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!

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Spring and Summer (because its been that long)…

Well, helloooo there.  It has been a while.  It has been a long while.  Today, I’m writing you from my bed as I recover from hip surgery.  I hope to write about my recovery and my return to running over the next few weeks and months.  But before I dive into the hip story, let me provide you with a quick list of all the (wonderful) mayhem that has proceeded over the spring/summer.  Where to start???

1) Goats–we adopted two goats on Easter weekend.  Jack and Jill are their names.  They are playful, curious, and quite naughty.  I have become a pro at trimming hooves (while nursing Leif) and even learned to give vaccinations.

Jack

Jack

The Kids (well, they aren't really kids anymore but I still like to say, "hey kids" to them.

The Kids (well, they aren’t really kids anymore but I still like to say, “hey kids” to them.

Vaccinating Jill with the help of our friend's Michael and Kevin (and of course Sochi wanted in on the action--or the grain we were feeding Jill)

Vaccinating Jill with the help of our friend’s Michael and Kevin (and of course Sochi wanted in on the action–or the grain we were feeding Jill)

2) Gardening, gardening, and more gardening.  Our garden exploded over the summer, bringing us kale, lettuce, peas, beans, beets, carrots, squash, and more.  It was an explosion of yumminess.

Zucchini Chips.  We had a lot of Zucchini!  I made chips, bread, dips, stirfry, and froze about 60 cups of shredded Zucc for the winter.

Zucchini Chips. We had a lot of Zucchini! I made chips, bread, dips, stirfry, and froze about 60 cups of shredded Zucc for the winter.

Holy Buddha!  That's a big zucchini!

Holy Buddha! That’s a big zucchini!

Cabbage patch kid

Cabbage patch kid

Love chasing the girls around.  They are so patient with him

Love chasing the girls around. They are so patient with him

3) We went on a 5000+ mile road trip through Canada to Alaska.

Buffalo crossing on the highway!  They came right up to the car!

Buffalo crossing on the highway! They came right up to the car!

A walk through Denali.

A walk through Denali.

Sour Toe challenge--a shot of Jack Daniels with a real human toe in it.  We became honory Sour doughs!

Sour Toe challenge–a shot of Jack Daniels with a real human toe in it. We became honory Sour doughs!

Ferry across Yukon River in Dawson City. Way the heck up in the Yukon.

Ferry across Yukon River in Dawson City. Way the heck up in the Yukon.

The go to upside down play.

The go to upside down play.

Gorgeous light at 11 PM at this brilliant lake in Northern British Columbia..with a couple of gorgeous guys

Gorgeous light at 11 PM at this brilliant lake in Northern British Columbia..with a couple of gorgeous guys

4) I turned 30!  I’m pretty stoked about my 30’s and thankful for all the incredible things…and really ridiculously hard things…that happened in my 20’s.  To a new decade!

30 is lovely!  I have a healthy and delightful little boy, a beautifully supportive community, a home to create as I wish, my family is healthy, and I feel more confident and grounded with each passing moment.

30 is lovely! I have a healthy and delightful little boy, a beautifully supportive community, a home to create as I wish, my family is healthy, and I feel more confident and grounded with each passing moment.

5) We became host parents to a 17 year old boy from Vietnam!  His name is Son and he is an absolute delight.  We are enjoying having him as part of our family!

Son on his first day of school in America.  I was feeling like a proud host mama.

Son on his first day of school in America. I was feeling like a proud host mama.

This kid is so great.  He's been helping out while I'm recovering from surgery.  Yesterday Leif bonked his head on the corner and Son came running to comfort.  So so sweet.

This kid is so great. He’s been helping out while I’m recovering from surgery. Yesterday Leif bonked his head on the corner and Son came running to comfort. So so sweet.

6) I had the honor of attending the birth our dear friends’ baby.  It was truly an incredible experience and I had to include it in my list of major events in the past months.  It is not every day I get to hold a friends hand while she brings new life into the world.  It was beautiful.

Sweet Elliot Pax.  Love.

Sweet Elliot Pax. Love.

Kevin, Annie, and their perfect little bundle--Elliot.  Thank you guys for allowing me the honor of being present at Elliot's debut into this crazy world!  You are already top notch parents and Elliot has already captured my heart!

Kevin, Annie, and their perfect little bundle–Elliot. Thank you guys for allowing me the honor of being present at Elliot’s debut into this crazy world! You are already top notch parents and Elliot has already captured my heart!

7) I had my hip socket shaved down and my torn labram cleaned out. Kind of a big deal.  After chiropractic, PT, acupuncture, and massage…my sweet acupuncturist suggested I get an MRI/MRA to look for a torn labram… And finally, after almost a year of worsening hip, groin, glute, and low back pain (and almost zero running)  I am on the other side of surgery and hoping I’m running in 4 months!  I will devote an entire post  to this in the next day or two with many more to follow.

I was hungry and dehydrated but mostly in good spirits before and after surgery.  Enjoyed joking with the nurses and my surgeon about child birth/pain/tricks I could do on crutches/ how the bag they put my clothes in reminded me of a bag I'd put my extra clothing in at the beginning of a race.  It was all fun in games--minus the part I was unconscious and had cameras and surgical tools inside my hip.

I was hungry and dehydrated but mostly in good spirits before and after surgery. Enjoyed joking with the nurses and my surgeon about child birth/pain/tricks I could do on crutches/ how the bag they put my clothes in reminded me of a bag I’d put my extra clothing in at the beginning of a race. It was all fun in games–minus the part I was unconscious and had cameras and surgical tools inside my hip.

That's my hip socket, guys!  Technology is amazing.  Thanks, Dr. Brukner for helping me on my journey toward running 100 mile race and running into my 100's!

That’s my hip socket, guys! Technology is amazing. Thanks, Dr. Brukner for helping me on my journey toward running 100 mile race and running into my 100’s!

Recovering with my girl--felt way better than I expected after surgery.

Recovering with my girl–felt way better than I expected after surgery.

Of course a lot of other stuff happened in there!  Leif is growing up much too fast.  Changing every day.  He is all sorts of active, fearless, and passionate about life.  He loves his animals–Sochi, the chickens (we call them “the girls”) and Jack and Jill.  They are all so patient with him and his roughness.  Life feels full, sometimes overwhelming but mostly wonderful.  My 30’s will be great, I’m going to heal well and come back strong.  I’m going to focus on loving myself, my family and my community in a way that enriches life.  Stay tuned for recovery posts!