Archive for Recovery

Hippy: Hip Impingement Surgery

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Hippy: Hip Impingement aka Femero-Acetabular Impingement — FAI for short… and OUCH for real
Hip Impingment Surgery coming up soon. Thought I’d share a bit about the preplanning. It is taking a lot of time to coordinate post op in home survival. It is reminding me of just how good I am at coordinating and project managing, but it’s also making me over work this probably simple situation.

But first — anyone considering surgery must remember to ask the right questions. Don’t assume anything. There comes a time when you finally ask the right questions. And I finally did.
The right question in any Doctor’s office – especially in a surgeons – is simple:
“What are my other options? ”  and if they say surgery —
always ask: “Is there any other non-invasive option?”

I so wish I’d asked that a year ago.

Hip injuries really damage the quality of life. It’s not supposed to happen this young, we say. We’ve taken great care of ourselves, tried to eat well, tried to exercise — and still.. things happen. We can work it out on our own – just massage, exercise and take it easy for a while. But when that doesn’t help, you know there’s an issue bigger than you thought. After 6 months of self management, I saw a PT for 9 months. By that time, I could barely walk. The more I did the worse I got.

Facing Hip Surgery and it’s so complicated. Crutches, stairs, and oh dear… Here’s my strategy. Things must be thought through before hand. With a disabled spouse, it’s essential that I create a few plans. I keep saying things like:

This Hippy (that’s what they call us) is not so happy about surgery.
But she’s got a plan. It’s a good plan. Maybe it’s a great plan. But it requires help. And asking for help is not easy. And it’s kind of funny how much I find online that is different than the doctor’s office recommendations. Rick’s doc would call them medical profiteers — they are selling stuff to make money. Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware. (Might consider a website dedicated to selling stuff to help)

What I’m finding is I need a balance of tools to help compared to what the doctor says I really need. I saved over $300 by not buying stuff that others wrote about on their hippy experience.

So here’s the plan:
Eat clean prior to surgery, ensuring I eat uplifting foods and eat a rainbow of colors while getting the best nutrients.
Hydrate
Organize a space to hang out in the house.
Tested crutches and found better padding options to avoid pressure point pain.

And a pretty, matching Crutcheze carry case that attaches to the crutches:

And if these things aren’t enough to help, I have plenty of backpacks I can use to haul stuff around the house.
Like the ice pack I’ll need. I found this brand works the best. The cold stays cold, it’s super flexible, and there is little risk of tearing. And if I use my laptop backpack, I can carry it from freezer to my spot on the couch.

The bigger dilemma will be food preparation and self-care.
Cook a bunch of meals and put in the freezer.
Do a Costco Run and buy all kinds of good things to freeze or have in pantry.
Stock up on staples and sundries.
Enlist help from friends to check on me, check on hubby, help with household stuff.

Drink lot’s of liquids: Water, Fresh Juice with lot’s of “mean green”  and Bone Broth all fresh made.
Take the right supplements: Immune support, Holy Basil Plus, Calcium, D3, and a multi
Make sure I eat lots of fibrous foods and get enough protein

Move! The doc’s office says they want me to move. They don’t want me sitting around.

Probably get a massage or two.

The big concern right now is how to help my disabled hubby get through this without crashing. He can’t do a fraction of what he wants to do on a good day. He’s not used to needing to help me. I fear the stress will be too much and I have no idea what to do about it.

They don’t teach this in business school. They don’t teach this in post grad school either. Somehow, either you think like a project manager or you don’t. I’ve got that ingrained in me. Drive people nuts when I think things through, but not much falls through the cracks. Thanks to Terry Umbreit, who taught us well.
 

Sticks, Stones, and Trigger Points

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Trigger Points

Sticks, Stones, and Trigger Points!  Trigger points are painful spots in your muscle that hurt like hell when you poke them. The tightly knotted muscles restrict your movement, hinder muscle activation, and flat out hurt. 


DISCLAIMER: I urge you to contact your physical therapist – or use mine. Erik Moen or any of his staff at CaporeSanoPT can assist if you are in the Seattle area. I am not claiming to be a skilled PT — I am merely sharing what tools are working for me. Feel free to try at your own risk.

I’ve discovered the road to lasting results requires daily work. No one but the elite can afford a daily massage. That’s why there is a billion dollar market on home exercise and recovery tools. To make home recovery work for you, it requires discipline, diligence and sticks, stones, and trigger point activation.

My story with chronic pain began 2 years ago. It was becoming debilitating. Simple walking became excruciating. I couldn’t sleep due to agonizing hip pain. Most of  you know me as a highly active lady who loves to move. I tried many things including 9 months of physical therapy. I just got worse.

Sticks and Stones: The right tools for the job make all the difference. Using them correctly helps too.

When Erik Moen, Owner of CaporeSanoPT, offered to help, I was thrilled.
Erik, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, spent an hour with me in his office and we enjoyed a ride later. His guidance is what turned the page for me.  Within 3 months, I enjoyed more mobility, had a sense of control, and could handle activities of daily living without debilitating pain. I’m still on the mend, but after 2 years of increased pain and limiting all activities, this is wonderful.

When it comes to physical therapy, don’t settle for second best. I finally found some videos online by Doctor Jo. 15 minutes on a balance ball, and I was on the road to recovery. If you can’t get to a PT, go to AskDoctorJo.com for your specific needs. Jo will answer questions via her Facebook page.

The things I continue to find most beneficial are in my toolkit. I may end up making a video, but for now, this is it.

The ToolKit:

I try to avoid buying tons of stuff. At a minimum, bet yourself a Tiger Tail Massage Stick. It’s a must have for working on legs, quads, shoulders… and it works best if you use it daily.

Sticks:
Erik recommended I use the Tiger Tail stick roller. I already own a stick, but he said this Tiger Tail is much nicer on your muscles. It is. It’s a bit softer but still plenty hard. I roll out my quads, IT Band, and adductors. I can do some sticky point stuff. And I can use it for a lot of other things. This stick is a bit softer, but most importantly, it’s working better.

I just ordered this quad roller after watching a video about how to work on the FAI pain that I have. It’s my hope that this better targets the quad, adductor, and hamstring – especially at the attachement point. We shall see… but it’s here for your consideration. I’ve heard great things.

Stones:
Tennis Balls, Golf Balls, Lacrosse Balls — or Get the Trigger Point Ball.
I used a couple tennis balls for years. I roll my shoulder and feet on them to gently massage and relax. A yoga teacher told me to use a golf ball. OMG – don’t do it. It hurts too much to sustain a practice with it. In fact, if you want credible help, don’t ask your yoga instructor. They know yoga and they are not educated in recovery. They may have some ideas, but unless trained as a PT, just listen to their yoga teaching and go to the right source. And if you are getting sharp pain, stop. Just stop.
I digress. Here’s the best trigger point balls:

And speaking of Balls, if you don’t have a Balance Ball, Click the image below and get one right now. The key to strong core and flexibility is with this huge ball. I use it daily for hip mobility, core strengthening, and plain fun.

Trigger Point Roller
And then there is the grandaddy of them all. The Trigger Point Core Roller. I think these take getting used to. I’ve had mine for a year.  It is my go to for getting all the kinks out. I’ve recently learned some more efficient and effective applications. Get the harder one from Trigger Point Therapy. The soft foam breaks down and doesn’t always do the trick.

The Balance Pad

Another tool Erik suggested a few years back is still one of my favorites. The Balance Pad by Airex is an easy way to activate the muscles that help your entire leg function well. Small reflex muscles that help you balance are activated by standing on this pad. I had a couple other balance platforms that I’ve since chucked.


 

And you can find it all here in this Amazon Shop I set up. Will do more later, but for now, this is the best way to shop.

http://astore.amazon.com/triggerpain-20

 

Where are Your Ducks?

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Or Find Your Zen Mode

Get Your Ducks In a Row

Your Ducks in a Row, they taught. They admonished. They berated.
It’s like saying to someone that if you can’t be perfect, don’t come home.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan — I heard it repeatedly throughout my life. It was my Dad’s favorite cliche and he used to encourage his sales team, then came home and told us the same thing. Echoing in my mind, in became a core part of my life.

Yours too, I bet. Because we are taught forever that we must have a plan and we must work that plan.

Well — this article is about Ducks.  Are they really ever going to stay in that perfectly aligned row?  Read my article, and know the truth about the darned ducks.

Where Are Your Ducks

My War with Chronic Pain

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It was about 1994.5570_feet_sand_1_0

The term wasn’t popularized and I didn’t care what it was called. I only knew I could barely walk, could barely get through a day. I forget. I don’t even connect with people who have fibro or other immune issues. My pain was different. There was a tangible, obvious, root cause.

BEWARE the Popular Diagnosis?

I’d been in chronic pain for 3 or 4  years following a car accident that affected my entire left side. The pain would start Read More→

Can You Feel It?

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There has been a lot of noise of late about peoples opinions on various illnesses and diseases.

I’m sad about this whole thing. I can easily see how Robin Williams could succumb to the darkness. People spew all kinds of stuff about happy happy joy joy — but everyone of us is human. And as humans, it is every bit as normal to be sad as it is to be happy. IN TRUTH, you can’t feel real joy if you can’t feel real sadness.

I’m disgusted by the cold hearted comments about depression, chronic illness, and long term illness. I’m angered by a man whom, when I responded kindly to his claims that these diseases are not a tragedy but a choice, blasted me with a hateful comment that started by saying “Bullshit – you don’t know what you are talking about” — My heart was in the right place, but he can’t feel it. The ignorant have loud voices and hostile behavior only to cover their ignorance and naiveté.

What’s got me in a tailspin this week is not that this person matters to me personally, but that he might represent the majority. I fear it’s true. I know how cold people can be. It’s the kind of cold and calloused attitude that literally stops people from reaching out. It’s stopped me! 

It’s reminded me that I grew up believing I should suffer in silence, find a way to pull myself up and just buck up and take it like the dynamic and strong woman I am supposed to be. I didn’t know how to be any different until I finally learned.  It took years to let people in. I feel sadness for those who never open to the true joys of love and intimacy.

I do know what I’m talking about. I am the caregiver. I know what I am living with, watching, helping…. I see the demise of a wonderful man.
I know the financial and emotional devastation of long term illness — an illness that has no end, no treatment, no real cure that is known or common. Some days it’s like a slow walking death.

Often, we think losing an arm or a leg would be easier. Paralyzation would surely have it’s own problems, but there is plenty of help. Often we think Cancer would be better — there’s a better chance of recovery, a better known treatment, and a better quality of life. YES — I am serious!  Cancer ? Yeah there is a lot of help for the patient and the family, during and after treatment. And there is a lot more community support. Let’s face it – there is big money in fundraising for causes — and cancer is a big one.

But I know most people won’t get that, won’t want to understand, and surely won’t believe – because it’s scary as all hell and there is nothing that your words will do to fix it.

I know well the damage that stupid words cause. I know too well the pain uncaring idiots inflict when they play their ego strings hoping to make others hurt because they too hurt. I know that to many, invisible illnesses don’t count in the world of sickness and devastation.

I don’t want to let that one ignorant man ruin me — but it hurts. It shocks.  And what I need to know is that there are more good people out there who truly have hearts – who truly care – who have it in them to reach out to us. Because dammit – in the throes of this madness, it is just hard to reach out to others – especially when there are people like Gary Cotton, Rush Limbaugh, and a few other cruel trolls running around.

Indeed, what I need to know is that love is more powerful than hate, that acceptance is stronger than rejection, that people do care and are able to extend a little love instead of waiting for those hurting to ask for it.

When you find something you love, you need to share it.

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They say in 12 step rooms that in order to keep it, you have to give it away. When it comes to matters of the spirit, matters of the healing soul, I find this to be true.
So here — I wish to keep this, so I am sharing the meditations I am loving most.

I’m hopeful that anyone challenged with life threatening, life sucking illnesses can find their path to healthy whole living once again. I believe that you can. I believe that you are powerful, mindful, and able. It may not be in your desired time, but you will find your way. You may move through this time to find that there is a gift within this madness – a treasure to cling to that comes from within.

I know I have. I know that my treasures are not of physical form. I know I’ve come through to be a guide to others. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from it. But I also know that through my trevails came a different kind of love and a different kind of strength.

Some have said it’s bs – some have said it’s just soft stuff. Hell, I’ve been turned away from jobs because I was told “you are too soft” and all I could do was laugh. Yeah, right! Soft? Those who don’t see the strength behind compassion, kindness, and empathy are perhaps weak themselves. Those who don’t see the strength are then threatened when the bulldog comes out. I’ve often wondered about this,for those who wish for us to roll over to their demands get awfully hostile when we refuse. You can’t make this stuff up. Somehow, when chronic illness threatens to destroy a life, everyone involved changes. Things come into perspective.

It takes great strength to remain loving, hopeful, and kind when slammed into the reality that somethings are just out of our control. Only when the strong crumble into a ball of tears, do they find the true strength. That – my friends – is you.

The bravado? The Tough Act? The hard nosed, bullish demanding ways of some? That’s the B.S.

Don’t be afraid to be You.
Dare to Be YOU. In all your soft, loving, kind, and brave ways — Be YOU.

And then you know.

It’s not drama: It’s life!

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Who do you want to be?

We can all get drawn in emotionally. That’s why reality tv is so popular. People avoiding their own lives by watching the lives of others.

I’ve noticed several posts on Facebook of late about how to avoid other people’s drama.  In reality, its how we choose to listen and validate others. Or not. See, I grew up feeling that emotional anything was wrong. I grew up believing that any show of emotion was weakness. I’m not going into how I got that way. I will say that by the time I was 35, it was no longer working to keep a hard shell around me. And it took many years to learn to be my real self.

I ask you: Is it healthy to label real life as DRAMA?
When real things happen to you, your friends, your family — are you shutting them out and shoving them away because it’s too dramatic?

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Releasing the Ancient Wounds Opens the Gateway

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TRUE PROSPERITY?

It’s not about money and it’s not about the perfect body.

My health coaching is evolving and with it so am I. It’s pretty clear: At some point, we just know that it’s not so much about food. We can change our diets. We can add exercise. We can detox all year round. Until we open the floodgates and let the bad out, we don’t have room for the good unless we expand. So — let’d do something about it.

We can’t fix the past. No one can. We can talk about till we are bored silly with our own stories. We can spend tens of thousands over decades of ‘talk therapy’ and find that the sore spots still fester at a simple trigger. What’s the trigger point? It could be a voice, seeing a name, seeing  an advertisement, hearing someone else’s pain….or just that unconscious mental moment.

Let’s get rid of this stuff, eh?

Five Steps to Releasing and Revitalizing YOU

RECOGNIZE

REMOVE

REPLACE

RENEW

REFUEL

Yes, YOU CAN.

So Can I. And if I can YOU SURE CAN.

Want to try it out? Call me for a single session. If you love it, you can sign up for a package. It works. I’m working it.

Love you all.

Nancy

Essentials: Do the Essential Oils do more harm than good?

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rosesfromrickEssential Oils anyone?

For chemical sensitives and scent wary people, please be ware. These scents are highly concentrated. Even if they are organic, they can wreak havoc on your system. I know. The worst asthma attack of my life came on strong as a fellow yogi entered the studio with what seemed like a bottle of Rose Essential Oil emanating out from him to fill the entire studio with ROSE.  Instant, harsh, and nearly debilitating asthma attack for me.  There is so much more about these oils. It’s not just you they are treating. I came to understand something that only an energy aware person will get. Read More→

Strokes: Foods that help; foods that don’t

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DadMy husband’s cousin had a stroke the other day. As we send Steve and his family love, I am reminded of all we did after my Dad’s serious stroke.

What we know is that his healthy living habits included healthy foods, exercise 5 days a week, a lot of fun and love of life! The strange thing is it wasn’t a change in diet that helped him. I don’t think he even changed his diet. He’d already lost 70 pounds, was exercising regularly . Dad was part of the original Fitness Inc. gang that jogged through downtown Seattle. Dad was already a fitness nut in 1985!  Yeah, that long ago. Why he had a stroke is not clear, but it is clear that what set the stage for a near full recovery was those same healthy habits.

Dad was my inspiration for most things in life. I can hear him now: Go do it! Chase after what you want. Don’t give up – fight for it!  He fought back hard and found great recovery. Dad is still my man! The words below are focused on what you might find informative if you or your loved one suffer a stroke. As a caregiver, you will need to eat well, get enough rest, get a break, and take care of yourself.
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