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Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's been a long road

Do you know what this is?


It's a steamroller.

And this is a half-paved street outside of my house! It's finally happening: a road. The paving process will take a few more days, but I think they will actually finish in March!

Speaking of long roads, my hip is progressing along nicely. I had to cancel my final two PT sessions because my PT's schedule changed, and it didn't fit my work schedule. But really, at this point it was just fine-tuning, and most of it I can do at home. I will miss some of the balance equipment, though.

My hip hasn't really been bothering me, for which I'm grateful. I have some stiffness and pain after periods of immobility, and it aches after a running increase (like when I jumped up to 2 miles, it hurt later in the day). It doesn't hurt while walking or running, and feels much better once it is warmed up and stretched. Anytime I notice pain increase from running, I just take a day off, and it feels better in about 24 hours. This isn't really problematic, since I'm doing a lot of alternating days, anyway. I dropped my home PT to just once a day several weeks ago, but try not to skip a session. I had to skip some while traveling simply because of tight quarters and schedules, and I definitely noticed a difference - my leg felt tight and weak.

The Crescent City Classic is in one week, and I think I will survive. I plan to do five miles this weekend to see how I feel. I might actually clean the cobwebs off the old Garmin to get a feel for my pace. I think for 6 miles we're looking at something between nine and ten minutes. THE HORROR. If my hip doesn't kill me, my embarrassment will. 




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just a few more days...

...Until we have streets again! I was incredibly excited to return home from a weekend away and discover SIDEWALKS to our house. We haven't had sidewalks in months! And now? Yesterday they sprayed the primer for the asphalt! In two shakes we'll have a real street again!
All primed: and the emptiest I've ever seen my street.
The last block of the street still hasn't been started, but at least my block does, indeed, seem to be meeting the vague "March" deadline for completion.

So, this weekend. I mentioned that we were in Atlanta. I should probably also mention that we flew out on Thursday, not Friday.
Because Friday there was a man with a machete and wasp spray attacking TSA agents in the security line at the New Orleans airport! In case you missed the story, the police officer on duty in the area shot him (one TSA agent was grazed by a bullet, the only other injury). The suspect died the next day at the hospital - I suspect from refusing certain care, as he was a Jehovah's Witness. Police later found bombs and explosives in his luggage and car.

Pretty scary close to home - but I'm glad no one else was injured!
Side note: TSA agent's aren't armed?! Why did I think they were? I guess it makes sense not to arm them, and use police presence instead, but I swear I've seen TSA with a taser or something. Methinks my mind is playing tricks on me. I would make a terrible Sherlock Holmes (except I'm sure I'd look adorable in a deer-stalker. Who doesn't?).

In a few minutes, I am probably going for a short run, but I am making sure I keep a close eye on both hips. After my recent fall, I noticed that the left side of my pelvis seemed to be achey, so even though the right side has the bad bruise, I am sure I absorbed impact to both hips. I also majorly slacked off on my hip strengthening for the three days I was traveling, since there was not a lot of room to do it, and I'm doubling up on that for the rest of the week. You can never have too much hip strengthening!

*Edit* Went for run, both hips are fine, skinned knee is furious with me for sweating on it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I am too clumsy to run.

We spent the weekend with friends in Atlanta, and since our gracious hostess lives just a short, pleasant jaunt from Piedmont Park, David and I went running there during our stay. I love staying with this particular friend: she has access to Piedmont Park for running (and once, a race located there) AND, since she doesn't drink coffee, David and I always treat ourselves by having Starbucks (just around the corner) every morning during our visits. I do occasionally enjoy a good, strong Starbucks!

On the second day of our stay, David and I were running to the park when I stepped on a loose piece of side walk and went flying! I landed on my right side, skinning right elbow, outside of right knee, and of course - landing squarely on my post-op hip. I also braced with my left hand, which is skinned in a lovely scalloped pattern. My godchild told me it looked like pepperoni. I'm kind of annoyed that my hip got the brunt of the fall, but it certainly figures. I'm too clumsy to run.
Jim at 50 after 40 ALSO fell on his hurt hip this weekend, so at least I'm in good company. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happenings around town

1. This creep got arrested. One of my friends works at the JW Marriott and has complained that his job is too high-drama; I'd agree.

He got moved out of Orleans Parish Prison for "safety reasons" (read: because it's not secure enough). OPP is known as a dangerous, crime-ridden, violent, corrupt hole of a prison, and although they are working to improve security, the feds won't even keep criminals there anymore! And anyway, Durst will be facing murder charges in CA, he's only here for gun and marijuana charges.

2. I actually got a NICE patient. This guy made the little flower arrangement himself, cleaning up the bottle and wrapping it in twine! How cute!
I know. I am the best. 

3. I held with an insurance company for 45 minutes today. The tape kept telling me, "Your predicted wait time is...30 minutes. Your predicted wait time is...24 minutes" and on and on. At 4:50, the tape said, "Your predicted wait time is...12 minutes" and suddenly another tape cut in telling me, "We are sorry, but we will not be able to take your call when the help desk is closed. The help desk closes at 5 pm. Please call back between the hours of 9 and 5." So apparently you just get cut right off when you are predicted to be still holding at 5.
I hate insurance help desks so very much.

4. My hip feels a lot better, but I'm holding off on running until I talk to my PT to see what he thinks about the pain. But I did go to the gym, and made sure to wear my St. Patrick's Day 5k shirt in honor of the holiday!
This is the shirt from the race where I acutely tore my left labrum. Good memories, eh?

5. Big Charity is a documentary currently in theaters. It tells the story of Charity Hospital post-Katrina. There is a lot of local stir about this movie: there are already high emotions regarding Charity, which, if not beloved, has a lot of city history. Many people hold that there were political reasons for its closure after the storm - not flood damage, as represented. Lots of doctors I know went in to Charity and insist it was relatively unharmed, yet it was closed anyway. I haven't watched the documentary, but I want to, even though it's politically biased and skips over most of Charity's fascinating history. I expect to see people I know in the film, and I'll see a building I know, too - Charity looms large and empty across from Tulane hospital, and I walk in its shadow to and from my car every day. If anyone has seen the film, please tell me what you think!
That's charity on the left. Taken walking out to my car. My pharmacy is directly inside the building at the end of this walkway to the garage.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend: Bay St. Louis, haircut, ouch

We spent the weekend in Bay St. Louis visiting with our godchildren. It was a really nice, sweet visit - they were all in a good mood, no travel exhaustion induced tantrums - and we fit a lot in the day and a half before they left. We also visited mutual friends in Pass Christian, and since they owned a boat, the kids got to enjoy boat rides along the bayou. Plus, we had our first crawfish boil of the season!
I have no pictures. Sorry. Just imagine that we actually got sun for most of the weekend, a blessed break from pouring rain.

I also got sick of my hair and cut off 12 inches. It's the ubiquitous longer-in-the-front tapered bob.
Before:


After:

I always forget that my hair is wavy when it's short. So now it's the wavy ubiquitous bob.

And what else...let's see...oh, yes! Running! I ran Sunday in BSL - up to 1.25 miles, 1 mile walk, 1.5 miles, 1 mile walk - and then I woke up with my hip hurting. Boo. So no more running until it feels ok again.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I made it! Twelve weeks post-op

It's finally here - twelve weeks post-op, which means "mostly healed". I went back and read my 12-week post with my left hip, and things are a little different this time around. Last time, I had this weird issue after surgery in which it felt like my hip was falling out of socket when I let the leg dangle (like if I was walking down stairs). I was sure it was iatrogenic subluxation, but it wasn't. It was just that my hip capsule was damaged during surgery (as part of a normal, successful procedure), but it healed too lose. It had lost tonicity because there was no muscle and bone pressure on it. Eventually, that went away - with use of the hip. So this time around, I was not as scared to use my hip, and I did a much better job of early mobilization, exercise bike, and walking once I was cleared. That, combined with the repair rather than debridement, prevented the strange sensation. In fact, while I had more early pain with this hip than with the left, the entire healing process seemed to go faster and I had less pain overall. I remember that I did have a lot of aching, stiffness, and discomfort when I first started running last time, and I kept badgering my doctor about it. But now I know what pain is worrisome, and what pain is due to scar tissue, adhesions, or just disuse.

I'll start with three days a week of running for now, and the plan was up to a mile at a time. Today Christian amended that to 2 miles at a time, because he's worried about ramping up too quickly, but I looked at the timeline we put together a few weeks ago and I think one mile is fine. I don't want to do too much, too soon. Christian had me do a mile on the treadmill today, and it was just fine, but I told him I'm not doing any treadmill over that distance - too risky for the hip joint.

Obviously, rule #1 is pay attention to pain, so that's going to be my guide going forward. But for now I can run! Hip, hip, hooray! (Ha, ha, ha. Sorry, couldn't resist).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TSA precheck

Worth it? Yes! At least so far.

We have a couple of short visits coming up, and while I was booking flights it reminded me to post about purchasing the TSA precheck.

We bought the TSA precheck for $85 (5 years) and used it for the first time while flying to Peru. In under 3 minutes, we made it through the entire security line and we placing our bags on the belt. Shoes and jacket stayed on; a quick trip through the metal detector (no body scan!) and we were done. The entire process took about 5 minutes, much better than our usual time on the security line.
I'm notoriously cheap, so for me to pay $85 for a convenience, it has to be good - and this is. We've only used it for our Peru flights and to and from Atlanta, but both times security took just minutes. Since I've had precious few good experiences with the TSA or security lines (due both to incompetent or rude officers or idiots in line in front of me), I consider the cost over five years to be acceptable.
Things to remember:
- The airports you mostly fly in and out of must accommodate precheck.
- So must the airline.
- You are not guaranteed precheck, even if you're relatively law-abiding; for example, we were talking to someone in a bar who was denied because of a prior DUI (not that that is a minor crime, but it's not like he works for Al Queda on the side or something).
So do your homework and then sign up!