For every man…

…there comes that special moment when he is physically tapped on the shoulder and told, “You have osteoarthritis.”

[Apologies to Churchill for the quote hijack.]

My doctor called me at school yesterday and gave me that good news. Said the x-ray showed pronounced “degenerative arthritis” where the femur meets the hip socket on the right side. Darn femurs anyhow. Anyway, we discussed some therapies that will hopefully delay the inevitable hip replacement for a while. Boo hoo. Bad news for tap dancer.

However, since telling the family and a few friends last night, I’ve received lots of thumbs-up comments about how hip replacement surgery ain’t what it used to be, and that recuperation times are faster now than in the past, and patients can resume active lifestyles in a matter of a few months, or even weeks. That’s good.

But…my plan is to not have to worry about that for a long time. Couple o’ years, if I can help it. Longer, even. Quien sabe?

So, fellow arthritis sufferers, what are your best methods? I have to ice the hip joint every night when I get home. Aleve, too. Next week, once Dinner Theatre’s behind me, I’m meeting with the doc to discuss other things we can do to keep the titanium ball joint monster at bay. Any extra ideas?

At any rate, the last 18 hours have been a paradigm-changer. I now have a keenly increased awareness of the simple privilege of being able to move, and will devote much more time to taking care of this rickety bod, since it’s the only one I have.

Hey, we open the day after tomorrow. Run away. On your good legs and hip joints.


7 thoughts on “For every man…

  1. Country Mouse

    One bit of advice – When it become inevitable to go the route of the “titanium ball joint monster” listen to your body and get it done. I have seen too many people walk around in agony for years denying that they need surgery for whatever reasons (fear, denial, ignorance) and then find out after surgery that 1) they got instant relief 2) it wasn’t as bad as they feared. Unfortunately I have also seen friends spend the last years of their lives a cripple because they never got up the nerve to have surgery. As a good friend once advised me – listen to your body – it sounds like you have taken that first step – on your good hip of course!

  2. Bill


    I have had several friends go through hip replacements and am also good friends with Dr. Matt Bernhard, who does the vast majority of hip replacements in Ashland. Without exception everyone I know experienced almost immediate relief from the surgery. Those that had put it off (as you seem to be suggesting for yourself) later realized what a mistake that was. Put it off long enough to fit your schedule but then get in and get it done!

  3. Suzanne

    Sister girl, I say get it done as soon as you can! I know of a few people who have had it done and their lives are sooooo much better! No more pain, they can do the things they love to do pain free, and like the others have said — they wonder why they waited so long!!!

    My phys ed teacher from HS had hers done, both of them, and she skis in marathons–and she’s almost 80!!!! My mom? Waited toooooo long to get hers done and now she’s out on the sidelines.

    Imagine playing with the Js and no pain…..going for long walks with Rousseau…tapping along with the kids…the list is endless!


  4. Meg

    I have seen sooooo many successful hip replacements at the rehab clinics I have been working at. The patiens always say that they never knew how bad it was until it was fixed. Recovery is quick too (especially if you can wait 5 years and get some therapy with Dr. Grose. haaa! I will take goooood care of you :P )

  5. Rat Fink Post author

    Well thank you one and all, fiends. (And Stoney, you were right!) I definitely have some things to think about and consider. I’ll talk to the doc next week and get things ironed out. I’ve been in this pain for so long, it’s hard to remember what it feels like to have a full range of motion. I’m sure I’ll want to get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

  6. BoomR

    Both BV and I are of the opinion: “Git ‘er done” and do it sooner than later. We’ve taken that approach with a couple of our respective health issues. Mom BoomR actually just had knee replacement prior to Christmas & at age 80 has bounced back pretty quick! This makes BOTH knees for her & she says this one went faster/better than the first one (which wasn’t bad to begin with).

    As for hips, I know of a couple of my folks’ friends who have done hip replacements in the past 4-5 years, and they were out playing golf again in a couple months. So tap dancing? Piece of cake!!

    Besides, the hip’est chick I know will be even hippier after all is said & done!


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