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[THR] Are We There Yet?

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Barbaraj, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Going4fun

    Going4fun senior

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    @Barbaraj, I'm going to have to nominate you for the person around here having the most fun. You are engaged a lot of wonderful activities. I'm in awe. @An54, who I haven't heard from in a while, also engages in a lot of great activities.

    I feel like brushing and flossing my teeth (and using the Waterpik) twice a day is my huge accomplishment. Anything extra is a bonus. :heehee:

    Love the idea of a mystery reading group ... sounds like great fun and social interaction.
     
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  2. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Good morning, another sunny start to the day and I am feeling pretty good (knock on wood). I am still stiff, but coming around to accepting this as simply a morning condition that will ease slightly as the day progresses. I am sure some of it will--sniff, sniff--never go away as hip #2 is a constant, low level whiner, and I know I've got some arthritis in my lower back, too. The key, I'm convinced, is to just "keep on trucking", trying to balance rest and activity sensibly. This is, of course, difficult for me and I'm sure I will continue to struggle with this. I do need to back off from exercise when things are really sore, but it is essential to keep moving regularly in some fashion or other. So, this morning I will hit the gym for a LIGHT workout, before coming home and packing.

    We are spending the night at a nice hotel, a package of hotel plus a gift certificate at a nearby mall. Money has been burning a hole in my pocket since then. I successfully bid on this as an auction item a year ago at a charity dinner/auction following two exceedingly strong cocktails. I was feeling no pain and bid on this plus a large "old time" popcorn machine (that was a Christmas present to my grandchildren and I know my daughter got rid of it fairly quickly after that). Anyway, I am looking forward to a fun evening--we've dinner reservations at an excellent Italian restaurant.

    Wow, @Carriemay60, household help for entertaining sounds marvelous! My husband was an army brat and when he and his family lived in Italy he said that they had live in help which, understandably, his mother adored. I'd be happy with the help for entertaining, but not of the live-in variety. Still, I can imagine that your entertaining was so nice--and I'm betting your handmade service for 16 is gorgeous--I love blue and white dishes (have a few reproduction Spode plates which I adore using). Wish you'd post a picture sometime. Yes, I know this is a HIP forum but what the heck--we've got to mix it up or all the moaning and groaning just about hip recovery would be tedious and depressing. And, clearly, you need to make some friends where you live now so you can use your unique and beautiful "bits".

    @Klassy, that's great you've found a group which shares your interest in gardening. I'd be a massive dud at such a gathering as my gardening skills are limited to weed pulling, essential but not enough to form a group around. It is interesting that such groups are usually female but perhaps we just don't know about the male groups. Can't imagine my husband joining a group of any kind but never say never. PS I haven't read the "Jane Austen Book Club", but I've read all of Jane Austen and my mother was a member of the US Jane Austen Society, and I went to a few annual meetings with her, one in Chicago and one in Los Angeles. Those folks were scary fanatics but I have very fond memories of spending time with my mother and my brother, who happened to be living in those cities each time, in Chicago for law school and then in LA for summer interning with a law firm.

    And, thanks @Going4fun. Nice to read that somebody thinks I have a fun life. I am very lucky, I know, to have good friends and family, a comfortable lifestyle and enough activities (well, sometimes TOO many) to keep me busy and distracted. Of course, I am not posting about the hours I spend by myself, doing laundry (the eternal and never ending chore...) or curled up with a book. And impressive that you floss and Waterpik TWICE a day. I manage flossing once a day and consider that a huge accomplishment. And aren't you a dancing fool? So, you do have activities as well!

    Happy Saturday, everyone!
     
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  3. KathyB

    KathyB junior member

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    @Barbaraj Agree totally with @Going4fun that you have such a busy and exciting lifestyle. Have a great time with your auction win! Glad you are having nice weather, we are getting another round of rain storms. It has been a wonderful rainy season so far in SoCal. Like you, I also have some arthritis in my lower back and neck and some disc wear in lower back and neck. I must say that since surgery, back aches and stiffness have eased off a lot. Could be because I am more conscious about body mechanics during daily activities. Always get a lift after reading about your plans for the day.:)
     
  4. Going4fun

    Going4fun senior

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    @Barbaraj, yes, I floss and Waterpik ... and you'll love this one. I often floss twice--with two different flosses (one thick, one thin) in addition to the Waterpik and brushing ... And my dentist gave me a prescription fluoride gel to put on my teeth at bedtime ...

    Oh ... and I also floss and brush in the middle of the day at the gym, which I have recently returned to mainly to use the weight machines ... There's no better motivator for good hygiene than coming from a family with bad teeth, having bad hygiene while growing up ... and being hit with thousands and thousands of dollars of dental bills as an adult. Saw the dentist right before the hip surgery. He laughed at one of the preop items he had to check off for my ortho surgeon ... He pointed out that I already had implant devices in my mouth (made of titanium just like the hip devices) ... and these devices had no problems.

    Yes, I am a dancing fool ... haven't gone to one of the public dances since the surgery ... but recently I have been burning up the floor in my home. Not for long periods, but last night, probably danced 20 minutes straight ... including to some very fast songs ... and my hip was pretty good ... Afterwards I felt some tightness in what seems to be the IT band ... but nothing like the pain I experienced when dancing before surgery. I want to build up my wind without triggering this IT band tightness I'm having. Will see surgeon in 2 weeks for 6-month update and will report on that visit in my thread.
     
  5. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Yawn...up earlier than I'd like this morning. Woke up before 6:00 AM (ugh..) and tried to go back to sleep but no luck. Finally swung my feet over the side of the bed around 6:30 AM, and went downstairs to make my morning latte and nip outside to grab the newspaper. Another gloriously sunny day out there but, oh my, COLD! Right thigh is still grumbling, which is discouraging, but won't do much today and hope that this is simply a temporary setback. I know it's not the hip that's the problem, it's the musculature on the inside of my thigh--the hip itself feels stable and strong. Good news (hah!) is that with right leg feeling uncomfortable, it's stifled any whining from the left hip!

    The overnight at the nice hotel was very pleasant--the movie channel (you know, the pay for view on televisions at hotel) wasn't working so we found a free movie, "A Wrinkle in Time", which was okay (although my husband slept through the last half) although far different than the novel I remember reading as a child. Still, glorious colorful costumes and a good message and it was FREE to watch. We ate dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant where, when you leave, they hand you cute little boxes tied with a burgundy ribbon, each containing a biscotti to have at home. The service was impeccable and so cheerful, a most delightful evening. Of course, it was a bit of a hike to get to and from the restaurant and especially on the way back to the hotel I was aching. But I'd taken an Aleve that morning so I suspect it would have been worse otherwise. After a big hotel breakfast in the morning (note to self: no eating for three days, you pig) we were home in early afternoon where my husband turned around and repacked his suitcase and left later in the afternoon. He has a hearing that starts this morning and didn't want to face a 2+ hour drive this morning during rush hour. So, I'm running solo here at home in a quiet, peaceful house. Didn't do any exercise yesterday so maybe I'll just do the PT exercises later today. I know I need to back off until this leg ache resolves itself, but I am not very good about that. Still, the fact that walking more than a block now is uncomfortable forcibly reminds me that I need to be more sensible.

    You are so sweet, @KathyB--I think I have a great life, but "busy and exciting" makes it sound far more glamorous than it actually feels. Still, nice to think I can provide entertainment for anyone who chooses to read my postings. Sorry to hear about your rain in California--I always think of California as nothing but sunshine and warmer temperatures, but you folks have had an unusual year with all that rain. On the other hand, you've sent some sunshine our way the last week, and I'm grateful and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Wish you could have spared some warmer temperatures as it's pretty darn chilly out there, but love waking up to blue skies and sunshine!

    Good grief, @Going4fun, that is really impressive oral health care! But, if you've had rotten luck with your teeth due to genetics plus less than stellar care earlier in your life, I can understand why you'd be so vigilant now. I hope all your good work is paying off and you're getting high fives from your dentist. Glad to read that you're a dancing fool at home if not in public. You don't need an audience if your purpose is just to move and feel the music. I am sure that in another month or two you'll be venturing back to the public dance floor and enjoying yourself. I am not a dancer at all, just "hold on to your partner and revolve slowly in a circle" when forced out on the dance floor on rare occasions. It's kind of funny as my younger son is a hip hop dancer, quite talented, and actually teaches at a couple of local studios. Any dancing talent was clearly NOT passed along from his klutzy mom!
     
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  6. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    Waking up to sunny skies sets the theme for my days too! It makes such a difference :loveshwr::flwrysmile::yes!:
     
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  7. Going4fun

    Going4fun senior

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    @Barbaraj, yes, I realize genetics are a big issue for my teeth. By my age, my parents were losing almost all of their teeth and my older siblings also had major teeth problems. I have a fantastic dentist now ... he makes his restorative work look positively beautiful. He runs a music school for young people as his side gig. And he has a great stereo system in his office ... And he's extremely smart and fun to talk to--loves answering my questions.

    I literally look forward to seeing him though I don't look forward to the bills. He'll cut his prices for me when I'm going through an unusually heavy amount of work. Visiting him next week for checkup and to plan out this coming year so I can prepare for any big expenses--which I am hoping are none this year! Even so, he cuts prices for me when I'm getting an unusually heavy amount of work done.
     
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  8. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Good morning, no sunshine today here in the PNW, but, hey, we can't have sunny and blue skies every day, I know. I'm up and off to the gym shortly. Yes, I will be sensible: a short, easy trot on the elliptical followed by some machines that work on my upper body. Then a shower and off to the grocery store for a few items. I finished off the last of my homemade granola and feeling the need to make some more. It's so delicious, a tablespoon or so sprinkled over yogurt and blueberries--a delicious breakfast or dessert, in my opinion.

    Right leg is still achy--argh--and left one sore and grouchy this morning as well. I did get a note back from my OS, agreeing to another referral to PT so once that's been done I think I'll go back for another round of PT. I've always liked PT, both their ability to identify which of my pesky muscles is causing problems, and designing exercises that have really helped both before and after hip replacement. I know lots of folks seem to have had bad experiences with PT but I never have--if I could do PT every week forever I'd like that. I have a bit of a "teacher's pet" personality and try hard to do what they ask, although if they give me anything that hurts I immediately tell them and they back off so it's a good relationship. And I feel as if I've gotten good results every time.

    I know I've read so many recommendations on this forum that when--duh--you are aching it means you're doing too much and it's time to back off. I understand that, but sitting around and doing nothing makes me CRAZY and I think mental health is almost as important as physical health. I've read that it takes a year or two for full recovery and I guess I have to accept that as a reality, but wow, it is so hard for me! It was easier when I was much earlier in the recovery process and simply couldn't do much even if I wanted to. Now that I can move around I want to do MORE and get easily frustrated when I overdo things and I pay the price. I think with such longing of the "good old days" a year or two before I developed what I thought was sciatica (but was really these darn hips)--able to move, hit the gym daily, take long walks in my neighborhood, do everything I wanted to do without thinking a minute about how my body moved or felt. My favorite motto of all time is the old Nike slogan, "just do it" which is how I lived my life.

    I get so discouraged sometimes when I realize that I will probably never get back that level of body unawareness, for lack of a better description. With a recovering right hip (which I clearly abuse), an unoperated and grouchy left hip, plus a bit of lower back arthritis plus now being older, I don't know if I'll ever be so free and easy again with the way my body moves. I know that I'm no spring chicken anymore and need to accept a gradual slowdown but I find it very, very hard sometimes. And, yes, I know I need to get over myself! So, I am resolving to stop feeling sorry for myself this morning and try to focus on having a positive attitude.
     
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  9. SurreyGirl

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    I can identify with all of that an am a bit younger than you! Horrible rainy day today so no walking outside… I enjoyed my walk yesterday even though the weather was a bit chilly… And I remembered to ice when I got home and it helped.

    Re the "Just Do It" slogan… yup, sounds like a good mantra! But do be careful :)
     
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  10. Lmflora

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    hey there hip sister @Barbaraj, I am a bit younger, but boy do I identify with what you're saying. sometimes I wonder if all this was worth it. i think your right, to try and have a positive attitude. I will try and take your advice. we are almost 6 months now. I don't want to slow down. but it seems like we have no choice. Have a peaceful evening. Cheers
     
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  11. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    Just an idea. If your body doesn't want to be quite as busy as your mind needs to be; what about taking a class of some kind. Maybe cooking, a craft, pottery, painting, stained glass? I discovered quilting after my injuries and absolutely fell in love with it. My mind needs to busy, usually watching a show and playing crib online at the same time since I've been parked on my butt. :):)
     
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  12. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Carriemay60 makes a good point. Some great suggestions too. Since you prefer to stay busy, a new activity would get you out of the house and engaging without putting additional stress on yourself physically right now. It may take your mind of your right hip while it's still healing, and offer some distraction from lefty's occasional groans. Being busy does seem to help, even if it's only temporarily.
    A great rest of the week to you!
     
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  13. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Good morning, and a heavy weather-related only groan this morning--that pesky white stuff is back in full force! Local weather forecaster says it will all melt by day's end, and even now it's not sticking to the paved areas like walkways and roads, but listening to the local news this morning it's clearly impacting travel--lots of delays and accidents. Thank goodness I'm not driving this morning! I do have a morning Pilates class but a woman I attend class with is driving today.

    Youngest son was supposed to be here at 7:00 this morning (he's got a job interview and--oh, this will strike a responsive chord with so many mamas--he dropped off "business casual" interview clothes so I could iron them and brush them down to get rid of the clouds of dog hair) but haven't seen him so far and it's past 7:30 AM as I'm writing this. I was up at 6:00 AM so I could turn on the gas fireplace, make my morning latte and read the morning newspaper before his arrival. The job he's applying for sounds a bit sketchy to me, frankly, but I am withholding judgment despite my concern it may be strictly commission sales which, even if it's lucrative for the talented, may not be something my son will excel at--but who knows. The fact that's he actually applying for a fulltime (he says...) job is a banner moment!

    Hips are feeling reasonably good this morning, just the usual morning stiffness. I finally heard back from my OS and he's approved another round of PT and faxed the referral to the place I went before. I just need to call them this morning and make an appointment. Of course, now that I've been feeling a bit better the last few days (I have been trying to rest more, really I have!) I wonder whether I really need more PT. But I will give it a shot, being fond of PT and hopeful some new exercises might better target my problem muscles. My goal is really to be able to walk more--not that I can't walk, but anything over a block or two brings out a stronger aching in my right thigh. Sure, the left hip will groan and complain but the right one--dang it--has been fixed and should NOT be bothering me (I say confidently to myself...).

    Thanks for sympathetic posts, @SurreyGirl, @Lmflora, @Carriemay60 and Layla--I do appreciate them. And, yes, I probably need more hobbies. I am an avid reader, but read so much yesterday that I went to bed with an eye strain headache from too much reading so that's not a complete "fix" for when I'm supposed to be resting and icing. I wish I were the crafty type and could maybe knit. I used to crochet a gazillion years ago but hand work is also an activity that strains the eyes a bit, and with very dry eyes I have to be careful (hence, reading headaches) not to overdo it. Anyway, I do appreciate the suggestions and will try to not just complain and be more proactive about finding non-physically stressful activities. I am sure my husband would be THRILLED if I decided to take up cooking more regularly!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  14. Atkinson8

    Atkinson8 member

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    I take comfort in your posts! I'm 3 months out from latest hip replacement (6 months from the first) and I do get discouraged (like right now) that I'm not moving better, in a more care-free manner. Care-free is laughable at this point. Today the cold has entered the marrow of my bones, so everything is uncomfortable. Your energy is great - and I agree, taking it easy isn't all that easy. :console2:
     
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  15. KathyB

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    Hi @Barbaraj , I can totally sympathize with your last two posts. Wanting to feel "normal" again and not having to think about every move you make can be exhausting. My mind and body now seem in constant conflict about how fast I want and can move. :tantrum2: Took my first trip away from home for a two night stay at a local casino in Palm Springs. Well actually, it wasn't my first night away since hubby and I had to spend a week at a local hotel a couple of weeks back while major, unexpected plumbing was being done to our house:hairpulling:. The trip was great and the desert wildflowers were in abundance because of all the rain we have had this year. I did more walking than I have done since surgery but was only a little more muscle sore than usual. I only had very mild what felt like strain in my legs and gladly this has subsided. I was quite tired the last day we were in Palm Springs and a little discouraged that I couldn't walk more. I HAVE TO CONSTANTLY remind myself of how much more I am doing now than a month ago and definitely more than before surgery. I know things will continue to get better but like you I get impatient and feel like my present state is the new norm.:bored: Heavy rain again yesterday but clearing today and nice weather forecast for this week. My hubby goes nuts with all the rain. Like you, he is an exercise lover and has been recovering from plantar fasciitis the past few months. No spinning class, golf or much walking for almost 4 months plus the rain has made for a crabby spouse.:censored: He has resorted to reluctantly swimming at the gym (unfortunately our pool is not heated and he is not a swimming fan like I am) and continuing using weight machines for some exercise. He has just started to golf again but the weather has not been favorable. We can only keep plugging along and keep the faith even though some days we just don't feel like it:oyvey:.
     
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  16. Debru4

    Debru4 graduate

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    Barbara---are you in a state that has been inundated this whole season with snow and bitter cold, or one like where I'm from, Colorado, that has had cold/snowy spells, but also some milder weather and sunshine? I think I "wasn't really thinking" and in my mind thought I'd no longer be affected by the weather. Which was really silly, because I only had one hip replaced, and still have lots of other arthritic body parts that sometimes (not always) complain with weather changes and precipitation.:heehee: Also, the tissue around my new hip likes to speak up sometimes as well, to remind me it isn't fully healed yet.

    Those reminders surprise me, and then annoy me. But luckily they are few and far between. Do you have a sense of what caused you to go from a relatively easy start to where you are now? I think we've been similar in our early recovery. Curious if you have tried massage? I've only had one since my surgery---I loved it but told them to go easy to nothing around the hip area since I was only 3 months out of surgery. I wonder if regular massage would help you since you find the PT helpful?

    I had PT before and after back surgery. It was ineffective before--but helpful after. I know I would not have regained my core without it. I too am a pleaser, and actually found PT stressful for the same reasons you enjoy it. :chinstroke:I would sometimes overdo, and push at times when I really needed a break because I didn't want the therapist to fuss at me, or for me to have to continue longer. For me, the be active and live your life motto worked better after my replacement.

    I hope you find a way to channel your restlessness---it is so frustrating at times to have a mind that is read to roll, and a body that you know you should pamper a bit. :SUNsmile:
     
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  17. Going4fun

    Going4fun senior

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    Hi @Barbaraj, sorry to hear that you are in the dumps a bit about the pace of recovery. Also sorry to hear that your walking is really limited to a block or two right now ... You know your body ... so I'm not giving you advice ... I've also been frustrated with the pace of recovery ... and frustrated that I'm so conscious of the hip ...

    I will share this ... I backed off from exercising at the gym a few months back ... but ... I began more walking ... and I have to say, there is something so peaceful and thrilling about walking around just taking in the sights, sounds, smells, the air ... I'm wondering if you might go for a longer walk one day ... in place of exercising at the gym.

    I hope you find a really good PT ... the challenge, it seems to me, is that a hip still within the first year of surgery ... seems to need different kinds of exercises than a hip that hasn't had surgery. I say find the smartest, most creative PT you can. All the standing side leg raises ... and clams and all that stuff I did to stave off surgery ... has at least until now not been helpful to me after surgery.
     
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  18. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad
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    Boy, are you right, @Atkinson8! As my kids sometimes tell me, "take a chill pill, mom" which is always much harder said than done--I always remind myself of the tortured, back and forth recovery path that I know is the case for everyone, and have furious arguments with myself when, as this morning, I'm sore and not sure why. I need to slow down, I remind myself, and yet slowing down often seems harder than working through the stiffness and soreness.

    @Debru4, I live in Washington State, on the coast, where winters are usually mild. During a usual winter, one smugly listens to the national news weather forecasts of terrible snow and frigid temperatures anywhere but here, while "basking" in mild winters comprised of seemingly eternal overcast and drizzling rain, but temperatures in the 40's and 50's. Not this year! A lovely, unusually sunny January followed by a frigid, snowy February. Some nearby areas got more snow this past week, but fortunately with temperatures rising during the day it mostly melted away. I do think the cold weather has been tough, but I also know my stiffness and achiness is more probably related to my inability to slow down my pace. It isn't that I'm out there bike riding for miles or running marathons, but I like to move around during the day and I have a hard time resting even when my hips and those attached muscles are complaining that I'm doing too much.

    I have a new PT session scheduled for next Tuesday, and I'm hoping they can offer up some new exercises to help with additional strengthening. Maybe massage will be offered, I can always inquire. They may, of course, give me a massive stink eye and say "no more exercise, you idiot, and more rest". Your comment about needing to channel my restlessness is absolutely accurate, lack of activity spools me up and makes me anxious and on edge. But doing too much is hard, too, as I struggle to be "normal". I think my family and friends are convinced that I've had a miraculous recovery and think I am able to do whatever with no repercussions. My complaining is done pretty much only on this forum as I hate appearing weak and wimpish in my daily life. Yes, I know--stupid and vain! I know I need to stop driving myself so hard and be more honest about how I'm feeling and not worrying about whether my world thinks I'm faking it and just being lazy.

    And yes, @KathyB, we all DO need to just keep plugging along and keeping the faith. I find this something I say frequently to others on the forum also, as I know how easy it is to get discouraged and we all need to rally one another. But, although I know this about others, it is challenging to apply it to myself. The whole, "physician, heal thyself" is applicable here, isn't it?

    @Going4fun, walks might be better exercise, although I was out trotting around with a friend on a host of errands yesterday so a fair amount of walking all day. Last night was family game night at my daughter's house and I collapsed with fatigue on the couch where we were playing the evening's game, and when I tried to stand up at evening's end after a few hours, my hips, back and legs felt so weak, and I really had to grit my teeth to try to rise and walk "normally" and not give way. Climbing up the stairs from their basement to the front door was really HARD. So, is walking really the answer? Or am I sore because I had a Pilates class on Thursday and overdid it? And is it even worthwhile to try to figure out what exactly caused the significant energy drain and weakness? I mostly just put blinders on and power through, refusing to let weakness and stiffness control me. Slept well last night and I'm off to the gym today--short and low level workout but it's something, and I need to do something to stay sane.

    At least it's a sunny day out there, with lots of blue skies and sunshine although it's fairly chilly. There is frost on the lawns and garden areas which will melt, I hope, by later today.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  19. An54

    An54 senior

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    Dear @Barbaraj , please excuse the creative editing above. I must also confess to being behind on your thread because I have been off the forums for a while and haven't kept up, so forgive me if I missed a bunch of stuff.

    What I am wondering is; have you tried dropping all the PT, classes & exercises for a couple of months, and resting more, and walking (moderately) as @Going4fun suggested?... just easing into everything physical. You say you need to do something to stay sane. Here's an idea: you can write. You are a natural writer. Why not focus on a writing project? I took a wonderful online course on How To Write a Novel, and got ten times more from it than I expected.
    Just a thought.

    You have been so supportive and indefatigably attentive to so many people on this forum. I daresay I speak for many of us when I say we sympathize with your frustration and pain. Hope you feel better and stronger soon.

    (Admin; if I'm out of line offering above suggestion, please delete)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  20. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Not likely.
    In my experience...to a carpenter everything looks like a nail.
    Most physical therapists will prescribe more therapy or different exercises.
     
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