Two Weeks Post Op

Well, I can’t quite believe it’s been 2 weeks since I sat in the hospital, waiting for surgery. If I’m honest, it feels like it was months ago because the days go so slowly sometimes, but wow has so much changed in a short period of time.

Recovery has been…up and down, or like a rollercoaster, as my friend described it. The first week was a lot better than the second, which I didn’t expect. I found out that the third week is where the bone is doing a lot of its healing and can be more painful – thanks to Emma, aka my hip surgery/hospital buddy, for that bit of info! Emma messaged me a few days after surgery, on Instagram, saying she in the room next to, the same day, having the same surgery as me! I’m so glad she messaged because we’ve not stopped chatting/comparing our experiences, since!! It’s nice to have someone else going through the same thing, at the same time as you. It’s reassuring and comforting to know that what we are both experiencing is all normal and part of the process. Unfortunately Emma is having her other hip operated on in a few weeks, but I’m super excited to meet her before she has her COVID test and self isolates!

Let’s rewind back to the first week for a moment…after arriving home, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. My movement was so slow that just going from one room to another was tricky. I had to think ahead of how to get around the kitchen without smacking the dog or the cupboards, with my crutches… I had the best FaceTime with Wendy and Grace, my goddaughter, which perked me up and I was able to sit/lay at a comfortable angle. As the evening drew in, I was desperate to shower and my gosh what a mission…mum had to help me with it all, from getting undressed to getting dressed again, once showered and dried. It was hard to bend down, a movement that was also not recommended, so lots of help with leggings, socks etc and shoes was needed over the next week.

My first night was mixed. It felt so good to be in my bed but I couldn’t lay on the side I wanted to/usually fall asleep on, my back and bum kept going numb and I was afraid to move too much. This was something that improved and a solid nights sleep came a good 2 weeks later…

Throughout the first few days I didn’t do much. Friends visited with gifts, flowers and cards were sent and I felt so loved and thought of. My boss dropped a very large box of fresh fruits, vegetables and bread round, from the market, which was so kind. I felt okay, my hip was a little sore and felt really stiff but had exercises to do and it wasn’t too painful. I still had the feeling of an elephant sitting on my thigh, but that soon disappeared. Things were going well, I felt good, and was embracing the rest.

My first weekend home, one of my best friends, Becky, came to stay. It was just what I needed. I hadn’t seen her in months, I was able to give her a massive hug and we spent the two days catching up, watching films and going out for brunch. Getting out of the house was also something I was craving. I wanted to see other people, different scenery and move a little, still on my crutches. When we said our goodbyes, it was hard, a feeling of being alone and trapped came over me, but I kind of expected a low after such a wonderful time.

The start of the second week was not so bright. Having not really felt “with it” for the past week, I hadn’t really realised what was happening and it soon occurred to me why I was feeling the way I was. My stomach wasn’t happy. I had a constant, dull, tummy ache, hardly any appetite and felt really nauseous. It then occurred to me that the anti inflammatories were the cause. I’d been taking them with food and an antacid to help them sit in my stomach easier but it wasn’t working. I felt rotten and decided on Tuesday to stop taking them. I hoped, deep down, that I wouldn’t have this issue but I have the most sensitive stomach, that even taking ibuprofen is a no go. On Wednesday, I was booked in for my first physio appointment but it lasted all of 10 minutes because I felt so unwell, that I then spent the next 20 minutes chatting with the pharmacist and consultant making a plan. I remember walking out of the hospital feeling rather robbed of my session, hundreds of unanswered questions floating around my mind and a bit deflated.

The rest of the week was pretty much a right off too. Christine came to visit me, who I used to work with, and bought me some yummy food. It was wonderful to see her and catch up for a bit. Mum dragged me out to town for a little stroll and coffee, just to get a bit of fresh air and change of scene. I felt so wiped out and was trying to stay as positive as I could, but I couldn’t help feeling quite down. I nestled into a few shows on Netflix, Charlie got takeaway for us one evening and we watched the Friends Reunion, my Granny and brother came to visit and finally, the sun made an appearance.

The long bank holiday was certainly welcomed with open arms because it meant I could see a few more friends. Caroline came to visit me, along with another friend and I was invited out for lunch. I managed to walk 30 minutes without crutches, which felt good. The weather was incredible and the plus was, I was starting to feel better.

Reaching the 2 week post op mark and it was time to have the stitches removed. Another step in recovery and one I was ready for. The wound felt tight and uncomfortable and I was interested to see what was lying under the bandages. The nurse was really gentle and slow, as the stitches had been tied quite tightly, and to my surprise, there was no bruising around the incisions. I slowly made my down to the riverside and joined mum for a coffee, after.

Now, the last few days haven’t been the best. I’ve been quite sore, more than normal and I’m not sure if it was due to having two days of being quite active or whether everything is healing inside – both I suspect after seeing the physio yesterday. It went well but was quite full on, lots of movement, muscle release and massage. I am sore today but it also felt good to release my tight glutes, be reassured everything is doing well and that I’m doing great. Still early days and still taking it easy, the third week is apparently where everything inside begins to heal that bit more, so stiffness is likely but movement encouraged.

Throughout the past two weeks, I couldn’t say enough thank yous to my mum for literally driving me everywhere, doing a lot for me and supporting me with all areas of this recovery, and more. I am so beyond grateful for her and literally have no idea what I would do without her!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and this week has flow by for you! Here’s to hoping the sun comes back out because this chilly, rainy weather is not welcome!

Thanks for reading, as always! E

Emma xx

Hip Arthroscopy Surgery

About 6/7 years ago, I had surgery on my right hip to repair a labral tear – torn edges of muscle that cause symptoms like a catching to clunking sensation, inside the groin and at times, painful with every movement/exercise I did. I was very happy, I felt fixed and a new person.

Fast forward to last summer, which was when I started noticing the same symptoms on my left and decided to get it investigated sooner rather than later. I was quickly referred by my GP to the physiotherapy/orthopaedic department and waited for an assessment. Via a phone call, I spoke with the physio and she gave me some exercises to try over a period of a few weeks, after which we would chat again and see how I was getting on. Whilst the physio was lovely, so helpful and the exercises she gave were good, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling of knowing they weren’t doing much and the catching/pinching sensation was still very much there.

A few weeks later we spoke again, and decided it would be good idea to get an x-ray and an MRI to see what’s going on inside. I did have to wait a few weeks/month or so between the x-ray and MRI, but in the current circumstances with Covid, I expected and accepted this.

I was extremely lucky to be cared for at the local private hospital, all through the NHS. I was seen before Christmas to have my MRI and then waited about 6-8 weeks before getting the results and seeing one of surgeons physiotherapists/team. It was clear, from the MRI, that there was a tear, along with a FAI (femoroacetabular impingement). FAI are small bumps that form on the ball of the hip joint and cause damage/tearing of the cartilage (labrum), making it worse. It was good to chat with the physio, who had two options for me – a steroid injection or surgery to repair. From having the steroid injection on my right hip, and it not doing much, I didn’t see the point of going the same route with this and decided to jump straight to the surgery/repair option. We spoke about the procedure and recovery process, and my funding letter was written and sent to another department for approval. Now the waiting game began.

In total, I had to wait about 4 months from MRI results/chat to the surgery date. I have to say, I have been so impressed with how everything has been dealt with. I was kept up to date throughout the whole process and made sure I was comfortable with everything going on.

A week before surgery, I was sent an email with a slideshow of what to expect when going into hospital, the procedure itself, during my stay and after surgery/recovery. Usually this would be done at the hospital but with covid, they are only allowing patients with appointments, into the hospital. Two days before surgery, I had to get a covid test and then self isolate. I thought I’d find this really hard but weirdly I enjoyed staying at home, because I had to and was thankful for the yoga and Pilates class that were still being taught through zoom!

Before I know it, the day had arrived and the nerves were creeping in…I had to eat a light breakfast before 7.30am, and from then until my admission time at 12.30pm, clearly fluids only. My mum was great at keeping me distracted and I made a few loaves of bread to keep busy!!! We arrived at the hospital, mum gave me a big hug and I headed in alone. My temperature taken and all checked in, I sat in reception waiting to be taken to my room.

Once settled into my room, and the nurses came to check my in/ask questions, all was becoming quite real. I’d spoken to the anaesthetist, chosen my breakfast for the next morning and was left to it. I’m so thankful to all of you who messaged me and kept my occupied! I watched a film, which helped the hours tick by too. At around 1.30pm, I was told I could drink water until 3.30pm and that’s when I thought, “great, I’ll be seen shortly after then!”…little did I know it wouldn’t be until 6pm that I would be taken down to the operating theatre.

My nurse walked me down and settled me into the pre-op room. I was shaking, because I was now really nervous, so they covered me in warm blankets and wrapped my feet in cotton wool wraps (weird but SO cozy!) and I was prepped for surgery. I don’t even remember the conversation I was having with the anaesthetist but it wasn’t long before I was out like a light!

Just over two hours later, I remember waking up, wrapped in a big heated blanket (known as the bear hugger) with nurses by my side. I vaguely remember the surgeon telling me everything went well, and after that have no recollection of the journey back to my room! Once back in there, I woke again and had help changing into my own pj’s and attempted to eat something, but really I was ready to sleep!

The night was how I expected, not much sleep and lots of being woken. My blood pressure was super low, so I wasn’t allowed to get up and out of my bed until the very early hours of the morning. I was so desperate to use the bathroom and my bum/back had gone numb, that after begging the nurse, she finally let me get up. It felt good, albeit sore and extremely stiff feeling, to move, however once I got back into bed, I went a little down hill. My blood pressure dropped and I felt extremely clammy and nauseas all of a sudden. I was laid back down, given oxygen for a while and not allowed to sit back up until breakfast time.

Once I’d eaten, I was able to get up and washed/dressed and wait to be discharged. The surgeon came by to give me an update of how it went. It was a little worse than he initially thought and so was in there for longer than expected, but he was happy with everything. I’ll go back in 6 weeks to see him for a check up. Whilst waiting for my prescriptions from the pharmacy, the physiotherapists came round to take me out on my crutches and show me/make sure I could go up and down the stairs safely. I was welcomed back into my room with a coffee and the nurses helped pack my bags. Part of me didn’t want to leave because I was comfy and taken such great care of, but equally I couldn’t wait to get home to my own bed and see my parents!

At midday I was given the go ahead that I could leave and rang my mum to come collect me. She had to wait outside and I was brought down by the nurse to meet her. I couldn’t wait for that hug!

Home and settled, recovery could now begin. Movement for the first few days was hard. My leg felt sore and so stiff. I had the local anaesthetic still in it, it was double the size and felt like an elephant was constantly sat on me. Movement was encouraged and sitting for too long was/is still uncomfortable. I’ve got a few exercises to do, which are pretty simple and easy and will have my first physiotherapy appointment next Wednesday. I have crutches and am not allowed to drive for 2 weeks or any sport/exercise, except get on a bike. To be honest, nothing appeals to me right now!

Without a doubt, I am so glad I decided to get this sorted and can’t thank the doctors, nurses and all staff at the hospital for being so kind, gentle and taking such great care of me! I’m grateful for the NHS and everything it has done, especially during these tricky times, but they’ve managed so so well.

I also want to thank each and every single one of you who has wished me good luck, sent flowers, card and gifts, a speedy recovery and for putting a smile on my face. It doesn’t take the pain away but it certainly makes me feel less alone and a lot better.

Please feel free to ask any questions and areas I may not have covered. I plan to do a few more posts as I recover, which I hope you’ll enjoy but please don’t feel you have to read!

Hope you’ve all had a good weekend. Here’s to hoping the better and warmer weather appears soon…!

Much love,

Emma xx

RunThrough U.K. Newbury 10k

Saturday was everything. A REAL race, not virtual, around a real course, not my usual route, and with other runners/friends, not local walkers/runners/dog walkers/neighbour and her horses.

I honestly felt quite nervous during the drive, not to do with covid, but because it had been so long since I’d be in a race environment. I have to take my hat off to RunThrough U.K. for this event though, because they really did a great job with putting together such a fun day but also with the covid side of things. There was social distancing, monitoring of bathroom queues and keeping movement of start waves at a safe distance throughout the morning.

I was excited to run this course again because last time, it was freezing cold, the heavens opened half way with thunder and lighting, and by the time I got to the finish line, I was a drowned rat! This year, it was the total opposite! Beautiful blue skies, warm, the sun was shining and I’d regretted wearing my long sleeve top!

I arrived with a good amount of time and alongside Elisa, Charlie and Tam, we made our way to the event village to get ready for our 11am start. Charlie and Tam had a few miles to do before hand, so Elisa and I waved them off and went to wait for the warm up. A week before the race we had been sent out bib and chip tag in the post, so we didn’t have to worry about collecting on the day. After a fun warm up, full of some fun breakdance type moves, we shuffled ourselves over to the long line of cones spaced 2 metres apart, both length and width ways, ready to start.

Slowly moving our way to the start line, we set off in groups of 4 and not too quickly. I decided to hold back a bit with Charlie and Tam, as Elisa bolted off ahead of us. I wasn’t going for a time, I just wanted to have fun and see how the hip was going to hold up. As I warmed up, I pushed the pace a little and left Charlie and Tam, but I was happy with this. I continued the course on my own and had the best time. I was enjoying the moment, smiling at the volunteers, having the odd chat with other runners and soaking up the sunshine.

Before I knew it, I was being cheered towards the finish line by the most enthusiastic man, who really made me smile hard and feel good, and Elisa. I can’t tell you how great it felt to cross that finish, having that proud feeling of completing the race, run through me – a real runners high – which I feel I’m still riding now! I grabbed my medal and made my way to the sideline to stand with Elisa and cheer in Charlie and Tam.

A few photos taken and a quick catch up with Guillaume, a Brooks Run Happy team member, and then off we shot to find coffee and food!

As we were leaving I spotted this quote on the board, and it’s really stuck with me…

“Don’t measure your progress using someone else’s ruler” – RunThrough U.K.

I am sure I will go back to it over the next few weeks and months. It’s going to be a challenge for me to not compare myself, my (non) running etc to others, as I take a step back for surgery. I’m nervous to let go of what base I’ve built and have, but I also know how quick it’ll come back (I hope) and how amazing the body is. Positive thoughts and a positive mind, and I’ll be back crossing finish lines in no time…🤞🏼

A massive congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, a special shout-out to Elisa – thank you for all the miles, laughs, smiles and fun this weekend and that you always being to our runs and walks, and last but not least, to RunThrough U.K. for making me feel safe and smile hard!

Have a great week everyone! Emma xx

Happenings 22.4.21

As always, inspired by the lovely lady, Heidi.

DOING: Sat on the kitchen table, in proper clothes, after a very wholesome week and weekend last week. Seeing friends I haven’t seen in months, alongside my birthday, was just the boost I needed.

HEARING: The birds singing outside and the radio.

DRINKING: Water with Nuun electrolytes in, as I’m feeling quite dehydrated and my favourite Pukka Turmeric tea. The warmer weather has taken me by surprise over the past week. I drink a lot, mainly water, but felt I needed the electrolytes.

EATING: Lentil crisps…I have a serious obsession with them, and so does Mungo…! Obviously sourdough bread, eggs and smoked salmon has reentered my life again. I’ve been loving making my own hummus, granola and roasting loads of veggies for salads.

WANTING: Time to slow down a little…can’t believe I’ve just said that. I feel right now that with my limited time, due to having a hip arthroscopy mid May, I’m trying to do as much as I comfortably can before I can’t.

LOOKING: Outside at the beautiful, sunny, blue sky. What a week of amazing weather its been, full of sunshine and warm temperatures! Heaven!

DECIDING: What loaf of dough/bread to make next. I got given a BEAUTIFUL bread book called ‘Tartine Bread’ for my birthday from a good friend, and it is dreamy! Full of SO many mouth watering photos and recipes, and some many different varieties of flour, that I can’t wait to try!

ENJOYING: Cycling. I never in a million years did I expect to be cycling as much, or as far, as I am right now. After my friend VERY kindly built me a bike, the adventures have been endless. I love the fact I can travel SO far and see so much and not feel entirely ruined (until the end anyway…!) I also joined in on my first group ride with a local cycling club, and loved it!!! I can’t wait to go back!

PLANNING: The next few weeks of fun, around work, with friends and family. Lots of runs, cycle rides, walks, meet ups have been planned and I’m looking forward to each and every one of them.

WATCHING: The new series of Call the Midwife! I absolutely love this programme – its what Sunday evenings are all about! Also Line of Duty, Keeping Faith, Grey’s Anatomy, Unforgotten (which has now finished but I HIGHLY recommend!) And for when my concentration levels are basically 0, ‘Friends’, on Netflix.

READING: Not much at the moment. If I’m honest, I’ve abandoned my book recently, as I just climb into bed and fall fast asleep. I’m not complaining, but I would like to read more. Something I’m sure I’ll have lots of time to get back into in the next few weeks.

WEARING: Leggings, tunics, spring colours and obviously all the active wear…!

BUYING: From small and local/independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Be it vegetables, fruit, eggs, gifts, I’m trying to do my part and help them all get back on their feet. Otherwise, not a great deal.

CRAVING: Cold fruit…random I know!

LOVING: This sunny, warm weather we are currently experiencing. Here in the U.K. we are in our second week of easing out of our third lockdown. Non essential shops have opened, we can go to the hairdresser and get our nails done, and meet with friends, eat, drink outside at restaurants, cafes and pubs. I think the weather is definitely showing how happy we all feel about the easing!

PLAYING: Survive the next 3 weeks of work and save all the money I can. I won’t lie, I’m feeling pretty exhausted, but the show must go on!

SAVOURING: These next 3 weeks of running and cycling with friends, walking(!) and being mobile/able to drive and be out and about before I can’t be.

FEELING: Tired. Always tired. Nervous, full of fear, overwhelmed. Equally, I am happy, grateful and thankful for so very much. For my family and my wonderful friends. And you. Whoever you are reading this, thank you for reading, following and your support.

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you are well and enjoying a little bit of normality now that we are able to do more!

Emma xx

Hello!

Well hello there friends! I want to start by apologising for not posting until now. Only 2 months into 2021 and what a year it’s been already. I guess you could say this is a bit of a life update, with some exciting happenings included, so that’s what we’ll go with!

The year, as you may know if you follow me on social media, didn’t quite start off on the right foot. I found out I need hip surgery and another lockdown started. Unfortunately I expected the hip surgery, as I’ve had the same done on the right hand side a few years ago. The symptoms started mid spring last year and I shrugged it off, until I decided to nip whatever was going on, in the butt early. An MRI and consult later, keyhole surgery is on the table but I’m still unsure of when because of Covid causing some delays. I’m still running and doing what I can, and am comfortable doing, which I plan to continue to do until I can’t. Alongside that and like everyone, this lockdown is getting to a point of being quite boring and repetitive, but with many vaccines being rolled out everyday, there is a small glimmer of hope that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope anyway.

I feel extremely grateful and truly thankful to be of this team. Not only is running a massive part of my life, more than just putting one foot in front of the other and to stay fit and healthy, but to also know some of the kindest, supportive, funniest, friendliest people I have met and call them my friends. Some I have yet to meet, and some I am lucky to meet in person in the week, they are all so supportive and I miss them a lot!

Now onto some exciting news, again as many of you may know from following me, I’m excited to announce that I am part of the Brooks Run Happy Team for 2021! After a rather different, than planned, 2020, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to spend this year together in person, rather than on zoom! Big fingers crossed for this, and to be amongst other running/friends and family again!

Last week, we received our first kit drop of 2021 and what a fun, and as always creative one, it was!

Inside I received my favourite Brooks shoes – the Adrenaline GTS 21 – THE comfiest and most supportive shoe I have ever ran in! I love wearing them for my long (er) runs and have ran all my marathons and ultras in them! I can’t recommend enough! Alongside the shoes was a super snuggly jumper and buff – both very handy in the very chilly weather we’ve been having!

Last Sunday, I took the shoes out for a spin – admittedly not on my long run, but a lovely 4 mile plod alongside my favourite podcast. It felt great and can I just say what a lovely, spring colour these are!! Definitely helping brighten up these dull, winter lockdown days!

As always, I am extremely thankful to Brooks for gifting me all of the amazing shoes and kit!

So there we have it, unfortunately nothing else to report on just yet. No planning is being done, taking everyday/week as it comes and trying to stay positive. Looking for something in everyday to keep me going and smiling, something the whole team is helping me with.

Sending much love and virtual hugs to you all. Not long, I hope, until we will hopefully be out of this, but until we are, know that my inbox is always open to each and every single one of you!

Stay well, and warm, and care of yourself!

Emma xx