Week Two was filled with milestones. My gains have been pretty dramatic and super encouraging so far. During this week, I:
- Said goodbye to all painkillers stronger than Tylenol,
- Had all of my staples removed,
- Packed up and sent the dreaded leg pump device back to the hospital,
- Graduated from in-home PT to out-patient PT,
- Started driving,
- Attended a conference and made presentations both with and without my leg pumps, and
- Met with my surgeon and received some really great news.
My mobility has increased and my pain has decreased at roughly the same rate. The simple exercises I've been doing several times a day have helped to strengthen my hip and leg muscles and improve my range of motion. The swelling has dropped dramatically and I no longer need pain medication stronger than Tylenol. A nurse came by on Thursday to remove all 42 of my stapes which left me feeling much better.
Also on Thursday, I met with my surgeon who confirmed that my surgery was smooth, my progress has been impressive and that I'm well on my way to recovery. He also told me about some very interesting discoveries he made about my body during surgery. While he knew that my femur was deteriorating, apparently my hip and leg muscles were doing all sorts of weird things to compensate. Much of the pain and stiffness I've been feeling since my 2010 crash, he suggested, may simply have been the result of adaptations my body was making to compensate for the fractures and displacements. In other words, the progress I made with walking and riding may actually have created additional problems and pains that ultimately caught up with me.
The great news is that this should all be fixable. While the doctor told me that my muscles were going to be "pretty unhappy" with me for the next few months, ultimately my body should regain proper alignment and I should be stronger than ever. Perhaps the best news, though, to come out of Week Two is that there are times when my hip feels much, much better than it has in a long, long time. While I feel some occasional discomfort, especially in my hip flexor when I stretch in certain directions, there are some pains I had gotten quite used to that seem to be gone for good.