Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Year Hippiversary

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my right PAO. That means my left PAO is close to a year and 8 months old. I took this opportunity to re-read some of my early posts. Oh, the drama! Not that all of this hip stuff isn't serious of course, but with the wisdom of two years of healing, I can say that I have mellowed and lost most of my anger about why this happened to me.

In the beginning, I was told that there was a two-year rehab period for this surgery. I was also told that even after two years my hips would not be normal. I would probably have continuing pain and reduced strength/ROM even at maximum recovery.

That's turned out to be quite accurate. While I am happy with the outcome of my PAOs, I am not "cured." There was no promise that I'd be pain free and I'm not. There was no promise that I'd be able to do all of the things I used to do and I can't. I still have many limitations despite what my surgeon and PT would both call a stellar recovery. Their goal was not to give me back the abilities I had before, but to give me as much ability as possible, and they did that.

I realize now how strong and fit and coordinated I used to be, which I didn't realize at the time. I have experienced an interesting progression of aging rapidly, from a sports perspective, practically overnight. By that I mean that I went from being a very fit and fearless 45-year-old, often feeling and skating like I was much younger, to being a 48-year-old with hips that feel and perform like those of a much older person. I am much more risk averse. I am no longer fearless. I don't have the same balance, strength, flexibility and especially coordination that I used to. Despite telling myself that some of this is in my head and it will get better, I know in my heart what I really don't want to admit aloud most days -- I will never get some of my abilities back.

Sounds defeatist but that doesn't mean I won't stop trying. It gives me something challenging to do and provides good exercise for me.

I don't regret my PAOs (and in any case, what choice did I have?). I think a PAO is a wonderful fix for a bad situation that nobody chooses. Truth in advertising: for athletes and dancers, realistically, a PAO may not allow you to perform at your prior level, especially if your hip capsule is opened and a lot of key muscles are severed. (A "simple" PAO where the pelvis is broken and reset but the hip capsule is not opened may be a different story.)

So. See you on the ice, where I'll be working diligently on what I can do, and trying not to think about the things I can't do.

1 comment:

ojulius said...

Happy 2 Yr Hippiversary! I hope that you continue to strengthen and heal! :)