Lessons Learned From a New Hip

Closing in on two weeks since I had total hip replacement surgery – and before anyone asks doing really well.  There are some lessons learned from a new hip installed that are worth noting (if not sharing).

  1. “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  This is what most people who I know who had the surgery said to me going into it.  And generally I agree – I can say there was one minor complication in the hospital, but I woke up in the recovery room and for the first time in two years, my hip wasn’t bothering me.  I think for me, the timing was right – but I can understand why people ask themselves why they didn’t do it sooner.
  2. It’s really major surgery:  My only frame of reference for surgery was my ACL surgery almost six years ago and the less invasive MCL surgery I had six months after that (opposite knee).  Don’t let anyone mislead you – hip replacement may happen a lot, but its major surgery.
  3. Not sure the pre-surgery prep was on point: The doctor and hospital did a great job explaining the procedure, the expected outcome and even the path to rehab.  What they glossed over though was the actual surgical site and the reality of where they cut (right into your glute muscle) and the impact of that.  The only pain I dealt with was from the surgical site.
  4. I finally understand the opioid crisis in this country: I try not to take meds as a rule.  And certainly won’t take any high-end pain killers unless absolutely needed.  They start pushing narcotic pain killers before surgery. I managed to get through the surgery and post-op care without taking any narcotic pain killers.  Not everyone can do that.  I used Tylenol and ice to deal with pain and discomfort.  There was one night in the hospital the nurse spent 20 minutes trying to talk me into taking morphine – because they were going to start physical therapy (PT) the next day.  My thought process was: I just had major surgery, there should be some discomfort.  How am I going to differentiate pain if I am muting it all?  It’s a problem.
  5. I have great kids and support:  It’s not easy for me to ask for or accept help.  I want to be responsible for my stuff.  There are people who really helped out and got me through those first 5 or 6 days and I am really happy about that – and that I was willing to take the help.

There are probably more lessons from the new hip – but if I can go through this experience and come away pain-free and learn something – I’m ahead of the game.

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The Single Dad Treadmill Spins Again

Here it is not quite 8 in the morning on the first Monday of December, and today is already all about being on a treadmill.  Running-and today pretty hard-and not really getting anywhere.  So, before a minor knee injury to my good knee I was just starting to get off the treadmill at the gym and started seeing things again while running.  Being back on the treadmill at the gym (and PT) is very much in line with my morning today (although if I make the gym it won’t be until much later).

Today’s running in place really started the week of the storm when I had the girls scheduled for their annual physical with their doctor.  Since moving to our house we’ve gone to the same place because it’s a huge practice and I can always get an appointment when I need one.  For well child though, the girls have found a specific doctor they like.  It’s a “girl” doctor who they feel comfortable with, so when scheduling, instead of taking whomever is available at the time I want to go, I work around her schedule.

The Monday before the storm (a month ago) I had a 3:15 appointment-easy with a pick up from school.

In rescheduling the best I could do was 8:45 this morning.  Not a problem I thought when I scheduled, everyone just goes to school late.

Then came 12.5’s friend’s birthday and they have to decorate her locker.  Still not awful, I take her up to school, they do the locker thing, and I take her home before school starts.  But Monday is orchestra day for my 10-year-old violinist.  With the concert 10 days away, no missing.  So back to the drawing board.

So, 12.5 gets to school at 7, they decorate the locker and she goes to first period and then I pick her up.  I can make that work.

10.0 though is a little trickier.  Its much tougher to get her out of school, and 830 will be an awkward time because it’s literally as the school day is starting.  But again I can make that work too.

So, armed with notes, candy, wrapping paper, breakfast and a violin, off my girls went this morning-mostly for pre-school activities.  I’ll get them as school starts, and get them back in time for lunch.

Round and round goes the treadmill, racking up miles but never really getting anywhere.

And don’t forget, Dad the Single Guy’s new book “The Beginning of the Middle of the End of the Beginning” available now on Nook and Kindle.

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The Inverse Ratio

Under normal circumstances, the moments to sit on the couch and just “veg” are pretty few and far between for me.  With the girls and school plus events, working, commuting, keeping the house on track-the need for time management as I note here often is paramount.

I tend to think that near constant level of hustle and bustle actually helps me get more done.  Sure, I’d love to have more hours in a day, but I usual can fill a day pretty well.

Flash to today.   The girls are at camp so the house is quiet.  I’m now 15 days post surgery and doing well.  Rehab is on or slightly ahead of schedule and I can walk around some without crutches and brace.  But I also have to keep using the brace for another week (until July 9) which has created a whole set of secondary issues.

The brace goes from about mid-shin to the top of my thigh and it keeps my knee locked in straight position.  As I move around with the brace on, my ankle and calf take on a lot of the work normally done by the knee and quads.

That extra demand has left me with a grade 2 strain of my calf.  It was so bad at one point yesterday I just stopped moving completely.  In an effort to let it calm down and heal, I’ve tried to keep the brace off most of the day today and really tried not to do anything.

It’s been plenty of couch time.  But that has not inspired me to do anything else.  No writing (even this blog has waited all day until after 9 to get to).  There’s no pressure to get anything done-so I am not.

I suppose “every now and then” that’s not such a bad thing, right?  But at the same time I can’t help but think I should have gotten more done today as well.

The inverse ratio at play-the less I have to get done, the less I get done.

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“It Gets Easier” Or So They Say

So, an apology first to the loyalists who check in here and think they’ll find something new.  I’ve been pretty bad about posting updates.  Between parenting, work and trying to have a life the frequency of updates has suffered.  Then last week was a bout with the realization of old age-it took me a until Sunday to feel up to anything after going to a Friday night wedding reception.

So it goes.

One of the things I hear a lot from well-meaning (and I truly believe they are well-meaning) when they find out I am raising two girls on my own-it gets easier.  That’s what they say.  When I see a new parent changing diapers there is the instant comparison, “well you’re beyond that.  It gets easier.”

Does it?

I’m not so sure.  And I am not sure it’s supposed to “get easier.”

It certainly gets different.

Yeah, I don’t have to worry about lugging a diaper bag anymore.  But when I was strapped with the diaper bag I also didn’t have to manage three schedules, pre-puberty and style chic.

For me, carrying the diaper bad was easier.  But it gets easier, or so I am told.

I suppose easier and harder is a measure of the circumstance, more so than the actual events, so I probably shouldn’t be as snarky on the subject as I feel.  However, sometimes I just can’t help myself.

I told myself as I got into the groove of school and work-time management would get easier and being able to update this blog and do other things would get easier.  Not so much I guess.

It gets easier.  Or so they say, so they say.

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