Welcome to My Blog!

I've been diagnosed with a small labral tear and mixed Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) in my right hip. This blog follows my efforts to do something about it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

new beginnings...new blog

I have three current blogs. That's a bit too much to update on a regular basis, so given that I don't have much to say about my labrum that I haven't already said...if you're curious what I'm up to these days, feel free to check out my training blog (http://trainforamarathon.blogspot.com/) and my weight-loss blog (http://my75in365.wordpress.com/).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Beginning

It's been a while since I updated this blog, but since so much has happened, I've been feeling the urge to resume.

The big news in my life is that I'm pregnant -- 14.5 weeks along! I feel so unbelievably blessed that, even with my PCOS, I was able to get pregnant at all, let alone so quickly. I think by most calculations, I've completed the first trimester, and believe me, it wasn't all pretty. After my 12-week ultrasound, Noah and I had a huge scare when I started bleeding profusely. Thank God that it was a subchorionic hemorrhage and not a miscarry, like we thought. So, in my case, that means that there's a small separation between a part of the placenta and the uterine wall which was the source of the bleeding. There's really nothing they can do about it, but wait and hope that it goes away on its own. If it gets larger, it could be really problematic, but for now, thankfully, it does not appear to be affecting the baby at all. Out of caution, my doctor has placed me on "modified" bed-rest (i.e., no exercise, no lifting anything heavier than my purse, no stairs, lots of sitting...)

I'm actually really surprised how frustrating I'm finding the no-exercise restriction. It's not like I'm feeling up to rigorous activity anyway, but still, I miss being able to walk the dogs around the block and enjoy the amazing weather we've been having. And I'm unable to continue with Gyrotonic right now, which has been making my hip a bit tighter. The good news is that I haven't had any real hip pain in months. The bad news is that this is the least active I've been in months, and I'm feeling the whole area tighten, so I'm concerned that the hip pain is right around the corner. I'm considering getting a massage to help open the area. I assume that will be okay, but I'll check with the doctor just to make sure.

Emotionally, I'm in a constant state of flux. I could blame the hormones, but I think part of it is just normal me. One moment I'll be on cloud 9, daydreaming about everything and anything. Then the next moment, I'll remind myself that there's no guarantees, and all of my plans and joy could be erased as easily as a bad car accident or earthquake. Instead of living in a constant state of worry, which I could easily do, I'm trying to keep perspective and faith that it's not my job to control all of that. My job is just to do the best I can to make my body a healthy, good host to this miracle, and to prepare myself for the next steps.

So, just as I couldn't control everything hip-wise, I'm constantly re-learning the same lessons. I'm not in control over life -- my own, my baby's, my family's...I know this. Why is it so hard for me to accept it and to stop trying to micromanage?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hanging in here

I don't have much of an update, but I thought I'd make my site more cheerful looking. I've been feeling pretty good. Earlier this week, I definitely had a set-back and pretty severe pain whenever I'd stand up. It also hurt when I was sitting and moved my legs a certain way.
I'm not sure what set it off. I tried a new exercise during Gyrotonic class on Monday evening that I think I might have overdone. But it could have been my shoes...I was wearing heels (though they're comfy wedge heel boots) on Monday. It might have been the fact that I didn't take enough standing breaks throughout the day. Who knows. Maybe it was an extra pound of Halloween candy.

The pain is all but gone now. My Gyrotonic class this morning was pure bliss. But I'm not going to take any of my pain-free moments for granted.

Friday, October 22, 2010

HUGE decision

I've made a very big decision. I cancelled my appointment with Dr. P. 

Am I insane? Possibly. But I came to a couple of important realizations:
  • I'm feeling really good. So good, in fact, that the risks of surgery far outweigh the pain I've got currently and have had for a few months now.
  • The diagnostic injection would inform me that I have some muscular imbalances, tears, etc. My amazing chiropractor has been helping target those muscles and I've already been working on the muscular issues I have. That is probably a huge reason why I've been feeling so much better.
  • I would like to have children at some point. I realize that pregnancy could exacerbate FAI. But I am losing weight so that hopefully if and when that time comes, my weight won't increase beyond what it was at my heaviest. Also, the surgery, recovery and then strains of pregnancy present several more unknowns and risks and I'd prefer for my hips to shift and do whatever they're going to do before trying to correct the underlying bone structure.
  • This is still a relatively uncommon procedure, and they're still learning more about it and getting better at it. Who knows what they'll discover within the next 5, 10 years.
  • I am leading an active life right now without running. I miss running, but I'm loving the other activities I've integrated into my routine. I don't feel deprived, nor willing to undergo the risks of surgery for the sake of running, especially given how good I feel. (Of course, I don't plan to run because I don't want to tear the labrum anymore).
  • If I'm not going to act on the information I receive, then I'm simply getting info to satisfy my curiosity. That's not worth the high expense of seeing an out-of-state doctor and undergoing expensive tests. At least not now.
I'm well aware that I may be postponing the inevitable. Without fixing the underlying bone structure, I assume that the muscle imbalances, strains, etc., will continue to bother me.  And of course, surgery could go perfectly and I could have a speedy recovery.

But I don't like risks and I would like to try everything I can before going down that route. I still have plenty of non-invasive options if what's working for me now ultimately isn't sufficient. I thought about writing that doing nothing can be harder than acting...but that's not what I feel like I'm doing.  I am doing a lot.  I'm using yoga, pilates, gyrotonic, gyrokinesis and physical therapy exercises from the pool to increase my flexibility, lengthen the muscles and strengthen my body (especially my hips). I'm swimming, ellipticalling, walking and occasionally biking to increase my cardiovascular health. I have deep tissue massage and electro-whatever-it-is that my chiropractor uses to lengthen the muscles and fix the tears. I am avoiding high impact exercises to prevent additional tears. I'm writing to help me emotionally deal with the frustrations of managing an injury. I'm working with a nutritionist to help carefully and healthfully lose weight. I'm actually doing a lot.

And for now, at least, it's enough :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paradigm Shift

Last night I experienced somewhat of a paradigm shift in how I've been looking at my hip issue.

Until now, I've been trying to exhaust my options of things I can do on my own to heal my hips (or at least the parts that I can heal, such as the muscle tightness and the strength imbalances) so that if and when I need to undergo surgery, I'll be in a good place mentally and physically. I know that, if I undergo surgery, I'll have a long recovery process, but I anticipate that (unless something goes wrong) I'll eventually be "healed." This way of thinking has been frustrating me because I am feeling increasingly frustrated with the pain and waiting around for it to go away. After all, I've been doing so much!

So a wise person asked me, what if there is no "end" to the hip pain? What if I think about "managing" the pain rather than erasing it?

My first reaction was to reject this idea completely. Of course. Why else would I even think about surgery unless I believed that I wouldn't be forever doomed to have hip pain.

But, I thought it through a bit more. From what I've read, it seems like even in "successful" surgeries, there can be some residual weakness and pain that will require physical therapy, stretching, or some other way to keep strong and limber. And not all surgical patients end up pain-free. It's my understanding that doctors consider the surgery a success if the pain goes from a 10 to a 3. So if I were that patient, I'd still be in the position of having to manage the pain long-term.

A life filled with yoga, gyrotonic, swimming, biking, stretching...all to stay strong, increase joint mobility and reduce pain. Is that really so bad? Would I really even want to give that all up if I woke up and found myself "fixed"?  (Granted, I'd really love to add the running to that list, and I'm hoping I'll be able to add that back into my routine at some point.)

The best part about thinking about pain management instead of pain elimination is that I instantly stopped waiting for the day when I'm healed, but rather, gained a measure of peace in knowing that I'm making a difference on a daily basis.

I'm definitely not ready to throw in the towel on the possibility that the surgical route could correct the underlying issue that is causing my muscles to be all out of whack. But I'm also not ready to throw in the towel and say I've done everything I can do to manage the pain and I'm ready for someone else to fix me. I am going to focus on whatever pain management I can do now, and cross the surgery bridge if and when I get there. I've realized that the activities I'm doing so that I can manage my existing pain are also going to help me prevent pain from developing in other areas of my body.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm taking a moment from my lunch break today to exclaim at the top of my lungs (well, from the tips of my fingers) how amazing even my brief introduction to Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis has been. I started to get sore from sitting at my desk this morning, and so I tried two of the Gryokinesis moves I learned.  Bam -- immediate relief.  I cannot wait until my full session tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's really going on?

I have been asking myself for months now what is really going on in my body? What's really causing all this pain? I visited another doctor and I got another answer. My chiropractor believes that all of the symptoms I've described, including the clicking and stiffness in the hips, could be explained by muscular imbalances and tightness in my hip and rear areas -- particularly the Psoas.

But what about my MRI? It clearly shows a tear and FAI. Well, according to him, that may have been what started all of this, but given the extent of the muscle tightness I've got and the fact that I've lived with this pain for roughly 1.5 years now, he thinks there's a good possibility that if it was a small enough tear it could have healed over or that, even if it didn't, it's not what is causing the pain.

It's not the first time I've been told about this possibility...isn't that the point of Dr. P's interest in trying to isolate the problem by using a shot of Kenalog (sp??). To see if it's the hip or if it's really something else that's causing the pain?  But I don't see him for another few months and in the meantime, I'm not sure what that means for me.

I'm definitely better on days that I do yoga, pool exercises, gyrotonic, or bike. Sitting or standing for long periods of time always triggers the pain. 40% of the time when I stand up, I still get that sharp shooting pain in my inner groin area in both hips. BUT, if I've been sitting for a while and try to stand up, that percentage is more like 95%.

I'm having a hard time mentally dealing with the hip limitations. There's a concert I really wanted to attend this week that I ended up passing on because it's standing-room only and I knew my hip would be screaming within 30 minutes. I haven't gone for a hike or a jog in so long. I miss it so much and I'm itching to give it a try.  But I'm pretty sure I shouldn't yet. This month has been particularly tough. Last year this month, I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon and, despite fleeting and occasional pain, still felt on top of the world.  I'm having a hard time accepting that I'm not running at all anymore. Since that race, I think I've only logged about 4 miles -- all of which triggered excruciating pain. I was only a "runner" for a fleeting 9 months. How can I miss it so much?

On the other hand, I've come a long way from where I was a few months ago when I started this blog and had difficulty walking through a parking lot. I'm exercising about 5x/week, even if it's not particularly high cardio stuff...though I'm trying to build up my stamina.  I've lost weight and am still losing. I've learned a whole lot about the human body and the many muscles that stabilize our hip and help us move our legs. I've learned quite a bit about nutrition and have discovered some very different but complementary methods of cross-training. I've gotten slightly less neurotically focused on running and have gained a whole lot more respect for the body.

I want to throw my hands in the air and say, fine I surrender universe -- I accept it's not in my control. I'll keep doing what feels good and seems to make me healthier, but I will be grateful for all the blessings in my life and the fact that what I'm going through is hardly a big deal compared to so many people out there who are going through much more serious and upsetting problems. I really want to do that. But I'm having a hard time letting go. The irony though is that I'm not actually holding onto control. I never had any. So what am I holding onto so tightly?