Here I Go Again… Weltschmerz

Trying to cope with reality, reality being that my left hip is now offering up painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. What this means is a HUGE pain in the ass (literally and metaphorically). So far it’s just an ache and a pinch in the socket in the groin area (TMI? Sorry, but it could be you someday; you might as well know what happens. 😦 ) but I know it doesn’t get better. It gets worse.

I dealt with this already on my right hip. I had surgery in January of 2007, hip resurfacing. I probably will not have that option this time.

Back then, hip resurfacing was considered “experimental” in the United States, even though European doctors had been doing it for a long time on younger, more active patients. I even had tickets and an appointment to go to Belgium when — more or less out of nowhere — my insurance started covering it. There were few doctors who were experienced in doing the surgery in the United States, but I found one in the tiny town of Mt. Shasta, CA.

This was one of the worst times of my life. I was in excruciating pain and living with a sociopathic shithead.

So here I am again — minus the live-in sociopath. I’m checking out everything I can before making “the call.” I will go to Denver, I imagine, though there is a hospital 1 1/2 hours away in Salida. I would prefer hip resurfacing as the damage to the bones is much less and the rehab is shorter, but probably I won’t be able to have it since I’m 65. I also don’t want to do this until spring because the necessary rehab walking on ice and snow would not be fun. Or safe.

After the surgery, someone will probably have to come and stay with me for a month because I will not be allowed to drive, especially if I’m compelled to get a full replacement. The dogs? I don’t know.

I just want to cry. I know this is not life or death, but it’s tiring emotionally and physically. This thing hurts enough already that I wake up in the night when the Tylenol has worn off.

Life requires so damned much stamina, faith, perseverance and stoicism and for what? The next thing? What’s the “next thing?” I was going to try skiing again this coming winter and now that’s not happening. What’s ahead of a person when they’re 65 years old? Oh I know. You get to keep mowing your fucking lawn until you can’t. You get to clean your house until you can’t. You get to do all these things until you can’t. I am depressed by this, yes, clearly, honestly.


24 thoughts on “Here I Go Again… Weltschmerz

  1. I am so sorry to read this and wish you luck with your problem. I would be there tomorrow to spend a couple of months with you, but I would probably be a patient my self.

  2. I just got back from the cardiologist, having turned down the option of going to a surgeon for a tune up. The doctors would love to get me in and see if they can make my chest hold together better. Fuck that. It might hurt less eventually, but it would hurt a LOT more in the meantime. Ain’t going.

    My hip hurts, but it isn’t my hip. It’s my back. Which they can’t fix, so I am spared the agony of what you are dealing with now. If you didn’t live SO far away, I would happily come and help you through this. Without a moment’s hesitation. If there was some way for you to GET here, there are fantastic hospitals here — and dogs are us.

    That being said, I wish there was more I could do. That’s a lot of rehab. We have a couple of genuinely brilliant hospitals — The Baptist in particular — that are famous for solutions to problems no one else seems able to fix.

    Whatever you need to do, if there is ANYTHING I can do to help, let me know. I mean that.

  3. I’m sorry to hear this. There are few things that I hate more than waking up in the middle of the night with pain, because there is no going back to sleep when that’s the problem. I love your silver lining – no live in sociopath. That sounds worse than arthritis.

  4. I hear you loud and clear. They told me after a fall (the one I made fun of last year) and that brought the issue into full view and after excruciating pain and a visit three months later that I have bone spurs on both sides of 4 verts in my lower back, creating horrific pain that switches from left to right leg, depending on which nerve is pinched of, and whether it’s the squishy stuff between them which also is pinching off nerves. I took morphine for a month straight then quit because I was concerned about addiction. Needless to say the following 2 months have been a nightmare on occasion, whether standing, sitting, walking and especially sleeping. Agony personified and they want to do surgery, badly, but I’m scared. I have no idea how long the recovery time would be opening up my spine and clearing out 8 sides of vertebrae and the squishy stuff. He told me it was invasive and because I’m 62 didn’t want to do it but would set me up with a specialist. The last time I went to see him 3 months ago now, I could barely place one foot in front of the other, without having to stop as my breath was completely gone as I tried not to scream in agony. I still haven’t decided about the surgery. I’m having a few issues with my heart and that would have to be looked at first. To put it bluntly, I’m terrified. I died 30 years ago during surgery. I was younger and healthier so I’m even more scared now. I have the same issue between my shoulderblades causing loss of use with my hands and why even typing is now difficult at times, knitting, crocheting, are out and I can barely hold a coffee cup. I understand completely and can only hope that when and if you have surgery, it will go well. I haven’t even gotten to the knee replacement and hip surgery that they also believe is required. Sigh. So I’m truly sorry this is part of your future. You know what to expect, you’ve gone through it before. I’m not sure that makes it better or worse. Still, I’m sorry to hear this. I agree with Robin, the sociopath sounds horrific and I’m glad you solved that problem! One down??? πŸ™‚

    • It’s scary absolutely. ☹️ I’m very sorry to hear what you’re going through– there dies come a time to bite the bullet though. I’m there. Now it’s mechanical stuff related to living in the back of beyond

      • Ouch to living in the back of beyond. Not sure I could handle that one. What pisses me off more, is that they knew this 20 years ago and refused to do anything about it. Far less invasive then than now. It’s like a 1000 hits at once and I’m not sure which to tackle first. I know each is serious. They wanted to replace both hips when I was 7 1.2 and it had only been successful 1 time and that girl my age, was a vegetable in a wheelchair as everything that could go wrong did. My mother said no and took me to a chiropractor. He fixed the difference in length of my leg and they were even, and I walked fine but in the last 20 years haven’t been able to find a chiropractor worth his salt. Having had the best, including a chiropractor who works with the BC Lions Football team, and specializes in injuries and the like who saved my daughter’s life, and could work successfully on my back, I was gold. Port Hardy didn’t offer the same expertise. No one wants to live at the ends of the earth. Consequently it’s become seriously worse with time.

      • It’s true. I don’t want to live anywhere BUT at the ends of the earth. At this point in my life all the big cities and all they involve seem like lies to me. I don’t know how to explain it, but you pay a price for it in diminished possibilities (of a kind). We’ll work out our things somehow. πŸ™‚ ❀

      • In reality, I’m there regarding biting the bullet. I realize it, but I’m too scared at the moment. Such a crap ass word, terrified is more like it. I even have panic attacks and can’t breath. Stupid I know.

      • Not stupid. I know that at least 80% of my sadness right now is that I have been through this already and deep inside is a memory of those nightmare years when I was not getting good medical attention (“You’re too young for advanced stage osteoarthritis therefore it can’t be happening!”) a four year nightmare with the sociopath as the cherry on top. I need to get my mind to THIS place where I have good friends and people who will look out for me and plenty of options — friends in the big cities and a state of the art orthopedic hospital not all that far away. But my mind and heart are still stuck because I never got a chance to deal with those feelings. So now I will and I will use my mind to move myself where I need to go. And have a good cry at some point today, I’m sure. πŸ™‚

      • Awe. My heart goes out to you. You are so right, moving to this time and place, wrapping your head around that, is indeed the first step. I’m delighted you have caring concerned friends and a state of the art hospital to fall back on. πŸ™‚ That’s a plus of greatest magnitude.

  5. Martha–I am so sorry to read this. Having the surgery is probably the least of it. Well, not really, but having someone stay with you and walk the dogs, and do ‘stuff’ that you need done–that, to me, would be the hard part. You know if I lived closer…..Parker would entertain the dogs and Teemu would sleep close by. I hope this all works out for you.

    • Thank you, Lois. ❀ You're right. If it were just a matter of having surgery and coming home and getting on with life it would be a lot less of a headache. Recovery takes six weeks and that's a really long time. 😦 I'm still trying to think it all through. I'm walking well at the moment. Today my neighbor went on a walk with us and I told her about it. She gets it and that's good. I'm going to have to figure out where to go to do this and if I can have the procedure I want. I really hate all that part, but you know better than I what a pain it is navigating through the medical system. 😦

      • Matching up the right doctor with the right insurance is half the battle. And that should not be the battle. Let me know how things go, Martha. I will be thinking about you…and worrying about you.

    • It’s very annoying and also painful (at times). I have to contend with it. The knee on that leg is in even worse shape. I’m looking at various surgical groups and studying procedures and so on. I fought hard to get my right hip resurfaced instead of replaced and I can see this will be another fight. I watched a video of a woman (on one of the websites of one of the groups) and she was upset about her hip arthritis because it made it hard for her to sit at her sewing machine and turn out embroidered dishtowels. I am in a whole different league from that. That’s where the fight is. Luckily they also had a video about a very athletic woman who wanted a new knee so she could keep hiking etc. They are my first choice right now, actually, but I can’t take any action until spring so in the meantime I’m just going to deal with it and learn stuff and walk the dogs. πŸ™‚

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