Hip Replacement – Not just for Grandparents Anymore

The following is a post I made in March 2010 about my hip replacement surgery.

If you have seen Ms. Savin recently, you have probably noticed a slight limp and a reluctance to stand or walk for long periods of time.  This week she announced that she was going to have a full hip replacement.  Obviously, many questions arose and we asked her to sit down with us and discuss.

We met in her living room where she pointed out with pride her TV that was no longer sitting on the floor but she became annoyed when I pointed out that her Wii and USB record player were still in boxes.  She agreed to the interview because she has been getting lots of questions since first coming out about her hip replacement and decided it would be easier to answer them all at once.  She is already sick of hearing herself talk about hips.

Q:  A hip replacement?  WTF?
C:   I know!  Pretty crazy isn’t it?

Q:  So what is the deal?  Why do you need a new hip?
C:  Well, I was born with a congenital hip so I have always known that this day would come.  I have actually gone 15 – 20 years longer than my doctors originally expected so that is good.  But now I have osteoarthritis and little cartilage left so it is time to go bionic.

Q:  Bionic?
C:  Ok, technically ceramic but bionic sounds way cooler and has implied sound effects.

Q:  Congenital hip, what is that?
C:  So this internet thing is really awesome and I was able to do some research.  I always told people that it was because my mother shot tequila while she was pregnant but I guess that is not true.  I may have to apologize for that sometime. Turns out it is genetic which explains why a great-aunt had it too.

Q:  OK, but what is it exactly?
C:  It is an abnormal formation of the hip joint, the ball of the hip is all whack and doesn’t fit into the socket right.  Then the ligaments aren’t quite normal either.  I was lucky and it was noticed shortly after I was born so I was in a body cast as an infant to help the joint form correctly.

Q:  And didn’t you have surgery again later?
C:  Yes, in 4th grade.  As I grew, my hip grew funny and my legs were several inches different so they broke my hip and reset it to make my legs even.  Later, I had a smaller surgery to have the pins removed.  I still have them if you want to see!

Q:  Um, no.  That is kinda gross.
C:  Well, I had the best show-n-tell ever in grade school.  Your loss.   Wuss.

Q:  Ok, back to the surgery.  Why now?
C:  I have really been in need of a change.  I tried a new hair color but that didn’t do it so a new joint seemed like the logical next step.  Actually, I am just sick of having to consider my hip in everything I do.  It is so damn annoying.  Timing seems to work so I decided to go for it.

Q:  What is the recovery?
C:  Every person is different but I expect to be in the hospital 4 days, then a recovery facility – whatever it is a nursing home – for up to 2 weeks.  I should be back to work in 2 months and fully recovered in 6 months or so.

Q:  I understand you will have a walker?
C:  Well maybe, most likely crutches up to 6 weeks and then a cane for up to 6 weeks after that.  Assuming I can find a kick-ass cane.  That is one of the last things I have left to do – find a kick-ass cane.

Q:  So what do people say when you tell them about having surgery?
C:  I get a few standard responses:

  • “Congratulations” (for having a malformed hip??)
  • “Aren’t you excited?” (I am a lot of things, sort of excited but not exactly)
  • “My grandmother/father had a hip replacement” (yes, I know my hip is 90 years old)
  • “I hear hip replacements are easier to recover from than a knee” (yes, I hear that too but I hope to never have to compare)
  • “I know – insert random person here – and when they had hip surgery – insert random horror story here” (Seriously??)

Q:  I do hear that there have been lots of advances in joint technology.  Do you think this hip will last the rest of your life?
C:  Yes, there have been lots of advances but I was kinda hoping for “Star Trek” kind of advances.  (At this point, in a spectacularly geeky move, she pulls out her cell phone and waves it over her hip as if it was a medical tricorder.  After an uncomfortable pause, she continued.) As far as how long my hip will last, no one knows for sure.

Q:  This has to be stressful.
C:  Yes, it is hard to get answers to important questions.  Like, “how soon can I take a shower?”  “When can I get a pedicure again?”  Did you know you can’t have on any nail polish when you have surgery…annoying!  Or, “where can I find a kick ass cane?”  Plus, I am not used to having my life planned out so far in advance.  Ask me what I am doing in May and I already know…annoying!

Q:  So what are you looking forward to the most after surgery?
C:  Oh, lots of things.  I am excited to be able to go out without having to worry about finding a chair, no longer having people ask me if I hurt my foot, sleeping for more than 4 hours at a time, getting back the use of my brain, walking around the lake and I would really like to swear less but I doubt surgery will help there.  But, the thing I am looking forward to the most is being able to sneeze with abandon.  Being able to sneeze without having to brace myself will be awesome!

Q:  And when is this surgery?
C:  Soon.  I will get back from my vacations and have about 2 weeks to get ready.  And before you ask, yes I am still going to London, to Austin and California.  I want to make sure this hip is fully worn out before I get a new one!

Q:  Any other big plans?
C:  Sadly, I have a few friends I would love to see but won’t have time.  I do plan to have a going away party for my hip in March.  There will be lots of breakup songs and a toast to say goodbye.  I mean, my hip did the best it could for longer than anyone expected and frankly I can be kinda difficult.  It deserves a proper farewell.

Q:  Well thank you for your time, can’t wait to toast your hip goodbye.
C:  Yeah.  I get final edit approval on this right??

Author: InteractThis

I am a woman of many moods and each one has her own soundtrack.

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