Silly Me… 05/22/2015

May, 2015

In anticipation of my 6 week mark (next week), a lot of things have occurred to me. I have been really looking forward to getting to walk and exercise, but in the past couple of weeks it dawned on me, that one doesn’t just go from touch-down-weight-bearing to full weight bearing in one fell swoop!

I had been holding this image for myself: AnticipationSee the doctor, get released for full weight bearing, the clouds part and angels sing, I drop my crutches and viola! I’m walking! And exercising, and back to work, and driving, etc.  Then it dawned on me. When I see a patient who has been limited weight-bearing and is released for what we call “weight bearing as tolerated”, that includes a gradual increase of putting weight on the affected leg, and happens gradually over days or weeks.

Imagine my surprise, and inner embarrassment, when I realized I would be like any normal patient 🙂 . I’m not sure why I hadn’t initially put this in the equation for my healing. I suspect when I asked my doctor a week after surgery if I could start some weight bearing before the 6 weeks and he said, “NO, and especially you because you’re a PT”, he may have been hinting at that part of therapists where we don’t always make good patients. I suspect we tend to think that because we “know”, that somehow that knowledge will replace the time and work involved to achieve full and safe healing.

For me, this was very unconscious. Thank goodness my excellent therapists continue to remind me of my limitations. At my first initial evaluation PT visit, I remember Siiri reviewing some other precautions of hip movements I need to avoid and stating, “You only get one chance at this, you don’t want to mess it up!”  I was so grateful that she had her professional PT hat on and treated me like any ‘ol patient and didn’t hold back just because I’m “the boss”.

I’m still eagerly anticipating next week and getting to put at least some weight on my leg (and my sore hands are really excited about this!) However, I am more realistic about the gradual progression of my walking tolerance. I coach my patients every day on the value of pacing. I know I’m not the only one who tends to “do too much” and I’m grateful that I have so many loyal friends and family who have been by my side during this recovery and kindly remind me of this regularly.

Posted in: Allisons' Blog, Hip Surgery

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