Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Change is Gonna Come

Little Cuter is arriving today.

Tomorrow I'm having my hip replaced.

For eleven and a half years I've been exercising, concentrating, reconnecting nerves, losing numbness, reclaiming my glutes, and limping all the while.  As long as the pain moved around, I knew that I was targeting weakness.  That was a good thing.  

But for the past six months or so, the pain has been static - my entire hip joint hurts all the time.  My quads and my hamstrings are doing their best, but, as my x-ray showed us last month, arthritis has invaded my acetablulum and my femoral head.  It looked like snow in December - all white and crusty and definitely not as sharp and pristine as my youthful left hip.

The answer was obvious - it was time for it to come out.

I'm going to the same doctor who did the repair back in 2011, when the damage was new and I was younger.  I don't remember much from that hospitalization, but I do remember telling the surgeon that I wanted to keep my own stuff.  So, he put me back together with screws and plates and spit and baling wire, all twisted together in an intricate web that has held me (basically) upright for more than a decade.  

It's done all that it can do.  It's time to replace it with artificial body parts.

That's a creepy thing to contemplate.  I didn't like having an IUD, not for the cramping but because it was a foreign body inside my human self.  I'm not thrilled with fillings in my teeth.  

Going under anesthesia isn't my favorite way to spend a morning, although they'll be using a lighter method that will have me awake as soon as the mask is removed.  Last time they went into me, they used a tube down my throat that irritated my uvula to the point of being unable to swallow.  I won't have that issue this time, but being unaware of what's going on around me is not my favorite place to be.

But, I can't get up without groaning.  I have moved from limping to gimping to waddling to swaying.  Since I've made the decision, my gait has gotten worse; there's no use in trying to work through the discomfort when the discomfort will soon be gone.

That's right. Gone.  

What sold me on doing the procedure was the nurse telling me that when you wake up that pain you feel in your hip will be gone.  There will be surgical pain, but the hip pain will be gone.

Gone.

My constant companion since CTG died, the aches that pull me back to gunshots in front of the grocery store will be no more.  Several years ago, Brother looked at me with compassion.  You don't ever get a break, do you?  It's a constant reminder, isn't it.

I don't know what I'll do without that reminder.  It's been lurking in my brain for a long, long time.  There will be a void.  I don't know what will fill it.  I hope that gliding smoothly across the floor will put joy where there was angst.  I hope that bending without being reminded that my body doesn't like doing that any more will make me smile.  Yoga and Pilates and lifting weights, tumbling and rumbling with my grandkids,  hiking and squatting and just moving without pain --- all this is in my future.

I don't need aches to remind me of my little friend.  I don't need to suffer in order to honor her memory.  I do need to reclaim those parts of my life that the shooter took from me.  Surgery is the next step on that journey.

I'm taking Thursday and Friday off from blogging.  I'll be back on Monday morning with an update.

16 comments:

  1. Good thoughts to you! I have friends who have been through this surgery and have done very well. You are fit, healthy, with a positive attitude, and an excellent surgeon, and you will be active again before long. Take care.

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  2. Wishing you well with surgery and recovery and therapy. You've been through so much, you can easily do this. I know many who have gone before you and they are all pleased with the results. Looking forward to hearing your update.

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  3. Hips are a breeze compared to knees, or so everyone says. Even my Uncle at age 80 something came through his hip surgery way better than I did with my knee - I will always have pain from the scar tissue and he doesn't. I have no doubt you will also do well!

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  4. Wishing you a successful surgery and quick recovery. You can do this.

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  5. Sending love and strength and wishes for a speedy recovery. Both Aged Parm and the Big Cheese said the same thing as that nurse: the pain of their bad knees and hips kept getting worse and was never going to improve, while the pain from the surgery was less bad and would improve quickly. Both became evangelists for joint replacements after they had theirs. Good luck!

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  6. I had hip replacement surgery a year ago last January. The docs describe it as carpentry. They saw off your old joint parts, hammer in new metal ones, wake you up, and tell you to get up and walk. And you do! I had mine as day surgery. They taught me how to do stairs and that night at home I climbed my 15 steps to go to bed. The healing went well, but unfortunately I developed tendonitis in that hip from snipping done during the surgery and that pain persists. Everyone is different. I wish you all the best.

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  7. After having both knees replaced (not at the same time) and not hurting anymore, being able to get around just like I always had, I say it's worth it. You are gonna feel like a new person.

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  8. Hope it all goes well and seems like the right decision. I also hate anesthetics for the same reasons-- seeming lack of control

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