Hip Replacements

Are you having a painful time with your hips and avoiding seeking medical treatment? It’s a good idea to get an x-ray to see what’s going on. The problem may be muscular, structural misalignment, or, as in my case, osteoarthritis of both hips. When I saw an orthopaedic surgeon a few years back, I discovered I needed to have hip replacements, and it was scary news. But ultimately, it was better to face the diagnosis than hang out in denial. The good news was that it was 18 years between the original diagnosis and the surgery, so I was able to use yoga and other healing modalities to delay the inevitable.
Finally on February 1st, 2010, I underwent double hip surgery. I’ve had a remarkable recovery, and out of my experience I’ve been able to write and talk to people who are nervous about the procedure.

Here are some of my posts about my journey, the eventual double-hip replacements and my rehabilitation.

Nature Trip

Nature Trip

Today we were a sightseeing party of four, driving out to the very beautiful attraction ellenborough Falls, out past the hills villages of Bobin and Elands.
Never heard of those places? Neither had we till we became immigres to Mitchells Island. Which may be another area unfamiliar to you.
Located on the Bulga Plateau, about an hours drive north-west of Taree, Ellenborough Falls are a spectacular site. […]

Not Perfect

Not Perfect

It’s been almost 7 months since I had bi-lateral hip replacements and I thought it was time to have a look at how my yoga poses were coming along. Through the eye of a camera.
Daniel was kind enough to take some photos of me posing 😉
Now, you probably know that I would have deleted the not-so-hot images. […]

Frisking Vs. Frisky

I like joking. I think I have a reasonably good sense of humour. It’s fun to share a joke even with a stranger, like at the supermarket check-out; it’s an opportunity to brighten each other’s day.
Ever since fears about terrorism have been so widespread in the U.S., airport security checks there have become very serious and very thorough. Homeland Security does not allow joking. There are even signs posted to that effect.
Since my February surgery, by which I gained two new titanium hips, I have a new relationship with Security. It’s a very predictable one. […]

A Lotus Springs From Muddy Water

A Lotus Springs From Muddy Water

Here’s a photo of me in Padmasana, Lotus Pose. It was taken when I could still do a pretty great one. If I do say so.
Today I surprised myself. First, I did Bharadavajasana II Twist, with one leg in Virasana and the other in half- lotus, not knowing if it was a direction that my prosthesis was willing to go. No worries. I did the other side. It was fine. So, I thought, what the heck, we’re going pretty good here…and voila, full lotus.
Really, I’m not goal-minded. […]

The Gift That Keeps Giving

The Gift That Keeps Giving

Imagine if Beethoven had had his hearing restored and he actually heard his magnificent Ninth Symphony as he conducted it at his Austrian premier. Because of hearing nothing, he wept.
Or imagine if the incredibly prolific Pierre-Auguste Renoir had not been severely crippled by arthritis and wheel chair-bound what his contribution to painting and sculpture might have been.
On February 1st, 2010, my orthopedic surgeon replaced my osteoarthritic hips with 2 shiny ceramic & titanium ones. It’s taken time and dedication to yoga and other exercise, but I’ve restored much of my former mobility. […]

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Today I received an email from a correspondent facing the prospect of hip surgery after many years of managing his symptoms with yoga. I thought that since many who read this blog are yoga teachers and trainees, or maybe have osteoarthritis themselves, they might benefit from my publishing the letter here.

Dear Joe,
Where do you live? Hopefully somewhere where you can find a good orthopaedic surgeon, hospital and rehab centre – all of which you’ll need for a successful hip replacement. […]

The Crack in Everything

The Crack in Everything

Today’s blog is something new for me. I decided upon listening to one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs yesterday that I would update one of the most popular posts that I’ve written. It gives a nod to the composer’s well-loved tune, “Anthem”, which has the refrain:

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I’m of the opinion that the song’s sentiment is so popular because we humans don’t want to have work so hard at being perfect. […]

Physical Freedom

Physical Freedom

Tomorrow is a 2 year anniversary of my release from Hunters Hill Private Hospital where I did 12 days of rehabilitation after my double hip replacement surgery.
On my return home, my husband Daniel made a great video clip of my walking up the stairway without needing to use a stick. He put some backing music to it – Patsy Kline’s Walking After Midnight –  and stuck it up on the Internet as a YouTube video.
I tell people now that if anyone is having qualms about the surgery, they needn’t. […]

Hips Are All the Rage

Hips Are All the Rage

Is there an epidemic of hip replacements going on? I know of three yoginis who will have the surgery done within a month time frame – mid-March to mid-April. To be fair, I also know women who haven’t done yoga who, for various reasons, had to have replacements.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know my story of bi-lateral surgery, performed more than 3 years ago. […]

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Judy is in a rehabilitation centre at the moment ‘finding her legs’, as she is 15 days out from double hip replacement surgery. She is a veteran yogi and also trained as a yoga teacher, and probably has about 35 years of Iyengar yoga under her belt.
Judy’s doing another kind of training now with the physiotherapists at Hunters Hill Private Hospital. […]

Persistent, Pushy or Plucky?

Persistent, Pushy or Plucky?

Why do people try to keep it together? And, sometimes they have to work very hard at it, too.
I do it myself. I was reminiscing tonight about how I took up bicycle riding again eight months after I’d had hip replacement surgery. I hadn’t ridden a bike for 20 years. I was using the bike at the Burning Man Festival, covering miles of desert on and off over several days. […]

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

I watched a video today featuring Richard Freeman talking about yoga while his students were doing Ashtanga Vinyasa – Mysore style – in the background. Some of the poses they were performing were ones I used to do. Others I’ve never been able to do, and, at this stage in my life, am unlikely to achieve.
(If you can’t see the video below, try refreshing your screen….)

Do I feel sad about not being able to do these sorts of advanced poses? Not at all. […]

Cah-razy: The Hard-to-Imagine-But-Somehow-You-Did-It Thing

Cah-razy: The Hard-to-Imagine-But-Somehow-You-Did-It Thing

via pinterest
My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last week. For many people this milestone could be considered an improbable achievement, given that the median duration of marriage was 12.2 years in 2012.
Twenty years of marriage is almost time enough to experience three seven year itches. It’s time enough to fall into dull routines and think that you’ve said everything there is to say to each other. […]

Two Stories – One Message: There's Life After Hip Surgery

Two Stories – One Message: There's Life After Hip Surgery

(Eve – 3 yrs, 5 months post-op)
Are you having a painful time with your hips and avoiding seeking medical treatment? It’s a good idea to get an x-ray to see what’s going on. The problem may be muscular, structural misalignment, or, as in my case, osteoarthritis of both hips. When I saw an orthopaedic surgeon a few years back, I discovered I needed to have hip replacements, and it was scary news. But ultimately, it was better to face the diagnosis than hang out in denial. […]

Yoga and Surgery: Good Companions

Yoga and Surgery: Good Companions

The All-Clear
Five years ago today, I was a patient at Hunters Hill Private Hospital in rehabilitation after double hip replacement surgery.
I’ll give a little time to let that sink in. Yes, two hips at the same time. I had bi-lateral surgery, a 3.5 hour procedure, whereby I received titanium protheses. I had to learn to walk all over again, and I did. Then, within 3 months, I resumed yoga practice and teaching.
Last week my orthopaedic surgeon viewed my recent x-rays and gave my new hips a good report. […]

Yoga And Hip Replacement Surgery

Yoga And Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a daunting prospect for anyone. Fortunately, the first suggestion of the surgical option usually comes well in advance of the need for the actual operation. You have time to get used to the idea. Nevertheless, a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon starts to shape your thinking towards the inevitable. This is especially true when levels of pain and physical limitations are increasing.
If, like me, you try to find more natural ways, of dealing with health issues, then surgical intervention can seem scary in the extreme. Now that I’m five years on the other side of double hip surgery, I can say that your hip replacement surgery may give you your life back. I’m thankful to modern technology performed by a highly skilled surgeon.

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