Strengthen and Stretching Routine has Begun!

I officially started my strengthening and stretching routine yesterday.  It felt so good to make my body work a little!  Here’s what my routine looks like this week:

Sunday:  10 Sun Salutations with a gentle lunge held for 10 long breaths on each side with 10 pushups incorporated into each flow.

Monday:

  • 10 lunges held for 10 long breaths on each side
  • 5 seated pigeons on each side held for 10 long breaths
  • plank (front, side, side) 2 min each side
  • 5 pull ups

Tuesday:

  • hip stretches (listed above)
  • plank (front, side, side) 2 min each

Wednesday:

  • hip stretches
  • 10 sun salutations with 10 pushups in each flow
  • 10 pull ups

Thursday:

  • hip stretches
  • 50 ab rollers with wheel
  • 5 pull ups

Friday:

  • hip stretches
  • 100 triceps dips

Saturday:

  • hip stretches
  • 10 sun salutations

Sunday:

  • hip stretches

Also–

  • my incision wounds are clearing up and scabbing over!  Yahoo!  Go honey! Looks like I will avoid the antibiotics this time!  Isn’t nature cool?
  • looking for a doctor that believes food is medicine?  I just discovered Dr. Krause does consultations over the web for those of you who don’t live near Tacoma!  Check out her website (she didn’t tell me about it–I just happened to discover it).

Two Weeks Post-op

Yes, Doctor.  I rested a ton.  Aside from jumping up to rescue my toddler from every high surface he could find and saving my dog from getting her nostrils torn by said toddler.

Yes, Doctor. I rested a ton. Aside from jumping up to rescue my toddler from every high surface he could find and saving my dog from getting her nostrils torn by said toddler.

Woo! We survived two weeks of recovery! Lots of good stuff is happening! I had my first post-op visit with my surgeon’s assistant yesterday. For some reason I thought I was going to get to start my cycling program but apparently I was jumping the gun and have to wait another 3 weeks before I get on the bike.

While I didn’t get to start my cycling program, I do get to lose the crutches and just use them if I’m feeling overly tired or sore. He also gave me a couple stretches. I’m starting with a very very short lunge to stretch out my hipflexor. I will gradually work up to a full lunge. Next week, I’ll start incorporating a seated pigeon to work the other side. Yay! Bring on the stretching.

Immediately after the stitches were taken out.

Immediately after the stitches were taken out.

The nurse also removed my stitches. This was actually pretty unpleasant since my skin had healed over the stitches. I also have a little gu and redness that the PA said may or may not be infected. We agreed that I would wait until Monday to fill the prescription and see if my incisions clear up. In the mean time, I’m putting raw honey on my battle wounds as prescribed by Dr. Krause (my naturopath).

Speaking of Dr. Krause, I also started acupuncture yesterday. Love me some acupuncture. Dr. Krause is wonderful in so many ways. It is the first time in my adult life that I’ve had a doctor that listened to me. While she is not a vegan, she supports me in my diet and when we’re discussing diet for particular outcomes (healing, reproductive health, etc), she adapts my plan to my diet. The goal of the acupuncture is to stimulate circulation and white blood cell production to promote healing. She also gave me a mini-massage with some healing oils. My left leg was pretty tight since it has been in charge of holding my weight the last two weeks. Recovering is going to mean taking care of my whole self! If you live in Tacoma and are looking for a primary care giver, naturopath or acupuncturist—you should give her a call.

How I’m feeling 2 weeks post op:

moments like these.

moments like these

  • Pain level is still pretty low. I’m returning to some normal activities such as house work and grocery shopping.
  •  I am maintaining my high plant protein, high anti-inflammatory diet with a few cheats. Food is an amazing healer!
  •  My anxiety level is still pretty low but has raised a little since taking on more responsibility. What if, instead of returning to my lightning fast pace, I go slower and do less?

1 week post-op!

unnamed-4I survived the first week.  My parents left Thursday night for the beach house and things have been a little wild ever since.  By that I mean, it is nearly impossible to rest.  While I’m letting a lot of stuff slide, there are some things that must be taken care of.  And when Leif grabs my leg mid-crutch hobble, it is quite impossible to move without picking him up.  I had my first full on melt down with tears and all this morning.  Jam was spread across our sheets, fruit flies were swarming our kitchen, and there was a huge pile of laundry (along with jam covered sheets) that needed to be washed.  And a little job dumping water and dog food across the kitchen floor while he smeared peanut butter on the cupboards.

I finally locked myself in the bedroom with Sochi and an ice pack–Leif is naked somewhere in the house or yard with Josh and I’m sure there will be poop to clean up later.  But I don’t even care.  Right now, I am resting and counting the hours until my parents return from the beach tomorrow.

Challenges/Updates:

Incision site is very sore.  And red and swollen.  Only one of them is like this though so I guess I can be grateful that its not both of them!  The stitches are almost completely gone there is just a little bit of drainage from the one that is pretty swollen.  I’m hoping icing and resting will bring the swelling down.

My low back pain is gone for now...this is the most painful part...and even this isn't that bad.

My low back pain is gone for now…this is the most painful part…and even this isn’t that bad.

Yeast Infection.  Symptoms are completely gone!  whoohoo!  Garlic and Yeast Arrest did the trick!  I’ll continue with the Yeast Arrest until the end of the weekend.

Emotional Exhaustion.  The physical stress on my body has led to emotional exhaustion as well.  As mentioned, I had a good cry on the phone with my mom today.  I’m seriously considering having a cleaning company come in the next couple weeks to do a good scrub down of the things that have gotten a bit out of hand–peanut butter on the baseboards for instance.  I want to wait until I’m closer to being able to keep up with the house work so that it won’t all just go to hell the moment they leave.  I know having a sparkling clean house in not the most important thing in the world but it is pretty important to my mental health.  I am able to be more present when my space is beautiful.

Awesomeness:

Leif has taken some epic afternoon naps with me.  I’m so so grateful for those calm lazy moments of closeness.

Be still my mama heart.

Be still my mama heart.

Leif has been able to spend a significant amount of bonding time with my parents.  Sleep overs, trips to the zoo and park.  He’s been getting lots of love.  I already knew my parents were amazing but now that they are gone for the weekend, I am even more aware of just how wonderful they are and how much we need them in our lives!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Fun visits from friends that continue to bring delicious food!

I continue to focus on nutrition.  I’ve been eating really well (with a few small treats).

unnamed-2

green apple, cucumber, kale, carrot, ginger, lemon, kombucha, dash of turmeric

Josh took yesterday off and Leif got to go help out with a fun project… and do his first solo ride in the bucket!

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We had a little surprise birthday breakfast for David, our house mate, this morning.  Leif loved sitting at the table like the big boys and licking the pb and jam off his zucchini bread.  I’m so thankful for our sweet little home and all the adopted family members that live in it!

Oh guys, you're so funny!

Oh guys, you’re so funny!

Ready. Set. Heal!


Pain Block Wearing Off…

Yesterday, I became acutely aware that the pain block Dr. Brukner injected into my hip is wearing off.  The la-la feeling I had in my hip, low back, pelvis area is now fading (BUMMER). Replacing it is in ache in my low back and some stiffness in my hip.  The incision pain is also becoming a little more intense (especially when Leif or Sochi sit, kick, or jump on it).

Leif spent Tuesday night at Grandma and Papa’s again and I slept well, other than my anxious mama dreams about not being able to feel/hear Leif next to me in the night. I got to lounge on the couch all morning and then get my hair done by my lovely friend and hair dresser, Carina (seriously, if you live in Tacoma–she’s your gal).

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

unnamed-1

Carina’s handy work and my pretty new earrings made by a local Tacoma gal.

Leif spent the day with Papa John, Auntie Megan, and Lily at the zoo before coming home to spend the night with us.  Sort of exhausting but so so sweet to have my little within reach at night.

He's so great!  Love my dad!

He’s so great! Love my dad!

Challenges/Updates:

Low back pain.  As mentioned, this is not so great.  I decided to take an oxycodene to help me sleep.  It took the edge off.  I hope to not need it tonight.

Yeast Infection.  Symptoms continue to get better with the garlic treatment and Yeast Arrest.  I think I’m on almost in the clear!  Going to continue the treatment for a few more days.  Maybe keep up with the garlic for a full week.

Awesomeness:

People have been bringing us all sorts of yummy meals and snacks!  I love getting to try other people’s cooking!

Yesterday morning and afternoon were so relaxing!

In between the toddler chaos– I get the world’s greatest snuggles.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

Everyone wants some mama love.

Everyone needs some mama love.


Unpleasant Side Effects of my Surgery

unnamed-4Its Day 4 of recovery and I am ridiculously tired.  My mama heart could not stand another night away from Leif so he stayed home last night and I was alone with him from about 7:30-10:30 this morning.  Being alone with an 18 month old when you can only hobble on crutches is a terrifying thing, my friends. He emptied every cupboard within reach and then took the party to the back yard and climbed on anything that was semi-climbable.  I was so so happy when my dad arrived to help out and we were both still alive! And then Leif later gifted me with a nap! Thank heavens.  He is back with grandma and papa tonight and I hope to do some serious sleeping.

Pain Level:

Remains pretty low.  Really it is my incisions that hurt when they get bumped or kicked or jumped on by a little human or an excited Sochi.  I am beginning to feel it a little more as I move around and the morphine, cortisone block begin to wear off a little.

Challenges:

Exhaustion. Exhaustion. Exhaustion.  I decided to ride along with my mom and Leif to the grocery store.  We were only there for 20 minutes or so and I could have curled up with the bananas and taken a nap.  Because my pain level is so low, I keep having to remind myself that I just had an invasive procedure and my body has to recover.

Itchy, witchy lady parts.unnamed-3  It seems that somewhere between antibiotics and cortisone during surgery and the stress on my body, I developed a yeast infection.  That’s really no fun.  I’m working with Dr. Krause to try to take care of it using garlic and a homeopathic formula called Yeast Arrest by Vitanica. You insert both.  The garlic leaves a pretty strong scent and you’ll probably taste it (which I don’t mind because I love garlic).  The Yeast Arrest is very soothing. I’m alternating between the two (garlic during the day, Yeast Arrest at night).  Hoping it clears up in the next couple days and I can avoid buying the harder stuff.

What’s Awesome about all of this?

I don’t have a to-do list.  I am forced to slow down.  I can’t drive anywhere!  No errands.  Very few chores.  Naps with Leif!

Read. Set. Heal!


Three days out and feeling good!

Big News!  I got to take my bandage off yesterday and check out Dr. Brukner’s handy work.  Happy to say my scars will be very petite.  Almost adorable if I do say so myself.

Yesterday right after removing bandage

Yesterday right after removing bandage.

Today after my first post-op shower!  Yay for feeling clean!

Today after my first post-op shower! Yay for feeling clean!

I continue to be in very little pain and hit my nutrition goals. I’m off the oxycodene (for now at least) and my digestive system is starting to catch up!  Leif has spent the last 2 nights at my parents house which was really hard for me.

IMG_3884

I love this little face more than life itself! Can’t wait to be able to romp with him again!

I missed him a lot and my crazy mama brain was very anxious last night thinking about him being a whole 30 minute drive away from me!  I actually had the thought, “What if the Mountain goes and I won’t be able to get through the valley for months!” Wow, Melissa.  The second biggest challenge, after missing Leif like crazy, is going slow.  My pain is seriously so minimal for the time being.  I get frustrated with the crutches and can walk without them without pain (albeit slow). Dr Brukner warned me though that I might feel this way and that I NEED to go slowly and use the crutches the first two weeks!  Trying to keep my eye on the goal!

I also got to take a shower today which felt amazing.  I’ve been making an effort to put earrings in each morning and clean up a little so as not to feel too frumpy as I lounge around the house.


The other side of Surgery–Post 1.

I will once again feel the rush of flying down a trail once I've climbed--heart pounding, lungs burning--up the mountain.  Active healing is under way.

I will once again feel the rush of flying down a trail once I’ve climbed–heart pounding, lungs burning–up the mountain. Active healing is under way.

As mentioned in my previous post, I underwent hip arthroscopy this past Friday (like 2 days ago).  It was along time coming.  After a car accident last September, in which I was all sorts of twisted over Leif’s car seat in the back of my dad’s truck when the other vehicle collided with the bed of the truck, I started having pain in my neck, shoulders, low back, and hips.  The hip pain really only showed up when I began to return to my normal activities –hiking, running, and the sorts.  I started seeing a chiro and even went to my midwife thinking something was wrong with my baby birthing parts because my pelvis, groin, and hip were causing me so much pain.  I saw a woman’s health PT which helped with some of the tightness in my pelvis area but did nothing to relieve my hip, groin, and back pain.

After months of no improvement with chiropractic, my chiro referred me to the acupuncturist up the road.  She was amazing. I loved going to see her even when the acupuncture and prolotherapy were a bit intense.  After 7 treatments with no change, she started to suspect we were missing something.  She ordered an MRI/MRA which showed that I did have a torn labram in my right hip socket as well as extra bone growth the was limiting normal hip rotation (as she had suspected).  The doctor explained to me that during the accident, my hips tried to rotate in a direction that was limited by my bones and the extra growth tore into my labram.  Oh Yay!  Not great but thankful to finally have had answers for my pain and a solution!

Bottom Left hand is a diagram of the extra bone I grew--um--way to go me?

Bottom Left hand is a diagram of the extra bone I grew–um–way to go me?

Diagram of a hip labral tear--what happened during the car accident and what caused the onset of pain.

Diagram of a hip labral tear–what happened during the car accident and what caused the onset of pain.

x-ray of my right hip--showing my irregular hip socket.

x-ray of my right hip–showing my irregular hip socket.

The Physicians Assistant's drawing of my hip when explaining to me what was going on.

The Physicians Assistant’s drawing of my hip when explaining to me what was going on.

I’ve been talking to Dr. Krause, my acupuncturist/naturopath, about pre/post surgery diet and therapy. I’ll outline my plan below:

The Diet– Higher than normal protein, plant based, whole food, high omega-3, high anti-inflammatory 

Upon Waking– Water, a kiwi for anti-inflammatory properties, coffee because its what keeps be happy and hopefully regular

Breakfast: Green Protein Smoothie:

Making Wellness Happen Here, folks.

Making Wellness Happen Here, folks.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup mixed frozen fruit (papaya, mango, berries, pineapple)
  • 1-1/2 scoops of my healing mix I made–Sunwarrior Raw protein powder, spirulina, chia, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate for Anti-inflammatory properties
  • 2 large handfuls of mixed power greens (kale, arugula, and other powerful greens)

Snack:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup pineapple, kiwi, or papaya for anti-inflammatory

Lunch:

  • Large  Salad
    • 5 cups greens
    • I cup beans
    • 1/2 avo or 1/4 cup walnuts
    • mixed veg
  • Sweet Potato or Squash with 1 TBLS Anti-imflammatory spice mix (turmeric, pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander)

Snack:

  • Fresh homemade juice
    • green apple
    • cucumber
    • greens
    • carrots
    • ginger root
    • lemon juice
    • dash of turmeric because I can’t find fresh this time of year

      Healing Bombs!

      Healing Bombs!

  • 1-2 homemade healing bombs:  dates, figs, chia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon all processed into mush and formed into balls for a bomb of omega 3’s, iron, potassium, and anti-inflammatory goodness

Dinner:

  • Curry or add 1 TBLS of spice mix to whatever dish
  • whole grains–brown rice, quinoa, amaranth
  • cup of beans or tofu
  • small salad with seeds or nuts and balsamic vinager

Pain Management:

Quite honestly, my pain has been very minimal.  Of course I’m not bearing all my weight on my leg and using crutches to hobble around as directed by my doctor.  Here are the drugs I am taking to keep my pain minimal and help with healing:

  • Before stitching my incisions back up, the doctor injected my hip socket with morphine and cortisone. The effects of these drugs could last up to 2 weeks–making me feel a whole lot better than I should give that my bones were just shaved and cartilage removed.  My right thigh is also numb from the drugs.
  • oxycodene as needed.  I’ve just taken this at night to help me sleep but don’t really feel it is necessary for pain management at this point.  I hope to be totally down with it by tomorrow.
  • 600 mg Ibuprofen 3 times per day to fight inflammation.

I also have some homeopathic pain management lined up for this week.  It includes:

  •  Traumameel/Arnica gel
  • Traumameel tablets
  • Papaya enzyme tablets for anti-inflammatory

The Challenges:

Having a very active 18 month old that is still nursing.  Poor Leif doesn’t understand why mama can’t pick him up and walk around with him.  The first night was rough.  I couldn’t nurse because of the anesthesia in my system.  He was pretty bummed about that.  My aunt when out and got some vanilla and chocolate almond milk to give him as a treat to get through that first 24 hours of not being able to nurse.  We decided it would be best if he spent the second night at my parents house.  This was our first night away and it caused some tears on both sides but everyone did okay!  My parents are great.

Engorgement and pumping issues: last night I realized that I had not nursed Leif in over a day and that my milk makers were rock hard and painful.  I couldn’t get my pump to work at first (I have used it so infrequently that I forgot how to work it and I was kind of in a panic).  I had to hand express which is pretty awkward but it helped and I was later able to get the pump to work once I had some relief and could think straight to trouble shoot the problem.

Constipation:  This, as my readers know from my poop stories, is rarely an issue for me.  I remembering reading about this being one of the hardest parts of people after this surgery.  I suppose I am a lucky one because its been less than 48 hours since I woke from surgery and I have been able to go a little bit–but it was painful and quite scary.  As I lesson my use of pain meds and the anesthesia leaves my system, I know this will get better.  My diet is very high in fiber and the coffee is helping.

I’m super slow and it takes forever to do things:  this is a blessing and a curse.  I have time to write, read, and take care of myself…and dress up as a pirate.

AAARRRR...Mate!

AAARRRR…Mate!

David, our house mate, when I complained about how long it took me to get back across the street from visiting the neighbors told me to think of it as a practice in zen meditation.  I’m used to running everywhere.  I even run when I am cleaning the house…so to move slow is challenging for me!  But David is right, going slow is good for me and I should really focus on the mindfulness that recovery demands.  Dr. Brukner, knowing that the hardest part of recovery for me would be not doing too much, used scare tactics with me. He explained that if I tried to do too much too soon, I would end up with tendonitis in my hip flexor which would take about 18 months to recover from.  I don’t know what gave him that impression.  It may have been when I tapped my fingers together and said “challenge accepted” when he told me I couldn’t do anything that I can’t do on crutches for the next two weeks…or when I joked that I might try for a marathon next weekend while the morphine is still in my hip…

Rehab:

I have my follow up with Dr. Brukner on September 25th.  We will discuss my exercise plan then and see how I am healing (which I plan to shock him with and give credit to my diet and self-care routine as well as my incredible community that is taking care of me, my kid, my dog, my goats and chickens, and my garden and making sure I eat healthy delicious healing foods).

I have acupuncture treatments already scheduled: 2/week for the first two weeks ( starting after the 25th) and 1/week for the following 4 weeks and will also be going to a PT that specializes in gait analysis and athletes and will help me get back into the grove of running while making sure my gait is normal.  I should be able to get on the recumbent bike after the 25th and work towards the elliptical before easing into running in 3-4 months.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to treat myself to a Christmas morning run?

Ready. Set. Heal!