"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Were Asking

About my new hip joint. The good news is the arthritis went out with the old joint. I am still going to the therapy pool at the hospital. The routine is sixteen visits to learn how to do the exercises and then three months at twice a week to practise. It must be helping but I don't know if I'm progressing. I'm still walking with two canes.

Worrying if things are melding the way they should is maybe the most stressful thing about the experience.

I had a list of things to attend to before the surgery. I went to the hospital one day for a workshop of some kind. I asked at the front desk where to find it. They had no idea. They asked what it was about. I told them.

"Oh yes," they said, "That's the pre-registration. That's round the corner."

I went there and sure enough, there were things for me to do. Questions to answer and such. My hospital experience is limited.

When it came to the moment of surgery, it seemed I had missed an important pre-requisite. The workshop required preparation exercises.

I also lost weight - but it wasn't enough. The surgeon's assistant, there were to have been two, had
enormous difficulty. My spine was in awful condition. The planned epidural could not be accomplished. They tried hard. I had several holes in my back to prove it. But a general anaesthetic had to be used.

My bent knee was still another serious impediment. I had talked about my knee beforehand. I wanted it to be known. I had the feeling I wasn't being heard. But I tried. After the surgery, on hearing all the terrible things with which they had to contend, I was quickly persuaded the surgery could not possiblly be successful and furthermore, it was all my fault.

I did get on my feet. I seemed to be doing alright .Then I noticed something. My upper body slopes substantially to the left as I sit. I regularly have to raise myself to the right to prevent tipping right over.

I already had a tilted pelvis due to mismatched legs.They had been that way since birth. Half an inch on the heel of my left shoe had helped but not corrected the limp completely. In my dreams I hoped the surgery might correct that and I would move gracefully for the first time in my life.

I never noticed my entire body listed to the left. Now I do. I talked about the mismatched legs before the surgery. But that too seemed not to register.

In the dressing room after the therapy, the women freely chat about their various experience.
So far the consensus is that things are not progressing as they should. When there are only two women, there will be whispered confidence, had she known how much pain she would not have gone through with the surgery.

One woman is very anxious to get back to work. She had knee surgery and had no idea she would be unable to stand. Her job requires standing all day. She likes it and needs to work.

Everyone seems to know people who wouldn't do it again.

I'm not thinking that. The arthritis is gone. It was in my knee before it became unendurable in my hip. Now there is no pain in my knee and none in my hip.

However, my tilted pelvis is giving concern. It has to be x-rayed. I have to add an inch to the heel and sole of my shoe. I'm not thrilled about that. Adding an inch on top of the half inch to my shoe isn't going to make me sit any straighter.I will await the results of the x-ray before I tackle the shoe.

So, since you asked, I am glad I had the hip surgery. The pain is gone. I am still working on regaining mobility. I am hopeful it will improve although I am obviously never going to glide like a swan or dance like an elf except maybe in virtual reality.

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