Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Starting just a few bellydance movements...

Three nights ago I resumed (very gingerly) the chakra isolations we do in the Intermediate classes. I like to do them laying in bed before going to sleep so that's what I did. In the lower two of course I started very very small the first night, almost just mentally. Last night, the third night, I enlarged the circular isolation a bit and noticed that I felt like a "blank spot" or a missing part of the circle at the new hip joint. Interesting!

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:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

almost two weeks since surgery

Dr. took the staples out yesterday then (or rather the nurse did), then told me no driving for another month. Bummer. Other than that things are going great, physical therapists coming out twice a week with new exercises each time... and pain is minimal.

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

Now back at home... doing a bunch of new exercises including deep breathing ones. Getting around with a walker great, looking forward to a shower tomorrow...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Think happy thoughts!

Two days to go until surgery. I'll be glad to get my “hip job” but at the same time I'm nervous about the anesthesia and immediate recovery. Not much I can do about it though. I'm still trying to be happy and excited. hmmm

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 - 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.

Happy thoughts!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Further-back Story

Reading the beginning of this makes it sound like the horse fall did me in, but that was really a blessing in disguise since it made me get xrays. My leg was getting too weak and making my body go off-kilter so I couldn't balance. The right side of my back had locked up, and my right knee kept hurting – and all the Dr.s could talk about was my hip – so I hope that once my hip is replaced, the other issues are resolved too. Maybe it IS all from my hip, who knows.
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

A Bellydancer's THR* Experience

*that's Total Hip Replacement, kids!

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!

March 2010
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, 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.