At about your breakfast time this morning I shall be driven by my daughter to a hospital in southern England in order to prepare for my long-anticipated hip replacement operation.
It was about two-and-threequarter years ago now that, whilst temporarily and deliberately playing golf at high speed in order to avoid being caught by competitors following behind, I inadvertently caused myself a traumatic injury which was later diagnosed as osteoarthritis of the right hip.
Or rather, to be completely accurate – although I must have been developing such condition for a while – the ‘injury’ caused by my above increase in golf-playing speed led to the sudden appearance of symptoms which prompted said diagnosis.
The final confirmation of the condition came approximately three months after I had ‘injured’ myself and, when it did, the doctors urged (as they generally do) that I should put off having a hip replacement for as long as possible – apparently because it was not normally possible to have a second hip replacement on the same hip. In other words, assuming that a new hip last say 15 to 20 years, if you delayed having one until you were 65 or even 70, there was a good chance that it would ‘see you out’ – i.e. rather than leave you with a hip that had inevitably come to the end of its useful life and was thereafter potentially going to cause you untold amounts of discomfort in your last, steeply declining years.
I’ve posted before upon the phenomenon that – in contrast to the above-mentioned medical advice – everyone I subsequently ever met (or heard of) who has had a hip replacement has – well bar one particular individual who had his go wrong when under the knife – uniformly testified to how successful theirs has been. In other words – okay, whilst perhaps not taking them back to the flexible suppleness of their twenties – their offending hips had not only been rendered totally free from pain and discomfort but indeed left them eventually totally forgetting that they had ever had a hip problem.
Their thrust was “Come on in, the water is lovely!”
Anyway, after my diagnosis I duly ‘put off’ going for a hip replacement for 24 months before going back to my GP (and then a consultant surgeon) to opt for elective surgery. Since when I’ve been waiting …
This week I have been contacted by a number of pals I see regularly or know well, in addition to several acquaintances who have become aware of my situation.
A fairly common question has been “Are you nervous or apprehensive?” to which my truthful answer has either been “No” or “Well, not until you asked …”
I did have a ‘last supper’ at an Argentinian steak grill restaurant last evening with my daughter, who has arrived to take me to, and eventually from, my hospital bed. During it, in conversation, she mentioned that she had been on the internet and was now fairly up to speed with all aspects of my condition and the operation I am scheduled to be undergoing at some point today.
It all sounded pretty drastic, and gory, to be honest.
When I revealed that I had not much more than a passing understanding of what was going to be happening, she responded “That’s why I’m coming with you to the hospital and am going to speak to the doctors etc. – I want to know exactly what’s going on. I knew you wouldn’t have the slightest clue ….”
Ah well, I’m now at the ‘Nil By Mouth’ stage of my pre-op existence. I cannot promise anything, but I’m hoping that – if I can remember the password for my little-used iPad, and the hospital has some sort of wi-fi arrangement/facility – I may be able to blog an update or two from my bed over the weekend.