Well since that title may sound like no big deal. Let me tell you about my journey through injury and almost through recovery(fingers crossed that is true). Since there are quite a few of you who read this who don't know me personally, I am 39 years old and in the last 2 years lost 40lbs and got healthy. I was running a couple of days a week and in the best shape I think I had been in as an adult. I was working toward training for a half marathon. It felt so flipping fantastic. I loved feeling healthy, strong and seeing all that my body could do!
November 17, 2010 – Went running. Had a great run. Ran 3 miles plus my warm up and cool down in 30 minutes(good timing for me), felt great! EXCEPT, while I was running, I kept feeling a lump in the back of my thigh. Kept thinking I hadn't stretch enough and stopped to stretch more, but it turns out I had pulled a hamstring. Headed to the Dr. to confirm
After doing nothing for the last 2 weeks of the year, I started the first week of the year with yoga and strength training. During this week I did a hip opening yoga session. One pose in particular just didn't feel right. So, I of course stopped doing that pose. The pain intensifies and now feels like it is at the insertion point of the hamstring muscle (ie., right under my butt). I head back to the Dr. He says it is the hamstring and to go home and rest. He also recommends PT, but we discuss it and as I hadn't felt like it was really helping, decide not to spend the money.
Thus begins the sitting around waiting for my body to heal and the intense pain. That initial couple of weeks was quite painful.
Still in pain and tired of this whole thing. I am getting worried about long term damage and affects. I keep having this nagging thought that this is something in my hip. So, I head back to the Dr. We decide it is time to see a specialist. I specifically pick and orthopedist that does not do surgery, because I do NOT want surgery. He is an excellent Dr. and quickly figures out that this is an issue with my hip, however he says that finding problems in the hip can be very difficult. So, the expedition begins.
We begin with a Bone Scan to see if I have a stress fracture in my hip. Thankfully it is not that (since that would require 6+ weeks of total non-weight bearing to heal). On the visit where the Dr., tells me it isn't a stress fracture, I tell him about this catching feeling I keep getting in my hip. That one little clue is all he needed to strongly suspect that I had torn cartilage in my hip. He sends me for an MRI with contrast dye. Which let me tell you is not for the faint of heart. They inject dye into your hip first, then send you for the MRI. Big needles then confined spaces…makes for a lovely day! Dr. calls me to tell me I have a torn labrum in my left hip. The only way to fix/repair it is surgery. He refers me to another great Dr. I get the surgery scheduled and feel like the end is in sight…haha
Surgery is April 1st. The Dr. has to do quite a bit more than planned. What was supposed to be a ‘simple' surgery with a quick recovery is now not. I am on crutches and non-weight bearing for 2 weeks, partial weight bearing for 2 and then can gradually get back to full weight bearing. What was supposed to be a quick recovery is now a 6 month recovery because of what they had to do. On top of that, in my overcompensating for my injury prior to surgery, I rotated my pelvis. So, my body is totally out of alignment. Because of this, we have to spend a lot of my physical therapy working on my alignment and not rehabbing my hip.
I couldn't really focus on any other benchmarks/goals at physical therapy because it was just working and waiting for my body to get back into alignment. I decided to set my own goals for ‘normal' things I want to be able to do. In addition to resuming a ‘normal' life, for the short term, I want to be able to cross my legs, sit crossed legged on the floor, wear my 4″ wedge sandals and of course get back to running. I set these goals for myself because this recovery thing is really hard. It is such a roller coaster. One day is really good and I feel good. The next day, pain and feeling bad. One day I would feel mostly in alignment, the next day I would be really off. I never knew what one the day would hold. The goals were my way of focusing on something that I wanted rather than getting depressed. Not to say I didn't get depressed because for short times, I did. This is really hard. If you have been through a prolonged injury or illness and you are missing your ‘normal' life, it is really hard.
In the interest of not having a ridiculously long blog post, I am currently able to keep up most of my ‘normal' life. I can do the grocery shopping again, I can clean the house, do the laundry, etc. Yep, I was kind of excited to be able to do all of these things again. I can cross my legs!! I am getting really close to being able to sit crossed legged on the floor. My alignment is still off just a tiny bit, so we are still working on that. My hip is getting stronger, at physical therapy, I am even allowed to run for 45 seconds at a time (which I sadly feel quite a bit the following day). I am making progress and after almost 9 months of injury… I think I am only about 1 or 2 months away from ‘normal.'
This journey has been hard and I have learned a lot. I have needed to learn to quiet down, to ask for help, and to rely on my family to do everything that I normally do(and even to do it there way…not mine….gasp….shock!!). These are things that are very hard for me. Probably hardest of all has been learning that I can't force my body to get better any faster and perhaps that instead of trying to push it, I need to have patience with this process. I need to accept where my body is at today and go with that rather than where I want it to be. To accept what my body has to offer for today and go with that. So very hard for me and so very good for me.
So, why am I excited about doing yoga (affiliate link) today? (Had you forgotten that was what this post was about? Probably since I am being long winded.) My surgeon had told me to never do yoga again because the MRI had shown that I have hip dysplasia and doing yoga is not a good idea for me. Well, last time I was in to see him, we were discussing the fact that my insurance company is denying me therapy (which no one that has me as their patient can believe…they are all quite upset because I still NEED therapy…still fighting that battle with the insurance company…but that is another blog post). He recommended that I do yoga or Pilates. I looked at him and said, “You told me to never do yoga again.” To which a whole discussion ensued. He now wants me to do yoga because of the insurance company denying me therapy. He wants me back into it because of the strength it gives your core, which should help with my alignment. He also showed me specifically poses that I can't do because of the hip dsypalsia…So, that leads to today…I did yoga today! I love yoga! It is so good for me and I was very glad to be back doing it today. It is so good for me in my mind body connection. Connecting to myself, my feelings, my heart. It was a bit surprising to see how much my body had change and what I can't do that I used to be able to do. I forgot that I can't sit crossed legged on the floor very well, so when it came time for the meditation, that was more painful than meditation…all I can say is ‘Oh Well.' It will come with time and patience….sigh. For today, I am going to try to focus on the fact that is one more step in recovery and not look at all I still can't do. Not sure I am doing that very well at the moment, but that will be my focus today!
Enjoy your day and thanks for taking the time to read this long blog post. I would love for you to comment if you read this….it is encouraging to hear from others out there who have been through this or something similar or just have something fun to say to me! 🙂
UPDATE April 2016I've been back at running for a few years now and have run 3 half marathons! You can read my journey through training for my first half starting here or see my current running by following me on Instagram.