Welcome to my world where Murphy’s law, and there is a Murphy’s Law, is only a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’ something is going to happen to me. Why anything should be easy for me is a discussion that has been taken off the table a long time ago because I have come to terms with God’s sense of humor. With that in mind, this column will be the first of a two part series outlining my experience of undergoing hip replacement surgery for the second time in three years, on the same hip. This should help make you like your life a lot.
But a little background is needed here. About three and a half years ago, I began to experience severe to excruciating pain in my right thigh. Having taught dance for many years and always using my right leg as the predominantly support leg for turns and jumps, I chalked it up to muscle strain. But this soreness and increased pain would not go away even with painkillers.
Ex-rays eventually revealed that cartilage was almost completely worn away from the socket to which my hip was attached. On good days, and there was one, I actually thought I was walking pretty well with my usual speedy style until a colleague at work asked me what was wrong. She noticed that I was limping. Actually, I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and I thought I was managing just fine. Obviously, I wasn’t.
A trip to the orthopedic surgeon soon afterward did not go as I had envisioned, meaning the hoped for orders to take two aspirin and call him in the morning was not forthcoming. Upon reviewing ex-rays with the doctor, my only question was how did I manage to stand up at all, much less walk, without my right leg, practically unattached to the bone now, flailing from side to side? Some things are best left unanswered.
For two years following the surgery life was good again. I was practically pain free and resumed all my normal routines including dance. But last year I began to experience significant discomfort. Of course, I did take two aspirin and went about my business but this time the pain kept coming back. Moreover, painkillers were not helping much. I went back to the doctor because I knew something was seriously wrong.
It seems that I am having a reaction to the metal hip that was placed in my body. We are now learning from research and case studies that metal hips in women are causing inflammations that are just not seen in men. It is as though my body is slowly but surely rejecting this foreign element. The only solution is to remove the metal and replace it with porcelain. I hope its Lenox.
Much of the original surgery will have to be undone and then the new hip will be inserted on Sept. 10. Recovery is expected to be about three to four months. For me, this is the equivalent to a death sentence since I need to be up and about as quickly as possible, giving orders and interfering in other people’s lives. Next week, I will describe what it is like on the road to recovery and reveal the secrets of that torture chamber that is known as physical therapy.
Note to God: Enough already. You win.