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John's Journey

"All your anger, all your hurt, doesn't matter in the end. These days go by and we all start again."

-The Offspring

Perfect road trip music no matter the journey. Remember those summer days when you just want to drive? The destination is not so important, but the drive is what you need to relax and get your head straight.

This Days Go By song is played when John needs a reminder of how far he has come with his hip journey.

In the beginning of his travels, John had pain and lots of it - for almost 4 years! He was riding on the Highway of Pain. He describes a pain that started slowly and increased speed with him ultimately have a hip joint that would lock. He could not even walk a few blocks which was unusual for John as he had been a triathlete who also participated in road racing and duathlons.

His travels then merged onto Anxiety Avenue where he had to figure out how to deal with the worrisome nights prior to his surgery. He says, “The whole fear of the unknown, wondering what it will be like gave me many sleepless nights in those last few weeks prior to the surgery.” He had been reading through Facebook posts and successful journeys, but still felt anxiety and worry as it was his body that was up next for the physical assault of hip arthroscopy.

Once he got through the challenges of gearing up for the surgery, he was able to focus on his recovery. He was frustrated like many of us. Those first few weeks seem like forever. Even though it is the most important part of the recovery – resting and protecting – it can seem interminably long especially when you want to be active in your recovery. He did begin to finally understand the healing process when his PT explained, “the surgery is a major trauma to the body (even if it looks like just a couple of small incisions) so the body reacts to protect the injured area by locking up all the muscles surrounding it. The early stages of rehab are designed to force your body to stop protecting the area and unlocking the muscles.” He understood that his first improvements would be slow but it was still frustrating. Slow and steady wins the race!

In fact, John’s race began when he was able to walk pain free again. His first road sign that screamed “You Are Here” was when he was able to enjoy a football with his son about 8 weeks post-op. He had spent the entire day walking on concrete and going up and down stairs. In fact the only thing he focused on that day was enjoying time with his son. His hips had no power over him!

He was also very proud of his other race back to normalcy. He was proud of finishing a bike race just 3 days after being completely cleared to resume all activities which was also 6 months to the day since having his surgery. He did not care that he was lapped and finished second to last. He did it! He knew, with beaming pride, that this achievement would have been impossible months and even years earlier.

His second to the last finish gave him the confidence to continue looking forward.

Now fast forward to earlier this year - he finished 3rd in his age group (50-55) in an early season duathlon. In fact, this achievement allowed him to look at his reflection in that mirror and say, “I am back!”

His recipe for this success was finding the right surgeon and physical therapist who understood and honored his recovery goals, but also provided the honesty that that he needed. “Talk it through with them to see if where you are looking to get to is realistic and work from there to come up with the best plan for you.” John says it took him several attempts to find that true partner in both his surgeon and his physical therapist, but it was what he needed to have the best chance of success.

He wants for you to be able to know that, for the right patient with the right surgeon, “surgery can be the right decision. You can fix the issue and be pain free.”

He wants to let you all that it is “definitely possible to have this kind of moment as well. [You} need to know [you] are not alone with this. Others are out there who have been through it and are able to offer their support and understanding.”

Now go find your road trip music and start on your journey of healing!

Stars still burn bright Seasons change overnight As we find a way the times they come and go Look back in love A new day rises above With the wind it comes to carry you back home

All your anger all your hurt Doesn't matter in the end Those days go by And we all start again What you had and what you lost They're all memories in the wind Those days go by And we all start again

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