Z sets the ball (and socket) rolling

I was too worried about the prospect of having the consultant’s appointment cancelled to ramble on as usual yesterday, but now at least you all know what I look like full-face.

There was only another inch of snow this morning, but there was no telling how the weather would go – this area seemed to be the least likely to be badly affected – but the roads were quite bad and the schools were closed. The Head rang me during the morning, he said that it was largely that uncertainty that decided him; having 1,000 people milling about with it being several hours before school buses would turn up and a lot of staff needing to get home is an incentive to err on the safe side.

Matt the Fishman (not in a merman sense) turned up to the market, so I bought fish for dinner and we finished off the beef casserole for lunch. That was the last of the Christmas joint.

The appointment wasn’t cancelled, but I cautiously set off in such ample time that I arrived nearly 40 minutes early. All’s okay, if there’s room on his schedule and in the hospital (his secretary will be in touch shortly) I will have the operation on the 22nd.

I’ve assured him that I’m a model patient. It’s true, I am. I’m very motivated and I take good advice well and act on it. I think the fact that, on being advised by my doctor a couple of years ago to take more non-weight-bearing exercise, I went straight out and bought a bicycle and started to use it at once (I rode home from the shop) even though it was November, and have been cycling regularly ever since, demonstrates that. I don’t enjoy it at all, although it sometimes is not an unpleasant way to travel, but I still do it, whatever the weather … except snow. Or extremely strong winds. A neighbour was blown off her bike in a North Sea gale (that is, she was on land but only by 50 yards or so) and broke her femur.

The last couple of nights, I haven’t been able to sleep in any position but my left side and even then I’ve woken in discomfort several times. I want this all to be over – I’m finding it difficult. I still feel that I’m a bit young to be faced with old-lady arthritis (that is, it’s not early-onset, nor is it caused by accident or injury) and, whilst I’m quite relaxed about the prospect of the operation from a procedural point of view – I assume it’ll all go fine and if there’s any sort of problem it’ll get dealt with – I am actually quite horrified to have a bit of my body cut off in a body-is-a-temple, self-cherishing sort of way. And yet at the same time, I feel quite drawn to the practical side of the operation itself. It’ll be a spinal anaesthetic, not a general one, so I hope I’ll be aware enough to remember about it afterwards. If I’m offered a choice of level of sedation, I am interested to find out what I’ll choose.

Anyway. There we go.

23 comments on “Z sets the ball (and socket) rolling

  1. Z

    Simon, don’t bring tears to my eyes until I actually clap eyes on you and it’s for real. (Mwah, sweetie)

    Thank you, CA – isn’t it a bugger when you go to trouble over a comment and it gets munched?

    *Cough* – who opened the wine then?

  2. mago

    I heared that Bogart mumbled something un-understandable – too much booze – and it later was synchronized. But I do not know whether that was true.
    If the temple needs repair, it should be done lege artis.

  3. Z

    Ad, you should know, babycakes xx

    Humphery Gocart* – too much booze? NOOOOOOO

    Lege artis – heh

    *My father’s nickname as a young man with a fast car.

  4. martina

    Now is this a total hip or the resurfacing thing? How long will you be in the hospital? I’ve forgotten.
    Just think you can have the procedure, go through physiotherapy and be in terrific shape by spring! Just in time to resume wall building and plant the vegetable gardens.

  5. Z

    Total hip replacement – I’ll be a nice mixture of plastic, metal and ceramic which will all bond with the bones in a friendly way. The resurfacing option isn’t suitable.

    And yes, I’m reckoning on spending the winter getting right and being fit by spring. When I realised I wasn’t going to wait for next winter, I had to go for it at once to get the timing right!

  6. Christopher

    A child I once taught in Southampton brought a jam-jar containing her formaldehyde-pickled adenoids into school after her operation to show in assembly. Might you do the same? (Reading whatever they excise for adenoids, and your blog for assembly, that is.)

    Seriously, I’m sure it will bring enormous relief and a new lease of life. Go to it!

  7. Blue Witch

    I’m so glad you have a date set.

    But, rather you than me having something that big/that will take that long done without being well out of it! Did you have a choice?

    Mind you, I’m sure recovery is much quicker, and they can top up the anaesthetic easily so you are more comfortable afterwards.

    In six months time you’ll be better than new and wondering why you waited even as long as you did. Probably 4 months actually, knowing you!

    And Dave – putting operation pictures on a blog won’t be a first. I did it in… oh… 2004 (http://www.blue-witch.co.uk/2004_12.html#004086). It was only a sebaceous cyst, mind, but…

  8. Z

    It has occurred to me to wonder if there might be a mirror or a camera for me to watch, actually.

    I meant to mention, when my mother had a gall bladder operation she was given the gallstones afterwards. They hung around in a jar in the kitchen for years, looking quite like nutmegs.

    A spinal anaesthetic would be his recommendation as it’s so quick to recover from, but one can choose a full one. It only takes about an hour.

    And thanks for the good wishes, everyone xx

  9. allotmentqueen

    I’ve had three children, all born by caesarian, the first two I had a general anaesthetic, and the third was an epidural (which I presume is what you mean by a spinal) and I would have to say that the epidural was far, far better than the general. I recovered much faster and I knew what was going on. I felt some tugging but nothing hurt and because I knew the outcome (ie baby born) would be good it didn’t worry me at all – I suspect you’ll think the same as the end result will be good for you.
    You may not think so now but lucky you have the hips going. I’m the same age as you but my knees are going (not too bad so far but …) and my GP has advised me to stay away from the knife as long as possible because hips are straightforward, they’ve had lots of practice and it’s relatively easy to do whereas knees they’re really not very good at yet.
    Anyway best of luck, I’m sure everything will be fine.

  10. luckyzmom

    I will be very interested to hear how it goes with you conscious. I wouldn’t mind being conscious if it meant recovering more quickly. I wouldn’t look though. You are so tough.

    I posted.

  11. Z

    I asked about an epidural and he said it isn’t the same as a spinal – I’ve looked that up, still don’t understand!

    Yes, hips are easier than knees. I’m lucky that it’s a random bad luck hip thing and not general arthritis. I may get it in other places, but not because I’m predisposed to it.

    Tough. Yeah, that’s me (heh heh)

  12. Blue Witch


    There you go. An easy-to-understand explanation.

    If I may make a suggestion… unless you are a very brave person, if you ask for EMLA cream (Eutectic Mixture of Lidocaine and Prilocaine – a local anaesthetic for topical application) (aka ‘magic cream’ often used for children) to be applied an hour before you have the anaesthetic, it will be much less painful.

    I’m amazed they can do a hip in an hour…


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