Posted by: cck | November 8, 2014

the guts

Oof. That’s the sound I make when I move, when I’m still, when I’m breathing. Ooof.

I know the cartilage is gone between my femur and my hip. I’ve known it since September 23rd, right before our big Disney vacation. I’ve known that a hip replacement is inevitable. And now I’ve gone and scheduled it. After a few weeks (three) of becoming more dependent (back to the walker), more in pain (yow), and – according to K – making noises like I was in full-on labor, it’s time. It’s time for the surgeon to cut off part of my femur and put in a device. It’s time to join that club of THR.

At least this time, I get to plan. I get to put things in motion, clean my house, prepare my children. There is no drama in this – honestly, less drama than going into labor. I know the date when I will need to be in the big hospital in Tampa. I can move everything around it. I’ve all but finished Christmas shopping thanks to my Visa card and Amazon. I’ve got plans for the remaining weekends. I’m working on the plan to cover the kids with family and love. I made a list of what I’m packing for the hospital.

I’m scared, but this is nothing compared to what I’ve been through. It’s a one hour surgery, not seven. I won’t even have general anesthesia. It’s a three to four day hospital stay – not two weeks. I’ll be walking – on both legs – within 12 hours of surgery. I’ve got this. We’ve got this. And now I need you to get out of my way.

Are you wondering what to say to someone having a hip replacement? Let me help you out:

Don’t say the pain couldn’t be that bad. Shut up. Instead, just listen and agree. “Yup, that must really be awful.” “You are so strong.” “I can’t imagine what you are going through.”

Don’t second guess my decisions about pain control. You don’t know my family history or what I’m facing. A person’s decisions about pain control are not about being a tough guy or being foolish, they’re doing the absolute best they can. So, offer up, “I know you’re making good decisions about your health.”

Don’t ask me if the doctor is doing it this way or that way. Are you my orthopedic surgeon who knows all about the pins and plates he’s going to move? No? Okay, then. I’ve gotten a second opinion. I’ve researched. I’ve asked a lot of questions. Believe it or not, I’m actually a well-informed type of gal. Now, if you have a gadget that makes it easy for me to put on shoes – pass that along.

Don’t say tell me to ignore a birthday or holiday. Shut up. Instead, offer up encouragement: “You can do it!” is always a good one.

Don’t tell me about how the hip replacement didn’t help someone you know. I’ve had enough bad luck this year. I’m done. I am full of hope, so get out of my way.

Okay, those are the big ones at the moment. The whole thing scares the people around me. At church dinner on Wednesday night, I purposely sat with two folks who have had hip replacements. Both of them were encouraging and echoed the stuff I’m dealing with (see above). A friend offered up that this was gutsy – the knowing what has to be done and moving full throttle in that direction.

I’m so tired. I’m sitting here in a strange position – one leg up in the air because the knee can’t bear to be bent. One arm on a baby. It’s like some demented form of Twister. I want this phase of this adventure to be over. So. There’s that.

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