Happy Half Birthday Hip!

The 19th December was my new hip’s official six month birthday!

It has had a busy time

  • 2 nights in hospital
  • 2 weeks with a dressing on
  • 2 weeks of no showers
  • 3 weeks off work
  • 6 weeks of anti embolism socks
  • 6 weeks off driving
  • 2 months of crutch support
  • 10 weeks off riding
  • 3.5 months OF riding
  • 7 physio sessions

If you feel like revisiting the journey so far.. My Hip Story

But where am I now?

Life In General

I’m fully settled into my new job, though desperately pleased it is the Christmas holidays.  I have been ill twice in the last couple of weeks and I think it is my body telling me that it needs a rest – the three weeks off I had after my operation don’t exactly count as a rest and you have to wind back about a year before that to get to the last time I had any proper time off.

Riding

Because I have been under the weather and I’ve been away house sitting, I have given Pea a bit of time off however riding has got so much better.  Feeling both thighs ache after a ‘proper’ ride is amazing – although my left leg still doesn’t work like my right (and both are negatively affected by the way my pelvis is tilted and twisted in the saddle) they are at least both doing something!

I have managed to canter a little bit more this month.  Although I think my trot work is now as good, if not better than it was before my operation, my canter work is behind.  I find it uncomfortable, I’m struggling to sit and keep Pea going.  In fairness, she’s not exactly done much cantering in the last 6 months so she needs strengthening too.  We will get there!  We could do with cantering out so that I can get my bum out of the saddle and she can just go.  I’m making it an aim for the Christmas holidays.  As you can see.. we are seriously lacking skills.

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Hip Matters

I actually stopped paying much attention to my scar for a while but recently I’ve been back on the yoga and conscious of how my muscles are shaping up.  As a consequence of this, my eyes have been opened to the fact that I essentially have a big chunk missing from my left bum cheek!  I knew that scars pull the skin in tight but I guess due to the squishy nature of the area, my extended scar dent is something else!  You can actually see it when I’m wearing trousers!  It’s fine, I’m not going to get all funny about it but I have been wondering if it will change or always be that way.  It is very hard to show in pictures but I’ve tried – brace your eyes, here’s some bare flesh!

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There isn’t much to report in terms of my range of movement and strength as things are moving very slowly forwards/outwards/upwards!  I am still frustrated that when I cross my legs, my left knee sticks in the air.. it does make yoga interesting.  I think I just need to keep going.  I keep reading about people having more flexibility straight after their operations than they did before, it has been quite the opposite for me.  In fact, I had a para dressage assessment last year and was given a classification due to my restricted movement – does that mean I would still qualify if I was reassessed?

Now that I am being more ambitious with what I am doing, I do have times when my hip twinges, probably because I have moved it in a way it shouldn’t be moved.  I can’t quite classify what ways those are but I’m sure over time I will be able to see more of a pattern.

Aside from the flesh dents, rigidity and flashes of alarm I’m still very pleased with my hip – I am more comfortable walking, sitting and sleeping than I ever was.  I am so much less stiff than I was before.

Here’s to the next 6 months!

What Comes After Twenty Six?

Today, internet friends, is my 27th Birthday!  Which has had me thinking about the massive year that had just passed.  This blog is for life documentation so if you want to revisit the last year with me, come on in.

I have often said that when I turned 26 I had a bit of a ‘mid twenties crisis’.  I was suddenly really conscious of the future and how much I wanted to achieve but didn’t really feel like I was.

26 has been a rollercoaster, it started with the revelation in December that I was going to have a hip replacement within the next year.  This was followed by the happy occasion of moving in with my boyfriend along with a wonderful few Christmas celebrations with each of our families (and the animal ones).

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Passing my towing test (after one failed attempt..) and my Level 2 UKCC in Equestrian Coaching made me feel like I was getting better at my job and starting to become worthy of it but in February I made the difficult decision that I would have to leave it in order to have a guilt free, successful hip replacement recovery back where I had lived before.

At the end of March, we (humans and pets) made the big move back to the Cotswolds.

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In April I finally managed to reconnect with my family – I went to visit my brother and his little family and my parents.  I started tutoring, I started my new job at the shop, I started blogging AND of course I got my operation date through.  I also created this video – which was essentially an expression of the wonder of being back at my yard.

If you’re a long time reader of mine you know the story from here, Pea and I got out to lessons and I felt like I was just getting somewhere towards my goals, I even managed a fun ride when it all stopped in June for my hip replacement.

June and July were spent like this..

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And this..

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Cut to the end of August (if you want to relive the gory details of my recovery it is all linked in My Hip Story) and the big event was my return to the saddle.

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In September I entered my first online dressage competition and by October I felt ‘better’. I got myself a new job, in a school again and experienced the absolute wonder of getting a blogging award (My Blogging Journey).  There was also loss in our household as we said a sad goodbye to Percy the guinea pig though we then welcomed Patrick to keep Peter company.

In what little of November we have had, Pea and I have got back out for a lesson and she feels better than she has ever felt before (in my completely unprofessional opinion!)  Your Horse Live finished off my year of horsey education trips which included Badminton, Burghley, Blenheim, British Dressage Championships and HOYS.

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This may seem like more of a ‘new year’ style post but all my thoughts around my birthday revolve around how massive this year has been and although on paper it looks like a bit of a mess, I’ve learnt, I’ve achieved and, if I’m honest, I actually feel so much more confident about the future now.  Bring on 27!

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My amazing cake was made by MUCK Cakes by Hannah

Thank You NHS!

Today is the 70th birthday of the NHS and I don’t feel I can let it pass without some acknowledgement for how the NHS has helped me.  I’m not here to get political (I don’t know enough to do that) I’m here to show my appreciation.

Whilst on the waiting list for my hip replacement I looked into the costs of private surgery which are just not realistic for normal people.  I feel so lucky to be living in a country with the opportunity to have surgery on the NHS.

The surgery I had as a child was never going to make my leg perfect, or give me the same physical abilities and opportunities as my peers but I was told that it was going to make it better than it would have been without the surgery.  Similarly, I could have struggled on without having the hip replacement but I know that once I have recovered, my life will be so much better for it.  I actually can’t imagine how frustrating my life would have been if these opportunities hadn’t been offered to me on the NHS.

Quite aside from me, even just in my closest family, my mum had four children under NHS care, my sister is an NHS midwife, my nephew was born under NHS care, we’ve had vaccinations and (some of us) physiotherapy and cervical and breast screenings on the NHS.  None of these things are insignificant.  If it wasn’t for the NHS care my dad received when he was rushed to hospital critically ill nearly two years ago, he wouldn’t have made our family Christmas walk that year (pictured below) and he certainly wouldn’t have made his birthday which we celebrated on Tuesday.  As well as that, I can’t even count the many other friends and family who have been well served by the NHS due to motorbike accidents, heart conditions, riding accidents, cancer and so much more.

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Everyone knows that the NHS are stretched.  Even in the beautiful new facility at Southmead it was clear that though their wonderful staff were giving all they could, each body was required to do the equivalent work of many.  Nevertheless, I wouldn’t complain.  I couldn’t complain!  We all owe a lot to those people – I know I couldn’t do their jobs!

On the radio the other day they were talking to a 93 year old man who still has the same left hip that the NHS gave him 70 years ago.  If mine lasts even half that long I will be over the moon!  Even if it doesn’t, I’ve got lots to thank the NHS for.

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