John 15

John 15
‘I am the vine, you are the branches'

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week 18 - Saying Positive on the Rehab Ride

After "over-doing" it the last couple of weeks and being forced to slow down until my PT gives me the green light, my boys have been nothing short of amazing. Clearly losing crutches doesn't mean to go from 5,000 steps a day to an average of over 13,000. It's so hard to remember that just because my hip now feels good, that my muscles are still being strengthened and not ready for the "full-speed-me".

My PT has steadily been bumping up weight bearing exercises over the last few weeks since the loss of my crutches. I have tolerated this well. Unfortunately, that Tuesday all my quad muscles, upper hip muscles, side muscles, and glute muscles locked up bringing back the burning myofascial pain, pulling, throbbing sensation. After an emergency phone call to my Dry Needle Therapist and a round of trigger point injections the trigger points are subsiding. 

I definitely had that "freak-out" moment of WTF, but my PT was very encouraging that this is a minor set back and jumped the gun going crutch free. He explained that because my glute muscles had locked up, my quads and other front leg muscles took over causing the downward spiral. For those that have read my blog in it's entirety, remember that dysplastic hips don't trigger proper use of the glute muscles causing other muscles in your leg to pick up the slack. 

I hopped from being inactive to "pre-dysplasia-symptom-me". I was forced to do a lot of vacuuming to control allergies from a dog I ended up being allergic to (he has since gone back), being primary for the kids, activities, work, house- it all ended up being too much at once (I even hired helped for some of those days). 

My newest advice for those coming up the rear when you loose the crutches - test the water, but still be cautious. TAKE BREAKS. Don't assume that no pain means your muscles aren't overworked. They are sneaky. It's very easy to hop back into old activities, but muscles take time to come back online just like bone takes time to heal. 

I can't really stress what a set back like this does to the mind for the majority of us dealing with dysplasia. A flood-gate of raw, buried emotions came flooding through which I am still trying to process.

Fear and uncertainty if I will ever be free of this. 
Frustration from having to be patient for so long and for continuing to have to be patient. 
Anger, pure anger. 

As I mentioned in my Chronic Pain post, the emotions that we go through is similar to the grieving process. However, for those people with Chronic Pain, I am finding that we may cycle through them at any given time as we deal with the effects of dysplasia and subsequent rehab. 

I also think for those of us who had more of a negative impact from dysplasia before diagnosis with regard to muscle and myofascial pain, our journey and rehab might be longer. Not only do we have to train our new muscles to respond, but they have to grow stronger after being weak for so long. 

My advice....
1. Be aware of how much you are doing. Don't try and be a super star... your muscles will win
2. Embrace the small milestones; even after a set-back. Learn how your body responds and trust that it will bounce back once again. 
3. Don't compare your progress to someone else's. We each have our own story and unique complications. We are not text book cases, nor is our rehab. 
4. Don't settle for average PT's... You need skilled people that are able to use multiple techniques and have a strong understand of hips, muscles, and any other condition you might have like hyper-mobility. I have two- they know each other, and although they don't professionally work together, they are both willing to pair treatments to support the best rehab possible for me.
5. Seek out things that keep you positive. Often times we need to remove ourselves from things that can trigger unwanted emotions. I rely heavily on mindfulness, meditation, audio books, volunteer work, and other brain stimulating activities. Most of us were active prior to symptoms setting in. It is hard for us to not be active. But if we keep our mind engaged in other positive areas, it is easier to accept. 
6. Full rehab from PAO surgery can take up to a year. We are still on the Rehab Ride. There are 52 weeks in a year. Percentage wise, this means I am only 34% into my rehab. Kind of a sobering wake up call when you look at recovery this way. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Post Surgery Supplementation

Although not one of my more lengthy blog posts, I wanted to share some information about post surgery supplementation. I have seen many posts about slow bone growth and non-union prompting me to research.

  • Better Bones is a great article that talks about bone healing and nutrition.
  • I use quite a few vitamins from Garden of Life / Vitamin Code and have been especially pleased with their probiotic and multi. I was excited to find that they have a special bone formula vitamin as well called Grow Bone. Their websitte also has a lot of good information which support what the Dr. wrote in the Better Bones article. 
  • I purchase the rest of my vitamins from Swanson Vitamins. They carry quality products at a great value. 


Through this journey, I have tried many natural products.  What's a girl to do when the doctors can't figure something out? Well, for me it was to keep searching in hopes of finding a collection of  items that would help reduce my pain. One of those items was the BioMat. Although not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, this purchase has not only benefited me, but my entire family. The BioMat is a heating pad on steroids. It using FAR InfraRed Rays to promote the following:

  • Promote healing
  • Increase relaxation 
  • Improve Sleep
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Ease joint pain and stiffness
  • Eliminate toxinds
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Alleviate migraines and tension headaches
  • Improve immune system function
  • Burns calories and controls weight
Pre-diagnosis, I purchased the BioMat in hopes it would help me with the myofascial pain I was experiencing. Although it did not take the pain away, it did help me through a period of 4 weeks prior to my muscle biopsy. During this 4 weeks, I was unable to take any pain medicine nor could I receive dry needle. The heat and Far Infrared Rays from the paid helped to relax my muscles, reduce muscle tension, and tenderness. 

I decided to not take it with me on vacation pre-surgery and my husband said never again. He would always find room for it. I was in so much pain that our "fun-pre-surgery" vacation was greatly limited because of how little I could move. 

Post both my muscle biopsy and PAO, I used the heating paid again to help with scar healing. Each time my scar was healed within two weeks. 

Since my PAO, I have used the BioMat to minimize nerve pain, sore muscles, myofascial pain, etc. It was also an extremely useful in detoxing as I came off of the pain meds. 

I am a distributor of the BioMat and because of this, I have been hesitant in incorporating this in my blog. However, I then realized how selfish this was of me to withhold information regarding a potential item that may decrease pain in someone else. Therefore, I am putting the information out there, if you would like to know more or about my personal experience, please feel free to contact me. 

The Art of Staying Positive --- Mindfulness Work

Other than my faith in God, mindfulness work and meditation were my cornerstone helping me to stay positive. Over the months, my joy grew weary as I saw yet another Facebook news feed of people having fun doing the same sports as I once enjoyed, running and playing with their kids or not appreciating their mobility. I wanted to share some of the books and meditations that I used to help stay positive.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
I highly recommend this workbook even if you don't have a health problem, but a high stress life. This workbook consists of practical exercises to help bring awareness to your thoughts and subsequent emotions that occur in your body. The authors included a CD with 15 different mindfulness meditations from 3 minutes all the way to 45.

Prepare for Surgery Faster
This book, which included a CD, came highly recommended in the FB PAO group. What I liked most about this book is how the author scientifically explained the impact of stress on the body and how stress reduction techniques can promote healing, increase positive outcome of surgery, and rehab. The meditation CDs also included with the book were just the right amount of time at 35 minutes.

Health Journeys
This is a great site that offers many choices for guided meditation. You can order the CD or choose the mp3 download. My top two favorite are Guided Imagery for a Healthy Immune System & the Rapid Recovery from Injury. 

Quality meditations can also be found via the PlayStore for free or less than five dollars. Glenn Harold & Jonathan Parker are my top favorite two.

From the research I've done in neuroplasticity, entwined with my own personal experience, I believe there is a strong link between your thoughts, which create a chemical response in your brain. This chemical response then leads to changes in your body which can either promote or deter healing. Find out what excites you and go for it. 

Week 14 -- Bone growth Progression

I wanted to create one blog that depicted my bone growth progression from start to finish. It can be frustrating trying to search through old blogs to compare. Overall, my bone growth has been steady; neither slow or fast. Perhaps this is exactly where I need to be otherwise knowing my personality I would unintentionally overdo it.
Pre PAO 

Picture was taken day of surgery with a portable x-ray machine as I was laying on the table

6 week follow up - I was quite devastated to not see much bone growth

6 week follow up - closer view of the lower cut that needs to heal as well

12 week follow up - light gray areas are new bone formations. It is slowly filling in!