Day 7: Take a Deep Breath

I had a huge break through today.

I had always been a very physically active person, growing up playing sports and embracing any form of activity. Unfortunately, my physical activity had been severely limited for the last few years, running was out of the question and biking caused great physical pain. While I tried to ignore the pain, I grew tired and frustrated of compromising on so many of the activities that bring me such great enjoyment.

Playing. Running. Riding. Hiking. Skiing. Just doing. They were inextricably entwined with my identity. Having these activities taken away was the equivalent of making breathing more difficult. It had been suffocating at times. Ignoring the pain was no longer an option.

The culprit was my hip. I had a tear in my labrum, caused by bone spurring. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had an errant piece of bone growing into my hip muscle.

Yes, this hurts as much as it sounds.

There had to be a reason to why this injury happened to me. I couldn’t identify when it happened, no bad falls, or sudden movements that was the culprit. My surgeon gave me a long-winded explanation, laced with medical terminology and the use of visual aids. After listening and having him repeat everything he said a second time so I could process what he was talking about, I finally understood.

I won the genetic lottery.

Genetic predisposition, a lot of physical activity and overuse as a child was the recipe for my injury. It took place over a long period of time, starting from when I was a teenager. It just didn’t hinder me physically until the last few years.

In November, I had surgery to repair the labrum, shave the bone spurs and remove bone fragments growing into the muscle. Surgery was followed with a month on crutches, maximum of 20 pounds weight bearing on the surgically repaired hip. In addition, I couldn’t work for 4 weeks. Days were spent following every word of the doctor’s protocol. I attacked physical therapy with a vengeance, but progress was slow.

My surgeon, physical therapist, wife, children and friends preached patience. While I have a tremendous amount of patience in most aspects of my life, not so much with my desire to perform physical activity. So, it was prudent that the people who cared about me preached taking it slow. I had to fight that voice in my head everyday that said “You’re feeling good, you can do more.” It has taken all my strength not to give in and over do it. Overdoing it would set me back, perhaps it might mean more surgery.   However, I remained patient, stayed diligent and did what the doctor told me I could do.

Today was a milestone. I did a workout that I couldn’t do before surgery. While I still can’t do everything yet, it’s progress.

Today, I feel like I can breathe again.

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6 thoughts on “Day 7: Take a Deep Breath

  1. I am so impressed that you are able to override your inclination and remained focus on the “hard” work of moderation. As I read your piece I was able to picture scenes as clearly as if I were there…oh yeah I was 🙂

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  2. Man. What a fight. We never fully appreciate just being well and able bodied… until something debilitating occurs…. without a direct injury, I can only imagine how unbelievably more frustrating that would be. I wasn’t there… but I felt like I was, and I feel for you! I feel your sense of determination and I wish you all the best on your journey towards recovery.

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  3. I watched my daughter go through and recover from two ACL surgeries and so I was able to relate through my experience with her. I felt your pain and frustration and finally the pride you felt today in your piece. So great you are feeling good!

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