Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Too much time . . . not enough to do!

Hard to believe but this is true!

There really is a lot I NEED to do but for the time being I really need to be doing very little as I recover from my hip replacement.  I've already learned the down-sides of trying to "Hurry" back!

The hip is a sneaky joint!  You think things are healing up well so you decide to up your exercise level a notch.  So you head out walking (or doing your exercises) and it doesn't hurt.  The whole time you're out there you don't notice any increase in pain!  Sweet!

You get home and everything still feels good!  BUT . . . the next day the pain is back!!!  And you have to ease up for 2-3 days to allow your hip to recover.  Why the heck can't it hurt when you're DOING something so you know you need to stop!!!

Anyway . . . with extra time sitting around I'm trying to come up with my recovery plans that include physical exercise.

I'm 7 weeks post surgery and my doctor tells me I can't return to golf until 12 weeks!  So 12 weeks is my starting point!!  Done.

From what I understand my rules are:

  1. I shouldn't run . . . I'm not sure the real reason why but I do plan to ask a lot of questions about this rule.
  2. I shouldn't do things that increase my risk of falling.  Not sure how long this rule will last.
  3. I should keep my weight down as extra weight adds stress to the hip.

Sooooo . . . I'm trying to come up with a progression of goals to work towards.  Short-term, Intermediate-term and Longer-term

Short-term is fairly easy.  I've got things like:
  • Walk 9 holes of golf (My first day back playing golf!)
  • Walk a 5k Race  I could easily do that today so that's not much of a goal!)
  • Walk 18 holes of golf
Intermediate-term goals are tougher to come up with:
  • Walk 36 holes of golf in a day
And long-term goals are very hard to establish!  I do think I'll need to understand my "rules" more before I can establish these.

Biking and swimming are simply NOT in the cards.  I love hiking and backpacking . . . but there is a significant falling risk and backpacking you carry that extra weight.

Hopefully I can start out with 3-4 day hike and see how that goes!!

So . . . any suggestions / ideas you think I should be considering?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

It's been awhile . . . and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge!

November 2015 was my last blog post!  And then I went dark!

But last night a huge upswelling of fans urged me to start this blog up again!  They missed the stories, BS and all the other things that were "Hurry Slowly . . . but Hurry!"  Okay - it really wasn't an upswelling . . .  just several fans!

Okay . . . really just one fan and his wife.  OKAY . . . maybe they were just asking why I hadn't posted in a long time.  And they really didn't mention missing my fabulous writing skills!  This is just a small technical point that really means nothing.  The important thing is they asked about "Hurry Slowly . . . but Hurry!"  Wow!!!  Someone remembered!!!!

I won't bore you with details but a lot has gone on exercise/health-wise since my last blog post:
  • My foot is now okay!!!  Hip Hip Hooray! (No pun intended as you will soon see!) In total, I think I had 5 different foot surgeries but finally one of the Duke foot specialists found and corrected the last of my significant problem.  I could run now I believe . . . but I haven't.  Lazy?  Maybe.  Scared?  That too!
  • But I've been playing a lot of golf (badly) and I walk the 6.3 miles that makes a round at my course!  So that is something!  I kept thinking that maybe I would start running some but I just couldn't get myself motivated!
  • It's been a long, long time since I have even attended a running event.  At first it was just too hard so see the running and not be able to go out there.  I found it easier to simply divorce myself from running totally.  I hope some of you can understand that . . . but honestly I'm not sure I really understand it myself!!  But eventually it became easy to just stay away!
  • There are times that a part of me wants to go back and do whatever it is I might be able to do!  The cool thing is I know my running friends would welcome me back with open arms and support whatever feeble efforts I might be able to do!  They might not understand . . . but they would welcome me back.  Runners are just like that!  
But recently I've had another "situation" that makes any return to running even more difficult.
  • In 2011 I had surgery on my right hip (primarily a labrum repair and some impingement fixes) but at the time the doctor told me there was significant arthritis that would be "getting me" in a few years.  My last post here  on "Hurry Slowly . . . but Hurry" in 2015 described a follow-up visit with my doctor where he again told me a hip replacement was coming.  
  • Well . . . it finally got me this summer and I had a total hip replacement in late August.  Before he would operate my doctor made me PROMISE him I wouldn't run ever again.  I think he is worried about the new hardware wearing out but I'm not sure.  I'll be asking him again when I see him for my next follow-up visit.  By the way - when I made my promise to him that I wouldn't run anymore . . . I had my fingers crossed!  Just in case!
  • I'm 6 weeks into my recovery and it is going well but I'm not even considering running!!  Most days pain is almost non-existent but then there are days it mysteriously re-appears!! 

Me and my shiny new hip!!
A few hours after surgery!

I'm walking a lot!  Well . . . maybe not a LOT but I'm walking 1-2 times a day.  Slowly building up my strength and distance.  Thats the one thing they want you to do after a hip replacement!  WALK!  It starts the day of your surgery they get you up and walking with a walker.  Next day I went home walking on a single crutch.  Not going far at all . . . initially 2-300 yards or so.  After a slow build up and several setbacks (from trying to do too much, too fast) I'm up to about 3 miles once a day and maybe 1 mile for my second walk!  Not bad!

There are differing opinions about physical therapy . . . some experts want you to hop right in to physical therapy.  Other experts say that hip replacements are very different than knee or shoulder surgeries and physical therapy isn't needed or even good until your pain goes away.  So I'm ignoring all the experts and trying to find a middle ground by only doing some of the exercises the PT wants me to do!  And not pushing myself hard yet.
So running is really almost certainly out for me as a primary exercise.  Biking?  No!  Swimming?  No!

But he didn't say anything about walking . . . Hmmmmm . . .
  • My friend Laz Lake (in his 70s) just finished walking across the US!
  • I could walk at any 24 hour race and probably finish 50k to 50 miles.
  • I could walk Bloody 11w if they decide to do that one again.
  • Heck . . . I might be able to walk Vol State (as long as I'm sitting here dreaming of ridiculous things of future grandeur!)
  • I've always wanted to thru hike the Appalachian Trail.  Or maybe the Pacific Coast Trail (it just might be a tad easier for a guy with a new hip!).
Realistically, I'll probably just play more golf . . . but it's fun thinking about these other possibilities.  

If I tried any of those long distance walking adventures I bet my doctor would crap his pants!

But one thing is clear . . . you HAVE to stay active to stay healthy!  Maybe I'll have a race report sometime soon.

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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.