I’m now nearly a month out from my Anterior Hip Replacement. It’s been a strange week with some moments of mystical beauty and then the rest…
This week I experienced walking without a cane for the first time. Not far, not fast, not even on purpose, but I did it. Home Physical Therapy is over, and I’ll return to my former physical therapist soon. I’m ready. I am accustomed to being more active than I am now, so I’ll be happy to go to a safe gym. I also learned that the most severe muscle spasms and cramps happen the night before some kind of healing breakthrough. An active day is followed by a grumpy day and that’s followed by a tired day. The other thing I’ve observed (and researched) is that surgery can be such a trauma to the body that when it gets down and dirty into the business of healing it tries to get rid of things. Right now my body is raging against those nasty layers of skin that were part of me when I was wheeled into the operating room, and my legs look like a snake having a bad shed.
I’ve also learned that your doctor doesn’t allow you to prescribe medicine to yourself. 😉 Who knew?
Today at the pharmacy (I wish I had a photo because you probably cannot accurately envision it) were many codgers such as myself. One guy had his arm crutches and his shopping cart (DBA walker). The hospital wrist band was still affixed and his entire being proclaimed, “Hip replacement, old school.” Ahead of me was a toothless woman about 50 who had about 20 bottles of various stuff waiting for her, but problems with the insurance company. I waited a while — standing up is actually pleasant at this point — and then they had to make a phone call and she had to start over. “Sorry,” she said.
“It’s OK,” I said, slowly getting going. “I can’t hurry anyway.”
I got my meds and left. Outside an old guy — Vietnam Vet — was talking to a young guy about what he did in the war and what his dad had done in HIS war. I looked at him and saw “knee replacement,” like a flashing sign in the bandages on his right leg. “God, I don’t want to do that,” I thought as I walked carefully to my car.
I don’t want to do any of this again. Ever. It hasn’t been bad, but…
I found the perfect pain-med cocktail to get me through the muscle-spasm afflicted hour at the beginning of sleep, but I can’t have it much longer. In reality, I shouldn’t need it much longer. I can get opiates for only 7 days at a time. A refill of Percocet necessitates a drive to Del Norte, 14 miles away, and a personal appearance at my doc to pick up a special script for which I have to sign. It’s a controlled substance, after all. That’s fine although, honestly, a better solution to this opioid epidemic might be charging more than $1.00 for 15 pills. Valium, however, is not part of my pain-med cocktail, but they keep giving it to me (and I don’t take it). Let’s just say I’m pharmaceutically ready for a long flight with multiple stops. I’m thinking of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica followed by Switzerland, Britain, Iceland, Greenland and Nova Scotia. If I time it right I can have 12 months of winter… 😉
But…progress is happening and not all that slowly. Even the incision is melting back into the (scaly) flesh of my hip like the vanishing circles of a stone thrown into a pond.