Thursday, May 8, 2014

6 months post-op

I am 6 months post -op. I have come a long way in my recovery. I am on a positive healing trend and even though I still struggle with some pain, especially with sitting, things are getting better.

I am much stronger than I was a month ago. I walk normally, even weight, no more limp. I can walk up and down stairs no problem. I am able to sit cross-legged for a few minutes. I have gotten most of my flexibility back.

I saw Dr. Downer last week, it was the first time he has seen me walk unaided. He is very pleased with how I walk and how my bones are healing. My one issue is the sitting pain and I also feel intense pain above my hip in my low rib area. My acupuncturist thinks it could be a pinched nerve due to poor posture. Downer told me it is probably from poor posture. I really haven't sat in over a year and im sure my core muscles are weak and atrophied. I was afraid that I might have to have a scope. My labrum was not repaired and I have read many blogs and posts about people getting scopes after a PAO. Downer reassured me that if I needed a scope, he would know about it and he doesnt think I will need one. I am to work on posture and I need to be patient in my recovery. He told me to see him in 3 -4 months if I still experience pain.

I am really working on changing my beliefs and perspectives on pain, especially chronic pain. There are many things that are helping me.

1. I see a chiropractor, they adjust my low back where my ribs hurt and I experience a lot of relief. I am stretching my core muscles and doing core PT like planks, bridges and crunches.

2. I have noticed my poor posture. I avoid sitting at all costs. I recline in a recliner with my legs straight. I tend to lean to my right side, the painful side. Its like I am collapsing in on myself and my rib/nerve flares up and I feel intense pain and inflammation. I am starting to sit straighter and engage my stomach muscles when reclining and standing. This is helping reduce pain.

3. I still take turmeric. 500 mg twice a day.

4. I am starting to walk a lot more and push myself to really work out my joint. I can walk 2 miles now, probably more. I love walking. I hope to always appreciate mobility. I do PT everyday. I joined a local gym and do pool therapy, hot tub and sauna. This helps with relaxation. I will soon do some weight machines...

5. I am seeing an amazing therapist who is guiding me with Acceptance and Commitment therapy, positive thinking, visuals, art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy. Pain can be seen as a gift. It allows me to be a empathic, compassionate, patient person. It allows me to explore my creativity. My pain has become more tolerable and less because of changing negative thinking patterns.

Good things happening in my life...
I am finishing my first online course in Gerontology, exploring career options. I want to pursue a certificate as an Activities Director working with elderly people, perhaps in Memory Care. I am visiting care facilities and once I can sit better, plan to volunteer and "shadow" Activities.

I get to move out of my apartment of 5 years, away from its 35 stairs, into a ground level apt in a lush, green neighborhood near some of my favorite places in Portland. Its got a strong 1970's theme, avocado green bathroom, orange kitchen, brown shag carpet, gold windows, vintage appliances that work.... I feel excited to make changes in my life, to start fresh, away from all the pain and heartache I felt in this apt. I will get to see birds and squirrels through our new large windows!

Tomorrow I am going to a school of oriental medicine to get more affordable acupuncture and massage. Then Im starting at a new PT with a more experienced PT to step up my strength training and acquire new posture skills.

I made this bunny!

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