At 9 weeks post-op (left hip), beginning of July, we headed to PEI for my best friends wedding. I had just started to drive 6 days earlier. Yes, it was to the grocery store, and yes, the boyfriend was with me but still a major step forward (both of our vehicles are standards so both legs are required).
Well, I drove the entire way to Levis, Quebec! That’s roughly an 8 hour drive without stopping (we stopped several times). I arrived without much discomfort in my new hip (the left) but did have some shooting pain in the afternoon in my right leg and knee. Nothing compared to any pain I’ve dealt with before but I could tell that things were getting a workout and still settling into place. We took several bathroom and food breaks, along with stretching breaks to ensure that I was driving safely.
Cruise control was very helpful! Not having to continually apply pressure (even with my right leg) makes it much easier, and since it was highway driving there was almost no clutch work. An exercise that I did while in the drivers seat was glut clenches. Literally just tightening up my butt 10 times for 3 seats helped in keeping my butt awake and blood circulating. I did that several times, my boyfriend laughed almost every time as I wouldn’t tell him what I was doing, he would just see me bobbing up and down.
Once we arrived in Levis, Quebec we took our bags to the room, laid down for a moment (stretched out the low back cause whether you have hip problems or not, driving that long affects you).
I walked to dinner and the grocery store without pain or a limp! WTF!! I could get used to this. I believe this is the first time I truly felt the freedom. Usually after a day of sitting (or anything really) I’d be limping and not moving at any speed at all. It was magical. As for sleep, I would previously get at least, a lot of restless leg feelings after a day of sitting on top of my hip and leg pain.
My boyfriend did most of the driving this day, 7 hours of it. Not because I was in pain or anything but because he wanted to contribute. This allowed me to do some exercises (more than just butt clenches) while he drove. I used my green band for resistance training with my legs:
It helped to keep my butt awake and to pass the time. I didn’t want to lose any more muscle mass or momentum that I had gained, if possible, I wanted to continue moving forward. So I did a few sets several times through the day.
That evening we stayed with family in New Brunswick. I arrived with no pain and was feeling pretty good.
The last leg to Charlottetown, PEI. Pain free and so beautiful! That is the one eastern province I had not yet been to. It was the shortest of all the days but I don’t think I complained once. First for a three day road trip EVER.
Throughout the entire drive out east I found myself with more patience, I snacked less and could manage a lot more since I wasn’t in pain and constantly uncomfortable. Perhaps some of my previous ‘hangry’ was more pain related than I thought.
Hmmmm… I should ask my boyfriend what he thinks about that.