I broke my hip-the full story

Finally, something worth blogging about, haha! I’m full of the jokes these days. But I kind of have to be, it’s how I keep my spirits up.

So, I broke my hip. No, I didn’t fall. No, I don’t have osteoporosis. I broke it running a steep, downhill half marathon on Saturday, September 8.

I want to set the back story just a bit. I ran the Big Sur Marathon last spring in April 2018. I had a fantastic train up and completed the entire training without being sidelined by any injuries! I had really been working on strength and I felt good even right after the marathon.

So naturally I set my sights on another marathon and I picked the Marine Corps Marathon and actually got into it! The MCM is at the end of October, 2018. My training had been going spectacularly. I was hitting the track for speed work, getting faster and taking really good care of myself. My body actually felt great, nothing was bothering me. Prior to the half marathon I had already done 14, 15, 17 & 18 mile training runs and this half marathon was supposed to be “just for fun”. I would tell people, “well my training plan calls for 13 miles that day so why not get a medal for it and have some aid stations along the way?!”

I’ll skip the boring details of getting up at 3:50am & getting bussed up the canyon. I will just say I felt really strong & confident going into this race. I had actually never felt better prepared for a run than on this day.

I started the race at a conservative pace but it quickly felt too easy so I picked it up a little. The course was STEEP and I didn’t want to use my legs to brake too much so I worked on leaning forward, taking small steps and turning my legs over quickly. With that, I was FLYING (for me). My heart rate was in the right zone and it all felt very easy. Easy easy! I was just thinking how I would be done in less than 2 hours and then I could go to Starbucks with my husband and still have the entire day to get the lawn mowed, wash my car and make some muffins, ha!

The miles ticked off quickly and I think it must have been around mile 10 I noticed my hip tightening up. I just thought “oh I’m going to feel that tomorrow”, meaning muscle soreness. But I only had 3 more miles to go and I just wanted to get done quick so I kept speeding along.

Fast forward to mile 11.5. I started to walk and was in a lot of pain. I knew I would not be able to run the rest of the way. I thought about calling my husband to just come get me but figured I could just suck up the misery of getting passed by everyone and walk the rest of the way.

As I walked my limp got progressively worse. I tried jogging a couple times but that was a no go. My hip started to make a clunk every time I took a step and I could feel my hip arcing awkwardly out to the side.

Probably the worst part was all the people who tried to encourage me to keep running. Runners were pulling on me, trying to drag me and cheering for me. At mile 12.6 I flagged down a police officer and he called an EMT for me. I rested and stretched in the back of the EMT cart for a few minutes and everyone was telling me to get back out there but I could bear ZERO weight. Pain level 10.

My amazing husband by this point had run up the course and found me so he rode with me to the medical tent. At the med tent there were all sorts of messed up people! I mean, I was crying in pain but there were 3 other people that actually looked near death.

The Physical Therapist at the tent assured me there was no way I broke anything. No chance he said! Most likely a pulled muscle and I would feel better in a few days. He said the clunking was totally normal. I had to be wheelchaired to the car and mostly felt sad about not getting a Starbucks or a cookie or a donut or ANYTHING except a banana 😟.

When I got home my husband had to pretty much carry me everywhere but even this was excruciating. That popping and clunking was worse than ever. I laid down for about an hour expecting the “pulled muscle” to feel better when I got up but it didn’t. The pain was a 10. Worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. Pain so intense I wanted to throw up. I told my husband it was time to go to the ER. He had to get me down the stairs while I cried and shook in pain. At this point I was thinking maybe it was dislocated because what could possibly hurt this bad?

Is this story getting long yet? It feels long to me!

This is the part where I go to the Emergency Room. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you never regret going to the Dr when injured. The ER was great and the doctor there told me there was no way I could have broken anything but said she could do an x-ray anyway. She thought it was more likely that I had torn something.

A few minutes after the x-ray the doctor walked back into the room, her eyes were wide and she just had this LOOK on her face and said, “I’m so sorry…you broke your hip.” This delivery wasn’t the best because I instantly felt terrified!!!! She launched into what a hip replacement entails…I was having surgery first thing in the morning…weeks and weeks of rehab…and I had to be admitted immediately and oh btw I can’t leave the bed or move at all because if I did I could make it much worse. The nurse came in and set up my IV and started drawing blood. My head was spinning thinking about work obligations and who I needed to talk to and of course Rocco was home alone and needed someone to take care of him too.

The good news in all of this is that my hip had not displaced (separated and lost blood supply) which meant I didn’t need a replacement, I only needed a few screws!! This was fantastic news but I was still scared it could be worse than the x-ray revealed.

The night before surgery my whole family came to visit and my dad joked about how nice it was to have the family together, LOL.

The morning of surgery was a blur and I was just excited to get it over with. The surgeon was a young guy who does nothing but hips and he made it sound like this thing would be easy peasy and even thought I might still be able to run the marathon in October, HAAA!

Took a moment before surgery to take a Snapchat because I WAS in fact having a great hair day 😉

Obviously I was out for the surgery but I’m told the whole thing took less than 30 minutes. Is that crazy?! The rest of that day was a blur because I was just sleeping and icing. I was able to get up a couple times to use the bathroom though which would have been more exciting if I hadn’t felt so sick from the anesthesia.

But, the next morning I was able to get out & about and start walking with crutches and already bear some weight and then I got to go home!

What a difference 48 hours makes! Picture on the left is Saturday morning, pic on the right is Monday morning… just 2 days later.

And that heel strike, ugh!! No wonder I broke my hip, I cringe looking at that!

Today marks two weeks post-op and I am doing really well and I am going back to work this week!

I think most people would be happy to know that I have spent the last two weeks being really lazy, sleeping a lot, watching Westworld and eating ice cream almost every day! It’s almost been fun but not worth breaking a hip over!

Rocco has been my little nurse and never ever leaves my side. He takes his job very seriously and is really protective of me.

Rocco staring at me, like usual.

I will write a follow up soon on my feelings about all this and also the results from my blood work and bone scan! Exciting!

Bye for now!

Laura

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