Friday, May 24, 2013

Snappin' Snappin' Snappin'

Please excuse my Seinfeld reference in the title. I am married to a Seinfeld-a-holic.
Well, what a great week! So many things have been happening that I consider small victories and milestones. We’ll go through my most recent achievements by day. Keep in mind, these seem like such small, ridiculous things…but they meant a lot to me!


  • Went to an American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event with a dear friend, and walked a couple laps around the track in support of her battle.


  • Went to two different stores and walked around looking for things.
  • Planted 5-10 flower pots with new seeds in the yard.
  • DROVE!!!!
  • Cleaned off the dinner table! 


  • Cleaned the house!
  • Played and went upstairs and downstairs with our little ferret man.


  • Drove myself and walked into PT without any assistance devices.
  • SHAVED MY LEGS (like really shaved them, not the “I’m going to get this spot while my hip doesn’t hurt, and then I’ll try another spot next time”


  • Showered without needing the seat and had a normal day! 


  • Shower seat officially taken out of the bathroom!
These are all such exciting things. Of course…just to clarify, things are not perfect. I have SI joint pain on my left side that needs to be worked on. My hippy gets tired and sore pretty quickly, but nothing I can’t work through. But just to be specific, it’s not the JOINT that feels any of the soreness/fatigue…it’s the muscles/tendons in the area.

Overall, I have been in such a good place the past week. I feel like I am really, finally starting to get past this. After 7 months, I’m significantly better and I don’t have to take another step back. How awesome is that? I’ve been GIDDY over the simplest every day things. When I shaved my legs for the first time, I told almost every woman I know…because that’s one of the things that you just always take for granted.
There have been some good moments…moments where I almost want to cry because I can do something so simple that most people wouldn’t bat an eye at. When I walked around that second store on Saturday without any pain in the joint at all, I really thought I was going to have a little moment right there in Ocean State Job Lot. I was so emotional. Yes, the joint was tired…but there’s a BIG difference between fatigue, and crippling pain. It was such a great feeling.

An even better moment: I worked my BUTT off at PT on Monday. I have never been so driven to work hard in my life, and that’s saying something. There was a woman at the clinic that I’ve been seeing there for many months now, she had a back injury. Monday was her last day of treatment. During our workouts, she was near me on one of the adjacent machines. While I was doing squats on the weight sled, she came over to me and said “I just want you to know that I’ve seen you progress over the past 5 months and you’re really doing so great. You’ve come such a long way and you’re doing so well.” Those are such simple words…but I can’t tell you how much they meant. Encouragement from hubby, and my family and friends has all been a necessity through all of this and they’ve all been fantastic…but from a complete stranger? That was just the icing on the cake for me. Before she left for the clinic for the last time she reiterated that she’s so happy for me, and to keep up the good work. I thought I might cry. That may have been one of the most meaningful moments so far in this whole hip recovery process.

Phew, that’s a lot to swallow, all that greatness from the past week. I’m working hard and taking good steps forward. However, with the good, comes some bad. And as all my hip ladies know…this recovery is in no way all rainbows and butterflies.
A couple of the things that I’m trying to work on right now are limited ROM in the front of the joint (Hip chick Emily – I think these next couple things are where we are similar). I’m not sure what’s causing it…Dr. S thinks it’s coming from my psoas. I personally think it’s pinching from my screw in that area. It could also very well be an impingement…and I just didn’t know about it until after the PAO. We’ll just keep working on it for now and see what happens over time. I’m very sure that Dr. S won’t even think about looking further into it until after I’ve completed these next 10 weeks of PT. One thing to note is that Dr. S did say I had excess bone growth in the pelvis in the areas that were cut during surgery, in my mind I’d have to think that could be part of the problem.

The biggest thing for me is my iliopsoas snapping hip syndrome. This is a condition where the iliopsoas is very tight, and the tightness causes the tendon/muscles to slip over the hip joint. I found this lovely picture of the iliopsoas so you can see exactly where my problem lies.
"Snapping hip is a condition in which you feel a snapping sensation or hear a popping sound in your hip when you walk, get up from a chair, or swing your leg around. The snapping sensation occurs when a muscle or tendon (the strong tissue that connects muscle to bone) moves over a bony protrusion in your hip. Although snapping hip is usually painless and harmless, the sensation can be annoying. In some cases, snapping hip leads to bursitis, a painful swelling of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint." - American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

For me, this is so tight that it hurts to the touch. When I try to take a full stride, this stretches and hurts…feels like I’ve got a braided metal cable wire in there. If I really push the envelope with walking, that’s when it starts to snap over the joint. The muscles are so tight they are not stretching when I walk, so there’s no place for the muscles/tendons to go except slide across the front of the joint to release the tension. I feel like every time I take a step my psoas says “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” like in Monty Python. I am doing better…but sometimes I just get tired and give in. I end up taking small steps and slouching over so I don’t have to anger the psoas.

 What a pain this is. It’s something I’ve been focusing all of my attention on. It’s amazing how hard I have to focus on just WALKING correctly. Something I haven’t done in almost 15 years. I focus on good posture, and stretching as often as I can. I’m pretty sure that most of the people in my office think I’m a nut, because during every standing conversation I have I’m doing this stretch:

And while I’m doing it, I’ve got Tom’s voice in my head saying: “Don’t forget to tilt your pelvis forward!” Right…because that’s not awkward at ALL.

That’s okay, that’s far less awkward that the newest move Tom does on me at PT. I like to call it the “Scissors.” It goes a little something like this:

 Let’s all be honest with each other, especially us ladies, no one wants to be in that position with their Physical Therapist…no matter HOW long you’ve been going to them. It’s a bit awkward…and uncomfortable. It's just another one of those things that makes this whole experience a bit humbling. Tom’s fantastic, and we get along swimmingly…but this stretch is just too much. Not to mention, it HURTS like a son-of-a-gun. However, with all that being said, I do it. I do it because afterwards it feels PHENOMENAL. I can actually feel the releasing, and I can feel the blood flow and circulation once he’s finished working it.

I’m going to keep moving forward with PT, working hard and seeing if I can fix this psoas issue. It’s so tight, I think it’s just going to take a LONG time to get it worked out. I’ll keep you posted as I progress.
Anywho, that’s all for now.
Talk soon,

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
-Newt Gingrich