When the Doctor is the Patient

Five days ago I underwent a total hip replacement (left). For the past two years I have been hobbled by something called osteoarthritis: a degenerative condition of the joint in which the catilage has ebbed away leaving the long bone of the leg rubbing against the bones of the pelvis. Discomfort in standing and walking gave way to pain in the joint and radiating pain down the leg. Running no longer happened. Marching with my civil war unit came to an end a year ago and over the past few months, walking was assisted by a cane.

I now have a new hip. This one is made of titanium and cobalt. My appliance and I are having a rough early time here. What has come true is that I no longer have hip pain, at least I do not think I have any more hip pain (could be the pain killers). What I do have is a left leg that is swollen, discolored, and ever so tight. I no longer use a cane- I use a walker. Dr. Pierson (Dr. Jeffery L. Pierson) said that I will love my new hip- that is true, I just hate all the muscles and soft tissue around it just now.

I am dedicated to being the perfect patient. I have been doing my exercises 3-5 times per day (been home 3 days) per instruction. I elevate the leg. I sit no more than 45 minutes. I also take two scoops of medicines a couple times a day. This is tough. I am so glad that my wife is here to help me get through this. Evn the little things-I had to have her describe the surgical scar to me before I could look at it.

The hard part is being patient, specifically a patient patient. This type of recovery has a set pace, I will not be able to change that. I have to learn to ask others for help, I need to realize that they want to help. I need to be specific about that help. I need to realize that minor routines of daily living can pose a real challenge. I have to be wary that a wrong move could result in the new joint coming out of position, I need to be careful.

So now I am a hipster!

November 22, 2010 · fleickly · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Interesting Stories