I imposed a deadline on myself last week, that Monday, yesterday, I would call the surgeon whom I expect to do my hip replacement. Before I felt I could do that, I had to be sure I had a CD with my X-rays on it. One thing that NEVER happened in California was that people would have what you need for you RIGHT now, so I was a little stunned when the radiologist at the hospital in Del Norte (14 miles away) said, “Oh, no problem. We’ll have the CD ready for you in half an hour,” followed by, “Is that soon enough?”

What? I jumped in the shower (ha ha), dressed and went to Del Norte. On the way I was privy to a lovely western scene. A cowboy with a front loader had just dropped a huge bale of hay on the pasture and was breaking it up. About 5 yards to his right, his little herd of Angus steers was strolling over to it for lunch.

I arrived, parked and walked (ha ha) into the hospital. I rang the bell for the radiologist who came out and said, “Martha? Wait here. I have it ready.” She knew it was me, but she checked my ID anyway. I just said, “It’s nice to be carded.” The irony THERE is by carding me I can prove I’m a 66 year old crippled person not that I’m actually 21, in spite of looking 16.

Time was. Fuck it.

She laughed. I appreciate the dark humor of many who work in the medical field.

I hobble/limped back to the car and drove home. There I said to Bear, “There’s one more thing I have to do.” I picked up the phone and she prepared to climb on my lap — her standard thing when I’m talking to someone on the phone. Among Bear’s many traits there is a little vein of envy.

I asked to make an appointment with the doc, got transferred, said my say, and was offered an appointment not in a month or two months or sometime early in 2019, but this coming Friday.

The bells in my brain clanged out the message, again, “You’re not in California any more!”

I’m going to shoot for surgery in June. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is just the simple convenience of getting around in summer vs. winter. Spring is often when we have the heaviest snows and the hospital is over a mountain pass from Monte Vista. Also, I remember what it was like just getting dressed 11 years ago when I had the surgery on my other hip — it was annoying and difficult. In summer? I wear shorts, simple, plain old LL Bean shorts with a drawstring and elastic. Glamor? Maybe if you’re really weird… Putting on shoes and socks after hip replacement is fun, too. There is actually a tool for the socks, but if I don’t absolutely HAVE to wear them, all the better.

With all this arranged, I felt a dark sense of “Fuck it,” and took Bear and Dusty for a walk. It was a lovely afternoon, and we were accompanied briefly by a hawk, flying very low in front of us, looking for carry-out. That almost fixed everything. ❤

24 thoughts on “Progress?

    • Yeah, mostly the towns in the San Luis Valley DON’T have it but what they have oh my, they are proud of it and share it and do it well. It’s almost worth the major inconvenience of long drives to more major cities. Anyway, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. ❤

  1. Glad everything went well and you can hopefully go ahead. I have all my x-ray discs (CD) at home. Our hospital no longer keeps them but gives them to you after the examination. They are quite good as I can always have a look on the computer of my inside construction now and again.

    • I was shocked by this X-ray. I didn’t know my spine was shaped like an S. I should be at least 4 inches taller! :O Luckily, the only problem it’s caused me is having to put up with short person jokes.

  2. June is a great month for surgery. Warm, but not hot and usually, not too rainy, either. Garry is going to have to schedule HIS surgery, though he won’t be in for more than a day or two … I’m hoping May or June for my own sake. Driving is a lot easier if the road isn’t icy. Especially since I don’t drive much these days.

    At least you know the routine from last time. It doesn’t make it easier or less painful and recovering is such a dreary business … but you are doing everything you can to make the process easier and you can’t do more than that. Do you have someone who might be able to stay with you afterwards for a week or two … just to help out?

    • I’m not sure how the logistics are going to work. My house is well set up for a person using a walker — no necessry steps, a ramp to the driveway, bathroom right off my bedroom. My helpers all live within 100 feet of me and I think a friend will stay with me for a week. I expect to spend a few days in the swing bed program at the hospital and come home a week/10 days after my surgery.

      If everything goes well, by week 3 I should be driving. I hope so. I was remembering last time when my helper was the Evil X (negative help) and I came home (10 hour drive from the hospital to my house) to three big dogs. Dusty was at training camp. I never thought dogs would be a problem and I still don’t, but I won’t be able to walk them and that’s a problem I’ll have to figure out.

      My other surgery was far more invasive and radical than this one is supposed to be. I missed 3 weeks of school and taught from home. It will be good to meet the doc, find out if it will cost anything (and how much) and what I can expect.

      Our wettest month is usually August and by then I should be pretty much good to go. I don’t care. I have to do it and summer isn’t my favorite season. I hope that this way by the time my favorite season does arrive, I’ll be all better. 🙂

      • Got my fingers crossed – my version of prayer. I could write an “AMEN” in Facebook … no, actually, I think I couldn’t. I remember going in for each of my big surgeries. In the end, you just go and do it and it works out, more or less time. Less surgery is generally better and let’s hope your hip is good with it too! Up and walking in less than a month? That sounds pretty good, all things considered.

        • They get hip replacement patients up and walking the day after surgery. I remember from my other hip — which was in far worse shape than the one I’m contending with now and hurt constantly — the morning after my surgery, the doc and the physical therapist came in. It was my 55th birthday! They got me up with the walker and we walked down the hall together and I remember how it felt to WALK without excruciating pain. I just walked and cried and cried and cried. Back in my room was a birthday party — champagne and cake and a present. It was a tiny hospital in Mt. Shasta CA. It was hard to find a surgeon in the US who could do the surgery I wanted which was considered experimental. Anyway, you’re right. You just go and you do it and then you do what you have to do to recover. 🙂

  3. I am so happy to hear this, Martha. Will the doc be willing to wait that long or do you think he will suggest you have surgery sooner? Or is that totally your choice? Either way–things look good.

    • It’s considered “elective” surgery so I think I’ll be able to say so, but if he has a conflict, then that’s another thing. My helper’s husband is having hip surgery at the end of April so I have to give him 6 weeks at least to get back on his feet. He has a tougher row to hoe than me as he’s got more physical problems. When he’s up and at it again, I’m sure my friend will YEARN for a quiet vacation in Monte Vista.

      • Ha! Oh, yes. A man with a cold is bad enough (surely he is dying), but a man with hip surgery. Yikes. You sound like you have it all worked out so my fingers are crossed for you.

  4. The anticipation is usually worse than the reality, I think. All that ‘what if?’ and half the time it doesn’t happen. And the stuff that does happen? ‘We cope because we have no alternative’ has been my motto for many years, and we;re usually a whole lot better at coping than we gave ourselves credit for in advance.
    It will all be fine, Martha. I have every faith that you’ll make sure it is. 🙂

Comments are closed.