Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blame it on Brooklyn*

Went upstate to Ananda Ashram for a day's teaching with my guru. Carpooled with a bunch of lovely students and teachers, one of whom was going to drive (not to name names but her name is Eve) but when we got to the car rental place we discovered that because she calls Brooklyn home, there would be an extra $50 charge for her to rent the car. Apparently people in Brooklyn like to steal cars a little too much. Never mind that we weren't going anywhere near Brooklyn...

The obvious solution was arrived at, which was that the gimpster would drive the car (Mom, try not to hyperventilate). So add that to the list of things I can do at week 9-10! It was completely fine although totally hilarious to me that in a car full of women, the one with the cane was driving... leg got a little crampy in the traffic back into the city but a wonderful day out of the concrete jungle was had by all.

*title written by Eve, the Brooklynite who got us into this fine mess to begin with...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Have Had

When replying to the question "What happened to you?", two answers come to mind: "I HAVE hip dysplasia" and "I HAD hip dysplasia." I stumble through the answer because I don't know which to say. Do I still have it? Is it gone now I've been 'fixed'? Strictly technically speaking, the socket itself is still shallow, so although now I have much better coverage of the head of the femur into said shallow socket, it ain't perfect.

And so there's that word, that doggedly follows me around, just biding its time until I feel tired, or low, or depleted in some way, to whisper in my ear: "You'll be lopsided for the rest of your life. Maybe not a lot, but enough."

And to it I now reply: "Yeah? Well, can you do this?"

"Cos I did it today. Both sides."

(photo credit Swaha Yoga)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Permission Requested To Use A Cane, Sir!"

"Permission granted, private. Now listen: don't walk down Broadway at 5.30 with your cane, ok? Just practice around your block and see how it goes. And stop leaning away from the leg, you need to really put your weight on it. Let me put my hands on your tushie again and see that you're putting weight on it. Ahh, yes. Very good. Now do a little dance. What? Ehem, I mean, good luck, private, and remember: now you know, and knowing is half the battle."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Crazy Hot Grandma With A Broom

Last Saturday I was crutching through Central Park and a man on a bench said as I passed, "I like you. You're hot."

And then a few days ago another guy said to me as I was crutching down Broadway, "Even with a limp, you're sexy."

Now, granted, they were both homeless, and the second guy was brown paper baggin' it, but hey. We established a while ago, I think, that we take it where we can get it. We are not above being appreciated by drunk homeless men. Yet.

Said appreciation of being appreciated by drunk men, coupled with today's turn of events, makes me concerned that I have a dubious future ahead of me as the crazy mean old grandma who chases the neighborhood kids with a broom and has too many cats. Perhaps it was just that it was very hot today, but I suddenly decided it was time to start telling people off in a loud voice. How I know it was a loud voice is that I could hear myself over my ipod. When a woman tried to push onto the subway before I was able to get off (and in my defense, I would like to say, I have a crutch) I said in a loud voice to the air in front of me, "Let the passengers off first!"


And then walking home, trying to negotiate a large tourist group crossing the street who were staring upwards, I said, again very loudly, and again to the air straight in front of me, "Look in the direction you are walking!"

I can't believe I'm admitting this. It's very embarrassing. I'm supposed to be a yoga teacher and, you know, one with the universe, and so on. Not crazy mean (hot) old grandma with a broom.

At least I'm aware that my behavior was not, shall we say, optimal? (She says in a small voice)

There was a woman walking down the subway stairs with two crutches and my heart went out to her. We talked a little bit and I told her she'd be onto one crutch soon. She had a lot more grace than I did today.

To quote my teacher - the journey back to the center is that much sweeter once you've been to the periphery. I think we now all know what the periphery looks like...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Puppetji was listening in and has something to say to the whiny monkey:

I've Fallen

And I can't get up.

This period of rehabilitation has been, and continues to be in many ways, more challenging than when I was on 2 crutches. At least then I could be an invalid; I was convalescing; not much was expected of me. Sitting upright got me a standing o.

Now I'm working my body and trying to unknot the tight places and strengthen the weak places and people, not to be a whiny monkey, but it hurts. I've never been a huge pill popper - before surgery when I was told to just take Advil every day for the pain I said no thank you, I'd like to keep my stomach lining please. But at night my leg cramps up - my gym teacher told me that the muscles are spasming because they're not used to being used - and I find myself getting out of bed and limping into the bathroom and tossing back a couple of 'vils. I was so delighted to stop taking the Vicodin, and I know it's like comparing apples to oranges, but it's kind of a bummer to have to medicate myself just so I can fall asleep. This too shall pass, I know, I know. Whiny whiny.

In other whiny monkey news, I think I'm going out to L.A. to visit my brother and his fiance sometime next month, which I'm totally excited about. I have to get a letter from Dr. Buly's office to the effect that no, Mr. TSA person, this is not a bomb in my leg, it's just a metal plate, please let me on the plane. That encounter's going to make for an awesome post, I have a feeling.

Friday, June 22, 2007

From Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder
at the daily miracles of your life, your pain
would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your
heart, even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the
physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink
his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided
by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips,
has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter
has moistened with His own sacred tears.

Anatomy 101

American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary
syn·o·vec·to·my (sn-vkt-m)

Excision of part or all of the synovial membrane of a joint. Also called villusectomy.

Don't forget to study over the weekend. Finals next week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Did

A Headstand.


La la la.

Technical Difficulties Please Stand By

For all you nerds out there, or if you're just wondering what all this fuss has been about, here's what I had done (according to Dr. Buly's bill):

Arthroscopy of Hip with Synovectomy. (that's the two little incisions. I don't know what synovectomy means. Labrum repair? Perhaps our surgeon friend can enlighten us)

Incision/Fixation of Femur. This is the one that really makes me laugh. It sounds so simple. "Yeah, so I'm just going to make an incision and fix your femur, that ok with you?" Nothing about sawing through my leg bone and removing a slice of it and sticking a metal plate in my thigh and pins into the bone. Maybe that's why I agreed to do this, I didn't know what I was getting into.

No of course that's not true. I had as educated a guess as I could as to what I was getting into, and daily life had become unbearably painful.

Lately as I feel better and stronger I have strange urges to claw through my leg and rip the plate out. Obviously I can't really do that but the scar itches a lot now and I daydream as I absentmindedly scratch it that I could just keep scratching away a little at a time like in the Shawshank Redemption and eventually reach freedom. Or metal. A friend of mine said recently that it's important to have things to look forward to. I'm already looking forward to a year from now when I can get it taken out. I'm not even bothered about having to deal with the raised toilet seat again.

This post is getting weird. I just really miss lying on my right side. It's how I used to sleep. And in yoga class at the end it's the side you roll over onto, but I can't, so now I roll left when everyone else is rolling right and I end up looking like I want to make out with the person next to me.

Someone's having a little poopy pity party. Bear with me people.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Grab Your Partner By The Hand

Yoga. Is. Kicking. My. Butt.

It's funny, we'll be working on an asana in class and each time, it's a little dance. Do we like each other? Is there chemistry? Will my leg hold, or do I need to sit this one out on the bleachers? How many blocks can a girl put under her hands before she's pretty much just standing upright? I shimmy in, and the asana either dances with me (like my 2 second crow pose today) or it says, "Babe I'm not feelin' it. I'm going to a bar with my friends. Maybe later? Gimme your number, I'll call you," (like handstand). And when something is above and beyond what I can handle right now the amazing and talented Zhenja LaRosa will come over and give me something different to do, because nobody puts Baby in the corner.

In other news I got a cane. It is not cool and does not have a skull or a claw or both, sadly. It is grey plastic and metal and geriatric. I'm only supposed to use it around the apartment and still use the crutch outside. But it is a sign that my leg is getting stronger.

It's been a Houses of the Holy kind of week. Somehow it makes me feel less gimpy walking around NYC still on a crutch when Robert Plant is wailing in my head.

Oh Oh Oh - and the most biggest dealest news of all that I keep forgetting to write - guess who was in New York Magazine's Top Doctors issue? Dr. Buly, natch. The man. Who just sent me his bill yesterday. Yikes. Do you think the insurance company will be impressed enough to pay for it?

Monday, June 18, 2007


Today for the first time in 2 months I was in a yoga class. I'm taking the Anusara immersions and the first one started today. It was so incredible to be there I didn't even care that much that I wasn't able to get very far into most poses. My right leg is still very weak and couldn't handle going up into a high lunge (hands off the floor) for example. And Warrior 1 - well, not that fierce. But I was there, and it was fantastic.

I balked at the handstand. It was weird to stand and watch other people and I didn't like feeling like it was a fearful reaction. I know it was probably just sensible until my right leg is stronger and I have more control and won't land funny, but not trying at all was strange.

At the end of class after watching me grunt and groan my friend Eddie said to me, "you need a crutch to walk and you just did that class? You got a lot of guts, I'll tell you that much." I was all, yeah I kick ass!

I'm already so sore...

On the flip side of YOGA!! I realized that my plans for world domination through teaching yoga will have to wait a little longer. I was hoping to come back in July but I have no idea really when I won't need the crutch any more and frankly if I walked into a class and the teacher had a crutch, I would probably walk out pretty quickly.

So, patience. Being able to go to class makes it a whole lot easier. I felt so much gratitude to be there today. What a gift. And lying in savasana I felt high. The focus of the class was about opening to grace, and that whatever we bring, whatever condition we come in, it is enough. To come to a yoga class in my condition and to hear that I am enough was a huge gift of grace for me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hips Don't Lie

Does this metal plate make my butt look big?

Actually today for the first time I am wearing real pants.
That looks wrong. I don't mean to imply that I've been pantless this whole time. That would be weird. What I mean is up til now it's been sweats, and cotton pants, and yoga pants, and workout shorts. Nothing you could wear to the opera.

And this morning when I was getting dressed I thought to myself, "I wonder if this hip could handle some real clothing." I haven't tried the jeans yet, I think that might be too much, but ladies and gentlemen, I am wearing khakis. Like an adult person who can dress herself. It's a proud moment.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guess What

I love New Yorkers and how they love to guess what happened to me.
People from my neighborhood who know me say things like, "I hope the dog didn't do that!"
People that don't know me say things like, "Skiing accident?"

No one, not one single person, guesses that it's surgery.

Right, because what is an otherwise excessively healthy-looking woman doing having surgery? It must have been an snowboarding accident, a car accident. Not a genetic accident.

My favorite was the man-child behind the counter at Starbucks today. He asked why I had surgery and when I told him I had hip dysplasia, he thought for a second and said, "I think my mom had that for a while."

I gave him the only answer I could, learned at the knee of my brilliant writer friend Jennie who has perfect human pitch:


Thursday, June 14, 2007


I woke up this morning and my leg looked like this:

Haha. Not. It's pretty cool though, right? I'm diggin' it.

What actually happened is a MySpace friend photoshopped it.
But I seem to recall writing something about a miracle a few days ago...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Are You Hip to Easter Island?

The Mothership left today.

It felt like that moment from childhood when your parent was running behind you holding onto the bike while you were pedaling and then suddenly you realized they had stopped holding on and you were riding the two wheeler all by yourself. Usually followed by crashing...

I'm starting the Anusara immersion on Monday and I called my gym teacher to ask her if there were any restrictions (besides the fact that there are a lot of things my body just doesn't want to do) and she told me a couple of things that made sense, and then she said, "you kinda know your body. I kinda trust you."

I kinda think that was a compliment...!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

PT Update

I got to get on the stationary bike in gym class today.
Then I got to get off it again pretty quickly but it felt good to at least pretend like I was riding a bike for 2 minutes.
And I got some Therabands which are very annoying and dusty but increase the work for the muscles, so cannot be avoided at gym class.
I also got to walk across the room with my gym teacher's hands on my butt.
I wish I was kidding.
I managed not to laugh by biting the inside of my cheek, hard.

She said I was doing very well and that often big shifts happen somewhere around 8 weeks (1 week away for me) so perhaps there will be a miraculous divine intervention and I will wake up walking...

But the coolest news is that my anatomy teacher from yoga teacher training is doing a new course and wants to develop a post-PT fitness regime for me to get me back to full yoga strength! She is the bomb and I can't believe my great good fortune that she wants to work with me. Kriota, you rock.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Used to mean - well, you know.

(Actually it hasn't meant that to me in years, and back when it did, I had often already partaken.)

Now it means - if I'm not at home taking a nap yet, I need to get there soon, or else I will be face-planting in the middle of whatever I'm doing (drinking tea, getting a pedicure, crossing the street). Bone-tired late afternoon is the newest theme. Followed by wide awake too-early morning. Neither of which I'm particularly into.

And I realized - we haven't named the plate! If it's going to be in me for a year, it needs a name. Please submit all name ideas as comments, or if that's a hassle, just email your idea to me. I offer Mental Plate into the mix, but there's probably a better one out there. Maybe if I can figure out how to put a poll on here we'll have a vote. Otherwise it'll be a dictatorship of me making the final decision.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Walking, Waxing, Waning, Waving

So walking down the sweaty NYC street today I realized that I wasn't putting that much weight on the crutch. So I tried crutchless for one step (that looks so wrong written down but anyway) and I only lurched a very little bit! I think I'll be walking for reals in no time! Like soon!

And the scar is starting to get so thin in places that you can barely see it. What's funny is that a little section will disappear, and then reappear a few hours later. Like it's 3am and the party's winding down but you're just that much too drunk to feel like you can muster up the organization to leave and sense that you're probably crashing on the couch, again. Or something. It's really completely nothing like that.

And today Gentle Reader, we wave goodbye to our good friend Vicodin. V's been with us through thick and thin; we will miss your blue mood inducing emotional withdrawal not a whit. Take care, and don't let the door, etc. I'm ready to get my drink back on.

(Sensing a theme...)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Holy Macaroni*

Am I tired.

Suddenly again like I was right after surgery. I know since I got the go-ahead to weight bear I'm definitely moving a lot more than before, but people! What's this about?

Yesterday I walked around maybe a little too much and I was super pooped afterwards. Like entire-body-aching-sore-muscles-pooped when you get knocked down by a bunch of waves a bunch of times. And this morning we moved back into my walk-up (hobble-up) which is awesome, I'm so glad to be here, and I am pooped. And I have to go to gym class this afternoon. If she's anything like she used to be she's not taking tired for an answer. Maybe she's mellowed with age. I don't even have it in me to try and make her laugh.

But! At six weeks out I can:

Shower standing up (first one in 2 months - AAHH)

'Walk' ten blocks and get really tired (with one crutch. But I had a dream last night that I was walking. It was awesome)

Have a lot of knee and hip mobility but still can't do rotation very well

Scar seems smaller and is definitely thinner (I need to post new pics, I know, you're dying to see)

So, all is well in Munchkinland. Hopefully energy will return soon.

*UPDATE: She smiled. Twice! And fatigue is totally normal. Apparently it takes as much time as you've been out to get back to normal energy levels. Any excuse for a siesta is a good one in my book.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Your 8th Grade Gym Teacher

If you were wondering whatever happened to her, fear not. She is alive and well and administering physical therapy with her same old no-nonsense attitude. She still wears her coral shorts and modified Flock of Seagulls haircut. I think she may have been wearing nude hose (that word gives me the willies) with her tan leather walking shoes but I didn't want to stare.

And she still has that all-business way of grabbing your body without asking first, including things like your sacrum. Or perhaps that was just my gym teacher.

My default with new people is usually to try and make them laugh. But she did not crack a single smile no matter how much I soft-shoed for her. Probably because I don't even walk well, let alone dance. But still.

Anyway I see her twice a week for the next 6 weeks. Yesterday she asked "how much work do you want to do?" and I was like, "you're asking a yoga teacher who hasn't been able to move for 6 weeks if she wants to move her body...?" Basically she's added on new exercises and modified some of my current ones. I still have to use one crutch to walk so I don't develop a limp. And I had to fill out a form with my PT goals. My goal is to make her crack a smile. I think it would feel good.

Essay Question


Monday, June 4, 2007


Saw Dr. Buly today and saw my leg on an X-ray. My leg is kicking leg ass.

In Dr. Buly's words "You can get really aggressive now." RRaarrrgh! (that's my aggressive noise in case it wasn't clear)

How aggressive?
So much that I can start walking on it full weight bearing!
Which is pretty funny, because the muscles are now so atrophied that I walk like a drunk person. I still need to use the crutches for the next little patch of time so that I don't fall on my face. But I can go off the Coumadin (blood thinner) and start eating green vegetables. And I can go off the Vicodin and start drinking. Two great tastes that taste great together.

Tomorrow I go to outpatient physical therapy. Will report fully.

And I'm planning on getting back into the teaching groove beginning of July.
So if you've been slacking off, you have a month to kick back into gear.
Actually I'm just hoping I remember the words.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The First Step is

Admitting you have a MyProblem.
(did I fake you out with the title?)

I like MySpace too much.

Actually, it's not that I like it, (c'mon man, I can control it, I can stop whenever I want, I just don't want to stop right now) because I still think it's a clusterf**k of a site that's horrible to look at and not at all intuitive.

(Hello, my name is Sarah, and sometimes I swear.)

But I have much better things to do right now, semi-secret things that involve deadlines, and where am I? On MySpace, looking up distant acquaintances so that we can be friends. It's bad. It may even be a problem. If anyone's dealt with this and has advice, please pass it on. Meanwhile my friend Eve is lhao because I've sworn for years that I would never have anything to do with MySpace. And now look at me. I'm a Add Friend junkie, curled up in the corner of a burnt-out warehouse in the bad part of town.

This is a cry for help, people. If I don't get back to teaching pretty soon I may never leave the house again. (Do you think this argument will work on Dr. Buly when he sees me on Monday?)

On a good note: I had enough clarity, when Second Life was passed around at the party, to just say no. Then again, you know what they say about MySpace being a gateway site.