Friday, July 13, 2018

My Hip is in my Head.

     I have been living with a sore, tight and achy left hip for at least five years. While something in me knew it is probably arthritis, I have resisted that label since the hip is the only place on my body where I experience any sort of discomfort. I am a firm believer in our body's ability to heal itself, so I believed that my body would eventually do just that. Along the way, I've done various things to support the healing, such as regular chiropractic, massage and yoga. MELT Method techniques have been particularly helpful in enabling me to stay active and keep the ache at a tolerable level with very little need to take pain relievers of any sort.
     Investigation of another possible healing modality (prolotherapy--look it up) led my new doctor (previous doc retired) to require x-rays of the hip to see what is truly going on in that joint. I will congratulate him on his bravery, for he is the one who finally pronounced to me that it is arthritis with bone-on-bone contact in the joint. Did I mention that I hate being medically labeled? I swear my hip has become more achy since that pronouncement.
     My doctor said, "You can have that joint replaced. It is just a matter of when you decide that it is affecting your quality of life." So now, my hip is in my head.
     First of all, I am frustrated that I was not able to heal myself. Not that I've ever had that miraculous ability! I know I can't convince myself that I can re-form the bone and rebuild the joint tissue. Where is Jesus when I need him? I do believe that someday humans will be able to heal themselves, but we just aren't that evolved yet. I fully realize that this is a dumb reason to be annoyed with myself.
     Next, in my mind, arthritis equals old. I'm not old in my head, so it aggravates me to be old in my body. Since I am so generally healthy, I like to think that I am immune to illness and declining with age. So a likely hip replacement is a wake-up call that the more years I spend on the planet, the more I may run into assorted health challenges. I am grateful that this one is rather easily fixed.
     The pros for having the hip replaced are many:

-I'm weary of the nearly constant ache that often interferes with sleep
-The arthritis and bone-on-bone contact are not going to improve
-I'm limping
-I don't want to mess up other parts of my body by continuing to compensate for this hip issue
-I want to be able to walk long distances comfortably on my many upcoming travels
-I can get this one and only thing fixed and then I'm good to go for a long time (I hope!)
-I do not like feeling handicapped or saying "I can't...." because I am hurting
-It is making it harder for me to do and teach yoga and to walk for more than a couple miles
-Maybe the surgeon can fix the life-long discrepancy in the length of my legs
-I have a good window of time in the fall to get it done.

     The cons are just big scary monsters in my head:
-I might die on the operating table
-I'll go nuts if I can't swim for several weeks
-What if it doesn't "work" and I'm still in pain
-They cut off the top of the leg bone--YUCK! (Though I am going to ask if I can have it as a souvenir)
-I know someone who went in for a "simple knee replacement" and had so many complications that he ended up many months later with a leg amputation

     Clearly, I can scare the sense out of myself if I'm not mindful of my thoughts! I know several folks who have had successful hip replacements and they are ready and willing to support me. There are good surgeons locally in Wichita that have plenty of experience with the procedure. I am very motivated, especially by my desire to travel, to recover well and quickly. Ultimately this will be just a small "blip in the action" which is my life.
      Now that I have mentally "opened the door" to the hip replacement option, I know that the knowledge, support and resources to make it happen are coming to me. I can hardly wait to hear myself say, "I'm so glad I did it!" 
      Stay tuned...

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