It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my hip reconstruction, yet on the other hand it’s been a very long year of recovery. Though those close to me have known my struggles this past year, publicly I have kept it fairly quiet. In general I have been awfully quiet in regards to my blog, my business and putting myself out there. For countless and unknown reasons I felt the need to take this year more inward than outward. Blessed and happy to be where I am today. This year also brought along a big move. Now living a whole new chapter in a different state. Becoming intimate with uncertainty and falling in love with life’s adventures all over again, like a child at a park for the first time.
All this makes me reflect and nudges me to share some lessons, specifically those I learned from hip surgery. This year brought many lessons some new, some great reminders. I’m picking a few big ones that also apply to life as well as recovery from any injury!
Lesson #1: Surrender and Self-Compassion are crucial to your sanity and survival during the beginning stages of recovery.
This likely applies to any surgery or situation where you might be completely incapacitated for a period of time. In reality, it is a practice we should apply to our life in general and one that is often forgotten or completely neglected. By surrender, I do not mean giving up. Surrender to that which you have no control over, surrender to receiving, surrender to love, surrender to the constant force of life that will carry you through. And self-compassion, always a tough subject for those resilient, independent and stubborn individuals, such as myself. Self compassion brings peace as it gently teaches you that it is ok to struggle, that it is ok be helped, that you are already going through enough without you adding to it by beating yourself up or down.
Lesson #2: What you eat really does matter!
We all know a healthy, wholesome nutrition plan is important under any circumstance. It is more so during recovery from surgery or injury. Certain nutrients actually help cell repair and fight inflammation, while others do the opposite. Here’s the thing, since you are recovering you may have the urge to (excuse my language) not give a damn and eat like crap since you already feel like crap, I know I went through it. Fight it, fight that urge! Collagen is an excellent nutrient for cell repair, best way to get it is from bone broths, yes just like grandma use to make. If you prefer a shortcut, here’s a great one, you can add it to smoothies, teas or dissolve in any liquid, you can get it from Amazon.
Healthy fats such as avocados and flax seeds as well as a good omega 3 supplement are awesome weapons against inflammation and great tools for tissue repair. Supplementing with L-Glutamine will aid in muscle tissue recovery and it’s a great immune booster. Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of “re-building” minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are full of antioxidants and vitamins that will fight inflammation and free radicals. Eat a colorful array of veggies and fruits, drink some bone broth and take your omega 3’s.
Lesson 3: Make friends with your Psoas muscle! Your what?!
This is what in “hip land” we like to call: The Wonder Muscle! Without getting into too much detail here, this is one of the most important skeletal muscles in your body. It is deep in the center of everything and it’s one of only two muscles that connects the lower and upper body, it connects to six different points and affects many joints. Any injury or imbalance in your hip complex, your upper legs and your back can significantly affect this muscle and the tension it holds. When the Psoas muscle is in an unhappy state a whole host of physical conditions can arise; which is the last thing you need while attempting to recover. I will expand on this topic in a future post, for now here are a few things to know, whether you are recovering from injury or completely healthy. 1) Sitting for long periods of time is not good for anything or anyone 2) Many yoga poses provide a good starting point to relieve a tight Psoas 3) Most problems and conditions in the back and hips are related to this muscle, seek help if you are experiencing pain. 4) Physical Therapists, Yoga Practitioners and Chiropractors are a good starting point, look for practitioners that are experienced in ART and MAT (Active Release Technique and Muscle Activation Technique)
Lesson #4: Retraining your foot to bear weight again is not as easy as you would think.
Yes, your feet! Did you know that a quarter of your bones are in your feet? 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles per foot, and over 100,000 sensory receptors in each of your soles! (sensory receptors is what communicates to your brain to allow body functions, in this case, walking) After non-weight bearing for over four weeks you’ll be amazed of how much retraining is needed. How does this benefit you in any way? If you find yourself in a “non-weight bearing” situation for any period of time, and it is not directly related to your foot, start working your foot muscles and movements immediately. Ask your physical therapist for help with this. If you are a beautifully healthy individual, be kind to your feet, invest in good shoes, and do not take these magnificent little structures for granted.
Lesson 5: Be disciplined and devoted to your recovery.
Put it first! This is especially important after the initial recovery stage. Be diligent with your therapy and self care. Don’t just show up to that hour of physical therapy, be present, learn, do what you are supposed to do at home. Ask questions, be pro-active regarding your post rehab stage. Some questions to consider asking your PT are: are other muscles affected by this? What can I do to prevent muscle imbalances and related injuries in the future?
Self nourishment is equally important, take this time to do things that lift your spirit, bring you joy, make you feel comfortable and boost your personal growth. That book you’ve been wanting to read, those Ted talks you’ve been wanting to watch, that phone call to an old friend. Celebrate your progress and little victories however small they may seem. And when you are physically able to, baths are your friend. Epsom salt and essential oil baths are a great addition to any healing program.
Bonus Lesson: You really never know what any one person is going through at any given time! A good reminder to exercise empathy and kindness in the future.
From my G’licious Corner to Yours: With all my love I wish you all vibrant sexy health and optimal wellbeing!