RA Diaries: Sloping sidewalks

The Hip Chronicles may be over, but the recovery continues. For the most part, I feel much better, and much more mobile.

About three weeks ago, though, I suddenly got a bad ache in the outside muscle right above the knee on the operated side. It was really hard to walk, and I was really scared that something was wrong with my implant. It made sense for me to worry about that, since so much of the pain before turned out to be referred pain.

Fortunately, rest and a few leftover hoarded Percocet calmed the pain, and I’ve been doing okay for a while. But now, I’m aware of every twinge, and have to work at monitoring and listening to my body before something goes wrong. This is annoying.

It’s particularly annoying when it comes to exercise. Walking is my workout of choice, and for awhile, I was clocking five miles a week (unheard of before the surgery). But I guess that was too much. And it’s the smallest things that set me off, like walking in the wrong direction on an uneven sidewalk.

I’ve written about dealing with mountain cow syndrome. It’s much less apparent now, but I still feel it when I’m tired or if I’ve walked a lot. Before I had it, I was never truly aware of how uneven city terrain can be. For instance, the aforementioned sidewalks. Most sidewalks slope toward the street for draining purposes. Therefore, if one of your legs feels longer than the other, walking in one direction makes that longer leg feel even longer, while walking in the other direction evens you out.

These days, if I know I’m going to walk a long way, I try to go on the street side that evens me out, even if it means a slightly longer trip. It feels silly, but if it means I’m less tired, stiff or achy, it’s worth it.

I wonder if this is going to be a permanent adjustment, like never crossing my legs again. I guess we’ll see.

All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.