8 weeks post total left hip replacement

Yes, I have chronic pain as a primary diagnosis…and it wasn’t my hip that began that journey into chronic pain. I have been busy using all tools given to me/they work for the neuroplastic pain. But because the hip was(is) obviously structural in form, this is where it gets tricky for me. Still doing pt for the hip…last pm it was screaming at me…I distracted myself when speaking with my sound engineer…/then by reading. Took the wonderful advice of my coach (DEB)…and was able to sleep despite the hip pain. Now, because not all surgeries are “PERFECT”…ha…some of my nerves were disrupted. Mostly my sciaticia nerve…which I never had any issues with ever. After watching Marth Beck’s video on Hard Core Kindness:::it is basically what, I think, we all try to do with our chronic pain.

Yes, some self-criticism slips in:::afterall, we are human.
My chronic pain journey started with something I had never heard about::: until the foot & ankle specialist at my orthopedic group diagnosed me / it as CRPS : complex regional pain syndrome…of course I did my due diligence & reserarched the heck out of CRPS & treatments for it. ONLY to be totally turned off by how Eastern medical drs treat CRPS:::not up my alley at all. Spinal cord injections to block targeted nerves(which must be repeated over & over), ketamine use~~very dangerous, narcotics…you can see where this is going. NONE WERE VIABLE OPTIONS FOR ME AT ALL. YES, I suffered 2 long years with the chronic pain that CRPS causes(too many to list). My therapist & I were in the dark these 2 years…UNTIL LIN HEALTH CAME ALONG…I do not know how I even discovered LIN/or did they discover me ???

Used PRT(pain reprocessing therapy/somatic tracking for both physical & mental issues…pain, stress, difficult emotions) …etc…I have had a great deal of success with treating both the mind & body:::SOMATICALLY !!!

What confuses me is…the hip surgery was supposed to help the pain I experienced around my hip(actually my left groin). I now think I need to take Deb’s advice & treat my hip as healing and eventually HEALED ! However, everytime this pain "grabs"me…it’s very difficult to turn toward positivity…but I am trying & giving it my all.
If anyone has comments/questions::PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF. Thank you, Jodi

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Just had to pause for a moment to address that amazing title.

Also very intrigued by these words. Tell me @Judolc703 what does “giving it your all” look like for you? Do you have any go-to practices in addition to the PRT you mentioned and somatic tracking that helps you move towards positivity?

I’m always interested to learn little positivity hacks. One thing I recently learned (thank you @Running_Mama) is less about positivity and more about keeping stress down - was this simple breathing technique called the Physiological Sigh. Now my kids and I do this together!

Thanks for being out here and sharing your positivity. :hearts:

Thank you @ SarahZ… for your question ! I too learned of that psychological sigh ! Hard Core Kindness, and I learned about it on a YouTube video( I can get you the Dr ‘s name & YouTube title)… it’s Not about tough love. It is being the most absolute & genuinely most kind to your body & brain as POSSIBLE ! No negativity! (no matter what). My coach,@Deb, suggested something she had done. If you know the pain is structural) as my hip is/ was (???) treat it as though it has healed & has gone through that healing process. It was difficult for me to do this, but I am wrapping my head around it( especially when I work out or go to physical therapy). I still do move with an air of caution/but I am able to workout on my elliptical, use my free weights, stretch & use the speed bag( a boxing :boxing_glove: gym item:: we installed in our basement workout area.

I am a huge fan of positive affirmations/ positivity in song & music :notes:, being a musician… I do spend a great deal of time in my studio… not always with instrument in hand… often speaking with my sound engineer from SWEETWATER SOUND & MUSIC. SO, MUSOC IS MY BIGGEST PASSION OUTSIDE OF MY HUSBAND AND OREO !

“ Giving it my all” means mentally, physically, comically, at times!! ,spiritually…no, I am not a religion fanatic::: but I do have certain beliefs and know that by believing I also make everything else I do that much more important. However, as a long long long time athlete that trained my body into the ground::: you must also know “my all” includes GRACE OR CHILL. When to rest momentarily/ or for an hour/ or for however long it takes for you. I am not a napper… but on days when I am just “ spent” and maybe in some pain::: REST MUST BE PART OF YOUR TOOLBOX :toolbox:!!! I wish I had known this & practiced it during my most competitive athletic years…and sometimes I do surprise myself : lay down to chill or for Grace & I do fall asleep for an hour or so. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with resting::: your body requires it, so do not deny it of something it truly needs. Giving it my all may include going outdoors for a walk, a few good deep breaths of fresh air… make it yours/ pretty much own it( the things for giving it your all)……

My workouts are always to music: whatever I am in the mood for… that is another way hardcore kindness enters the picture ! Whether it’s some of my favorite rock music :musical_score:, newly discovered rock music or even Adele or one of MANY MUSICIANS I FOLLOW !!! Even newly discovered mellow music works to, when in that mindset- I tend to be gentler!

But hardcore kindness for me includes just ::: BEING YOUR MOST AUTHENTIC SELF::: one of the best pieces of advice ( actually came up in therapy and because my family is toxic to me at times/I stick to my boundaries !!! That’s important. Big time. The advice I received was verbatim::: JODI, JUST DO JODI ! I felt the freedom to be ME ! And if someone doesn’t like how I have healed emotionally & physically:: that’s on them.

In closing @SarahZ::: giving it my all may be and is different for everyone. I am sure. So, as JODI::: I am friendly, introverted & shy at 1st, interested in all types of recovery: especially body-mind… I love the biology & neuroscience behind what Lin had taught me. As JODI: I play, read , write music, I love creating abstract art or drawings of musical instruments & neuroscience stuff, I spend time with my service dog Oreo:: who knows when something upsets me- she reads me like a book, all 7.5 lbs of her. Cuddling with her is part of giving it my all. Time withe my husband well spent. And I keep my circle :o: of friends fairly small & because of my family dynamics & dysfunctions they are not in the circle :o: :bangbang::heart::notes::paw_prints::paw_prints::blush:, which is my choice.

OMGoodness… if you need clarification on any of this::: I am totally open to keeping the lines of communication open. Remember::: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER !! PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THIS HAD HELPED…
Sincerely,
JODI

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HI @SARAHZ//// getting back to you on HARE CORE KINDNESS;; the video I watched on youtube
was by Martha Beck. Looks like other people have cornered the market on those 3 words. It’d be worth watching Martha…then maybe some others. I am going to try one of the other ones now.
TAKE CARE,
Jodi

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OKAY:::SORRY I DID NOT USE MY BRAIN REWIRED NAME:::::Judolc703 !

SORRY @SARAHZ…those were videos of other "hard core things ". Martha’s was good.
Another good YouTube show(podcast) sometimes is Mayim Bialik’s… the neuroscientist
on BIG BANG THEORY… She is actually a neuroscientist/VERY SMART & FUN. I do enjoy
her podcasts occasionally She has worked with Alan Gordon on her own chronic pain…

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Hey Jodi @Judolc703 , I’m a little late to the party but wanted to say firstly that I’m so impressed with all the work you’ve done and how far you’ve come with your neuroplastic pain! Congratulations on finding the tools and perspectives that worked for you, it’s never an easy process but it can be a transformative and life-changing one.

Secondly, regarding the hip, I’m curious whether you have any strategies or intentions around doing the PT exercises. As a former PT-turned “mindbody movement lover,” I’m a big proponent of thinking of rehab exercises as less about preventing future pain by strengthening weak muscles (which will happen when you walk and load the hip post-operatively), and more about giving the muscles/tissues in the area “safety reinforcement.” Almost like positive or safety affirmations you would say out loud, but instead thinking of the exercise as somatically-based body-talk you’re giving your brain. With this approach, it becomes easier to de-emphasize the number of repetitions with PT exercise, and focus more on how they feel, activating these parts of the body in a slower, more mindful way. Let me know if you’re already approaching the exercises this way, or if this sounds like a different approach than the one you’re currently taking

Hello @jkelley…thank you for responding and for your useful positive input !!! Yes, doing all of this work & studying the topics of PRT, neuroplasticity, somatic tracking for both physical pain/but also some emotional issues that come up, mind-body approach and chronic pain as a primary diagnosis. The introduction to mind -body work just appealed to me ! As a physical education major in college I was always more into the biology/physiology …and now the neuroscience side of it. I have actually been studying more about what the different areas of the brain are responsible for and how this complicated “muscle” functions. The mind-body practice is something I feel I have embraced fully:::with the help of LIN!!! I had already known about neural pathways from doing a great deal of EMDR(eye movement desensitization reprocessing)…the EMDR worked so incredibly well to aid in practically irradicating the PTSD that had affected me for decades. It is so far in the back of my brain~where it will stay. The only issue that I may encounter (and I have already experienced 1 episode) is being triggered. It was odd because I did not realize(cognitively) that I had been triggered however my body totally gave me the signs. So…I believe that experience reinforced how the mind-body connection worked long before I actually knew about it !!! One thing that always sticks in my mind is :::your body has learned this (chronic ) pain…it can definitely unlearn it. That is powerful for me !
Thank you for seeing how I have been given and using the tools, support & new perspectives as well as STAYING POSITIVE which is something I consider as a tool in my 'toolbox". It is a difficult practice at first to incorporate in your life, but the more you work at it::the easier it becomes.
Addressing the physical therapy issue~I am currently doing PT 2x’s per week and at 1st I felt as though I was still experiencing the pain that the surgery was supposed to eliminate(which was a left groin pain that I could not get any relief from)…and the PT was causing and continuing to irritate it. YES, changing how I experience the exercises was crucial in helping me. My coach(THE WONDERFUL DEB M.!!!) suggested that I drop my “obsession” with this groin pain. Her point was it takes ONE year to actually recover & heal from this surgery…so change the thoughts in my brain and not focus on the groin pain:: I agree and have implemented moving my body slower & more mindfully while doing the pt exercises and not concentrate on the # of repetitions:: I had actually started this practice, as Deb advised me, when getting up from bed or standing up after sitting(where I experinced a great deal of stiffness & pain) to just take it slowly ! When getting out of bed I now start with moving my fingers, then my arms, wiggle my toes and then start to slowly bend my knees, make my way up into a comfortable sitting position. Sit there & gather myself(body-wise) and also consider my first silly, crazy, creative and sometimes serious thoughts & ideas ! If applying this practice getting out of bed…then most definitely to any other type of exercise that requires multiple reps.
Also, in my mind I keep reminding myself that I AM STILL IN THE HEALING PROCESS & and it is a year long process. Don’t rush the mind-body healing, just take it one day at a time and I give myself GRACE…which is a fairly new concept & practice for me:::basically allow myself to slow down & rest as my body asks for it. I also call it CHILL. Sometimes GRACE/CHILL(for me) may include resting for a short amount of time or even a short nap or maybe just some quiet time.
I HONESTLY HOPE I HAVE ANSWERED ANY QUESTIONS / CLEARED UP WHAT & HOW I APPROACH MY HEALING PROCESS & HOW I CARRY IT OVER INTO THIS “NEW WAY OF LIFE FOR ME” !!! And it’s all good : )
Thanks once again @jkelley…I love sharing ideas & experiences with people.
Stay healthy & happy !!!
Jodi…Judolc703

Thank you @Judolc703 for sharing here! It really is inspiring hearing about your journey and the tools that have helped you along the way. I also really love Martha Beck’s take on hardcore kindness! I have a thought to add in that may be of help in working with your hip symptoms post surgery and your intentions to stay positive. I am all for positivity in general, and when it comes to working with pain it is such a great mindset to keep bringing yourself back to. I like to joke that my blood type is B+ ( as in be positive!) -That being said, trying to be positive when pain is present can at times feel inauthentic, like trying to act like everything is ok when it doesn’t feel ok.

I really love the suggestion about tools to keeping stress down as an alternate to focusing on positivity, and the physiological sigh is so great for this! Another way to help reduce stress in the moment that is less about positivity is giving yourself alternate thoughts to stressful thoughts that arise around the pain.

I really love the suggestion about tools for keeping stress down as an alternate to focusing on positivity, and the physiological sigh sounds like such a great tool for this. Thank you @SarahZ and @Running_Mama for bringing this in. Another accessible way to reduce stress in the moment when positivity feels challenging is giving yourself alternative thoughts to the stressful ones that arise around pain. With chronic pain, it can be common to go to worst case scenario thinking and fearful thoughts can arise. You can start by bringing your awareness to what those thoughts are in the moment when the pain grabs you. A fear thought could look like this: “The surgery was supposed to help the hip pain, but I am still experiencing pain- maybe this means the pain won’t ever go away.” Then, question that thought- can you absolutely know the pain won’t ever go away? Next, offer yourself an alternate thought that feels authentic, such as: “ The pain is here right now, but I don’t know if it will feel like this tomorrow.” Offering an alternate thought can feel like opening up to a new possibility around the pain, reduce stress in the moment, and thereby reduce the danger signals that amplify pain. I hope this helps!

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