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.