The first week of August I went back and forth between not using my crutch and using it. I mean, my crutch had TRULY become a CRUTCH!
I relied on it.
I felt like I needed it.
But, listening to my body, I knew it was time I could give it up and that I really didn’t need it.
So, by the second week of August 2015, I put my crutch in the back seat of my car and only pulled it out occasionally. And guess what – as the month went on, that crutch seemed to get less and less action! Now, I only pull it out if I know I’ll be doing a TON of walking (like say going to a football game or walking around Downtown).
When I think about all the things I’ve done this past month I actually tear up because it’s been an amazing month. One that I can hardly wrap my brain around because it’s been SO freaking long since I did most of it.
10 Amazing Things I Did 5 Months Post Regenexx
1. Concert with 1 crutch
Ok, you might be saying, well wait. I thought you were celebrating the fact that you HAVEN’T been using your crutch. But this concert involved a decent amount of walking. I had to walk an entire football field to get to our seats and then back at the end. So I was SO happy that I did have my crutch. BUT, having said that… there are 2 other important things to note. 1) I wasn’t in pain the next day and 2) I even got to dance a bit!!!! I stood like half the concert, when the guys ran to the other side of the stage, I’d sit down for a bit to allow my leg to rest. But, it definitely was a moment unlike anything I’ve experienced in the past 3+ years.
Side Note: Yes, it was the 1 Direction concert. I went with my 16-year-old cousin, we sat 7 rows from the stage and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was an awesome concert. I now get why all the girls have a crush on Harry… I get it.
2. Grocery Store Without Crutch
I do my grocery shopping between Trader Joe’s, Giant Eagle and Fresh Market. There is one woman who I tend to see a lot at Fresh Market and every time I’m there she usually checks me out. The first time I walked in there without a crutch she ran around the counter and gave me a big hug! It was so amazing to have someone else notice my success and congratulate me on it! (She’s definitely the type where if that location was on undercover boss I’d hope she’d get money or something haha!) I also go to this little health speciality food store by my house called Sunny Bridge. I walked in the other day and the woman who I always chat with started jumping up and down for me! She had the biggest smile on her face and was genuinely happy for me. Seriously, I was so pumped to go in and shop without my crutch, but these ladies were the icing on the cake!!!!!
The last time I was on an elliptical it was at the Chattanooga Sheraton gym while I was working there in 2012. We have one in our basement, which no one ever uses. (I was told that they didn’t want to use it in front of me to make me feel bad. :p HAHAHA!) Anyways, I’m starting slow and only doing 10 minutes at a time… BUT I’M DOING IT! I’m using the cardio machine and let me tell you, 10 minutes is enough haha! Whew, walking on crutches for 3 1/2 years will get you out of shape!
4. Walk In The Park
I took a walk.. in the park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even remember the last time I did that. As I started walking I seriously teared up. The things we take for granted… Watch my short 15 sec video here from my Instagram feed!
5. Walk In My Neighborhood
I started first walking in the park because it was flat, but then I moved on to my neighborhood. My neighborhood is full of hills, so I won’t go very far, but I’m working my way up. It’s amazing how much my glutes and hips hurt after taking a short walk up and down some hills!
6. Balancing Yoga Poses
For the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve been told to not balance only on my left leg. Reason being, I was trying to preserve my bone from completely collapsing. Well! Now I’m able to do balancing poses on my left leg. Starting slow, but I’m allowing myself to do a bit more each week. As we age, we lose balance. Well, being on crutches for so long definitely doesn’t help that fact. I’m regaining balance… it’s slowly coming back!
7. Benedum Center With No Crutch
This trip was the beginning of several where I would go out or go downtown without my crutch. I made it from the parking garage, to dinner, to our seats and then all the way back to the parking garage with no problems whatsoever! I haven’t had an event like that in a longggggg time.
8. Morgantown Visit (TWICE!)
We moved my brother into college in Morgantown, WV and I made it through the whole process, plus a walk down High Street for lunch, with out my crutch. Don’t worry – I didn’t carry anything 😉 I just supervised. We also went down about 2 weeks later and again, I walked down High Street without my crutch. The last time I was there (and actually wrote this post about it) I had crutched my way up High Street!
9. Ran Around For An Entire Day
Having chronic pain from the avascular necrosis PLUS having psoriatic arthritis (which the inflammation sucks my energy!) I’ve had to be selective in what I do. On any given day, I could pick about 2 things to exert my energy towards and that’d be it. That’s why I’m still out on disability as my body just hasn’t been able to handle a constant lifestyle yet. But, slowly over the last year my energy has been going up and my fatigue has been going down. It’s hard to say if it’s from the AVN stem cell procedure, but I can definitely say that my energy has increased 10 fold in the past 6 months. Could it be that I’ve found the key to controlling it via my diet and lifestyle, or is it because I’m off of a lot of my medications or is it because the Regenexx procedure has helped regrown my bone aka cutting down inflammation and pain and that’s what has helped. It’s hard to say, but I truly believe all 3 have contributed to my success.
I swear everybody planned EVERYTHING for August 29th, 2015 and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make most of the events. BUT! With some careful planning, I actually made it to all events – 3 parties + a mass for my Grandpa! I took it easy the next day and let my body rest, but I was so happy with my body for keeping up!
10. Last PT Appointment
One of my biggest beefs with medical insurance is the process they have for physical therapy. I think it’s ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS that they stop patients from attending PT. SO MANY procedures could be avoided, medications eliminated and total health care costs decreased… but hey, what do I know.
I was happy that I got 5 months of PT visits out of my insurance. Not that they made it super easy though. I still had to pay $35 EACH visit and I was denied NUMEROUS times. Thankfully I have a great therapist and I’m empowered enough to know that calling and disputing the denials can help gain visits.
I started off in the pool and continued to do water therapy up until my last appointment on August 31st. The last 3 weeks I added in a day on ‘land’ and did strength exercises in their gym. I feel confident in my own abilities to keep up my therapy on my own. I’m an avid yogi and try to exercise to SOME extent most days. Therefore, I know I’ll continue building muscle and strength from here on out.
My therapists have been amazing and I was really sad to have my last appointment because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing them twice a week! (See my reaction post appointment here!)
At the end of 6 months (Sept 2015) I’ll be getting an MRI to see how the bone is growing, so the next month or two should be interesting! (Read the results of that MRI here!)
But if you ask me how it’s going? I’d have to say that it’s definitely working – EXTREMELY WELL!
Sure, my hips have been sore and my knees have been a bit more swelling than they did before this month. But man, look above and see all of the wins I’ve had this month! A little bit of pain, discomfort and swelling is to be expected when you haven’t done most of these things for 3 years!
The past month has been the best month I’ve had in a really, really long time 🙂
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!