Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Swimming With My New Hip

First of all, I now look like one of Frankenstein’s monsters when I wear my swimming suit. I’ve got a scar across my left collar bone and another one on the front of my left thigh.  This is all that shows when I wear my one-piece modest swimming suit.  But so what? I’m there to swim – not compete in a swimsuit modeling contest. And when I’m face down in the water, nobody can see either scar.

I’ve reads so much about can you or can’t you do a frog kick with an artificial hip.  The answer seems to depend on what model hip you have.  Mine can do a mini-frog. I can get my knees a reasonable distance apart. I can get my feet further apart than that – but not by much.  I used to compete in the breast stroke.  Now I can barely glide.  But it’s still fun.

My new hip does a great butterfly kick. It can flex back and forward with ease.  Thanks to my PT, I’ve got the range of motion necessary.  A month ago, the part where the hips go forward and the feet go up would have been impossible.  This is the maneuver that gives the true speed of the kick. I missed that as my old hip bit the dust.  

My new hip does a fine flutter kick, just like the old one. I’d say my freestyle is as fast as ever.

The oddest change with my new hip is that I find myself crashing into the lane divider ropes when I do a side-stroke scissors kick.  My right leg is much stronger than my left leg, but this only seems to show up in the scissors kick. I nearly kicked the pants of a swimmer in the next lane.

My first time out, I managed a quarter mile.  Last summer before my hip quit on me, I was doing half a mile without tiring.  I hope to get up to that by the end of this summer.  One more step in getting my life back.  I still have to master going down stairs without clutching the banister, sitting in a chair without my wobble cushion, and a few other basics.  It’s odd that I can bike all over town but I can’t stand around chatting with my neighbors.  I never knew how many different muscles are used with the hip joint in so many ways.

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