness score for patch as a spectator sport for non-skaters is on par with watching grass grow or paint dry, thus this aspect of figure skating has been phased out to boost figure skating's TV appeal. Purists and judges lament the passing of school figures and concurrent decline in basic skating skills, but that's a topic for another post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakthroughs at 1.5 years post LPAO

I haven't given a hip status in a long time, so it's probably time to do so and tie that status with some breakthroughs I'm having on the ice.

I am at about a year and a half from my second PAO, which puts me at 1 year and 10 months for my first PAO. I was told at the beginning of this journey that I will continue to see improvement up to (and sometimes beyond) the two year post-surgery mark, and I'm hoping to see the progress continue.

I had a bit of a setback at the end of February when a car seat slammed into my knees, pushing my femurs back into their sockets abruptly. Before that happened I had been experiencing very little muscle pain. Now I am having more muscle pain with exertion, but Dr. Mayo thinks it could take up to 6 months to heal from that trauma. He saw me 6 weeks after the accident and noted that my abductors were very weak, and I'm working on getting that strength back - I think it was due to lack of activity right after the accident.

Hip status:
~My scars have faded into oblivion and can barely be seen.
~Certain muscles are still weak (hip flexors, abductors). When I say "weak," I mean "weak compared to what they once were." They are probably normal or better for someone my age. Skaters have strong hip flexors and mine were cut and atrophied to nothing, so building them back up so that I can do nice forward flare extensions on the ice is probably going to be impossible.
~I no longer have low back pain.
~I walk without a limp unless I'm really, really, really tired.
~I don't like to walk long distances although I can. It's not the best exercise for me as it puts the most pressure on my hip joints and can cause fatigue and soreness. For the same reason, I don't run, but I never did.
~I can sleep in any position.

Skating breakthroughs have been notable this past week. I am able to bend better and extend better. I have finally taken the training wheels (two-footing) off my FI mohawks and can push and extend on the FI edge before the turn. This is partly balance and partly strength. FI mohawks are considered an "easy" skill and it has taken me about a year to be able to stroke into them with confidence, but before this week I felt very unstable in that position solo.

I still can't do many turns that start with a FO edge (other than rockers and twizzles). The abductor weakness is probably to blame, as my legs aren't stable enough. I can't do FO counters (although I can do BO counters). I can't do the Argentine twizzle, but that's because it's really a counter. I can do the QS choctaw slowly with a touchdown but I think if I spent some time on it, it might improve. Can't do FO closed mohawks except slowly with a big touchdown but that should be no surprise! That will probably be the last thing to come back, if it comes back at all.

I can do full patterns of the Intermediate and Novice twizzle sequences and they are better than some of the kids' tests I've judged, if I do say so myself. Very happy about how those are coming along.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cha Cha Congelado

This is Thursday's rendition of the Cha Cha Congelado, skating with K. This was a crowded freestyle session on 2/3 ice so no way to skate it out or do full patterns, and we didn't have music. You can't really tell this is a Cha Cha, and for an international dance this isn't done very well, but considering my week-old boots I'm pretty happy with this. I suppose considering that a year ago my friends were holding me up to do the Dutch Waltz, I should be ecstatic:

My finest hour:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

When the Doctor Becomes the Patient

Great article on hip dysplasia from the perspective of an orthopedic surgeon who is also a bilateral PAO patient: