A few days ago I pushed through into a new (bad) phase of this hip dysplasia situation, and now I really can barely walk. All of a sudden! In the past it has flared up and then faded back down to a manageable level, but this flare-up is lasting longer than ever before and I’m getting pretty scared. For the first time I’m really feeling actual fear, worrying about my future, a future of ever-more limited mobility. Wondering about things like “could I put a razor scooter in my car to get from my car to my office” hey actually that’s not a bad idea!!! Always Be Problem Solving
But really it also makes me sad. Walking the dog has turned into sort of an ordeal, and “going on a walk” for fun is out of the question. I’m going to a grownup egg hunt today and I’m gonna have to bow out due to “hip pain.” I know I am #PushinForty but it is still sad. How extreme it is, too–having to use my hands to lift up my leg to put on a sock or whatever. Last night my old man slapped me playfully on the butt and it sent this spear of pain through my entire body. COME ON
So, has anyone out there had hip replacement surgery? Would love some insider info. I’m worried about the surgery for the obvious reasons, and also I’m worried because the orthopedist told me I needed to try to wait until I was closer to 50 before I got the surgery (because the replacement hips also wear out, and you don’t want to have to get the surgery AGAIN when you’re like 72), but I don’t see how I can possibly go that long, I mean, I will be in a wheelchair, and if there’s a surgery that could keep me out of a wheelchair I think I’d be crazy not to do it, right?
And then of course I’m also pathetically worried because I had hoped I could wait to get the surgery until my tenure decision was resolved one way or the other. The idea of losing a couple of months to surgery and recovery seems impossible–my timeline to getting a book done is already verging on impossible; how could I cut weeks and weeks out of it?
I would love some input. Do any orthopedic surgeons read this blog? Wouldn’t that be grand!
I am good at the Glad Game and at feeling lucky, as a rule. I do feel lucky. Bad hips and weird old-person surgery when you are still young aren’t the funnest things on earth but Lord there are worse things one could be struggling with. People I know personally are going through much, much, much, much more extreme issues and I know they would trade places with my hip dysplasia in a second, and I do think that’s worth remembering. Also very lucky that I do intellectual labor and not physical labor for my livelihood. What do people do??
So these are some of the things on my mind right now. Other darker things are also on my mind. But it is Easter and we should keep it light (joke)
Getting geared up to start my first-ever garden. Dug up the yard, bought seeds, and am now staring at my gardening books feeling like “what the hell?????” Gardening seems a lot like sourdough bread. Very hard to describe all the stages and chores in such a way that a person can envision them clearly; but probably very intuitive and easy once you actually start doing it. One of our new friends here is a farmer and I am hoping she will donate her time to come explain some things to me. I have a couple of main goals:
– grow tomatoes. Tomatoes don’t grow well here and everyone gets sad whenever you bring it up. I gotta try!!!
– STRAWBERRY PATCH
– hot peppers
– figure out where to put a chest freezer so I can really go to town on these blueberries
– hire an arborist to develop a 3 year plan for lowering our apple tree. It is so alarming because we watched a bunch of YouTube videos about, like, “how to prune your out-of-control apple tree!!” and the kinds of trees that these videos consider “out of control” are still like FIFTY FEET lower than our apple tree. We don’t even know where to begin! Gotta get a professional in here for sure. Luckily I joined Angie’s List against my husband’s wishes so I have a lead on the best most honest arborist in town. First chore on my list, once summer starts!
– not sure how to fence around my garden to keep cats out. I feel like nothing keeps cats out of a place they want to get in to. But I will not have the neighborhood cats shitting on my strawberry patch. What to do
– bee-attracting flowers
One fun gardening thing that happened was that in the fall we just raked all our leaves under our hedges and now I have been thinking I need to dig out all the mucky rotten leaves to let the sun shine on the dirt but our neighbor who writes the gardening column in the local paper told me I don’t have to!!!!!!!!!!
Our summer starts at the end of April, which is very fucking cool obviously. Right in time for starting my seeds and getting my beds organized.
– get a weird haircut
– lie in the sun like a big white whale starved for vitamin d
– we hung our wind chime back up, and it’s chimin’ away like nobody’s biz
– go stay in a cabin in Maine for three days with no computers
– wash the windows
– WRITE A BOOK
My old man is such a great dude. He’s got this long tangled silver hair and he’s out there in the yard sawing logs all afternoon. He likes to do little tricks, treats, and chores for me throughout the day and then wait for me to discover them. The other day he filled the freezer with different kinds of ice cream and bided his time until after dinner, and then said “I wish we had some ice cream” and I said “WELL WE DON’T” and he said “are you sure?” and I whipped open the freezer like DON’T TELL ME MY BUSINESS, DEVIL WOMAN, only to find that indeed there was all this fancy local ice cream in there. And I screamed!!!!!!!
Last night we went to bed, and I fell asleep, and then he suddenly asked me “are you going to be able to fall asleep?” and woke me up.
I feel bad that he is going to be stuck with a crippled wife who increasingly is going to need him to do more and more of the physical chores involved in running this household. Or like, is he going to have to start driving me directly to my office and then picking me up at night? How is this going to work. Oh Lord.
In other medical news my mother broke her knee AGAIN. She is not right in the head. She is 70 years old and still skiing the black diamonds and hiking up to unofficial back-country runs with her maniac friends who encourage her. She’ll say things like “I don’t ski the trees anymore, it’s too dangerous,” but I mean, “skiing the trees” is something that 20 year olds do before they develop any reasonable sense of danger or filial responsibility. Also she still does truly crazy shit that honestly no one of any age ought to be doing if they had any goddamn sense. She’s broken her knee twice and torn her ACL I think 3-4 times. She’d JUST finished re-habbing this knee after getting this surgery where they put a dead person’s tendon in your leg. The healing process took a full year. Now it’s immediately all busted up again. She sounded cheerful on the phone. “I think I’ve finally realized that I just can’t ski—–” and here I thought she would end the sentence with “anymore” but instead she ended it with “—such extreme runs anymore.” A few years ago she ran into a tree and was knocked unconscious; she doesn’t know for how long. She just lay there unconscious in the snow for awhile. Then woke up, shook it off, and just kept skiing the rest of the day.
I don’t know what is wrong with people. I gave up jogging years ago because of these hips. It wasn’t that hard–it made me sad but now I never think about it anymore. I guess I am just lazy. And/or I don’t feel the need to punish myself physically for my perceived “demons” like some people I could name
I try to think of what I love as much as my mom loves brutally punishing her body on the ski mountain. I mean, I guess maybe the equivalent would be if every time I read a book, my bones shattered. I guess that would be a really hard sacrifice for me to make–never reading another book! It would change my whole life and how I thought of myself in the world. It would be really hard to do. Okay now I have succeeded in feeling empathy for my x-games mom
She’s excited because two different ski bum friends gave her crutches, so now she has a pair of crutches for upstairs and a pair for downstairs, so she can go down the stairs on her butt. Pretty good thinking. She, for example, will be really impressed with my razor scooter plan. Find the work-around that keeps you constantly pushing forward in this brutal game of life!
Yesterday I hobbled to the park with the snoopy and we lay in the muddy grass together for a long time. The sun feels so good. I never used to care about the sun that much–in Portland the rain never bothered me. But somehow at this point in my life–or maybe it’s because of living in this different climate–I feel like my body is a sponge that just wants to soak up sunlight. I am so excited to lay on a blanket in the yard with apples falling on me.
I’ve graduated my very first grad student, and I feel so proud.
I don’t have anything funny or cool to report, really. I’m really behind on my work, I’m stressed out as always, I’m worried about my hips, I don’t care about Easter, I’m excited for summer, the usual