My Experience

A Setback

About two weeks ago, I wrote about the progress I was making with my hip. I was thrilled at the prospect of biking thirty minutes each day. I could take long walks without pain or issue. I was elated. Now, I’ve had a setback. It’s not major but any setback can feel like a blow, not only in my progress but to my confidence. I want to trust my hip and allow it to succeed but the more I worked, the more pain came along with it. I discussed this with my physical therapist and even my surgeon. A setback is to be expected here and there but I wasn’t prepared for it.

There’s no long term damage done. I overused it. I popped an internal stitch and caused swelling, most likely in my tendon. Two problems that indicate one thing, I’m going too fast. Slowing down with progress feels lazy. I could do it once, I should be able to do it again. There it is, I “should.” Everyone’s body is different and responds to surgery in a unique way. I made amazing progress in the beginning. I was off crutches at two weeks, walking over a mile without pain, and had a perfect gait. 

I get stuck on hitting milestones. I want to set records, for myself not anyone else. I want to feel like I’m excelling and surpassing expectations. I cannot tell you how many times this situation has been mirrored in my life. Over and over, my lack of patience and inability to slow down has caused problems. I need to practice patience. I need to slow down and yet it takes developing a hefty limp and needing pain medication to save me from myself. 

My surgeon echoed the same words my physical therapist did. “You need to rest your hip and get inflammation down.” I am set to have fifteen minutes of activity throughout the day. No more thirty-forty five minute walks that are over two miles. At least not for the next fourteen days. That period of time feels like forever but I’m complying. It’s my only chance of helping myself before I do real damage. 

I’m not the only one who functions this way. It’s having a goal mentality that allows us to get ahead of ourselves. I’m going to do better. I need accountability. That has to come from inside myself. Losing the functionality of my hip and the prospect of needing another surgery is enough to make me find it. I’ve accepted this setback and want to move forward with a better mindset. I need to focus on listening to my body and trusting what it’s telling me. We all need to do that in different aspects in life, but it’s difficult. It’s easy to push too hard. 

I’ve now gone eight successful days, doing exactly what I’ve supposed to do. That’s probably my longest streak ever. Ten minutes of biking, a five minute walk and other exercises that have nothing to do with my hip. The name of the game is progress. I’m changing that term to mean something different than it did before. Now, I see it as progress within my body rather than outside expectations. I want it to be about how strong my hip is becoming rather than what race I can finish. It’s one day at a time, the next right thing.

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