So, as I mentioned previously my Doc did a great job with my back. As my back problems wore away another unknown issue appeared. There was continued pain in my low right side that was very distracting. As the other issues subsided this one remained. My Doc ordered X-Rays just before Christmas. I brought the images home with me as the offices were closing soon after the images were developed.
Now, I certainly am no doctor and I don’t even play one on TV but, having seen a lot of my previous X-Rays and such, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m seeing and what I was seeing wasn’t good. As I’m sure you know, bones on X Rays show up white… areas where there is no bone are black. There was quite a bit of black where white should be.
My pain Doc looked at the images when I brought them in at my next appointment. He said ‘Well… I’ve got good news but not much. I know where the pain is coming from.’ It was my right hip and it needed to be replaced… soon. He told me he was going to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon that he knew well. They had both attended med school together and interned together. Sounded great and the following Monday his office called to schedule me. The appointment was set for that Friday. Nice… progress.
We arrived at the office building in the Medical Center about 3 or 4 minutes prior to the appointment time. I waited for Stitch for about 5 minutes before boarding an elevator up to the fifth floor. I entered the office 3 minutes after the scheduled time. I signed in, gave them my ID, med card, credit card and took the paperwork to get it filled out.
I made my way to the chairs, sat down gingerly and began on the forms. In no time at all I was told that they were cancelling my appointment because I was six minutes late… SIX MINUTES!! When have you ever gotten into a doctor’s office and were seen on time? Never happened here… As I was rather upset I made my way out into the hallway where I waited for Stitch. The elevator opened a bit later and Stitch looked at me rather quizzically. Before she could say a word I told her what had happened. She was more stunned than I was. We headed home both unhappy with the treatment. I had gotten.
At home I called my pain doc’s office and I requested another referral. They were upset with the way I was turned away and promised that I would get a referral soon. Two days later I got a call with the referral. I wasn’t going to wait for them to call me so I called their office. Sadly, I couldn’t get in to see the new doc until yesterday, Feb. 19.
I think the wait was worth it. He’s young and very friendly. I was standing up, bent at the waist, leaning against the examining table when he walked in. He said ‘I don’t need to ask how you’re doing… you’re in pain.’ Yep… for sure. I gave him the X Rays and within 3 seconds he said ‘You need a hip replacement… NOW.’ He looked at the X Rays for quite a while and he said that at least mine wasn’t the worst hip he had ever seen but it was a close second… and the worst he described as not even looking like a hip… he described it as looking ‘alien.’ So, my hip is one step above alien… at least I’ve got that going for me… He has had 7 years as an ortho surgeon at Brooks Army Medical Center caring for wounded and injured troops coming home from war… he’s seen and done a bunch.
He wanted to get me in on Monday, Feb 23 but was unable to so, I’m scheduled for surgery at 1:30 PM on March 2.
He spent quite a bit of time with us and during the discussion he said that he had no idea how I was still able to walk. It pretty much mysteries me, as well. As he explained the surgery he also commented on my hip. He remarked that the head of the femur had collapsed and that my ‘hip’ was nothing more than the exposed end of the femur rubbing against the pelvis with nothing in between… just bone rubbing on bone Ugh.
He has great hopes for success and a dramatic reduction in pain level even on the day of the operation. They will have me up and walking as soon as I am stable after recovering from the anesthesia. I was hoping for local anesthesia and he was fine with that but after having watched the surgery in a video on YouTube I’m thinking I’d rather be asleep. I don’t have a problem with the cutting, etc, but when the assistant grabbed the patients leg down near the foot and twisted it about 100 degrees to the outside and the dislocated the hip the associated POP was just a bit too much.
So, a week from Monday I’ll have some guy I’ve only met once cutting a big chunk of my leg off and throwing it away. Not something I had been expecting but I’m praying it will restore me to some level of normality. We have a cruise scheduled for September. Two of our very good friends will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on the Carnival Magic and we’ll be there to celebrate with them. Given how limited I’ve been on our past 2 cruises this one should be a joy.
I’ll let y’all know how the surgery went and keep you abreast of the recovery. It’s sure to be an adventure!!