It’s 1st of July and #blogjune is technically finished, but I really wanted to publish this post. Well, two actually. The last couple of days have been like the last few weeks. And things are not slowing down.
Wednesday marked a very special anniversary. The anniversary of my hip replacement. This time last year I was in hospital, receiving physio twice a day and learning how to walk properly again. This surgery has been life changing. Seriously.
When I was 14, I was diagnosed with Perthes Disease (or Legg-Calve Perthes Disease). Perthes is a really rare (lucky me) childhood hip disorder. Basically at some point, the blood supply to the head of the femur (the ball) stops for a time. The result is a collapsed ball. The bone kind of crumbles, like a Violet Crumble. Most times, Perthes happens early in life, around five or six years of age, and physical exercise is restricted and pain is monitored, but the child can grow a reasonable enough hip to carry on with normal things. Though early onset of arthritis can still happen.
As I was diagnosed at 14, I only had a certain number of growing years left in me. So my ‘ball’ never really sat right in the socket since. The ‘ball’ was flat, ill-shaped, which restricted range of motion. And because the body was always in ‘injury mode’, the body compensated mainly with limping, which would usually lead to the wrong muscles being engaged and working. Cue lower back pain and insanely tight hip flexors.
Hip replacement surgery
I had the hip replacement because the hip grew so bad, my quality of life was heavily impacted. Quality of life has always been an issue for the last 14 years, but the hip got to a point where enough was enough. The hip and my activity declined rapidly over the 18 months before my surgery. I didn’t know if I could carry a child until full term. Was I going to be bed ridden? I knew I wasn’t going to be an active Mum and be able to keep myself reasonably healthy. Walking around markets for longer than 20 minutes without a rest was a challenge. I couldn’t do more than two hours on a plane flight. My fiance was in constant search of a chair every time we went out. Or I’d demand a car park right out the door because I couldn’t walk long distances. Bless his cotton socks. I would at times, yes, if I had to. The pain was constant. I managed to hide the limp as much as I could. But my ‘library Mums’ would know it at events, such as a conference. Through all this, I was still grateful. Life can be worse.
Recovery has been more of a mental challenge, than a physical one. I now have more patience for myself. I can prioritise my exercise and fitness classes without feeling guilty. The results have been amazing. Three and a half months post-op I did a 6km walk around Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. I would’ve laughed at the suggestions even three or four years earlier.
Still a way to go with flexibility and strength, but as my physio pointed out, I have higher expectations than most when it comes to what I want to do. I need to continue doing my exercises in between workouts as my muscles are still in training with how to engage and be used properly. I’m cleared to do rock climbing and one day I’ll play beach volleyball again. Fiance is keen to see me surf…we’ll see. He won’t find a ‘Sally Fitzgibbons’ in me, that’s for sure.
My support crew have encouraged me, nursed me, cheered me on. I couldn’t have had the personal strength and persistence without them. I’m looking forward to more adventures and achievements with my ‘Robocop’ hip. I am blessed.
The end of #blogjune
#blogjune is over for another year. I’m super stoked with how much I wrote and engaged with the conversation this year.
I managed 19/30 posts. This year I focused on steps I have taken to achieve better well-being and balance in my life, as well as shared a bit of my life outside the information profession.
My life right now is hec-tic. But I pushed myself through the #blogjune challenge. I made writing a post a priority. Though I didn’t get too hung up or worried if I didn’t quite make it on occasion. Priorities. If they’re there, front and centre, they get progressed and done. Priorities and a little self-forgiveness. The latter is what we all need from time to time. We need to be okay we do all that we can at any given time. We make the best choices we can in given circumstances. Not much more we can ask of ourselves, hey?
My five most viewed #blogjune posts:
I have so many more blog post ideas queued up, so no doubt you’ll see me writing here again soon.
Thanks to everyone who participated!