So the last surgery was in March of 2014, about 20 months ago. My right hip, which underwent surgery a year earlier, feels fluid and easeful. It wants to dance. My left, unfortunately, isn't keeping up. I am experiencing a growing nerve pain, which goes along the outside of my left leg, culminating in a knot at the front of my left ankle. It isn't 'painful' exactly, more uncomfortable, but it makes my leg kind of squirmy. And it seems to be getting more frequent.
My right hamstring loves to stretch, and is getting gradually more flexible. The left hamstring feels stuck, not willing to stretch, and is substantially shorter than the right. It's true that in about April, I think I tore my left hamstring in dance class, swinging my leg high when it wasn't quite warm enough. The nerve pain initially seemed to arrive after exercise, especially dance class. Not so much after my daily yoga practice.
Anyway, I finally went to John, my wonderful physiotherapist about it. He said he is ... concerned. Not good. He didn't say in so many words, but there could be something up with the prosthetic that is causing the pain. I was afraid to ask.
He said it could also be that I have been compensating for the imbalance in hamstring length; that the piriformis is tight and constricting some nerves. So he gave me some acupuncture needles around the left SI, not too close to the hip as it's contraindicated to put needles over a prosthesis. He also had me practice folding forward and coming back up, keeping my kneecaps lifted, my hips aligned, tipping my pelvis forward very slowly. Pressing the thighs back and the shins forward. That one twisted my brain a little... I'm to be sure to activate my glutes on the way up.
So this morning I integrated all that into my standing poses yoga practice. I did some some longheld pigeons and figure four for good measure. I even gave the front of my ankle a little massage. But as I sit here writing to you on this lovely fall afternoon, the outside of my left leg, and especially the front of my ankle are buzzing.
I also noticed as I walked up the five steps to our deck on the way home from teaching this morning, that my hip felts a bit disconnected, making it difficult to walk upstairs. On a later trips to the yard, I carried a heavy bag of firewood in my left hand, the compression of the hip created by the weight making it easier to walk up stairs.
It occurs to me that the continual weakness in my left leg could be a sign of something going south. But maybe not. I hope not.
By the way, to bring you entirely up to speed, I need to let you know that I broke my right wrist about a month ago. I was leading a dance rehearsal, walked backward over a low bench and FOOSH! as in Fell On Out Stretched Hand. As luck would have it, I needed surgery, and a plate pinned against my radius to keep it from slipping as it healed. Though I really didn't want a plate, the positive side is that it creates an internal cast. I wear a stylish black removable splint, which I can take off to gradually bring more movement into my wrist as it heals. As I am doing even now, as I write this post!
Anyway, more on that later. Stayed tuned for further news on the nerve pain. If you have any experience with nerve pain or anything similar pre or post hip replacement, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section.
It seemed that just as I was all stoked to get moving again, I broke my wrist. And now... I'm not sure what's happening with my left hip. But I'm still looking for the silver linings. Like that after almost a year, I'm back to blogging. That's a good thing!
Here's what I've been looking to for inspiration:
Maybe Good, Maybe BadThere was once a young man who lived in a very poor village in China. But because the family owned a horse, they were considered wealthy. One day, while out for a ride, the boy stopped to rest, and his horse ran away.
On his return home, the villagers went to his father to express their sorrow for the family’s great loss. “Very bad luck!” they cried. The sage-like father shook his head and calmly said, “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”
The following day, the boy went out to hunt for the missing horse, and to his great joy found a herd of wild horses, which he was able to round up and bring back to the village. The excited villagers exclaimed, “What great fortune—your luck has returned!” The wise elder again calmly said, “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”
The next morning, while trying to tame one of the wild horses, the boy was trampled and left crippled. The loss of a healthy son is indeed a sign of bad luck. And when the village people saw the young man’s mangled leg, they went to the father to express their sympathy for his change in fortune. The elder man’s reply was the same: “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”
Within the week, the Chinese army marched into the village and rounded up all the able-bodied young men—to take away to war.