Category: Thoughts on Life


Hip Replacement Recovery or What the Hell Am I Supposed To Do Now?

November 4th, 2010 — 3:41pm
My throne and my gear.

My throne and my gear.

Family visits filled up my first week home from the hospital. Watching Verbena play at my feet and climb through my walker was a great diversion. My girls cooked, organized and fussed over me like I was the “Queen Mum.” Recovery was feeling VERY pleasant.

After family left and Bill went back to work, the days slowed, and thus spawned my addiction to home-improvement shows. Night and day, repeats or new, house hunting, house selling, husband-repair blunders, new houses, old houses, Ten Grand In My Pocket, I watched it ALL.  Not the stellar way I expected to spend the first totally free time I’ve had in years.

Self-intervention was needed. I made a list of things I should do every day: Shower, Exercise, Pray, Eat well, Chores, Read. Today, I’ve showered, eaten well, and accomplished a few chores.  Time management – I wish that it came naturally to me. I wonder if just the act of “being” might be what I need more than anything. Quiet moments with my thoughts – listening within. That will take some practice. This time is a gift that should be used wisely. I hope that I can be wise

Amidst this mental confusion, my physical body is on a straight and steady path toward healing.  I’m hardly in any pain at all. My new hip and I are getting comfortable with each other. I walk with a cane, I can shower and dress myself (except for socks), I’ve cooked some, and I’m inventing ways to maneuver through life. I cannot bend my body more than 90 degrees, so filling Bentley’s water dish, for example, is a challenge.  I figured out that I could bring the water to the dish, instead of the dish to the water. I’m using a basket to transport things around my house, and I do ballerina moves (placing my healing leg out front or out back) to bend a little lower. The best news of all . . . my left leg is now the same size as my right! It’s a beautiful thing and sometimes I cheer myself up by lifting my matching feet and admiring them.

Currently my TV is off. The quiet is refreshing. I think I’ll go exercise now. Besides, “Rehab Addict” (DIY Network) doesn’t come on until later.

8 comments » | Thoughts on Life

Grandma Susie’s Hip

October 8th, 2010 — 12:27pm
My new hip.

My new hip.

On October 18th, I’m going to get a brand new hip. I was 11 years old when I first felt pain in my left hip joint. I’d play hard, running and riding bikes etc, but when I sat down afterwards, my hip would lock and hurt. After noticing me limping, my parents took me to Boston Children’s Hospital for a diagnosis.

The doctors believed that my hip had been dislocated since birth (Hip Displasia). They beefed up my socket with a donor bone and pinned my new and old hip joint together in surgery. The hip was so accustomed to the old position, it snapped out again. I had a second surgery using more pins for holding power. A full-body cast for three months followed, and then crutches for a time. I’ve had about 46 years of an active, relatively pain-free life on that repair.

Hip displasia can be caused by genetics or a baby’s position in the womb. When the baby passes through the birth canal, the hip dislocates due to a shallow hip socket. Today, babies are checked for this at birth. Fixed in the first few weeks of life, these babies will grow up with normal long-lasting hips.

Because I was in a full body cast during a period of rapid physical growth (the preteen age), my left leg is 5/8″ shorter than my right.  I also only had 80% of  a normal hip rotation all these years. I’ve never been able to sit cross legged, as in a yoga position, and I couldn’t pull my left knee up under my chin like I could with my right, etc. My doctor believes he can adjust my new hip to make my left leg a little longer. Amazing! I’m looking forward to walking without pain and I’m hoping I’ll be able to move my leg way more normally. All I have to do is get through this tiny little hiccup called surgery and then about six months of total healing (although they do see improvement in mobility for up to a year).

That good old unique hip of mine was never meant to last beyond the age of 40, but it lasted almost 18 years longer. I’d like to get more mileage out of this new one. I’ll try to post about my surgery and recovery experience. Please remember me on the 18th of this month with a little prayer.

8 comments » | Thoughts on Life

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