My Hips Don’t Lie

2.04.2010 | Arthritis, Sponsors

Last night at yoga, I was very clearly given the hint that I needed to be honest about something…

This past Autumn, I was experiencing a great deal of pain in my right hip. This leg had always been a bit wonky, and as a kid I thought it was rather cool that I could move the joint around in weird ways, and have it make awfully disgusting popping noises that caused friends to recoil in horror. It was also very handy in getting me out of 9th grade gym class on more than one occasion (sorry, Mrs. Salt!). So, when I was having pain in my hip one day a few months ago, I wasn’t concerned. I knew it would go away. It didn’t go away.

For seven days I was limping around, stubbornly waiting for the pain to magically disappear. It got to the point where I was I was having so much discomfort, that I wasn’t sleeping, and was having moments of extreme nausea and vomiting. That was when I knew something was really wrong.

By this time my very patient mother was chauffeuring me to and from work, so she dutifully drove me to the UBC hospital emergency ward on a physiotherapist’s recommendation. Now, I must say this: the UBC emerg is absolutely amazing. I went in, registered, and was called in less than 10 minutes later. An initial exam was complete, blood work was done, I was given pain medication, and was seen by the doctor less than 15 minutes after that. I was taken to x-ray (after the pain medication kicked in), and the x-rays were ready about 20 minutes later. There was barely enough time for my comfy, fuzzy heated blanket to cool off!

When the ER doc came to see me, she told me that the x-ray showed that I had considerable calcium deposits in my hips, the right one especially. They had been there for a long, long time, and were indicative of arthritis (something that runs in my family, anyway – gee, thanks mom and dad). I had to stop my personal training, something I had been really enjoying doing 3 times a week. I had to stop running. I used to run 10k every other day, and now I couldn’t take a step. Everything came to a grinding, unhappy halt in my life. I felt really, really… old.

Over time, the pain went away, but my hips always feel “tired” now, like I’ve run a thousand miles or so. And now, as more time passes, I am slowly introducing things back to my life: training, running (walking), yoga, and climbing the world’s largest free-standing, snow-covered equatorial mountain. You know, simple things like that.

In yoga last night my right hip decided that it really had done enough work for the day, and just gave out. No more strength, no more listening, just pain. I was totally embarrassed at being forced to show my limitations. I was frustrated and, of course, I started to cry. (Again, I must really thank Michael for the soft, dim lighting in the studio). Michael quite keenly noticed my distress, and came over to gently speak with me. As I tried not to blubber away too loudly, he simply told me to stop, and to go into Savassana. I put down my yoga strap, sighed in frustration, and bit my quivering lip. Michael, the angel that he is, brought me over a tissue and a lavender scented eye pillow. I quietly snurfled away in embarrassment, while people around me were happily pretzling themselves into yoga bliss.

So, after speaking with a kind friend, I decided to tell you all the truth. Here we go: I am climbing a mountain with over-active tear ducts, a fear of camping, a loathing of the cold, and a wonky set of hips.

See you at the top.