Here we are, over five months since surgery.
Four months is when I was supposed to start running again, but I have been running for a month (doctor approved and physical therapy monitored).
This is when I am supposedly “fully recovered,” though there are still lingering restrictions.
My hip is doing well. I would say the joint itself and the repair therein are fully recovered. The surrounding muscles, however, are still working through their discontentment. I can live with muscular pain; muscular pain can be worked and repaired without surgery.
Traditional physical therapy has been largely worthless on me. I’m too flexible to get any stretching accomplished, and the same disposition might also be why I don’t gain muscle strength (discussed most recently with my orthopedics PA). However, we recently added dry needling to my regime.
I did dry needling way back when the hamstring tear was new and my first asshole doctor treated me like a drama queen with a stubbed toe. Dry needling has apparently changed in that couple year window. Previously, the therapist stabbed me in the muscle with the thin needle then pistoned it until my muscle hypercontracted. Super painful. I bruised a lot. Now, rather, the therapist implants the needle into the belly of the muscle and zaps it with a tens unit, causing the muscle to contract by stimulation. Still unpleasant but far less so.
The dry needling is working surprisingly well this time. I see progress in the tissue after each session. The muscles have less knots. I feel less tension. Things hurt less. As I approach the end of my physical therapy program, I think this is exactly where I could hope to be.
There is still pain. Pretty much every day. But it is so much less than before surgery, and it is less than last month and the month before that. On a long enough timeline, this could just be working.
If I can calm down and step out of my own nature and into patience, I can see the improvement. The surgery definitely knocked me completely off mental balance, as I knew it would. I underestimated what it would be like to go back there, but I feel like I’m flirting with recovery on that front as well. My exercise routine is nearly restored; I just need to commit to it long enough to level things back out.
If I ever had any doubts of the effectiveness of my routine and coping mechanisms, this has confirmed that they work and I need them. I guess it’s just not an instant return to where I was. Mentally or physically.
So, I need to take a deep breath, tell myself to shut up, and stay the course.