Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Teach Yoga

It's official: I am, once again, a yoga teacher. Taught my first class last night and it felt so good. The words were still there, even if I had to reach for them a little bit, students showed up for me (thank you!) and I got to do what I so love to do. Even though I still need a cane to walk long distances, I feel like I've come full circle on this whole experience. To everyone who took care of me along the way, from my nothing-less-than-heroic mom to the guy who was so good at drawing blood that he didn't hurt me, thank you.

Monday, July 30, 2007

And the Winner Is...

For Most Random Comment By A Stranger (In A Comedy):

Setting: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (SO L.A.!!)

Sarah and Marla are trying to wrangle some chairs to sit outside with their blended coffee drinks. A seemingly drunk man is giving them a hard time about the chair next to him. Our Hero, sitting nearby, comes to their rescue:

HERO: Hey man, give them the chairs. Can't you see she has a... (searches desperately for right word)... problem?

Sarah and Marla, visibly trying not to laugh, take the chair over to their table.

HERO (cont'd): Whaddya got, Lou Gehrig's disease or something?

In other travel related news, the TSA was a total non-event. Nobody wanded me anywhere. At Newark the machine didn't even beep when I went through and I think the woman thought I was lying to get into the short lane with the gray haired wheelchair bound people. I waved my card at her but by that point she really didn't care. At LAX the machine went off after I told (just TOLD! Didn't have to PROVE in any way!) the man I had metal in my leg, and he was like, "Alright," and waved me along. And yet my flip flops were threatening enough that they needed to go through the X-ray...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Walking vs. Yoga Badassedness

Had dinner with my girlfriend, the brilliant and talented Kimberlee Auerbach, whose book you should all run out and buy next week when it comes out;

And we were talking about a fantastic writer she met who had difficulty walking and needed to use a cane, and so I was telling her about how I've discovered from this experience how complicated it is to walk, and how we all take it so totally for granted because we've been doing it forever, but it's much more involved than, for example, holding a pose in yoga class. Walking involves so many different muscles working in concert to create movement, smoothly and efficiently. At this point, 13 weeks post-op, I can do some serious yoga moves, pretty much everything I could do pre-surgery (which gives me no end of pleasure, to walk into class with a cane, eliciting sympathetic sideways glances from other students, and then bust out a little parivrtta surya yantrasana), but without the cane, I walk like a drunk three year-old. It's been striking me ironic that I can do the stuff that looks fancy and complicated, and yet I can't really walk.

Dr. Buly said Monday something about it taking 6 months for the muscles to fully come back; I wasn't paying much attention because it didn't sound like something I wanted to hear, like when he told me I shouldn't be practicing yoga yet when I started weight bearing, and I ignored him, because it was like telling me after 7 weeks of holding my breath that I needed to keep holding my breath... yeah, not so much.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Secret Surprise

Which was motivated by the fact that I never saw an image of what a femoral osteotomy looked like before I had one, and plus I know you're really dying to see what it looks like inside my leg:

Wherein you can totally see where the bone was cut through and how the head of the femur was rotated into the socket, and how I am so totally bionic;


Which for some reason reminds me of one of those folders you keep your homework in.

But if you look at the first picture again you can see how the area where the bone was cut is getting all fuzzy, which means the bone is reknitting itself back together. Yay, bone!

Monday, July 23, 2007

13 Week Dr. Visit Update

Had a good meeting with Dr. Buly this morning. Who I still LOVE. I was in the waiting room and could hear him in the back asking a patient, "Does it hurt when you weight bear?" and just the sound of his voice made me feel so blessed that he was my surgeon. The man's amazing.

Everything's looking good, he's pleased with my progress, etc. I have to keep going to physical therapy until I can walk without the cane. I won't see him again until about a month or so before I have surgery again to take the metal out, which would be Marchish next year.

And I got this for my upcoming airport encounter/potential debacle:

And then I had an amazing session with David Murphy, who does transformative structural integration in New York. Like rolfing but you don't cry in agony, which is a bonus. He's great, I highly recommend him.

And the secret surprise I totally have lined up, just can't do it til tomorrow. You'll see.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bad Hip, Good Feet

So at least I didn't totally lose out in the structural department: the other day at gym class, Gym Teacher had me take off my sneakers to see how I walked barefoot. As I peeled a sweaty sock from my toes she said, "You have GREAT FEET!" Actually, I'm interpreting; she doesn't get very emotional so it sounded more like "you have. great feet." I asked her why but she didn't elaborate, not being an elaborate person (don't you love how words can be spelled the same and pronounced differently to be a verb or an adjective? So glad I was never an ESL) but I am taking some pride in having great feet, even if the hips don't match...

Dr. Buly Monday, and perhaps a special secret surprise for you... if I can get hold of what I want to get hold of... it's a doozy.

Note to self, don't forget to get copy of "It's not a bomb, it's a metal plate" letter from Dr's office for next Thursday's airplane ride.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cane Part 2

I brought up the "when do I get to ditch the cane" question to Gym Teacher, who said that rebuilding strength in a muscle is like growing a plant from a seed: you water it and water it and water it, and it seems like nothing is growing, but then one day a plant appears. What she doesn't know is that I am a notorious plant-killer.

Seriously though, she meant there's a period where it feels like nothing is happening, which is exactly what I'm in the middle of right now, but usually after 8 weeks of PT and rehabbing, something big happens. Which would be the first week in August. Fingers crossed. There's a strong possibility that I'm going to be teaching with a cane for a little while, but ain't nuthin I can do. Mama needs to pay the mortgage.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cane You Dig It?

Saturday early evening, I'm lying on the couch in my pjs watching My Super Ex-Girlfriend and eating baby carrots with hummus for dinner. Phone rings and my girlfriend convinces me that I need to come out to dinner with a group she's putting together last minute. I hem and haw for a few minutes - I'm pretty comfortable on the couch, but it sounds like fun - and finally decide to go. I spring into action, put on a dress and makeup and heels and feel like - yeah! I rock! I rock so much that I bet I don't even need a cane!

I'm standing on my corner waiting for their cab to come down Ninth Avenue and pick me up, and suddenly I hear "WOW." I turn and look at the man standing next to me who is shaking his head in approval. "Oh my god," I gush, "you have no idea how much that means to me I had surgery and this is my first night out without a cane and thank you so much," meanwhile his face says this is way more information than he was looking for, but I don't care. I feel great.

We go out to dinner and have a great time, but afterwards walking to the subway I'm realizing that I kind of overextended myself in the name of not being the girl with the cane on Saturday night. It was good to get out and feel regular, but by the time I get home my leg is really sore. I don't think I did any damage but I'm definitely not yet ready to go caneless. 2 different people today asked me how long I needed the cane for and it's so strange not to be able to tell anyone anything definite. I have no idea, frankly. But I discovered that walking around my apartment without the cane (5 steps here, 7 steps there) is a whole different pickle than NYC on a Saturday night. Note to self: cane is your friend, and friends don't let friends walk gimpy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Mystery of the Traveling Aches

As I rehab and get stronger (although I am sort of plateauing at the moment with the cane. Every morning, instead of a miraculous Tiny Tim moment where I wake up, throw back the covers and exclaim, "God bless us, every one!", I usually just find an odd cane blister developing on the inside of my index finger) different places are achy in different ways at different times, with no particular rhyme or reason that I can figure out. Mostly it's in the evening when the day's exertions are done and I recline on the couch and watch another movie (oh how I look forward to the time when an honest day's work is not so tiring that it can be followed by an honest evening's debauchment) and something starts pinging in my leg. Not always in the most obvious places either. I've had interesting encounters with the Back of Knee Cramp, as well as the more obvious Front of Hip Ache, Inner Thigh Throb (hey now) and Lower Back Twinge, and an odd day or two when Arch of Foot was Making Itself Known in a Unusual Manner. Sometimes Scar is Randomly Pinchy; other times Inside of Knee Heats Up, Oddly.

Gym Teacher says that traveling aches are normal and can be treated with Advil. I think perhaps she was not my gym teacher, but instead my school nurse, who believed that everything could be treated with 2 Paracetamol (I grew up in England. You can look it up later). She says as long as nothing becomes a new Lingering Pain That Doth Not Leave, it's N.B.D. Easy for her to say. I'm just adding this post to the list of evidence that points to my rapid descent into Crazy Hot Grandma Land. "Exhibit F, your honor: displays unappetizing penchant for discussing physical ailments."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Is Normal A Post?

I have this idea that something has to HAPPEN for me to post about my rehabbing. Big transitions like from the crutches to the cane, or funny stuff like driving, or big physical breakthroughs like going back to yoga class (although I have started walking around the apartment without the cane and discovered I can do short distances without lurching too badly, if I really concentrate, and if I haven't been sitting for a long time or just woken up or am not tired). See what I mean? That's kind of a non-event.

But I realized feeling normal is an event when the past 11 weeks have been anything but normal and when each day has brought unseen, never-before encountered challenges to navigate. Today I felt normal all day. Leg didn't winge. Took class and could pretty much do everything and felt strong and good. Had coffee. Came home. Not exhausted or creaky. I am officially doing well and feeling almost normal again. Which is really something worth posting about.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

10 Week Scar Update

Long overdue and much anticipated by... my mom? Scar update autophotographic self-portrait:

Lookin' gooood, Mr. Kotter...
Seriously though see how skinny it is towards the right? My scar kicks ass.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Butt is Back

I had assumed it was atrophy from misuse, and my natural proclivity towards shyness and privacy in this area had prevented me from discussing my buttocks until now (Ahem. Yes. Ha). But I woke up this morning and discovered that my butt is back!

Back up. Explain.
Post surgery, the right side (shall we say cheek?), um, deflated?

Back up. Explain.
I have (usually) something of a booty. Let's just say God was generous in this department. And then after the surgery, the surgeried side became visibly flatter, and I thought it was just from not weight bearing. But my gym teacher, who also noticed the Return of the "B" (not that she's into my butt or anything) told me that often after surgery, muscles in the area just sort of deflate on their own. "They freak out and run away like my sacrum?" I asked, which prompted more where-the-back-meets-the-legs investigation from my gym teacher. "Yes," she replied. "But then once the trauma is over the muscles come right back."

Oh my god, Becky.

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.

P.S. Be the first to name all 4 recording artists referenced in this post in order and win... respek.