Saturday, May 08, 2010

My Hip At Three Months

Today is three months since my hip replacement. I am probably a bit further in my recovery than average, but i'm not where i wish i were. I've been biking for a few weeks now without any pain, and i've been doing tai chi for the last two weeks. In general, regular motions are not too bad, but any sort of eccentric motion is both difficult and sometimes painful (twists, lateral steps). My left leg is still very weak compared to my right, and i find that i sometimes use my quads and calves to compensate for weak glutes and hip flexors, which puts pressure on my knee.

After a year of physical deterioration, i feel very impatient to get back into some sort of shape. I'm about 20 pounds heavier than i was when i was running regularly, and since i still have limited mobility i feel... old. I tried to come to terms with the things that i would not be able to do after the surgery, but i'm not quite over the psychological impact of going from being somebody who was in abnormally good shape to somebody who pretty much meets people's expectation of a 46 year-old man.

The only goal i have set at this point is to ride the Tour de Poway Century ride in early October. However, i also hope to get back to my normal weight by the end of summer, and get the strength back in my left leg. I'm trying to do Tabata-style training to compensate for the lack of hard cardio , but i find i'm not quite fit enough at the moment to get through the full sets for exercises like push-ups and pull-ups. I can do squats, however, i'm not sure that i'm working both legs equally.

At this point i'm still stubbornly convinced that i can get back to some physical level that will make both me and other people forget that i am an invalid. As i approach 50 i realize that most people's expectations will be lower, but i've spent the the last decade among people who were 50, 60, or 70 and still pushing the envelope. There will probably be a day when playing golf or taking walks will seem adequate, but i hope that day does not come soon.

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