Old ladies write — and talk — about their health challenges. Ah well… There is no talisman against time.

Yesterday I went to my third physical therapy session. My PT guy is on vacation (spring break) so I had a different therapist. I liked him, too.

Today I saw my neighbors. They are a decade or so older than I. B had surgery to repair his thumb. Part of a tendon in his wrist was cut out to replace worn cartilage in his thumb. He’s cruising around with a cast holding his thumb in place.

It’s pretty miraculous. I thought of Mrs. Thornton, my piano teacher when I was in 6th and 7th grade. The arthritis in her hands was so bad she was in constant pain and couldn’t play. To add to the pain she already suffered was all of our bad playing. She just hit us when we made mistakes, or dragged our hands against the keys if we fucked up an arpeggio. No one was repairing arthritic hands back in the 60s.

At the moment it seems like the main focus of my life is on preparing for a new hip. It really does take a lot of time and, the morning after PT can be quite painful. This morning I woke up wondering why I’m doing it. There is no fountain of youth. I thought, “This is my version of a facelift.”


26 thoughts on “Hiplift

  1. My therapist comes twice a week at least and visits me at home. That is a big plus for me because I can do the exercises most beneficial in my surroundings. She is helping with my MS problem in my right hand, and I should play the piano as a therapy. It is supposed to help strengthen the fingers, although it does not sound as good as it should. Wish you all the best with your progress.

    • We learned to give my dad his PT at home. It helped him a lot. I suppose after my surgery, my PT therapist might come here for the first couple of weeks. Meantime I spend about 2 hours a day at home on my own doing what I’m supposed to do to get ready. At the moment, it seems utterly pointless and vain.

  2. In time those two hours a day will prove invaluable — the added strength in your hip muscles will help a lot!

      • I absolutely agree! Last week I was at the eye surgeon again — they want to do another laser procedure to maximize the near vision, and I agree that it would probably be a good idea. It suddenly hit me that my face has been healing for the last 6 months, after 3 eye surgeries and two basal cell cancer surgeries (one with a skin graft) — I commented on this to the surgeon, and told him I was ready to tell people to stay away from my face! He (and the optometrist today) understood the comment, and we’ve come up with a plan to re-evaluate in another 5 months. It’s tough being a good little soldier, but within limits it’s the best course of action!

        • I did what I had to do this afternoon, much to the disappointment of my dogs. But I’m planning a “human” day tomorrow and they’re going to “doggie daycare.” Bear will get to play with a bunch of young dogs so it will even out — then back to business as usual. walk the dogs 1 mile. Ride the Airdyne 8 miles. Do PT for however long it takes. Rinse,repeat. 😀

      • Have a great “human day” tomorrow — hope your weather is great! Rinse and repeat is about all one can do for a face!

  3. Martha, before you posted “Hiplift”, you had re-posted an old story. I started reading it abd was enjoying it but had to quit to go to a meeting. Now I can’t find that story, and it’s killing me not knowing how it ends. It was about a journey from Colorado to New Mexico that started with a description of the driver being pulled over for speeding. I need to know the name of that post, please, so I can finish the story. Help!

  4. They can’t fix my hands because I have TWO kinds of arthritis and they can only fix one. I’m not sure I understand that very well. They came here to therapize me post heart surgery, but all they did was hand around and ask Garry about his work. He useta be somebody.

    • That sucks! They should have paid 100% attention to YOU.

      I truly cannot believe how much improvement I’ve seen in myself in only two weeks. It’s no fun; I mean I just spent 1 hour and 45 minutes, but if it makes it more likely that the surgery will work and easier for the doc to install the new part and I will be able to walk better, it’s OK.

      • I had one doctor who said she could fix my hands, but that was exactly when my heart surgery came up, so the hand suddenly wasn’t all that important. Now, she seems to be gone and everyone else says it can’t be done. A pity because my hands are getting pretty bad. Swollen knuckles and very painful wrists. I know the wrists are a carpal tunnel issues, but the fingers are arthritis — but which KIND of arthritis. The current thinking is RA, but I’m a pianist and a typist and it could as easily be osteo — which they CAN fix. Our medical system is like a giant grab bag. You reach in and grab a doctor and if you are lucky, you get a real prize — or you get a horse’s ass.

        I’m glad you are really happy with you P.T. We don’t have a lot of medical facilities in central Mass. We don’t have a lot of anything and we have a real shortage of good P.T. facilities. The few we’ve got are all part of senior facilities and they don’t seem to have a clue what to do with me.

  5. glad its making a difference, Martha. Tedious stuff, and the stronger and more normally aligned and functioning your muscles are prior to surgery, the faster the recovery. Much less disruption of your kinesthetic sense if everything is more aligned before the joint is changed out. Facelift equivalent–interesting concept.

    • I have a lot more vanity over my ability to move than I ever had about my appearance. 🙂

      I think that what I’m doing now would have been good for me before my other joint surgery 11 years ago. I never really regained my full abilities after that. I think in the 3 – 4 years leading up to it, when I was struggling and in so much pain, I must have developed some bad habits and compromised my normal biomechanics without knowing it. I have not been “right” (ha ha) since that, really, and there’s nothing wrong with the prosthesis. I really appreciate your explanation (and moral support!)

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