Henry Warner continues to make what he considers to be amazing progress. I am now freely walking as far as I wish with no limp and no pain. That is not to say, though, that I am 100% back to normal. My leg is still a little stiff when I get up from sitting a long time. Also, while I can easily get into and out of bed, my leg tends to stiffen over night such that it aches slightly when I wake up. But the stiffness and aching are markedly improved over the early days after the operation and they tend to disappear quickly once I get moving.
After the end of the third week I even found that it was easy to turn in bed and sleep on my stomach. Yay! This was a big relief of sorts in that I found it difficult and unnatural to sleep on my back. I have to sleep with my operated leg extended, but even so, it’s much better to be able to sleep on my stomach.
On the day after the completion of my third week, I even went dancing. Jill and I attended a 40th wedding anniversary in Seattle for our future in-laws and there was dancing at the event. I’m no John Travolta to begin with and I was a bit hesitant to even try, as I didn’t want an unpleasant surprise, but I had absolutely no issues. I didn’t get too carried away with any showcase moves, but I danced several songs before retiring. Most of the people who knew of my operation were surprised to see me out there on the dance floor. I have to stress that I did not push myself at all. It felt natural and comfortable.
At three and half weeks, on a balmy, sunny day, I went for a ride on my bicycle for my first post-operation outdoor ride. Admittedly I rode a fairly flat course that contains a few rolling hills, and my ride was short – only 13 miles, but I felt good! I cycled through all my gears, stood up on the pedals several times and unclipped a couple of times at stop signs. All with no issues and no next-day after-effects.
In an earlier blog I described how I initially (and gingerly) mounted my stationary bicycle from the right side in order to not have to swing my operated leg over the seat. Well, I am long past that. I can mount the stationary bike, as well as my road bike, from the normal left side and swing my operated leg over the seat without a problem.
I want to touch on several items that I reported earlier as issues or concerns. For the first several days, the foot on my operated leg tended to turn inwards when I walked. I am happy to report that this has ceased to be an issue. I also reported that I felt a pinching around my hip when I first walked at home after leaving the hospital. This stopped being an issue early on – within the first week. The clunking that I reported in an early posting has dramatically improved. I still get an occasional “clunk” sensation, but it is only very occasionally and the magnitude of the clunk is hardly noticeable. I can tell that this is well on its way to being a non-issue, as Dr. Pritchett predicted to me at the two week checkup.
My workouts continue to ramp up in intensity. I have progressed to riding my indoor training bike through the full gear range. I’m not riding as hard as before the operation, but I am definitely riding harder than the first couple of weeks, were I just lightly pedaled in a small gear. I am also doing most of the weight lifting maneuvers I was doing before the operation. The two exceptions are dead lifts and squats. Due to the 90 degree consideration, it is not practical to do these two lifts. I am doing leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf-raises with about 85% of my pre-operation weights, so I am able to get a decent leg strength workout.
I do not want anyone to get the impression that I am doing anything special or magical to speed up my recovery. I am also not making any claims of being a superman or a super athlete. I attribute my speedy recovery to the remarkable job that Dr. Pritchett did in operating on me. I think my physical activity program is contributing to my progress, but I am only being active to the extent that I feel comfortable.
I am still taking aspirin daily, as my instructions were to continue this for the first four weeks for the blood thinning effect. However, I am taking nothing for pain, not even acetaminophen. Quite simply, that’s because Henry Warner is not having any pain.