Hip (femoral neck) Fracture Recovery

My journey in recovery from surgery 07/09/2010

06.03.12 – Almost 2 years out and put the hip through the ultimate test

Well it’s no secret to anyone, I’m clumsy, I do dumb things, and often times just generally clueless. That’s led me down a path of a very interesting life. One filled with all the high’s one could want, but also some pretty damn low times. But I’ll tell you what, I adopted a new motto in life, “Life’s too short not to love everything about it.”

Over the past three years I’ve somehow managed to break or damage a large part of my body. But as one friend put it, you’re half made of metal, so you’re really only like 2 years old. Whereas the half made of metal is a little stretch, I got the point. I’d also like to add that I do a pretty sick robot now, my dance skills pretty much end at that.

I’ve also had a few people ask, how do you know your (insert broken body part) is healed? That is a good question, I never actually thought about that. The ear, well there’s audiograms to show my left ear still sucks, but the arm, back, hip, face, there is no real objective test for that. So, how does one know if they’re healed after breaking something?

I’m not sure I know the right answer, but my answer was this, because I was stupid enough to do another Ironman and finished without anything breaking or even hurting. And what better place to do one that in Brazil? Yeah, that’s the plan.

Obviously if there was anything still wrong with any of the various injuries, I would have broken them in the 3-4 month prior that I was able to start training. Don’t get me wrong, the training was painful, I started off from basically ground zero at the beginning of the year, barely running a mile (if you can call it running) and not able to sit on a bike due to the back being sore. But through this year, through the help of a good buddy of mine and his amazing massage/therapy (Paul Cocker Whiting), through just sometimes pushing through the pain (Dr’s said to expect that to start), and through some awesome friends to keep me motivated to do it (Chris, Fernando, and Laura), everything started falling into place. And on the evening of May 27, 2012 after I crossed that finish line, as I lay out on the grass overlooking the beach (kind of), I started welling up, overwhelmed by everything. It’s done, it was a long day, but it’s done. During and after the race I thought about some other close friends of mine, and what everyone’s gone through, Mo and her terrible bike accident, Tom and his battle with cancer (he won!), and the loss of one of my best friends Pete. My thoughts went out to each of them, and all the family and friends, but that also gave me strength. It made me realize how amazing my friends and family truly are, how we’re there for each other, and how we always will be. Without them I know I would be in a much different place than where I am now. Now I know I’m ok, now I know it’s time to move past. Now is the time to put the last couple of years behind, we’re starting with a clean slate.

What’s crazy is that, although by no means was this the fastest (I had zero expectations of time, just of finishing) but it was the easiest. Maybe it was because it’s been 3 years since I’ve done one, maybe it’s because I didn’t have any expectations, or maybe it’s because I just didn’t care about anything but crossing the finish line. I can honestly say, even in the best shape, I’ve never felt so great after the swim, never felt like the bike was easy, although with the heat that run sucked (and the major lack of run training.) But that didn’t matter, I just kept the legs moving even when they locked up, finally figured out how to ask for salt in Portuguese, and even though I pretty much walked miles 16-22, I did finally recover and got back to running those last few miles. Who cares though, I finished, it’s over, and I’m healed. During the race not once did I have any pain, the hip felt strong, the back never ached, the elbow stretched out fine on the swim, and the face, other than being a wee bit uglier, never affected me at all. Take away my quads completely seizing up from lack of salt and I’d say the race actually went pretty much perfect in my head. All I can say, thank god that’s over…

What’s next, not much, still a little healing to do in the face. Braces are forthcoming to straighten out the jaw, however it’s a constant negotiation with the orthodontist. It’s a back and forth dialog we have where she says she wants to “fracture” my jaw to make it easier/quicker to straighten things out. I cringe, say hell no, ask for plan B. Plan B, big metal braces, I say no, that aint going to cut it, plan C. OK, invisalign for a little while, then transition to ceramic braces towards the end. OK, now we’re sounding a little better.

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09.18.11 – Teeth starting to feel normal and back in, well, back!

It’s been almost two weeks since I had surgery to have the wires and arch bars removed, and some more stitching as the gum isn’t covering over some of the plates in the jaw. Where are we at now?

Each day the jaw gets more and more loose (in a good way, like I can open it more) and the teeth seem to feel better and better. The first day everything came out my teeth felt like glass ready to shatter, now most of them feel just like normal teeth. The first days I could barely touch them with a toothbrush without feeling like every tooth was going to fall out, now I can brush normally without any pain. There are a couple teeth that still have that loose feeling, but will have that checked out at my next appointment on Tues. Then we’ll also talk about the endo/orthodontist plans to get my hillbilly like lower jawline to look less, well, hillbilly like. Still have that one rogue tooth sticking inside my mouth, glad to get that sucker out of there. I’m also still a little swollen on the right side too, but they said that could take up to a few months to totally go away, but hey, it isn’t all that bad and better than what it was.

With the stitches in the mouth and still open wounds to the plates I’m sticking with the protein shakes (easy to clean out mouth after) but am getting in the cravings I had for so long when the mouth was wired shut. In this past week I built up from fried rice, to eggrolls, to pizza by the end of the week. I had the opposite experience with pizza this time, ate the whole thing in less time than one piece the day the wires came out. And best of all I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the beer chaser.

And the best part is the wicked X shaped scar on the right side of my chin. If you’re gonna wreck yourself, at least make sure the after effects are going to look cool.

Now, what’s going on with the back? Only good thigns I think. On the plus side, I got rid of the crappy neurosurgeon at UCSF and went and got a second opinion at Mt Tam Orthopedics (place that I had my hip surgery at) and was surprised at the difference in opinions. The quickest way at summing this up, one place cared about me and my healing, one place went “by the book” and cared about nothing. My experience with UCSF for my jaw and facial surgery is nothing short of amazing, my experience with the neurosurgery there is nothing short of disappointing. The neurosurgeon saw me for a grand total of 5 minutes over 8 weeks, and worst of all is telling me that I should be in my brace through at least Oct, which would equal 13 weeks. He also had me do a CT scan, in which he would review that same day and get back to me (me starting PT was waiting on the CT scan), a week later, after me calling everyday, sometimes twice, he called me back and said it’s healing but let’s “give it another month”, no apology, nothing for the delay. That’s when I decided this clown had to go. I went to Mt Tam Orthopedics where I had the exact opposite treatment. I had new xrays done, gave them all my exisiting xrays and CT scans, and had a new physical examination. He was surprised to see I was still in the brace after 8 weeks, and after seeing the healing in the xrays, and the fact that through the tests in the exam and not having felt pain, nor any pain in last 6 weeks. So first thing, ditch the brace, second thing, start PT asap. This is exactly what I hoped to hear. Back fracture is healing and I’m returning to a more normal life. I have a follow up in 4 weeks, he expects that if PT goes well and i continue to heal at this rate, I’ll be released to resume all normal activities, of course building up to them as I build strength back. As it is today, my lower back is sore by the end of the day from just holding my torso up.

But on to normal we go, going paddle boarding today with the dog, glad I didn’t totally miss summer!

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One week shy of the 1 year anniversary – June 26, 2011

That’s right, one year, it seems like just yesterday. Well, not really, in fact I pretty much have blocked the whole thing out of my mind. I haven’t had any pain, soreness, weakness, or any other event that’s even reminded me of the accident. I’m running, biking, lifting, sitting on the couch watching the yankees, that’s right, I can do it all. The only real reminder are the scars from where the screws are in, oh yeah, and a picture of the xray shows the screws nicely.

I just got done with my heaviest two weeks of running since before the accident. I figured, hey, one year out lets see if I can find a weakness (meaning more like muscle, ligament/IT band issues) but my only real weakness is that I haven’t done that much running so yeah, today I’m sore in my hip, but both hips, my legs, my feet, my back, everything you’d expect an idiot to have running more than they’ve trained for. And before anyone can beat me to it, I know, meow, I’m just being a puss. =)

With the healing I’ve even decided to give Ironman another go, Ironman Brazil next year. That might not be the wisest decision mentally (I’m not the brightest bulb) but hey, I’m going with my buddies Chris and Fernando so worst case, it’s an awesome vacation in Brazil and who can’t like that?

I hope to all that I’ve emailed with regarding hip fractures that yours are all healing equally as well. One of the things that really helped me through it all was emailing with y’all and going through each other’s experiences. I wish you the best of luck in your recoveries. And if you ever need a second opinion, either from the surgeon or the PT, I highly recommend giving Mt Tam Orthopedics a call, my surgeon Dr Goltz or PT Morgan Fones. They patched me up and built me back together!

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7 months out, surgery just a distant fading memory – February 10, 2011

What do I mean by distant and fading, well pretty much I forget about the original accident, the surgery, the inability to walk, the pain, it’s all fading. I wake up in the morning and spring up, long car ride, no stiffness, cold I feel fine, and there’s no activity I can’t do. I’m in shock, but in a very good way. I’ve gotten some emails and messages from others going through the same injury, I can only say one thing, do what the Dr says and you will recover, even from a type 3 fracture.

What does recovery look like at 7 months? We’ll I’m able to do any lifting I want, squatting again at the gym with as much as I did before surgery, road and mountain biking (even took a great head over crash a few weeks ago), running, swimming, climbing, you name it, I can do it. I forget I had surgery not through denial but through the fact that I feel nothing odd or strange in my hip, it operates just fine and I have no more strange feelings in the groin (by that I mean the sensation of having a pulled groin which is signature from a broken hip.)

To speed my IT band in recovery I have been getting a massage every other week for a few months now and that’s been a huge help (thanks to Paul Whiting, aka Taffy). When he first started working on me my IT band was extremely tight on the left (hip surgery) side, as well as tight piriformis and gracilis muscles. Now I do stretches and foam rolling to keep the IT band loose, which one should do anyway, and leg muscles fire like they never have before.

One of the best parts is also being fully functional at work, no physical limitations as I have a physically demanding job.

Anyway, that’s all I got, you too will forget, it does heal, it does union, you won’t need a hip replacement, you will be able to do everything you did before. I never thought I’d be saying that, but it’s true. Star Wars was right, “stay on target”

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6 months out, where has the time gone – January 15, 2011

It’s hard for me to believe that 6 months ago I was laid up with the potential for getting a false hip if mine didn’t heal properly. Well, not only do I have my own hip healed 100%, but the last follow up there was no sign of avascular necrosis (or in other words the bone isn’t dying.) At 6 months out, I really wonder where the time has gone, it’s to the point where most every day I forget that I even had surgery.

What am I up to now, well, back to all regular physical activities, the only thing now is building the endurance back up to where it used to be.  I ride my road bike a couple times a week on the training, 90 minutes each time, am back to mountain biking (even took a header last Friday on the trails, no pain, no breaks =), and best of all my running is coming back. Just did back to back long trail runs and hit the 30 mile mark last week in running for the first time since before the accident. The speed isn’t all there, but that will come in time now that I can do the distance without any pain. Yes, that’s the key thing, I’m having no pain at all in any of these activities. Weights as well, since the hip and arm are healed I’m back to every exercise I had before (especially benching and squatting, both things that took the longest to get back to.)

Anywho, that’s all I got for now, the dog is itching for some exercise and won’t leave me alone!

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4 months out (yep, we’re talking months now) – November 12, 2010

Another long time between posts, but it’s been a long time between Dr visits. I have been doing weekly PT with Morgan at Mt Tam’s PT location as well as doing more and more exercising on my own. I’ve done my first road rides (under two hours) and have built up my running. Recently I’m up to running 1:20 and at about 90% of my pre-injury pace.

So where are we at, the bone is still healed, and Dr says healed nicely. He doesn’t see a reason to see me again unless later on the screws seem to bother me (which as every day goes on I feel like I cant’ feel them as much.) The one suspect screw of being inserted too far turns out not to be, it’s sunk nicely in the bone and nothing sticks out. In fact the groin pain I felt early on in running is gone, the only real ill effect I still have is my IT band, it’s tight and there’s scar tissue on it since they had to cut through it to put the screws in.

How to fix the IT band is the issue, massage, rolling, and stretching, and lots of time… This one could take a while but at least it doesn’t really limit my exercise, just more of an annoyance and causes a little limp for a second or two when I first stand up.

The PT Morgan did some strength tests and I’m close to the same strength in the quad and hamstring in both legs, but kicking my left leg out to the side (aducter I think) is still weak, somewhat due to the IT band. That’s what’s also keeping the limp there from time to time.

Running feels awesome, even ran 3 of last 4 days, one day short tempo work, then a rest day, then an aerobic run, then last day a longer easy trail run. On the last day I started feeling weak in the glutes and hammy’s, but hey, that’s to be expected, I haven’t run 25 miles in 4 days since before the accident. I consider myself to be lucky, very lucky.

One of the big things in the recovery the Dr says is being in shape. He said I probably got in an accident at just the right time, I was training enough that my weight was down and muscles in good shape, which equaled good blood flow through the bones and muscles. Following his orders with no weight bearing for 6 weeks, I moved into the weight bearing phase and that only helped encourage the blood flow and bone growth. Then following the PT exactly, building the muscles in the right order, well, they know the program it takes to heal right and if you follow it to a T, you should heal just as fast.

So 4 months, I’m totally cleared and Dr says push it like I was before the accident. I take that as the full green light. So what’s on tap, time to put something on the list to shoot for, thinking another Ironman next year (not sure time frame as I’m getting married in May to my wonderful fiance that was there every step of the way through my injury) but for sure we’re both going to train and try to get into the Way To Cool 50 ultra marathon. A little plug here, but the most awesome and challenging muddy and wet (at least it was last year) ultra distance race I’ve ever heard of. Best part is running through rivers over waist deep (and I’m 6’2″ so the shorter folks were almost up to the ears), it’s crazy, but a total fun crazy!

This post may be out of order, garbled, make little sense, but I’m actually all over the map in my brain right now. I’m just so excited that I’m considered 100% healed, no restrictions, and no concerns. All this more than 3-4 months ahead of schedule.

Oh yeah, and the left arm, it’s close to 100%, bone is now healed but little spurs still filling in. I don’t have any limitations on it, and it very rarely bugs me, but I know it’s there and it’s healing more on schedule and should be 100% free in 1-2 months. Now if I could only get my hearing in my left ear back from that explosion. On the plus side, worker’s comp has finally come through (they paid out the schedule award) as has my work (they reinstated all my personal leave I took for the accident.) Oh yeah, had to ditch the Lyric hearing aid for now, just didn’t fit right so I’m with the old crappy micro in the ear channel one, doesn’t work as well and annoys me I have to change the battery every week, but at least I can take it out when I want (which I do often) and using it keeps the tinnitus away for the most part.

Stay fit, healthy, and even if the unexpected happens, you’ll pull through it so much quicker.

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12 week follow up, good news/great news – September 30, 2010

Today was my 12 week follow up post surgery, I went into it with much anticipation, very little angst (completely unlike my 6 week appointment) but will say I’ve been anxiously awaiting it. PT has gotten better and better over the last 6 weeks, my limp has almost completely gone away (although the more I walk the more it shows), and mentally I’ve pretty much gotten over the hill from the depression”ish” feelings I had the first 6 weeks.

I met with Dr Goltz in the morning, had my PT with Morgan Fones later that afternoon (I planned on there being good news so scheduled the PT following the appt so I could get right on the next phase.) After getting some xrays Dr Goltz came in and gave me the low down. As always he asked how I had been doing, feeling any pain, how was the PT, etc. I explained the PT Morgan gave me and that I’m now up to 75 minutes on the bike, even doing intervals at about 85-90% of the power I pushed before the injury (this is for you power nerds, like me). At any rate he was pleasantly surprised, luckily, and I do mean luckily, I have been recovering very quickly even with the big concerns he originally had since the break was displaced for nearly 5 days. First good news of the day, he tells me I’m in the upper 1% of patients in recovery from hip surgery (my caveat, 66% of hip injuries occur in the elderly so I’m not that special =) Second good news, right off the bat he tells me my hip has healed solidly, and there’s no sign at all of avascular necrosis. In his own words, “let’s go for it” and start full activity. See how the leg feels, push it to the limit, I’m not joking this is what he told me. He did have one concern however, one of the screws seemed to look like it poked through the top of the femur in the fovea capitis (the small concave section at the top) where the ligament teres (top of the femur one) connects. This is a loose ligament that upon further research, doesn’t really do much. He did say that a CT scan would show this for sure, but if I’m not feeling any pain or discomfort (which I’m not) that it’s probably not necessary. However in the future if it becomes a problem, easy fix, we pull the one screw out. No recovery, day outpatient surgery. Phew…

But all that aside, no reason not to return to full physical activity, we’ll check that again in 6 weeks. Next the elbow, that looked alright but still wasn’t fully healed. I’d been feeling a little pain lately in the elbow, good to know it’s still related to the break. It broke in a tough spot, nothing that is doing further damage from movement, but something that until it’s fully healed I’ll still feel from time to time. No restrictions on this either, resume full activity.

So that’s the basic deal, go for it, no limits, but don’t go crazy yet as now the muscles have to recover and get back to full strength. I realized this as I went into PT for the day with aspirations of a nice long run =)

Off to PT, working with Morgan has been awesome. Turns out he’s also a long time friend of a very good friend of mine. He’s not only made PT successful but he makes it fun each week. Early on this was most beneficial as I had nothing to really look forward to until PT, now it’s just fun to do (but don’t get me wrong, it’s also a damn good workout.) Today since we’re cleared for takeoff we moved to some plyometrics. Lot’s of jumping around, starting on the trampoline, two legged, then one legged for 30 seconds each leg, wow, hip held together and no pain! Then we moved to the ladder on the ground, jogging, then hopping, then one legged hopping, then big bounds, alrighty, the hip is holding up! One legged hopping was obviously weaker on the left leg, but still not too bad. Now the big test, lets hit the treadmill and do some running! Did almost 10 minutes, started off slow but then built up to a good jog (9′ mile in this case), yes it felt painfully slow but it was so awesome to be running again! I had a really stupid grin on my face, but hey, it’s been a long road and I deserve to look like an idiot from time to time =) I did still favor the right leg and was real tentative on the left leg, but it got better as I ran, just something to be aware of. Best part, no pain, a couple twinges, but they went away instantly.

Apparently the goal is to run, move on with life, and go for it. If it hurts longer than a few seconds, stop, if it doesn’t come back, good. If it lingers, come back. Simple rules to follow…

That’s it for now, today, 4 solid hours hiking through a field looking for birds with the dogs. Tomorrow, first ride outdoors!

And most happy, my running and swimming partner!

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10 weeks out, long overdue update – September 18, 2010

So the final countdown begins, by that I mean that it’s less than two weeks to go for my 12 week follow up. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown, it’s almost foreign to me that only 10 weeks ago my hip was broken clean through and that less than a month ago I couldn’t even walk. I wake up every morning feeling like I’m the luckiest guy on the planet, without luck, well, I don’t think the bone would have healed so quickly, if at all, and my fracture would have slipped under the movement I was doing before the break was caught. I’ve read about displaced fractures and what’s happened to people after the displacement slipped so there was no longer bone on bone, ouch, I feel for that. I even remember one time (the day before I had the ortho appt where they discovered the break) when I was jumping out of the back of a vehicle wearing my armor, helmet, and weapon and landing and feeling like something slipped then clicked in my hip, yup, that was the bone moving and at any point could have slipped all the way off. OK, enough of that, let’s just say I’m lucky.

My PT has progressed quite a bit and I’m walking pretty much normal now with no noticeable limp. There still is a little difference in the size of my legs, but the left leg is coming along. I’ve been able to ride the exercise bike up to an hour at a time at between 175-200w the entire time, started running on a mini trampoline for 5 minutes at a time (still not cleared to run but this is what the PT has me doing), lifting weights with both arms and legs (back to full weight bearing pull-ups and bench press even), and have been known to swim on occasion. But best of all is just walking, I will never forget how hard life was using a walker and not being able to walk.

Some of the new PT Morgan has me doing is working not only muscles, but my core and balance. We’re doing a lot of balancing on one leg on a bosu ball, both static and dynamic (where I rotate as he throws stuff at me), leg press (single and dual leg), jogging through the ladder (ladder on ground, toe jogging in and out, side to side), and of course lots of stretch band crab walking (if you don’t what this is, I look like a crab while I’m doing it. =)

To date, no setbacks that I can think of, once again which is not the norm, so this is where I continue to be lucky. They’ve (doc and PT) said that the best case scenario was made possible by being in shape when getting hurt. Apparently a lot of the statistics that I read about (where people have long recovery, non-union bones, etc) aren’t in the best shape, they don’t split the statistics out by age or health conditions. What does this mean, well for starters staying in shape for everyone is key. It helps bones amongst other parts of your body heal faster. Second, for those of you going through this, focus on the PT, focus on eating right, listen not to your body but to the Dr. If you follow the plan, you will heal. Keep hope, it’s hard at first and really, it seems like you’re getting no where. I remember my first sessions, I was feeling impatient, feeling like it wasn’t doing anything positive, feeling like it would never heal. Well, here I am, and in less than two weeks if all goes according to plan, I’ll start running again. I never thought that was possible.

Keep the faith, follow the plan, don’t be stupid (as my sister and her husband echoed in my head), and most of all have yourself a goal for when you heal. Don’t assume you won’t heal, assume you will. My goal is two fold, I’m planning on riding down the California coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in January in three days (400+ miles) and doing another Ironman next year. It’s not a matter of if I’ll be able to do it, it’s a matter of how well I’ll do it. I’m no motivational speaker, but I’m sure telling myself this over and over, we really control our own destiny.

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New PT set and walking update – August 21, 2010

So here we are, Saturday morning, two days after getting the weight bearing as tolerated nod, my legs are SORE! Not sore in a bad way, but sore as in tired, it feels like I just did an Ironman, IT bands are sore, quads are sore, calves are sore. Believe it or not, I love it. It’s the best soreness I’ve had in almost two months.

I had my first PT session under the new program on Friday, August 20, bright and early at 0700. I couldn’t wait to get in there and see Morgan so we could get started on getting me to walk normal again. I say walk normal as my left side is so weak I have a weird strut. Actually, I’ve always had a weird strut, just not this weird. We started off with some stretching then some strength tests, I had good quad and hamstring strength, but was weak in my hip flexor and glute (yes, my ass) on the left side. I kinda knew this as my lovely girlfriend told me not too long ago that I was getting “soft” and my ass had disappeared. Of course she said this halfway joking, but we all know there’s truth in everything!

OK, how did he test, here was the rough protocol:

  • Lay on back, legs straight. Lift left leg as he applies pressure, good to go, gave good resistance.
  • Lay on right side, legs straight, lift left leg straight out to side, not so good, had very little strength to hold him back.
  • Lay on back, left leg straight up, push towards ground, good to go, gave good resistance.

We now realize that although my left leg is weak, it’s most weak in the glute as that’s what fires to give that side kick. Now what did he prescribe moving forward, first off Dr Goltz made it clear that I was to stay away from anything high impact, so no jumping, or probably skydiving, and stay away from running and plyometrics. So based off the strength tests, here’s what we have strength wise going forward (after warming muscles up for 5 minutes on exercise bike at low resistance):

  1. Leg press – 2 legged (2 sets of 15-20), 1 leg (3 sets of 10-12), guidance is enough weight that legs are tired after each set, but no sharp pain in hip (if not at gym, can do wall squats instead)
  2. Lunges – (2 sets of 5-10 reps) in the following directions: forward, left side, right side, back rotating left, back rotating right)
  3. Single leg balance – leaning forward single leg squat, leaning back single leg squat, go down as far as strength allows (note: right now I can barely do this but in time will have strength to go further each time)
  4. Clams – oh my favorite, laying on right side, knees together (with resistance band), legs at 45 degree angle, spread legs apart at knees – (3 sets of 15 reps)
  5. Side leg raise – laying on right side, right knee bent, left leg straight (with resistance band), bring left leg straight up, which is essentially bringing it out to my side – (3 sets of 10-15 reps)
  6. Standing hip abduction – standing, kick left leg straight out to side and a little towards back (3 sets of 10-15 reps), can do this with resistance band or weights on cable system.
  7. For cardio, can do exercise bike, swim, aqua jog, eliptical, or walking. As tolerated, so need to work up the time for this.

So Saturday morning after doing all this on Friday morning, I’m sore. As Morgan made clear, only do the strength every other day as I would be feeling it the next day, tell you what, he’s right! Today will be light, may take the kayak out or swim in the lagoon. It’s nice to have that option now, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that I’m mobile again, it really made me realize just how many things I took for granted. Not anymore! =)

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The big day, 6 week follow up – August 19, 2010

Words can’t express how happy I was to hear Dr Goltz say, “Well, it’s looking really good, I think we’re going to release you for full weight bearing.” Thought I’d start with that, then I’ll lead into what the day entailed. Needless to say, I couldn’t have been happier, I’m finally able to walk, although it will take time before it feels normal.

I barely slept last night, I had so many things running through my head, mainly negative, I was worried it wasn’t going to be good news and not healed enough to be considered stable. Since I was walking on it for nearly 5 days before the surgery, post break, well, I didn’t know if it was going to ever heal back properly. But I got a few hours sleep, woke up early, and anticipated and counted down the hours to the 11am appointment. Yes, I got there early, I needed to know, would I walk or be stuck with the damn crutches.

The xrayed me right off the bat, the hip and the arm (from my radial head fracture that went along with my class III femoral neck fracture.) I sat in the exam room waiting for the PA to pull up the xray’s. She came in, pulled them up, made a quick comment about how healthy everything looked, which put a smile on my face, at that point I thought it would be good news. I looked at it before the Dr came in and with my zero knowledge of reading xrays, I concluded I needed to wait for the Dr.

Dr Goltz came in with a smile on his face. He immediately pulled up the xray and said that it looked great, that the bone was filling in well and that he was confident in releasing me to do full weight bearing exercises. That basically means I can, as soon as my muscles support it, walk without any support. I’ll also be able to swim (which I did for the first time today), bike on a trainer, do limited weights, aqua jog, and best of all WALK!!! He then said we’ll have a follow up in 6 more weeks. I asked about running, he said that at this rate I’ll probably be able to run after our next follow up, although it’s going to hurt. He made that clear, but as far as the bone is concerned, it will be healed. He basically said go for it, as tolerated, start walking. He said it would be a transition from crutches to cane to free walking, timeline, days, maybe a week or two, but I prefer to be agro so I’m gunning to make that leap quicker. My PT had me doing certain strength exercises in prep for this big day, we’ll see how long it takes.

And on that note, by the time I was leaving the Dr’s office I was putting weight on my leg with the crutches, Dr Goltz looked and me and smiled and asked how it felt, it felt good! I went home, determined to make the transition as soon as possible.

Once I was home I spent the better part of the next 30 minutes slowly putting more and more weight on my foot as I walked with crutches. Within 30 minutes I moved to a cane, wow, it felt pretty good. A few more minutes, hey, FIRST STEPS WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT!!! I was only able to walk about 10 steps before my leg got too tired, but wow, it felt great. So now what, well, let’s go hit the gym and see about doing some walking in the shallow end of the pool.

Hit the pool, hopped in, wow, walking in the pool felt great, I transitioned from walking to hitting the deeper part and doing some aqua jogging. Then, well, what the hell let me give swimming a shot. Swam my first 1000 yards since my first accident where I lost my hearing Oct 2009. It felt great too, although this short 30 minute workout did wipe me out. But I’m still on a high from being able to walk, so nothing’s really bothering me. OK, that’s enough for today, I’ll wait until after tomorrow’s PT session, that will dictate what I attempt to do next.

Also walked to dinner tonight, walked almost a mile there and back, I was exhausted from it but it felt good once again. Only thing I’ve noticed is that my right hip, actually more my lower back, is a little tight and sore. Probably from all the balancing on one side for so long, now I’m evening out, we’ll see what the PT has to say about that. It only bugs me after walking for a bit, once I sit down it feels fine. Definitely muscle though, thank goodness, I don’t need any more complications!

So first day of the new set of PT is tomorrow, that should be interesting, starting bright and early at 7am! That’s all for today, I’m beat, time to hit the sack (walking to bed for the first time in 7 weeks I might add!)

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