FAI: update

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Almost four months after the surgery and life is pretty good. I’m off crutches. I’ve been released from physical therapy. I’m no longer under a doctor’s care, though I have my physical therapist’s email if I have any questions. I have a list of exercises to do to get my left leg back to full flexibility and usefulness again.

I should, barring anything else going wrong, be running by the end of next year. Hopefully sooner, of course, but that’s a very safe bet.

At the moment, I’m allowed to walk half a mile and see how that goes. I did ten minutes on the elliptical trainer tonight and will see how my hip feels about that in the morning. I’m doing my balancing squats (on this thing with the round side down: http://amzn.to/1dzC7nI) every time I’m at the gym and I’m slowly getting better at them. I’m allowed to take Nyx for a walk, though I’ll wait until all of the ice has melted before I do that.

My hip still aches, especially when I’m tired. There’s one rotation that still hurts a lot to do, so I ease into that stretch every day and sit with the pain for a little while, then let up. I don’t push too hard, but I’m allowed to push a little bit.

I can only swim for about 20 minutes before getting tired. My stamina took a huge hit from not working out much for six months and it will take a while to work back up to it. After ten minutes on the elliptical tonight, I was ready to be done and sweat was dripping down my back. I am working hard on not being frustrated because now, at least, I am getting better.

I met a lady at the gym tonight named Sara. I was doing my balance squats and she was doing lunges; she had to move so I could get the balance ball out. I said I was doing physical therapy and she responded that she was supposed to do the same squats but didn’t always. I told her I was recovering from hip surgery and we got to talking a bit. Turns out she recently found out that she has FAI, too. I knew I was lucky to be diagnosed so quickly, but I didn’t know how lucky; she’s been putting up with this pain for six years. She said her doctor was very firmly against the surgery and wouldn’t do it if at all possible. Physical therapy isn’t helping. I gave her the name of my doctor who specializes in hips and has a lot of experience treating FAI; hopefully she will be able to get some help and eventually get it fixed soon. Living with constant pain is draining. I would hate to have lived with it for years without knowing what was wrong. The problem with FAI is that it can only be diagnosed with an MRI and some doctors don’t want to do one unless they have exhausted all other options. At least she knows what she has, now, which will help her figure out what to do next.

It’s nice being on the recovery side of the curve. I am feeling very lucky about where I was treated and who treated me. It took a couple of months to figure it out, but that’s a lot better than six years!

I will be running again eventually. Swimming butterfly may take longer. Bellydancing will take longer yet. Eventually, though, I will be able to do the things I love.