I guess the point of a blog is to record. To make a record of where I am, so that one day I can look back and see where I was and hopefully how far I’ve come. I have so much fear about that day that I’m hesitant to even record what’s happening today. What if I end up worse off? What if I regret it? How do I know that the decision I have made, to have a total hip replacement at the age of 37, was the right one?
And then I circle back to this – recording. Because it’s so easy to forget, when you’ve spent a lifetime accommodating, adjusting, tweaking, every single aspect of daily life. It’s so easy to get caught up in that, and to forget that these are significant accommodations and significant ways in which my life isn’t normal. And my desperate hope with this surgery is to get to normal, or even in the range of normal.
Pain is the thing that tipped me over the decision point. The lack of mobility in my hip, the accommodation in every aspect of life, the acceptance of the things I simply cannot do, all of that was so much easier to accept without pain. But then pain arrived, and all the things that kept me going and the things I enjoyed disappeared in a flash. No more gym, no more Jazzercise, no more riding my adapted bike with my kids, no more walking to the beach. Even my job, which fulfills me and makes me feel smart and valuable, is harder to do. No just zipping down to the client’s office for a meeting, no walk and talks to the coffee shop with a colleague unless I want to juggle a walking stick and a purse and a cup.
Total hip replacement has been on my radar for 25 years. As I entered my teens, my doctors started talking about it – “as soon as you’re finished growing, we’ll do it.” And then that time came and we talked about the risks and the possibility of residual pain and the fact that artificial hips don’t last forever, and I put it off. Went to university, went to law school, got married, thought about it again before kids. Again, risk and benefit analysis. I wasn’t having pain for more than a few days at a time, I was able to participate in the things I wanted to do, so I put it off. Had two babies, pain went away for years. And then, two months after my youngest finally weaned, it was back. And it was bad. And it didn’t go away after a few days, or a few weeks, or a few months.
So, I’m here now. I’m full of fear, and hope. I’m full of telling myself not to get ahead of myself. Not to daydream too much about the things I’ll be able to do. Not to dwell on the worry of the things that I might lose. Trying to be positive, and also realistic.