Sunday, October 30, 2011

One Hip Report

Okay . . . it's been a totally crazy 12 days since my hip surgery . . .
  • Surgery was Wednesday, October 19th.  Coming home I was nauseous but that only lasted maybe 2 hours.
  • Post surgery, I didn't need any pain pills.  I did take one Thursday morning just to see what it felt like.  Very minimal pain.  Biggest problem was getting my muscles used to crutches.  The first week I couldn't put any weight on my hip.  Very hard getting around and carrying stuff.  Plus, I had a strict 90° rule . . . I couldn't bend my hip to body angle less then this.  This was another pain!  Exercise prescribed: toe touches and leg lifts.  Leg lifts hurt as he had 'released' my hip flexor tendon (released = cut on purpose!)
  • Really early Saturday morning I started passing two kidney stones.  Put in the hospital.  Sunday afternoon I finally passed one, but doctors determined my kidneys were getting at risk and so on Monday morning I had the remaining stone surgically removed.  A really, really tough three days.  Back home Tuesday.
  • Had my post-op meeting with my hip surgeon Thursday.  Everything looked fine and I could start partial weight-bearing.  Found out the 90° rule would last for 4 weeks.  Plus, I couldn't drive for another week!  That sucked!  I have the order to start physical therapy but I can't get there until I start driving . . . first session scheduled for the Friday after I can drive.
  • Started feeling actual pain from my hip!  WTF!  Over a week post-surgery and pain starts??
  • Saturday, I took two crutching excursions one about 300 yards down the hill and then back.  The second about 300 yards the other direction. but Saturday night I had to take a pain pill to sleep.
Okay . . . I can feel my hip range of motion getting smaller and smaller and it's sort of like a cartilage tear in my knee . . . almost 'locking up' at times and feels like its almost dislocated.  And it all started with partial weight-bearing.   I am convinced I am not doing more then the doctor wanted me to do . . . I'm not pushing any limits he set.

Took it fairly easy today (Sunday) but probably went almost as far.  For every other surgery I've had the key to reducing pain was exercise . . . so that is what I plan to do.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I was doing great after my hip surgery. Staying on my crutches was a pain but not all that bad.  Went to bed Friday night and slept good.  Woke up at about 4am and needed to pee.  Back to bed and I started thinking that that piss was different somehow!

Out of 1,000s of pisses it was odd I thought this one was unusual.  Then . . . from zero to 10 on the pain scale in 5 seconds flat.  What the hell was going on?  But I had it figured it out in 10 more seconds . . . I was passing my first kidney stone!

I've know I've had a significant number of these jewels for several years.  I've even gone to the hospital and had a lithotripsy to try and bust these up into tiny pieces that should pass easily.  That didn't work at all.  So we (meaning my Urologist and I) were just watching these tiny stones.  WTF?  What did he thing these mini-atomic bombs were going to do?  And I learned that my Doc . . . well . . . I now understand he didn't have too much to lose in this waiting game!

Now I found myself in a pickle!
  • I live 30 minutes from the nearest hospital, 
  • I live alone 
  • I couldn't drive my car
  • I couldn't walk without crutches
  • I really don't know my neighbors very well
Damn!  Deep crap!

I called Connie and she said she was coming up to the lake and that if it 'got bad' I should just call 911.  I hung up and decided to wait for Connie.  That lasted all of 30 seconds and I knew I had only one choice . . . call 911.

I crutched around trying to get some shorts on . . . not easy to do with my hip!  Plus I needed to find some pain pills!  Finally, I just laid down in a little ball on the sofa and waited.  10 minutes and a knock on my door and the EMTs were here! . . . I could hardly answer their questions.  On the way to the hospital in Roanoke Rapids the EMTs gave me morphine for the pain . . . no help at all!  Nothing!

I really don't remember much of the rest of Saturday and Saturday night.  When the stones started moving I was out of my mind in pain.  (Yes . . . a CAT scan showed there were two medium to small sized stones moving.)  Then the stone would stop moving and relief would come fairly quickly.  I was pumped full of some high-powered pain relievers, but in all honestly they seemed to do little good.

And they wanted me to drink water like I never had before to try to help the little buggers along.  This continued all day long and all Saturday night / Sunday morning.  Folks - these weren't big stones . . . just 3-4 mm and they made a 100% baby out of me.  I cried, I yelled, I cussed . . . nothing helped.

Bad periods lasted 3-5 hours.  Then an hour or two break and then start over!

By mid day Sunday things still continued on unchanged but the blood tests were showing a rapid decline in my kidney function and the doctors were concerned.  The only answer was they had to go and get the stones.

You don't want to know how they actually do that.  (Hint: they don't cut you skin . . . I'll leave it at that!)  My only questions involved making sure I was going to be totally asleep the whole time!

Sunday night I finally passed one of the two stones and I was excited!  Maybe I could avoid the surgery!  I drank glass after glass of water with renewed passion.  But this last little dude was not coming out!

So Monday morning I was rolled into the operating room . . . and the next thing I knew I was being rolled into recovery.  I saw my doctor in the recovery and he  told me he had been successful in getting the stone (there was about a 10% chance we would not be able to and we would go to Plan C.  And Plan C is way worse then Plan B with is worse then Plan A.  But luckily Plan C wasn't needed.  The relief from the stones was immediate but in it's place were new instruments of pain.  But none hurt anywhere near as bad as those stones!

Here is the little nasty sucker I passed Sunday night.  Looks innocent enough!

Came home Tuesday and still having pain, but it is sooooo much better I'm almost giggling at it!

I've never claimed to be able to stand pain well . . . but I didn't think I was as bad as I was.  Those two little bitty stones kicked me butt like nothing ever has!  EVER!  If it had been a 100 miler I could have just quit.  But there was no DNF at the Kidney Stone 100.  You have to finish.  Period.

My daughter has passed several stones and she says they hurt really bad!  Hurt hell!  They are ungodly!  She must be able to handle way more pain then me!

And two surgeries in less then a week is just wrong.

Friday, October 21, 2011

So far so good . . .

Well . . . the surgery is in the past!  Thank God!  Now it just healing and recovery.

This was a super stressful few days for me!  First my son, Michael, was moving to Texas!  That's right!  He got a job with Booz Allen Hamilton in San Antonio and you guessed it . . . he had to leave the day of my surgery.  He had planned to drive me to Raleigh Wednesday morning for the surgery, drive me back to the lake and then leave for Texas.  But issues developed and he had to leave early, so Michael, his two dogs and I piled in his U-Haul van at 5:00 am and drove to Duke Hospital on Wake Forest so I could be there by 6:30.

Luckily, Charles West was able to be there during my surgery and drive me to Rocky Mount, where Connie took over and drove me to the Lake!  Stressful, last minute changes!  The hero of the day was Charles!  For sure.

Surgery was scheduled for 8:30 and I guess we started on time.  I just remember the recovery room and talking with my doctor there.  He told me things were pretty much as he expected based on the MRI . . . he repaired and then detached the labrum, sanded off both the hip socket and the hip ball then reattached the labrum.  He 'released the hip flexor tendon (cut) and repaired the two torn ligaments.

There was a surprise though . . . he found arthritis which was not what we wanted to see.  Nothing he could do to correct arthritis and he can't be sure how much of my pain was coming from the torn labrum and how much from the arthritis.  Guess we'll find out later!

The amazing thing is I've had very little pain.  Took one pain pill the morning after surgery just to see what it felt like.  None since and it is now Friday afternoon.  They don't want me to bend my hip more the 90°.  That is a problem!  Anytime you sit down or stand up you flex more then the 90°.  Plus, when you sit and type on a computer you bend forward more then the allowed 90°.  Just hope this limitation doesn't last long!

Crutches suck!  That's the only real soreness I've had . . . sore muscles from the frickin' crutches!  So how do you carry a glass of wine or an open can of beer?  Beats me!

I'm supposed to be doing leg lifts . . . but that is the only movement that really hurts so I'm holding off a few days on those.   I'm sure I could drive fine . . . even slamming on the brakes.  But no driving for a week at least.

So . . . all in all this has been quite easy so far.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Okay . . . shit happens and any chance of me getting more races in during 2011 is nill.  So if I haven't achieved my 2011 running goals yet they won't get done!  So let's review . . .

Here were my 2011 running goals and my results

#1. Make sure 2011 is a year of FUN in my running.
  • I achieved this goal . . . and that is most important!

#2. Fastest Marathon - Over 5:30.
  • I haven't checked but I really don't need to.  I know I did this.
#3. Number of Marathons or Ultras - Over 14.  Average at least a marathon a month.
  • I did well through June . . . and did technically finish one more marathon at Hinson Lake in September.  So I totaled 10 runs of marathon distance or longer . . . (plus Uwharrie 20 which to me feels like a marathon when I'm done!).  Only one of these was a 'Lilley Special' run where I was the only competitor.  I didn't count long training runs.  Since it's just mid October I'm not feeling too bad about missing this goal.  If the hip had not developed into a huge hindrance, 15-20 was in the bag.
#4. 75 miles or more at the Umstead 100.
  • Okay . . . a fail at Umstead.  I only did 62.5 miles and I'm still disappointed in myself about that.  Physical failures I can stand but Umstead was just a mental failure.  But I did learn.  And finished 75 miles at Goldsboro!  And I honestly believe I could have finish the full 100 at Goldsboro had I not gotten some nasty blisters.  So . . . since I'm keeping the score I'm going to declare success here . . .just not 100% success!
#5. Finish 50 miles at Boogie.
  • Success here.  I was DFL by so far Doug almost had to declare me a 2012 finisher!  But I did finish.  Again, blisters did me in.  Plus, I did have the beginnings of my hip issue.  I didn't complain or write about it, but I was having problems there too, but I just didn't think it was anything other then one of those pains we get as we just get older!

#6. Get at least 4 folks to try an ultra for the first time.
  • I really can't say that I was the reason that Amber Shingleton, Jon Shingleton, Eric Ghilloni and Arthur Bennett finished an ultra.  But I do think I helped some!!  Actually two of there weren't in my original list!  And I few that I had on my list are still there as targets!  Beware folks!  I'm coming after you!

So . . . with my hip surgery this Wednesday, I need to adjust goals so I can continue 2011 with some running goals.  I'm NOT done for the year!

Remaining 2011 Goals
  • So that is my #1 remaining goal for 2011 . . . I will run again after surgery and before the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve.  If I'm able to do that . . . . well . . .then 2011 will have been an awesome year for my running!
  • I was hoping to have a race with my friend Tom Herbst before the end of the year, and that still may happen.  About 4 weeks ago Tom had a very similar surgery to what I'm going to have next week.  Tom may be race ready but I'm afraid that may be a little too ambitious for my recovery.
Will I write to my blog between surgery and when I start running again?  Not really sure.  When I had knee surgery a couple of years ago I did do a daily blog on the recovery to running.  But that was only a 10 period or so.  Not sure I will this time since it will be a longer recovery period (at least 2 weeks on crutches and possibly more depending upon what they find when they stick the arthroscope in and turn on the light!)

If I do write something, I would strongly urge you to not read it.  Zero chance it could even be close to interesting.

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.