Warning, x-rays included at the end of this post.

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. That happens for one of two reasons. Either there’s nothing to write about, or I’m too busy to write. My excuse is the latter. I started 2 big projects for work at the same time and in the middle of them, Steve and I were gone for 4 days. It was not the best time for a trip, but my dad was turning 70 and we wanted to surprise him and my mom with a visit. I don’t think either of them would have thought me able to travel yet, so it made the surprise that much better.

My brother and sister conspired with us. My brother and sister-in-law picked us up and we stayed the night at their house. My sister and brother-in-law had the challenging task of making sure their 3 boys (ages 6, 10, and 13) did not spoil the surprise. Everyone was having dinner at my parents’ house the day of my dad’s birthday. A few minutes after the others arrived I showed up. Both of my parents were floored and so happy. There were tears welling up in eyes, mine included. It was great.

Because of work, we had to keep the trip short. We left the house at 7:15am, took a bus downtown, then light rail to the airport, all while pulling wheeled suitcases and lugging laptop bags. It was probably a couple miles of walking including the 4-hour layover. I used my cane and managed okay. I had slight concerns about the metal detector with my 13 screws, but I sailed right through. I did note some handicap accessibility failures with security, such as they assume you can stand and take off your shoes. There are no chairs until after you get through the checks. I can do that now, but I probably would not have been capable a few weeks ago, at least not shoes that lace. We took advantage of having my cane and boarded the planes first. It was much easier to get luggage stowed without feeling rushed.

Our time with family was great. We each were able to spend some time a close friend too. Steve spent an afternoon visiting job sites with his former co-worker and best friend Rob, and I was lucky enough to have my best friend Sarah in the same country, much less the same city. She lives overseas but spends summers in the US. We met for breakfast. Steve’s parents drove down for a day to see us too. They joined us for dessert with the birthday boy and had breakfast with Steve the next morning. The trip was too short, but really great. Here is a photo from dinner our last night there. Starting in the back with me (in front of the bunny ears) and going around the table is my 6-year-old nephew Jake, my mom, my 10-year-old nephew Luke, my sister Kathy, my brother Michael, my sister-in-law Deb, and my dad. Absent from the photo are Steve, who’s taking the picture, and my brother-in-law Chip and 13-year-old nephew Chet, who were both at cross country meets, coaching and running.

most of my family

Other than the trip and working a lot, I’ve also been working hard at PT. Since I have a longer trip to the PT office now, I’m only seeing Dan every other week. He gives me new exercises and I go home and do them on my own. I’ve also been gradually building up my endurance with cardio exercises. I’m walking 2.5 miles on the bike trail and I’m up to 45 minutes on the bike trainer. The most exciting part is that I’m allowed to cycle outside now. Initially Dan had wanted me to work up to an hour on the trainer before moving outside. I mentioned at an appointment that I was anxious to ride outdoors and he said to give it a try, 30 minutes flat. So I’ve done that 3 times now and it feels great. I’ve missed working hard physically. And honestly, I still miss running.

As I mentioned in the title, I finally have x-rays. I went home from my 8-week check up with all of my hip scans on a CD but the .exe file needed to view them doesn’t work on a Mac, the only kind of computer in my house. Steve took the CD to work but had issues with the software crashing before he could extract anything and then needing to leave to catch a bus home. He was finally victorious over the buggy software and emailed screen grabs to me. This is what I look like as of my 8-week appointment. In this x-ray I am standing. The new hardware is in my left hip, which is on the right side of the x-ray.

8-week x-ray

This one is called a false profile and it’s a bit hard to see what’s what. Hopefully the labels and arrows help out a little bit. While this was taken I was standing with my left hip against the plate. My pelvis was rotated slightly back so the left hip wasn’t completely behind the right one. My right foot is angled out too. I think it’s an angle Dr. Mayo came up with himself.

8-week x-ray, false profile