This is a rebuilding year.

You know how sports teams, when they have lost all their star players and consequently are not winning many games, they call it a "rebuilding year"?

That's what Smokey and I are having in 2012… literally.

But not in the traditional sense. More in the personal sense.

Thirty years ago Smokey fell off a ladder and hurt his back. While it has bothered him for almost the entire time since, the pain has become debilitating in the past couple years. A doctor finally x-rayed it and found that his spine looks like this:


No wonder it hurts! It seems to be pinching a nerve so is giving him all kinds of leg pain, too.

Although surgery is not necessarily the best alternative for lower back pain — rest, pain meds, and proper exercise are — his problem is clearly a mechanical one that can be solved by surgery. We have hopes that he will be able to resume more-or-less normal activity once he recovers from the surgery, which is scheduled for June 25, the day after his birthday.

I shall be busy this summer waiting on him hand and foot the same way he took care of me when I broke my ankle in 2008

Then there is me. I have been suffering from hip pain for about a year and a half. Have had several cortisone injections, which helped. Until the last one, in December, that I didn't think helped… until it wore off in March and I had significant pain. Pretty much constantly. Finally went to the ortho doc last week, they x-rayed, and said things to the effect of "oooh, I bet that smarts!" Turns out that hip is bone on bone, all natural cushioning is gone.

So once Smokey is up on his feet again, probably near the end of summer, I will be having a hip replacement. 

::sigh:: and ::hurrah!::

In the meantime the PA told me to 1, eat 50g of protein a day to ensure my muscles and other tissues are as healthy as possibly and able to heal quickly; B, try to avoid gluten and sugar, as they can promote inflammation (inflammation = pain); and iii, eat lots of dark green leafy vegies like kale, mustard greens, asparagus, and broccoli because they have the trace minerals needed to grow bone; and d, have physical therapy to see if any exercises can reduce my pain in the interval until surgery.

Now, my first thought at eating 50g of protein every day was Whoopee! This will be fun! But it turns out to be not as easy as I thought. 25g of protein is a serving of meat about the size of my fist. Imagine eating that much chicken or fish or steak or seafood twice a day. That is a lot!

The gluten and sugar avoidance will be harder, although I am doing well so far. Chris gave me some brands to look for in the store and also some to avoid. The Glutino crackers have replaced saltines in my crackers & cheese snacks. Rice, quinoa, and oats: fine. Wheat, rye, and barley: no. I bought some rice-based spaghetti that we will try and some non-gluten flour (Bob's Red Mill) that I will try substituting in baked goods. Thanks to Cookie I had already planned to buy some frozen fruit bars — found some that were no sugar added. 

All this diet stuff will be good for both of us. Smokey is diabetic so should avoid carbs. I have a hunch that if we stick to the high protein, lots of green (and other) vegies, we will lose a few pounds, which will also be good for the surgery and long-term recovery.

This entry was posted in Food and Drink, Hip replacement, Smokey back. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to This is a rebuilding year.

  1. k says:

    Sorry about all the in-between stuff, but Yay! Bionic People! I’m glad you will be getting better.

  2. Cookie says:

    Oh, honey, I am so sorry! Thank goodness you both have teams of people looking after you and you both seem to have good plans.

  3. Erika says:

    Wow and ouch and yikes!

  4. Soxanne says:

    Ow -good luck with it all.
    And if you want pointers on how to eat all that meat, I would suggest chatting with Boy-child. He can eat that much protein in one sitting.

  5. Big Alice says:

    Good luck with this year. I am sorry you are having to cope with it. Heal quickly, both of you!
    I would have a hard time with the gluten & sugar, sigh
    Maybe this will help?: I cannot say I am a huge fan of kale, but I love this salad:
    actually I love this salad at the pizza place who makes it, and I really want to try to make it myself. And for years I was no salad person, but this is like greens ought to be.

  6. Carole says:

    Making changes like this can be hard, even when you know it’s for the best. You can do this, though!

  7. Linda says:

    Oh dear! So sorry about the health problems. But hopefully all will turn out and you both will be soooo much better. Kinda stinks that this will be a recuperating summer, but future ones will be full of activities and enjoyment – pain free! Wishing you and Smokey a great weekend. Relax. Enjoy.

  8. Vicki says:

    Whew! That’s a lot of rebuilding!! I know you’ll do just fine…

  9. Chris says:

    Good luck to both of you! And I can’t believe no one noticed how messed up his poor spine was earlier. Eep!
    Oats tend to be cross-contaminated unless they’re certified otherwise, but since you’re not actually gluten-intolerant, it probably isn’t a big deal for you.
    I was going to recommend Tinkyada brown rice pasta to you – is that what you happened to get? Avoid corn pasta (unless it’s mixed with quinoa), because it is kinda gross when you cook it. Oh, and DeBoles (sp?) has some no precooking required lasagna noodles that work really well.

  10. Mary Lou says:

    Sorry you have to do it, but hooray for modern medicine. One of my riding buddies had a hip replacement, she did a bunch of phyical therapy to get as strong as she good before the surgery and came thru with flying colors. She’s riding again. (She is in her 60’s, btw.) Best of luck to both of you.

  11. Telling a person who is in pain that they have to eat broccoli…that is just too cruel!!

  12. cursingmama says:

    Well Wishes!
    I’m trying to eat more protein too.. it isn’t easy… Greek Yogurt, grilled chicken breast – avoiding soy because they suspect it messes with my thyroid – beans… quinoa… lentils..eggs
    I’m learning all about non-meat protein sources that aren’t soy because ThePrincess is vegetarian now.

  13. bullwinkle says:

    Wow – that’s a lot going on for one year. Excellent to make the dietary changes pre-surgery; it can’t hurt and it may help. (And I’m all for “the body is a temple” and what you put into it matters. A lot.)
    It’s also a tremendous amount of “work” – as in, a major change that goes counter to current marketing practices. (My method to counter the marketing is to sort of plan out the good food for the day, and eat that first. If I get through it all, I can have whatever I want.)

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