Two weeks sporting my new titanium and ceramic hip and turning another year older have shown me how strong I am.
The hip replacement surgery was a huge success, meaning I slept through it. I had family and friends to keep me entertained after surgery, my nurse called me “sugar” while pushing IV pain meds, and they served chicken potpie for dinner. Becoming bionic started off great.
Hipster day two in the hospital was a little more challenging. Learning to stand up, walk, climb stairs, get dressed and go to the bathroom all without bending to 90 degrees, reaching down or up, or crossing the “center line” with my legs, proved to be harder than expected. Over ten hospital staff gave me different instructions and pills then sent me home at 5pm. I wanted to turn around and retake the joint class!
As luck would have it, I returned home from the hospital just in time to pack up and evacuate Pensacola Beach thanks to Hurricane Nate. My recuperation plan went out the window! Friends loaded my Jeep and moved me in town to ride out the storm at my cousin’s house. I don’t think this is what the doctor meant about getting up and moving quickly.
Thankfully the remainder of my two weeks in recovery has been smooth sailing, if you don’t count the irony of having a birthday during an aging crisis.
Key Learnings from this Major Life Transition
The Value of Baby Steps
With a full-speed ahead personality, it’s challenging to take things slowly and appreciate progress. My new mantra is to be kinder to myself and more sensitive to others who experience this type of learning curve.
Don’t Underestimate Basic Bodily Functions
I now understand those awful commercials targeting constipated opioid users. I never thought I would worry about or discuss such an unpleasant topic. However, I quickly figured out that it’s the basics that cause the body the most discomfort and having friends and family to commiserate with is the key is maintaining a sunny disposition as we age.
I’ve gone from not wanting people to know about my hip issue to taking my walker along our main beach road to a café in shorts and compression socks. I went from having an embarrassing ailment to an amazing recovery story. As this former PR executive can attest, it’s all in how you pitch it. This is a work in progress as I’m currently faced with a 4” scar that falls outside my tan lines. But, I have until next Summer to work on that one…
Thanks for following my three-part hip replacement journal. I have another month of healing to do before I can breathe a sigh of relief, or just cross my legs.
My personal relationship with the issue of aging is just beginning. I look forward to sharing new revelations and hearing about your experiences as we continue to grow.