Thursday, March 9, 2017

One year post-op surgeon's visit

I'm sure you all know I'd rather be writing about the state of the Republic these days, but I just can't. CAN'T. cantcantcant. It's so hard to live through, I don't want to experience it twice by actually recording my thoughts about it.

My hip surgery, however, I will write about, because I began recording those experiences with the goal of helping someone else who might stumble across the blog as he or she was facing a total hip replacement.

I'm not nervous in the surgeon's waiting room (as I am in, say, a dentist's waiting room), so the long wait wasn't traumatic. Just boring. I'm pretty good at being patient, and knowing it took nearly an hour to get there and would take another to return if I walked out kept me planted in my seat.

I was x-rayed (everything is in place, exactly where it's supposed to be), and finally taken to an exam room for a talk with the doc.

He asked if I was having any problems, and I still have trouble going up and down stairs and bending to put a sock on or to tie my shoe (right side only). I thought it might be because of my weight, but when he began pressing hard on the muscles, the pain was pretty surprising.

He explained that the muscle had atrophied, needed to be built up (I should probably have done more physical therapy last year), and could be managed with another round of PT. I mentioned how disappointed I was that I weigh now exactly what I weighed when I had the surgery (which is about 50 pounds more than I'd like). He is the FIRST DOCTOR EVER to reassure me that it's not my fault, and added that once I gain back some muscle in my right hip I'll be able to be much more active.

I take that to mean that if I'm not more active, it will be my own damned fault.

At any rate … I have an appointment Monday with the physical therapist. A gym membership is part of my Medicare benefits, and I can use their equipment to do the therapy between PT appointments. 

A friend also suggested yoga might be helpful, so I asked the doctor about that. He expressed some concern that I wouldn't be able to maintain a perfect posture for some poses, but in general he encouraged me to do what I could do to help with flexibility and balance.

All in all, I'm pleased with the plan and motivated to begin. I'm hopeful for a good outcome, and I realize that I'll get out of it exactly what I put into it.

I wore a red shirt (in solidarity with International Women's Day) to my appointment, and stopped for a coffee on the way home. One of the baristas asked if I was wearing red for women's day, and she said she would have, but the company dress code doesn't include red. But she said, "I'm with you!" and I felt kind of bad that she was serving me on women's day, and all I could do was say, "No, I'm with YOU."

And leave her a nice tip.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy hip-a-versary

A year ago yesterday, about this time, I was being prepped for surgery. My hip joint was replaced a few hours later, and all I can do now – as then – is echo what so many other surgical replacement patients have said: Why did I wait so long?

For me, I waited so long because the notion of needing a hip replacement never even crossed my mind. I thought that was for old people, or people who'd been in accidents or had a fall. I was a runner (well, at least until my hip started hurting). Even after I stopped running, I continued to walk five miles a day. I wasn't old enough, or injured enough, to need a new joint.

Until I was.

I'm not where I want to be, health- or mobility-wise, a year later. I still have trouble putting shoes and socks on. I still walk up and down stairs one at a time, like a toddler. And I weigh five pounds less this morning than I did one year ago, which is about 40 pounds too many.

But my hip doesn't hurt. I'm walking, slowly but pain-free, as many days as the weather allows.

I'm using real-life situations as excuses for not eating right, but also trying to be realistic about it. At age 65, it's not likely I'll suddenly be cured of emotional or stress-eating tendencies. But I could be making at least a few better choices.

This winter has been rainy so far, resulting in a muddy parking area near the creek where I love to walk. Yesterday as my husband and I set out for yet another boring walk on our road, I suggested we drive down to the creek and park in the mud anyway. The sun was out (for a little while, anyway), and the temperature was moderate. The idea of walking along the creek on the anniversary of my surgery was very appealing.

So we did. And it was a lovely walk.

And it was just what I needed. I'm filled with dread for the future. Mr. Trump will take the oath of office tomorrow at noon. Republicans control Congress and are determined to pull the social safety net out from under anyone who isn't a rich white man. (YES, I'M EXAGGERATING. But only slightly. I've seen NO evidence otherwise.)

People are going to be hurt during a Trump (or Pence – I fully expect Trump's impeachment or resignation prior to completion of his term) administration. I hope the pain isn't debilitating.

Just nagging enough to require a replacement.

Monday, January 16, 2017

90 miles an hour

I kind of checked out of life for a few days there, didn't I? Crap happens, and virtual life gets put on hold to deal with the real thing. In addition to my mother-in-law's illness, which keeps us pretty busy, my dog tore her ACL (I had no idea dogs could do that). While putting a dog on bedrest wouldn't seem like it would take much of one's time, when the dog whines because she can't be in the same room with you … well, it does. I find myself on bedrest right along with her. Hah!

Aaaaannnndddd … I'm still not over this election. I'm not moving forward. And I'm especially not accepting it. 

What am I doing? A short list:
  • Ignoring the news, but …
  • Following PEOTUS on Twitter, which …
  • Makes me crazy.
  • Avoiding walking (not election-related, more a function of time available. Or not.)
  • Eating whatever I feel like (definitely election-related)
So. Basically being indulgent and lazy and worried and busy.

The past couple of days the lyrics to a Bob Dylan song have been running through my head.

The song is about a relationship, obviously. But here we are, America, going 90 miles an hour toward Inauguration Day when we will install a man who absolutely has to be the most unqualified person to be President in our history. And there's nothing we can do to prevent running into the brick wall at the end of the road.

I never go to church, except on Easter and Christmas Eve. But I'll be in church at noon on Friday, praying for the safety and future of my country. I know that sounds dramatic, but I could use a little comfort.

And the inauguration is one moment in history I'm more than happy to miss.

Going to try getting back on track this week. No promises …

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


My first blog post, on my old blog, happened January 10, 2006. I've now been a blogger for 11 years, and if you look at the photo posted then, I honestly don't look a whole lot different now.

So that's depressing!

Possibly I need to accept that brief periods of normal weight will happen occasionally, but that I'm destined to carry extra poundage until I've taken my last breath. Possibly.

Actually, I'll keep trying and I'll keep posting and I'll keep trying to figure it out.

But seriously … in 11 years I haven't figured it out yet? Sheesh.

Anyway, if you've been here from the beginning (and I think a couple of you have), thanks. You've witnessed three marriages (mine, my son's, and my husband's son's), the births of five of our grandchildren, and the death of my father.

You've been patient as I natter on about food and workouts and half-marathon training (those were the days!) and politics and society and gardening and knitting and the weather. Boy of boy, have we had some weather.

I'm grateful for you, for your patience, for your friendship … and I'm truly grateful for technology, which has expanded my world immeasurably and wonderfully.

Thank you.