Saturday, December 18, 2010

Feeling better, slowly....and some thoughts on pain meds....

     I have passed the one week mark in my healing.  I am off the walker today and now onto a cane.  The body is an amazing thing.  It really talks to you, and you should listen.  I have not been in a car in a week and a half.  Other than veering outside for a minute last Sunday, (it was so gorgeous outside!)  I have not been out of the house.  I start each day with the optimism that I will feel stronger and have less stiffness and pain.  Each day that seems to be the case...EXCEPT, when I insist on standing too long or not resting.  Today was one of those days.  My god...sitting around being  lazy is exhausting!  It is really hard to just sit around with your legs up as I am supposed to.  It is such a relief to be free of the walker and started I doing house projects today.   We are going to replace a few cabinets, and I started getting in a nesting mode and going through stuff.  This may not be the best time. Way too much time on my feet!
   The interesting part to me is, what I am having the hardest time with is this unbelievable thigh pain.  He must have ripped or torn some muscles in my quad to get my old hip out and my new one in.  It just felt like one big bruise before. But as my hip feels more comfortable everyday, this torn muscle feeling gets worse.  I am back to having a difficult time putting my pants on again, but not from lacking the range of motion in my hip, but because my leg won't bend due to this torn muscle in my quad.  Can't wait to ask the doctor about it.  I really just wish I could go to a few acupuncture appointments and I am sure it would be much better.
     This is where I will go back to some thoughts I had on prescription drugs.  Everyone tells you that you need to take pain meds or your body will not heal.  I like to feel some discomfort so I do not push it and have an awareness about where I am at.  But, I am not a martyr and take a few Vicadan (the weakest of the 3 pain pills from the hospital) and Celebrex.(I would not take this long term, but 10 days I can do. ( I asked for alleve, but it interfered with my blood thinning shots i gave myself.)  Did I mention before I gave myself shots for a week.  I never thought I could do it.  Sean use to give horses this massive shots, but I could see in his face that he did not think he could do it to me.  So Sean, I cowgirled up and did it myself.
   Anyway, how unlike me...i digress.... I just wanted to comment on how I see how people can become prescription drug users.  No one wants you to be in pain.  I understand the compassion, but I also see how it goes too far.  It is much easier to live your life on Vicadin if you are in pain.  I guess some people prefer it to real life and stay on it.  I like to get off as soon as I can, and I have to admit I am surprised I am still taking any, but this quad pain is flooring me.  I just think that if you have any inclination to numb out, this is a great way to do it.  When I went to a fancy West side doctor before my surgery, he literally would not let me leave without a pain med presciption.  He did not even listen to the fact that I did not want one and managed my pain when my hip became very inflamed with Alleve.  He asked me strong or weak, and he handed me a presciption for something I have never taken.  I don't even know what that is, and I never filled it.  But goodness, it is not exactly hard to get drugs to numb you out if you want them.
   The other point to this story was when I went to a routine doctors appointment and thought I should check my hormones as I was tired, and more impatient than I thought was normal.  He reminded me that I have 2 small children and a business to run and that is pretty normal, but he offered an ANTI-DEPRESSANT.  Wow... Really???  I said," that's OK, I do yoga."  He said that it was a great way to deal with all of that, and try to do more.  But an anti depressant???  Do we wonder why people are over medicated?  It is just shocking to me.
     Last story, cause I know I am babbling....I was in therapy 10 years ago dealing with some relationship issues.  (before I met my fabulous husband of course.)  I told her I had a lot of energy and passion and had a hard time setting down some of that energy.  She actually wanted to give me some sort of downer.  I told her she was out of her mind.  I want to feel all my feelings.  Deal with all my feelings.  Face all my feelings.  Deal with whatever pain or difficulty there was.  I just thought that was shocking.  I am in a therapists office, dealing with my life, and she is suggesting numbing me out.  To this day I don't understand.
   I will conclude with this.  I am not saying that I am better than anyone else and anything in life, but I deal with my shit head on.  I am able to deal with situations that are difficult, and always after getting some distance  and reflecting on how I could have handled a situation better or treating someone a different way that would have worked better or caused less pain.  We can't grow if we numb out.  Take medicine if you need it.  I even think there are some situations where anti-depressants or any kind of prescription drug is necessary and helpful.  I just think the western medical profession over does it.  Big time.  I am glad I have  a very non-addictive personality (ok, cool it all you people who know I have a sugar problem) when it comes to drugs, and I believe in feeling a little discomfort, just to keep it real and feel connected to my body and its relationship to the world around me.  That is just how I roll.....Looking forward to heading to work at the desk on Monday....real world here I come!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

P.T., my scar and next summers bikini???

    I wrote this great thread of a post yesterday about drug use and abuse when you have pain...but I hit the wrong button and it was all gone.  So, I'll just see where this one goes.
      I am feeling better each day.  The physical therapist came to my house yesterday which was great as I love to do anything that moves my body.  I was doing most of it already (from the handout at the hospital) but it was reassuring to know I was doing what I was suppose to and it wasn't too much.  She also told me how beautiful my incision looked, (clearly, any accolades are working for me) and she measured it at 4.5 inches.  (some of you wanted to know.)
   It is quite ugly to me, but solved such a major problem that I am growing to love it.  A few inches away on the side of my leg is my scar from where they operated on me at 13 and 15 (yep, used the same scar), so it feels like a bit of a battleground on that side.  Funny thing is, the scar has never bothered me.  It is pretty obvious in a swim suit, but I have never paid it much attention.  My new scar seems to eliminate the bikini category of swim wear, but I gotta tell you, bikinis have not been working for me since baby #2.  I have veered more towards boy short styles (or 40s brief style bottoms when I can find them) so luckily my fashion desires are in line with my body reality.  There are no staples to remove and it is healing really nicely.  The dressing was so cool and waterproof (I could shower with it).  The P.T. told me they are new in the last few months.  All the reasons I waited and put off this surgery have really worked out.  I agree with one fancy Westside doctor who said that waiting for newer technologies is not a reason to put off joint replacement surgery.
  My hip hates to sit like this, so I must sign off.  See you all soon....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home, healing and bored....

     Today is Monday Dec 13th.  My mom took the kids to school, and Sean is off to work.  I am happy to have a little peace and quiet.  Thanks for all the comments from my last post.  I write a lot of this for my own process and to move on from so much pain and frustration, but I think we often help and inspire other people when we speak truthfully from the heart.  My dad emailed me today and he even liked my blog.  (I thought he might have thought it a bit babbling, but he even read the whole thing.  Dad and i share The impatient gene, I don't know the exact number, but research may help discover and treat it some day....)
    Here are the facts.  I am Ok, but not great.  I am still stiff, sore and generally not all that comfortable.  most of the top of my right leg is very sore.  I don't have a lot of joint pain, but my original pain spot, right in the front of my joint, is still sore.  It isn't great if I sit too long, walk too much or sit in a normal chair.  I just keep trying to find the balance and allow healing to happen.
  Everyone just wants to tell me how easy it is and how quick.  Yes, but when you are just sitting around, letting your incredible mother and husband wait on you, it seems like it will be a long time till i have myself back.  I am not trying to wine or complain, but this is still not easy.  I had surgery only 5 days ago, it really is such a miracle.  But, when you are young and active, your mind just says, "ok, that is enough rest, i am ready to have my life back."  Your body contradicts your mind and says' 'scuse me, you inpatient bitch, but I will heal on my own time, and like it or not, you need to take it easy, let others do most things for you and your kids and sit around and get better."  Shit, the body rules on this one!
     I am doing all the light exercizes they have recommended and supposedly a physical therapist is coming to do more, but i like to remind them that I can just do yoga and all will be right with my world.
    To conclude, I am doing pretty well, but bored and on drugs that give me a headache and take away my appetite.  (YOu know when you feel like you are one stomach flu away from your perfect weight...well....another positve!!!!)  All my best to you all, and be safe out there during the holidays
Peace out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Home from the hospital

well, I am home.  Just couldn't stay in another day.  It is now Sat. night, and I am glad to be here.  The surgery went well, but surgery is never fun.  I was very out of it and nauseous the first day, second day much better but I had to get a blood transfusion. (of my own blood thank goodness) but that hurt and took about 3 hours.   Some of my amazing best friends came to visit, Jill and Weezy, spent time with me and brought me movies and magazines.  I got up and walked the day of surgery which i found miraculous.  Walked more yesterday and today.  All my IVs etc were all out today and I thought, Why not go home?
     The kids are challenging, but they are getting it.  I think it will get easier.   Ruby is so about pushing all boundaries that I think this will be a tough one for her, but when I feel better, it will be so worth it.
  I have had so much love and support going into this surgery, and I just feel like i can heal and get stronger.  I look forward to updating this blog as I get back to my physical stuff to see how that goes.  Right now I am very sore, very stiff and weak.  But, not in much hip pain.
   All my best to you all and happy holidays.  See you soon.....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Surgery today...YEAH!!!!!

The day has come.  It is finally here.  I have waited so long and now I am excited to get it done.  Hardly slept.  Like the old days when I had to get up early for a flight and had dreams all night that I missed it.  I kept waking up fearing i would swig some water and they would cancel surgery.  I have feared for weeks I would get a cold and they would cancel surgery.  I have planned this so well.  Got through the busiest fall of my adult life; school tours for Ruby, all those days at the coop (loved every minute of course!), 12 year anniversary at work, Ruby's bday, Tday etc, etc etc, now it is time to get this done and spend some time focusing on healing.
   It is now almost 5:30 in the morning.  I have been up and in the shower since 4:30.  Kissed my mom who has not slept and is more excited than me to see this getting done, though I think it is always hard for a mother to send off a daughter to surgery. She has been trying to throw me under the knife and get this done for years.  It is here mom!
   I just finished some yoga breathing and stretching to get the day started and my lungs working.  I am prepped, I am set, and here we go.  I'll post on the flip side ya'all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Emotions and thoughts about my final Doctor visit before surgery....

    Today, Friday 12/3, I went to my final appointment with Dr. Dietrick.  It was mostly a discussion and answering any last questions I may have.  He took a final xray and showed me all the bone spurs, especially the one in the back of my hip that is causing so much of the stiffness for a much needed range of motion.  I can see the place the hip broke.  There is a line across the femoral head that is faint but visible.  I can also see the light marks from where the pins went that put it back together.  (In 1982, I was told i was lucky there were pins, previously kids would be laid up 6 months in a body cast.  I am grateful for western technology.)
    I also asked him, though I already knew, that if my mom had made me xray my hip toward the end of the three months of limping, I would be in a much different situation.  I know that by breaking it, I lost the blood supply at 13 which has lead to the deformity, bone spurs, and loss of cartilidge.  I also remember my dad begging my mom to take me to another doctor to get a second opinion, (thus probably another xray) but instead she was so convinced by the doctor that there was just some arthritis, tendenities, bursitis that she never did.  I don't get it.  The last weeks before my hip broke, it took many minutes to go from standing to sitting.  When I drove home with my mom from school, i would prop myself up with two hands because it was so painful to be in a car.  Why did she not get it xrayed again????  Why did she think she knew what was wrong and not advocate for me more?
   I don't do it often, and it is really not my style, but today I feel sorry for myself.  I feel angry at my mother and I just can't call her today to tell her about my visit though I know she is waiting to hear from me.  The last time this happened was when I was 28, had started limping again, and had been given the diagnosis I have been living with the last 15 years.  But, we talked about it and I moved on.
  YOu have to know how incredible my mom is.  How close we are.  She stayed up all night when Ruby was an infant, sending me to bed to try to soothe her at 3 am.  She sent Sean home my second night in the hospital with Tatum and slept by my bed to help me.  My mother is my biggest fan and constant support.  It is not in my nature to blame her for anything, but this, I can not help at times like this to be angry with her.  It is just my reaction to the reality of this situation I face.
     Before you read this mom and feel beat up, I will also tell you this.  After driving and crying on my way to pick up my girls from preschool, having my pity party in the car by myself, (don't worry I pulled it together by the time I got there), I started to get some perspective.  Breaking my hip was a life changing event.  It was painful physically, and even more so, emotionally. But I have lead an incredible life.  I have gone out and gotten everything that I ever wanted.  My career, my husband, my children.  Dealing with the whole situation, and the many lessons it has taught me, have lead to an incredible life, and I think a great yoga teacher, friend, wife and mother.  I would not be where I am today had it not happened.  But sometimes mom, I really wish you had just made him xray me again.  It would have saved me a lot of pain and stress.  And, quite honestly, would have lead to a sucessful home birth.  I love you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

History, the third and final act...

To be honest, this section is for yoga enthusiasts only.  The rest of you will be bored.....

So, this should get us up to the present.  My diagnosis and situation at 28 really lead me into a self pitying depression.  My anger at my mother returned, and the doctor etc.  The doctor gave me several meds,  presciption anti anflammatories and pain meds.  I could not beleive I was on pain meds and anti-inflammatories at 28.  How would my liver survive??? 
   I had a wonderful Sikh Chiropractor at the time in LA.  Waheguru Singh Khalsa.  He was really the beginning of opening my eyes and heart to the potencial of alternative healing and medicine.  I had also started doing some Kundalini yoga.   I even use to go to the house of Gurmurkh.  (if you have not heard of her, she is quite famous in that world, celebrities and such and owns a studio in Hollywood...the name has left my brain...sorry).  But, kundalini was really just not doing it for me.  I still went to the gym to stay active, but spent most of my time strectching.  After a childhood of dancing and gymnastics, stretching was still one of my favorite hobbies, and it helped reduce my pain.
   Five months after going to see the Othopedist, i was in Denver, Colorado for work.   I forget if a new Nordstom was opening or what, but I had never been to Colorado before.  What a beautiful place. I stayed with my friends parents who i had never met.  (He offered, and I like fun...)  the first night I had dinner with Colorado's mom, (yes, we call him Colorado), and she was an absolute pleasure to be with.  She said she would be attending a yoga class the next night and that I was welcome to join her.  So, even though I lived in L.A., about 10 minutes from the Bikram's headquarters, i attended my first Bikram yoga class in Denver, Colorado with a woman I had known for 24 hours. 
    It pretty much blew my mind and I was instantly fascinated.  I went home and we looked at his book where he talks about arthritis.  I knew I would continue.
     By the time I went to Bikram's studio in Beverly hills i had a pretty bad limp.  I was in pain all the time.  The problem with the class was I did not like locking the knee.  I am hyperextended, and felt it was wrong for my body.  I fought it for a few months.  But the one I refused to do was wind removing.  Pulling my right leg in was too painful, so i just skipped it.   I honestly forget how long I was practicing there before one day the inevitable happend, Bikram walked in the room to teach class.  He made me lock my knee, and when he saw me skipping wind removing pose, he jumped off his podium and strode right over to me.   I tried to tell him I had broken my hip, (I found that to be major, dramatic, something to be listened to and respected) he ignored me, picked up my right leg, interlaced my fingers over my shin, put me in the posture and told me "good, i'll break it again."  I was horrified, outraged, how dare he, doesn't he know, .....That day, I walked out of there with no pain and no limp.  It was gone.  It was a bloody miracle, but no amount of praying could do what that class did.  It changed my life that day. 
     The next day I quit my gym membership and started coming three times a week working my way up to 5.  Bikram started to know who I was and one day, he came up to me, put his finger on my chest and said, "You should do my teacher training, you will be the best one."  At this point in my life, I had a very sucessful shoe business career.  I had though about teacher training already, but also thought, "how nice for those people who don't have to work....."  But it is hard to explain how powerful Bikram can be when he looks in your eyes and cleary knows you better than you know yourself.  Within the week, I planned my exit from the shoe business.  I was sick of going to bed at night worried if I had sold Norstrom enough of our new high heel pump.  It was not going to change or help the world, and you could never do enough for these corporations anyway and  I was sick of it. I felt like i had this very special knowledge, and I wanted to share it with everyone.  By the time I quit my job many month later, I had been practicing the yoga for a year and a half.  There are so many amazing, life changing stories from my time with Bikram, but that is really another blog.  He changed my life, like he has changed millions of others. 
     When I went to teacher training in the spring of 1998 for 11 weeks, my heart was so sure about what I was doing, that when I finshed I  thought I would have to do temp work and hope for some private clients.  Instead, i got very inspired during training to open a studio.  But I was all about LA and Bikram was there, so I could not open there.  My best friend Weezy had moved out to Pasadena to get a masters at Art Center, and Pasadena was pretty close to LA.  I wasn't really keen on the suburbs, I mean I loved LA, and Pasadena...well was Pasadena.  So, at the end of teacher training, i mentioned that maybe, i could think about the possibility of Pasadena for opening a studio....well....his eyes lit up, he got very intense and said."That is the best idea!"  Once again, hard to explain how powerful that is coming from him.  Done.
    I spent the next 6 months traveling and visiting friends, teaching, looking at studios, getting ideas, and and seeing what I liked and didn't like about what  I saw.   It was a great time in my life.  I spent 3 weeks in New York which was like a dream come true.
   After all my travels, Weezy and I drove around Pasadena deciding where I should open my studio.  Studios were much smaller in those days.  We settled on where we are now, and I opened in Nov. 1998.  I never looked back.  I didn't miss the shoe business, and had this deep belief that I would not fail.  (my mother was very concerned....)  When I opened my studio, 1-3 students attended each class, but I loved it.  I will save what it was like those first few months for another day.   But I love Pasadena. I am the biggest fan.  I was determined to find a marry a man in Pasadena who did not want to leave and wanted to raise a family here.  I think i willed that one to me. 
      There are so many points I am trying to make here. One of them is this,  even though it totally sucks that i ended up breaking my hip cause my doctor was incompetant and didn't beleive me, my life has taken many amazing roads to take me to where I am today.  The beautiful city of Pasadena, raising two incredible daughters with the most special and amazing husband, with our yoga studio that I still love teaching at and going to every day.  There have been a lot of lessons along the way, and I hope that through my life experience, I share those lessons and bring them into my life and teaching.
    More of that later.....