Yours truly wrapped in a healing shawl five days after surgery
It’s been a full month since my first total hip replacement, giving me a new (decidedly left-leaning) perspective on self-mobility.

I spent the first two weeks in institutions -- first a large teaching hospital, then a small-town nursing home --  where I had no choice but to give up all control over my body and my time. More recently, husband Dave has been pinch-hitting as chief nurse, cook and picker upper. Thanks, everyone for all you’ve done for me!

And, thanks to those of you who called or wrote to cheer me through this ordeal. And, it has been an ordeal. A few untoward events occurred during surgery that I won’t go into here, however they convinced me to wait a few weeks (or months) before I go under the knife again. I’m looking at April or May for hip replacement #2.

A long prosthesis in my left leg has put me a little closer to the clouds on the west side. The surgeon promises to remedy this asymmetry when he installs its mate on the right.   

At this point, most of my heavy-duty meds are history and most of my days are spent in physical therapy or on the couch. As of yesterday, we retired the walker for a copper cane as main upright support. When I squint, I can see a time in the not-so-distant future when I’ll walk unattended, again.

By all accounts, my 10 inches of my wound are sight to behold, vitals are perfect and prognosis is excellent. All I have to do is keep on keeping on, as my West Virginia grandmother used to say.

All this hoopla comes with a price of course. Some of it I knew going in; some I didn’t.

For example, my surgeon is very strict on hip precautions. He says I can never again:
·cross my feet or legs
·touch my toes, tie my shoelaces, trim my own nails, etc.
·twist and shout, or not shout
·soak in a bubble bath
·reduce the angle between my upper and lower halfs to less than 90 degrees.

Not sure if this knocks me out of kayaking, sidestroke swimming, many Nautilus machines or Pilates moves, but will find out.

It’s not that I’ve lost my ability to do these things, but the surgeon warns the prosthesis could fail. If so, he’d have to replace the thing through yet a third surgery, and I say no way, Jose.

So, while I mourn the fact that I’ll never again pick up a grandchild off the floor, bend over to pat a cat or do stomach crunches in aquatic exercise class, I’m changing my ways one move at a time. If you want to help, please pat lots of cats, pick up little kids and do many, many crunches for me!



01/08/2011 13:24

Clipping toenails is the toughest thing on the list. I've picked up lots of things - and surely the doctor told you about the 'golfer's stoop' - with your operated leg out in back of you. Of course that won't work when you have the second hip done. Oh well. I was trying to be encouraging.

01/08/2011 13:34

I just read your FLight Plan - and wonder if you know about, a blog written by a Rowe friend. check it out.

01/09/2011 13:16

All things considered, it sound like you are pulling through. Way to go!

01/09/2011 17:19

thanks, K, I'm gettin there!

and, thanks for the encouragement, CW. Yes, I know about fiftyshift. Have actually written to BJ inviting her to meet me for a cup of coffee somewhere, but she never responded. Her blog is on my blogroll (in right column) and I recommended it to seniors in a story I did for the paper.

01/10/2011 11:40

This certainly is a wake up call for me. It shows me how very long I have been absent from blogging. I hope to remedy this soon as I am almost caught up.

I had no idea that you had a hip replacement. I can empathize with you on what you are going through.

I broke my hip 2 years ago last Thanksgiving and still need an aid when walking outside. I manage okay in my house, but have to use a walker if I will be stepping up or down (as on a curb). I think that is more a balance problem than hip movement.

I had to pay a podiatrist $50 to trim my toenails so I solved that problem by getting a pedicure for half that amount when needed. I can tie my shoes now, so maybe you will be able to also.

I can pick things up off the floor without my grabber, but I have to be careful to put the injured-side leg out behind me or I suffer the consequences.

I am sorry you have to go through this again. It is not the most fun thing to be doing. Maybe we 'hippies' should form a club. I read blogs from three other women who have had hip replacements. And I see you have found another candidate. '-).

01/12/2011 16:33

Aren't prayer shawls wonderful?? Anita has one that was given to her when Bill passed away.........on another note, Barb will have knee replacement surgery in June after our trip to the National Parks out west. Love the quilts - are they by Karen from Wayne HS??

01/12/2011 19:01

Darlene---Thanks for all the kind words and for sharing your story. You certainly know what I'm going through! I'll have my second surgery at the end of March, so should be mobile again by summer.

June---Wes, I was so touched by the ladies of the church, who sent me the beautiful shawl when I needed it, in the nursing home. Sorry to hear about Barb's upcoming surgery, but hope she'll do well. And, yes, that's our Karen making those beautiful quilts. They make me want to dance and sing.

06/29/2012 04:01

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