Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Between me and my PRISM Dancers we have 6 bellydance events, and I participated in my first horse show last weekend.
My strength still isn't what it used to be but I am getting stronger all the time. I've adapted the exercises I was "supposed" to do ("keep doing the exercises thru the end of the year" the Dr. said) to more pertinent ones, and added a fun balance board to the routine too.
Using the balance board I did fine some differences between one side and the other, mainly in flexibility through my hips and back, so am working on that.
People ask me often "how's your hip" and I'm so happy to say, "GREAT!"
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I've got several bellydance events coming up in December: a Tribal Odyssey Meet, with students from other areas; my group the PRISM Dancers are hosting (& performing in) a "Bellydance Night" at a local restaurant; we're dancing for a local senior community who are big fans of ours; then we're dancing at First Night downtown on New Year's Eve - weather permitting! Lots of fun stuff :)
And, I'll be in my first horse show this Sunday which is super exciting! I'm so looking forward to it - since it's a schooling show (held at White Buffalo, where I take lessons), my teacher's letting me use any music I want, so I'm using my new single "Let Me Dance" ( by Tribe O). I wrote it while I was recovering from my hip surgery, it's about wanting to dance and ride again. woohoo! It's gonna be fun!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Bellydance class is back on track & feels fine, & I hang (almost) upside down afterwards too. Haven't yet gone completely vertical on the inversion table yet, but almost.
Had a big weekend with Tribal Jam X on Saturday, teaching a mini-class, "Intro to Tribal Odyssey" in the afternoon, and dancing with PRISM that evening. Sunday went to DC to see Turku at the Turkish Festival... that was fun even though they only played 4 or 5 songs thanks to earlier tech difficulties that held up the whole afternoon program.
Then going back to the parking garage (under the Customs building) I went through a metal detector, setting if off of course. But the funny thing is I forgot about my metal hip & thought my underwire bra was setting the durn thing off! And there wasn't even any wine involved! I think that shows how great my hip's doing :)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday I rode Velvet, instead of Phoenix, to get more of a workout. Phoenix is still off and can't do much more than a few trots. With Velvet I actually participated in class, to the extent that my legs were sore the next day. But not my hip!
If only everything else on my body felt as good as my bionic hip does now!!!
Friday, September 10, 2010
After both nights of class I got on my inversion table to stretch my back, but didn't go completely upside down to hang from my ankles. Dr. had already ok'd that, but I just didn't feel like pushing it (or rather, PULLING it).
And back to the farm today for a short ride, God willing. Yay! I'm working on rehabbing my favorite ride, he's been out for almost as long as me with a couple of different issues. We're rehabbing together! I want to do an Intro level test for my first dressage clinic this fall, and also do a musical freestyle for a schooling show. So I have much to work on in the arena! So much fun!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I think tonight for the two Basics level classes that I should take it easy, beginners are more work & I'm already doing more than I'm used to. I'm really looking forward to it though!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Saturday afternoon I'm planning on joining my students onstage for a videotaping of our Tribal Odyssey dancing, just a short set. And next week, classes start again!
Friday, August 27, 2010
My Dr. "signed off" on everything Monday, with only a few reservations. He says don't get crazy with the dancing... and stay in the arena on horseback. So I'm good to go!
I did dance with my students in a show this past Saturday, only a couple of days early...
I figured it was OK & I didn't do too much, just a little bit of group improv Chorus Line, Veil, and Duet dancing. I loved it! Got to wear my new Ganesha Bazaar set.
Yesterday I dressed & went to the farm, actually did get on my favorite horse again for about 10 minutes, with my teacher right there. I was sort of nervous... then when it came time to dismount, had an attack of nerves, as that's how I fell off originally & needed surgery. So my teacher pulled the mounting block over & I used that to get off. I think I'll get over that soon, my leg's much better than it ever was, just had a mental block or something.
I don't really want to ride with no other horses in the arena right now, so I'm going to go back when there's class happening.
Sitting in the saddle felt much better than it ever had, though my right foot needs attention in the stirrup. I'm sure it'll come back really soon.
Even that short ride gave me a sore spot - and after all the exercising I've done! I was surprised. Just a little spot between the hammie & glute... maybe more backwards leg raises....
All in all, I'm pretty psyched about it all!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
But I knew I wasn't supposed to do any hip moves yet, according to the Dr., and moving around quickly on my feet is just starting to work again too, without causing subsequent hip pain (from muscles that aren't used to it). So it was all pretty iffy... but I worked on it every day just a little bit, and thanks to Sera's East Coast Tribal DVD which I happened to have (we were both Marrakesh dancers together a few years ago), I was able to get a short dance done.
I decided to do it at the tech rehearsal instead of the actual show, so I wouldn't get carried away in front of a "real audience". Also I knew I had to commit myself so I told my students about it.
And then I did it! It was so much fun, and I smiled all the way home...
here's my hip-less bellydance
Thursday, July 8, 2010
THIS week I FINALLY got rid of the damn hip abductor pillow at night! Wow! It was starting to fall apart anyway... I can also get in & out of bed like I used to instead of scooting up from the bottom of the bed.
This is great! My "restrictions" in terms of movement are relaxed, but I know the Drs. said to keep them in mind 6 - 12 months & not do more than one of the positions at a time, that is, not lifting the knee above 90% AND crossing the knee over, etc.
I can walk around really great, am a little stiff when I get up after sitting but that's due a lot to my spinal arthritis. I'm still trying to slow down & be careful when I walk & not get carried away with feeling good. It's still hard not to dance, but I'm not cleared for that yet. I am having fun with "bellydancing" without any hip movements....
I can get on & off my saddle really well, with no pain or discomfort. In fact, sitting on the saddle (which is on a barrel in my house) is absolultely pain-free. Sitting in the saddle has NEVER been pain-free before, so when I discovered that I was totally amazed & happy. I can also walk up & down stairs really well because I've been doing my exercises!
My chakra energy is freaking amazing. All I can say is NEVER underestimate the power of chakra energy; I've seen surprising changes in myself since recovering from the surgery. Now I've added chakra energizing exercises to my routine, and am continuing the chakra isolations I learned from my student Shakti; in fact I did vertical circle isolations today as well. Having the energy flowing better through those chakras has manifested as increased expressiveness of my material interactions with life, so to speak... there is DEFinitely a change here. In fact the energy has increased up through all of the centers, affecting many aspects of living, and how I deal with people. I'm aware that I need to stay on top of this new energy & not let it get crazy; I'm enjoying the new experiences and also enjoying learning firsthand about how the energy goes.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Saw the Dr. on Monday & turns out he actually meant late July & August for dancing & horseback riding.... so OK, whatever. This is because bellydancing is hip-intensive; if it were regular dancing I could start earlier. And as far as the horses go, it's not the riding it's the dismounting that's the issue. So I'll just be playing with the horses until then, grooming, hand-grazing, maybe a little groundwork soon I hope...
I did go to the barn & muck out one stall last week and this week, and was amazed at how quickly I got tired. This week I actually did push one wheelbarrow up the ramp to dump it, and that was just on the edge of do-ability. So I have a good sense of my limitations at this point.
Am supposed to keep doing all the physical therapy exercises until Xmas! wow -
I made sure to keep my butt in the seat last night in bellydance class... Thanks to what happened last week, I had to use the cane for several days after that so I need to be in less of a rush to get back into the swing of things.
One fun thing I've done is let myself do another song, since I couldn't dance or ride.... and of course it's a song about wanting to dance & ride again! LOL I just put an excerpt up on Reverbnation, because I'm still cleaning up the single for release:
Let Me Dance (excerpt)
So back to the Dr. in a couple of months..... and he'd better not grab my hip like he did this week - OW!! Must've been some kind of test...
Saturday, June 19, 2010
So no exercises Friday, and today I'll try weights again....
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I am getting quite a list of exercises & stretches to do though! Seems like every time I go to Physical Therapy there's a new one. Maybe I'm not "supposed" to do them all at home - not sure. But I do see some muscles developing in my leg so it's all good.
I asked my P.T. yesterday about sitting on my barrel again (horseback simulator) & he wants a picture. I also forgot to ask him about my bellydance weight belt... so that's for next time.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
During the past week I started walking about the house forgetting where my cane was! So I can get around without it for a while, then just use it when my leg gets tired. Those exercises are really paying off! I even skip taking Tylenol sometimes. It's pretty exciting :-)
So yesterday I was able to take my favorite lesson horse out for hand grazing with no problems. It'll still be a couple of months before I can get back in the saddle though...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I was still laying on my back though so that's OK. Still figure I'll wear it until I see the Dr. again to be on the safe side.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
So of course the next day I went to visit the horses at White Buffalo!! Missed them so much. Took Phoenix out to graze, it was such a beautiful day.
Now doing the 5-lb. weight on my leg every OTHER day, thanks to the new Phys. Therapist I'm going to, that is working much better. He also gave me more new exercises (& recommended getting a Wii Fit, but I've got a big Dr. bill to pay...).
I can walk pretty well now, I still take the cane along though, because after a short time of walking without it my leg gets tired & sore, but it's getting stronger every day.
So nice to have wheels again -
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I'm keeping track of the reps & sets on my phone, very handy. Yesterday's entry looks like this:
5/17: plie's 45; rotations 20 each; side lifts 60; bridges 45, w/steps 15. outside walk, yes. (the shopping trip!)
Great feeling of accomplishment getting them done every day. woo hoo!
My husband got me a nice black cherry wood walking cane I can use for short distances (not the grocery store, obviously). Will see the Dr. next week, hoping for good news re driving...
Friday, May 14, 2010
I've been exercising all my adult life but never have I been so thrilled at each session before, it's pretty funny. Every time I finish a set I'm just so happy! I'm also enjoying that he cut the sessions down to two a day instead of 3...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Got up to the 60 reps a day this weekend, so he's cut the daily exericise sessions down to two instead of three; and also given me additional ones to do as per usual, and to start adding weights.
AND, I can use the cane sometimes for short distances instead of the crutch, or walker. Woohoo!
The hip rotations I do are feeling pretty normal now, no more blank spot at the new joint. And my incision's healed up very nicely...
I'm folllowing instructions practially to the letter, I'm a very good patient. And it's working out great!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Am working on getting my reps up on my exericises before my PT comes back next week. He's pretty relaxed and doesn't push me, but I want to give him a good report anyway.
Dance club meeting tonight but at least that's at home & I can chill in the recliner -
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Of course I'm not driving yet, so am depending on getting rides from people. Only a few more weeks of that...
I'm also looking forward to a cookout this weekend at the horse farm where I take (took) lessons, I've missed the horses so much, can't wait to see them. Rain or shine, I'll be there this weekend! Being able to use either the crutch or walker makes it easy.
My physical therapist says I'm doing really well and I'm pretty sure he's being straight with me, he doesn't seem like a BS-er. I'm not quite up to all the reps I'm supposed to do every day but almost. I think by his next visit I'll be doing it all just like I'm supposed to - but honestly, 20 reps 3 times a day was a bit too much up to now, because I usually stop when I feel any discomfort.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
But it's amazing how tired I am at the end of the day after these pitiful few exercises and a short walk out to (almost) the end of the driveway...
The swelling's gone down a lot on my hip, and the little butterfly stickers on the incision are starting to come off on their own; I still cover it at night to keep myself from scratching it accidentally as it itches quite a bit sometimes... and I'm wearing the weird leg pillow every night and sleeping on my back exclusively, which doesn't bother me as I do that anyway.
Sitting here at the desk is not so comfortable so can't do much computer work. How handy would a laptop be right now! But I'm enjoying my "time off"!
Not much pain either, the occasional twinge, and a little muscle soreness after exercising... couple of Tylenol's a day and that's it.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Of course no dancing per se, as the Dr. ordered, for another month at least... when I go back I'll quiz him in detail about movements done in place and see if he'll allow that. I can understand why he wouldn't want me traveling about the floor... but maybe dancing in place will be allowed.
Here's more info on using chakra isolations in bellydance:
"By performing balanced isolations at each of the 7 chakras we can stimulate, clean up, and begin regulating our energy flow." - Shakti: http://www.cinnamon-phoenix.com/manifesto.html
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Stopped taking the hydrocodone a few days ago, really didn't like the dreams or digestion issues that went with it. Tylenol Arthritis is doing me just fine. And no more blood thinner shots, did the last one today, thank goodness. I hated giving myself shots ick!
The incision is 6 inches long and curved around my hip a bit. I might upload a photo if it's not too gross to look at....
I'm getting around the house fine with a walker, just being slow and careful and following all the rules. P.T. says we're going to a crutch next week as it's better for gait readjustment.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
My hip still hurts a bunch, so I'm still using a crutch most of the time. I do walk around without it, to get some housework done etc., but after an hour of that it ends up pretty sore. Doing a couple of rounds of those special exercises for my leg every day also adds to the soreness. Am taking a double dose of Tylenol arthritis twice a day.
I went to my usual horse lesson Sunday just to visit my favorite horse, hand graze him, and then lunge him a little bit, something new I'm learning. This is a perfect opportunity, since I can't ride right now. I'm not real good at it, but at least it gives me something to do horse-wise. I'm really going to miss my “barn time” until I can get over there again in the car.
I'm pretty close to having everything done that I wanted to have done before this “leave of absence”. My performing group's done the two shows we had scheduled; I've met or chatted with my teaching substitutes, one last sub meeting. I've prepared & given them class plans and related class materials. My students are all so supportive and encouraging it really helps set my mind at rest.
I keep going back to http://dancerhips.com/stories.html - especially Kathryn Cardy's story which is so inspiring to me as she's so detailed about her recovery – as well as a much more entertaining writer than I am. However, sitting upright is painful after a while, so I sprinkle in reading with my office work before I have to get up. That's the pattern of my days here for the past month or so: a little of this, a little of that, and then a couple hours of reclining while the pain subsides. Very odd after being so active. I'm sure my stamina & muscle strength is decreasing loads, but I hope that turns around after my surgery.
So today we're off to pick up the contraptions (walker, shower chair, etc.) I'll need when I get home. Also we'll be putting a twin mattress on top of my side of the bed to raise it up higher, as they have freaked us out about how, after the surgery, I'm not supposed to bend my hip more than 90 degrees or it could dislocate. That doesn't sound like fun at all.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
My poor right hip was my “standing hip” meaning I'd stand on it while using my left hip – most bellydancers use one or the other more often - I was left-hipped. So the right hip was grinding away supporting my weight most of the time. Then the long drives home after dancing up in the city night after night, no stretching or icing, just straight to bed (of course I washed my face!). Turns out that's a recipe for arthritis. Young dancers, take note!
Knowing I'll be “on holiday” for a couple of weeks makes me feel like I've got so much to get done now. Am still trying to nail it all down: getting the next PRISM show squared away; scheduling my sub/helpers for classes; doing our taxes; Zaghareet article; fitting in my horse activities & commitments; housework and laundry too? Geez. I'm hobbling along on a crutch dragging laundry baskets – LOL! Finally was able to get down on all fours & clean the kitchen floor, first time in weeks. Nice, that.
Also have a bunch of new exercises for my leg... those are REALLY making my hip freaking sore.. and Tylenol's not cutting it.... I'll try a little Advil today too & see if that makes a difference.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I'm not into the blogging thing. But I found so little on THR online - from a bellydancer's perspective - that I'm making myself blog this. You're welcome!
On March 5 this year I fell (or actually, slid) off a horse while trying to dismount, and wrenched my right leg pretty good. The next day I decided to get xrays because it really, really hurt - I couldn't put any weight on the leg, and any movement at all was excruciating. Of course it was the weekend, so I went to Urgent Care and got xrays done there (talk about pain! Wow – lying on that table had me in tears). But then they gave me a nice shot that mellowed me out, and scrips for more meds & crutches. I was really blessed that my daughter-in-law & her hubby were in town so they could drive me around to do all this stuff. What a fun day for them!
Thank goodness, nothing was broken but both my knee & hip continued to be very very sore. The next week I went to my regular Doctor and when she saw the xrays she sent me to an Orthopedic specialist a few days later.
So by then it's been almost two weeks & I'm still on crutches. More xrays... then the Dr. comes in to ask me did I want them to bring my husband in from the waiting room? I said no, thanks. Dr. says, usually we do, I said that's OK, I'm fine, what is it? He puts a titanium hip joint in my hand and says, “You need a total hip replacement.”
I'm speechless, nothing new for me really, but I was totally shocked. Almost immediately I felt a sense of loss for my hip, as I appreciate my body greatly and all it's done for me over the years. Maybe that's a dancer thing? But I honestly have been very aware, and very thankful, of my body, its abilities, and what it's been able to do onstage. So to hear part of it needed replaced with a piece of metal was a bit much.
I can't really remember the exact order of the rest of the doctor visit, but at some point the nurse tried to schedule me for surgery the next week! Okay, let's slow down a bit. How about next month instead? Good grief!
So I signed on for the surgery to be done April 14; time enough to get the two shows done that my performing group already had scheduled. The nurse loaded me up with pamphlets and brochures etc. etc. The Dr. asks if I had any questions, I couldn't really think of what to ask at that point except, well how do you go to the bathroom? LOL! To his credit Dr. O'brien answered me like that's the most usual thing to wonder about. Score points for Dr. O'brien. One thing I do remember is when he's looking at the xrays and says, “Your right hip looks like you're 80 years old.” Yeah, that's something I won't forget.
APRIL 1 2010
Getting surgery is quite the participatory experience these days. Last week my husband & I went to the mandatory class at the hospital to learn more about how to deal with it, what's gonna happen then and afterwards, etc.. The nurse showed us all the gadgets, contraptions, and gear we'll be using while I recuperate and begin to walk with the new hip.
My good and long-time friend Donna and her husband Dave (who's had both hips replaced) even offered to have me come and stay with them after surgery. They also offered use of the special gear they have left over from Dave's surgeries. What awesome friends! I really was glad to talk to Dave and find out what his experience was like, because all the Dr. & nurses would say is, “it's different for everyone” - not really so helpful.
Finding anything on THR from a dancer's perspective was even harder. This particular site, http://www.dancerhips.com was a great find, with a lot of personal stories by athletes and dancers (mostly ballet and modern); I corresponded with the website owner/author and one of the dancers who'd written about her experience; they were both very supportive and encouraging.
The website owner said I should write about my experiences when I told her how little I'd found about THR from a bellydancer's perspective - so that's why I'm writing this.
I know there must be many bellydancers using metal hips! I'd really like to hear from them. It would be encouraging to others who must go through this as well.