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#13 Big Motivation for Hip Rehab

I admit it. I can be as lazy as anyone else. It would be easy to just do "good enough" rehab. But, I had some serious motivation to do the best that I could!

In celebration of my son's graduation from a master's degree program, his twin sister, my husband and I wanted to go on a trip together. We are unusual perhaps in that we get along and travel well together as a family. We enjoy a mix of visiting natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural venues. After it was determined that a) I survived the surgery; b) Dr. Murphy thought travelling would be ok for me three months post-surgery; and c) I was on target with my rehabilitation process, we decided we should go ahead and plan a trip. Different parts of the world and different itineraries were proposed, but ultimately we chose southern Spain/Andalusia and Morocco.

Weeks 6--12 of my rehab involved continuing to seek educated eyes and minds to move me and my hip along so I would feel confident about going on this 10-day trip. I am eternally grateful to my movement therapy colleagues Kim Kaufman and Paula Josa-Jones, my osteopath Andrew Goldman, my PTs Victoria Guy and Jill Esterson, and my Pilates friends Violet Eagen, Sarah Beth Percival, and Ryoko Kudo for their expertise and advice. Dr. Goldman in particular assessed me top to bottom, and was deeply reassuring that my tissues were healed enough to do the trip.

This brings me to essential concept of body confidence. I have noticed it eroding little-by-little since I turned 50. Yes, the fact is that as we age our vision and hearing often gets worse, our muscles lose strength, and our feet and ankles can become stiffer and less able to adapt to changes in the surfaces we walk on. After I had some version of Lyme disease in 2006, my vision in one eye and my hearing in one ear became compromised. Also, it seems I might be inheriting my mother's arthritic feet.

When I was young, every summer I used to run along the top of a jetty on one side of Sesuit Harbor on Cape Cod. To my dismay I can't do that anymore. I don't have the body confidence to do it. (But I never say never! If I made up my mind to spend another whole summer on Cape Cod and walk on the jetty every day, I bet I could get faster and more confident!).

The process of reclaiming my leg and hip functions has been a definite challenge to my body confidence. At the get-go I felt pretty confident about moving on a bed or in a chair, but standing and moving through space required absolute concentration! I believe this process has helped to sensitize me to how it feels to be an elder, always needing to be alert to uneven ground or objects that could trip you up! One of my recent "firsts" has been walking down my long, pot-holey gravel driveway without looking down. I was finally able to trust my body to navigate that treacherous terrain without my looking at it, just the way I used to do it.

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