Learnings From My Recent Hip Surgery
Last updated: September 2022
Six months ago I had to undergo hip surgery to fix some long-term issues which caused me a lot of pain and limitations in my movement and exercise routine. You can find the article on how I prepared for it here.
Now I wanted to share with you some of my learnings, as I think they can apply for any type of challenging physical situation, whether it is a surgery, an injury or an intense AS flare.
Accept the unexpected
While I prepared for the surgery as best as I could, I wasn’t prepared for what would happen post-surgery. The first days at the hospital were some of the most painful times I’ve had in a really long time - or even ever. At this point there wasn’t much in my control or much I could do to improve the pain. Three weeks post-surgery, I was hit with complications and later diagnosed with a rare condition called CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This was a scary moment for me, as I didn’t know how long this would last. Luckily, we were able to get control over it quickly and things returned to normal after a few weeks. Here again, the best I could do was accept the situation and focus on the next steps.
Patience is key
Biggest learning? Patience, patience, patience! Such an important part of the healing journey. I wouldn’t consider myself a patient person, perhaps that’s the athlete in me, who is used to wanting things fast and now, especially when it comes down to physical abilities and returning to sports.
However, over the past months, I have really tried to embrace being patient. The mind is so powerful over the body, so if I can align my expectations and cultivate patience, self-kindness and self-compassion, I know I can support my body’s healing process. My meditation practice was important here to continue to work on my inner calmness, which helped me change my perspective through the challenges.
Trust the process
Trusting that things will go back to normal and that I will be stronger and more resilient after this challenge.
Taking it one step at a time, one milestone at a time has kept me motivated throughout the process.
What did it look like for me? Going from crutches to no crutches, slow walking to doing elliptical again, not being able to lift my leg to doing squats again, all in their own time. My body always showed me when it was ready for more, and I trusted this intuition.
A surgery is a big trauma and stress on the body, so it’s normal that it will need time to recover fully and that there will be ups and downs. It’s part of every healing journey. I also remind myself why I did the surgery in the first place, and what benefits I will gain from it once I’m fully recovered. Running again without pain, finding the joy in playing tennis again, doing all the yoga postures that I want to do. And the list goes on.
Do you notice worsening flares in colder weather?