Until you are broken… “Until you are broken, you don’t know what you are made of. It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger. (author unknown)” The past two years have certainly been challenging. Last year I got struck again and again with “postpartum” and thyroid disease problems. Only to find out, those postpartum problems weren’t postpartum problems at all, they were from my bones growing abnormally as a child and now I was left with completely degenerated hip joints. My diagnosis consisted of both hips with severe arthritis, cysts, bone impingements, multiple labrum tears, and almost complete loss of cartilage in the right hip, while the left was on its way to total loss as well. My pubic bone also has a large cyst and instability. In hindsight, part of me is happy that it wasn’t postpartum issues, and that I wasn’t just a sissy to DNF at Black Canyon when my “vagina” hurt (as I mentioned in that blog previously), or Run Rabbit Run, when it’s clear now, I tore my left labrum taking a fall and trying to trudge on, but my leg just would not bend. The other part of me doesn’t know what to expect, yet clearly I need embrace the unknown. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 The first surgery went okay. The goal was to TRY scopes on both hips (right hip being the worst first) to save me from having to have total hip replacements right away. The surgeon, arguably the best in the world, Dr. Mei Dan, still could not guarantee he could save them. I arrived at Boulder Community Hospital and within 15 minutes I was being prepped and ready to go under (It wasn’t the first time I found myself on that bed, I had battled a heart condition most my life too that just sprung up in college and within two weeks I was having surgery for that. Again, God was my rock). I awoke over 6 hours after the hip operation had started, 3 hours past the amount of time that it was thought to take. My eyes were blurry, my head was foggy, and holy hell my leg hurt so bad and was swollen 3x the normal size! Ironically, ultra-running trained me for this moment, I immediately asked for ice chips to fight off the nausea and dehydration, working my way up to crackers and progressing up out of the bed. It was after 9pm and not until I stopped for a stomach settling coke slurpee, did Wyatt and I arrive home. Per Dr. Mei Dan’s orders, I was to get on the upright stationary bike immediately for 5 minutes. It seemed impossible and I knew this was the start of a long, long journey…not just physically but mentally. The second surgery was much like the first, although it didn’t take as long. The recovery has been going well, with encountering a few setbacks along the way. I’m now on the mend to remove scar tissue from the right hip that accumulated due to poor physical therapy (not my fault, nor CU Boulder’s but unfortunately, I went through 3 pt’s during that time to find a good one and it ended with some residual issues). While we bring that one back to balance, the left one is still currently healing but getting just as strong as the right. The new techniques I’ve learned with physical therapy are creating undeniable vigor. I've decided to forego the 3rd surgery. That surgery was for my pubic bone. Although there is still some pain there, I'm going to suck it up and deal with it. My only alternative is to get a metal plate in there and fuse my pubic bone together. No thank you, I'm gonna tough this one out. After all, I still may want to try for one more kid if my thyroid cooperates and once my hips heal. I will find out part of my running fate with in the month after an MRI on the right side, whereas I will still need to wait until February for the left side MRI. It's been harder mentally than physically. Staying busy certainly does help (Race Directing the Colorado 200, Hosting Rugged Running Camp, Coaching being a mom and wife!) The amount of pain wears on a person, but now I feel with my awesome Physical Therapist Sue, the skills of Dr. Mei Dan, and my pure grit … I will come back even stronger. This may not mean running for me, but I’ve gotten a taste of some technical mountain biking and I don’t see living my life without that anymore either! So until you are broken, setback, beat down, you really don’t know what you are made of. 9 months with no running so far and still counting. TO BE CONTINUED….