Today is the six-month anniversary of my first hip replacement. Two weeks ago I visited with my surgeon to discuss my next hip replacement. I guess this is my year to get a new set of wheels…
Here are the xrays, on the left my hips on March 8th, on the right my hips on October 6th:
The joint space has narrowed in the last 5 months, particularly on the lower, back side. This is what I feel, and hear, when I move and now when I sit and lie down. When I described what’s happening now, the only question Dr. Shukla and Davis (his assistant) had was, “When would you like to schedule surgery?” I picked May 16th, 8 months from my first surgery.
I am still having problems with the muscles in my right hip, mostly in the area that is over the knot on the end of the cable that surrounds my femur. Dr. Shukla says that the irritation could be caused by the cable and we can consider removing it later if the problems continue. He did warn me that if my left femur looks anything like my right, he will have to cable it. We both agree it would be great if he didn’t have to, then there would be a basis of comparison between the two sides. I guess we will see what happens. I trust his judgment.
I am grateful that they told me the second hip could take the fast track after the first one was replaced. Though I was hoping it would last longer, I was at least prepared that it might not. But, I still feel like I’m in shock and trying to wrap myself around this whole unfolding scenario.
I’m in a better place with it all two weeks after the appointment. I can see all the benefits to going ahead with it, though I dread doing this so soon after the last one. The reality is that I am afraid to walk very much now and this is not helpful for my right hip, which really needs to be strengthened. I do what I can in the pool, and with yoga and Tai Chi. But that isn’t getting me any closer to my goal of being able to walk and stand at least enough to live a more normal life.
So, now I am doing my best to psych myself up for this. Trying to stay focused on all the positives is helpful, and knowing I have such a wonderful community of friends, family and neighbors who are here for me. I am confident it will go well, though I am prepared for a long rehabilitation. Now I will be rehabbing two hips, but at least they will be strong, balanced and correctly attached to my body. Finally having a solid foundation under me is something I look forward to! I’m curious about how that will feel and how the rehab may be different when I’m no longer wonky.
Lately, I’ve reflected on the bigger picture surrounding the events of this year. I know that I am in the midst of a major transformation of my life, not just my butt… I am entering a new phase, hopefully with more compassion, patience, tolerance and wisdom. I am realigning the deeper parts of myself, creating a firm foundation within and without. I guess what I’m trying to say is I know it isn’t just about my hips, but about my whole being, my whole life. I will never be the same after this year. And that is not a bad thing.
I can already feel the softening, the slowing down, taking hold of me. I don’t want it to let go as I heal physically. I won’t let it go. For me, life has always been a race to get things done, to reach goals, to make plans for the future, to run away from the pain of the past or the anxiety of the present. This experience has literally sat me down, forced me to get and stay quiet. I’m finding that I love the peace of stillness and silence. There is no place to go out there, nothing to do, just be here and now in this moment. Though I have understood this intellectually and pursued it in meditation for the last 27 years, it’s only now that I am experiencing it more and more. And I want more! More of less. These old hips have been a godsend.