Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hip, Hip, Hooray (and Goodbye)!

At home in Fort Worth...

I was standing in the shower a couple of years ago when I first noticed something was wrong with my hip.  I had just turned slightly when I felt an agonizing pain in my right hip socket.  This caused me to retreat quickly to the stance I had before I turned and, when I did, the pain went away.  There was no recurrence for a couple of weeks, so I promptly forgot about it, thinking it was just one of those age-related anomalies to be expected now and then as I get older. The next occurrence was also in the shower, but the pain did not immediately go away then.  As time went by, the episodes became more frequent and longer lasting.

A visit to Sandy’s orthopedic surgeon confirmed the diagnosis:  Arthritis.  Dr. Williams offered me  steroid injections to gain some temporary (a few weeks to a few months) relief, and I agreed to that.  But only twice.  The first time was without anesthesia, and I decided that was not something I wanted to do again.  The second time was with general anesthesia, but I thought that if I was going to be subjected to that much fuss and expense for relief of such short duration, I may as well go ahead and have the hip replaced and be done with it!  The only question was...when?

Sandy had not yet ended her physical therapy from her second knee replacement in August, but my condition was rapidly deteriorating--to the extent that I was limping significantly and having trouble sleeping at night.  Finally, we settled on January 14 for my hip surgery.

I must say, I am so thankful to be living in a time and in a country where such medical techniques are (for now) readily available.  It was not too long ago that an arthritic knee or hip meant immobility for arthritis sufferers--but no more.  My procedure was performed in a boutique hospital here in the DFW Metroplex that specializes solely in orthopedic surgery, and my care was first class by any measure.  I was astonished to be released on Wednesday following the Monday surgery.  Dr. Williams said that my new prosthesis' fit was especially successful and stable, even though the old joint was in pretty bad shape, as the surgery confirmed.

One day after surgery:  Grandson Mason does not seem sufficiently concerned about my condition!

I would not say that the recovery has not had its painful moments.  However, the painkillers are generally effective and their side effects are manageable. Fortunately, Sandy has been fully engaged as my nurse, and she is largely responsible for the speed of my recovery, to say nothing of fulfilling all of my whims, no matter how numerous or infantile.  She is truly wonderful in this role and the myriad of others she performs for me and our whole family.  I am truly a blessed man!

Did I leave out physical therapy?  There must be a reason that I tried to blank out of my mind the visits by Chuck, the physical therapist assigned to my case.  Chuck, a stocky, muscular guy of about 40, comes to the house and tortures me three times a week.  Obviously having been trained by Al Qaeda, Chuck appears to take great delight in forcing my bum leg to do things that God never intended even before I had any problems with it!  (I wonder if Chuck knows I have weapons in the house?)

Actually, the foregoing was a bit of exaggeration, as you might imagine.  I am convinced that the more effort you give toward physical therapy, the better your results will be.  So, I’m paying attention and doing what I’m told, but I still don’t particularly like it.

Since this post covers about two weeks of recuperation after the surgery, I am adding a couple of photos to show my progress.  In this one, my purpose is to garner sympathy from you, dear readers, over Sandy's forcing me to vacuum the house in my weakened condition just a week after surgery.  I'll leave it to you to decide whether this depicts a true representation of the facts or a cheap hoax.   (I know, it's hard to tell, given my innocent face.)

So abused!  Can you believe the suffering?  Oh, the humanity!
After a couple more days, Sandy allowed me to take her out to dinner, even though I hadn't vacuumed the house very well.  (That was so sweet of her; it was so hard to get in all those tight places with my walker...)

Mike's First Outing!

So, this finishes the medical issues Sandy and I have been working on for the last couple of years.  Compared to her four surgeries, my one procedure hardly measured up as anything significant.  But thankfully, it appears we are getting repaired back to normal with nothing serious remaining that we know of.  We are very grateful for the skill of our medical caregivers and all of the kind thoughts and prayers of loved ones, friends we have met and those out there whom we have yet to meet.  And we are very mindful that, even with all we have been through to get to this point, there are many others who are struggling with more serious health issues. To those fine folks go our heartfelt thoughts and prayers for healing.


  1.'s good to see you back on your feet.

    You have our prayers for continued progress..........

    Gordon and Juanita

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  2. "What's the difference between a physical therapist and a terrorist ?"
    You can negotiate with a terrorist !! Just kidding - they only want to see that you get the full use of the joint back after surgery. They can't let your whining and crying stop those exercises. Keep up the great recovery.

  3. Mike,
    Congratulations on your bionic, I mean, new knee. I hope it gives you many pain-free years.

    Good job on the recovery.

    Susan & Bob

  4. Sure is wonderful what medicine can do for us. Glad you got your new hip and are on the mend. Good luck to both of you.

  5. Sure is nice that you are recovering so quickly and getting to be all fixed up.

  6. Glad to see you doing so well. Now, on to Colorado! We have lots to see and do, so continue the good work. Oh, and give that wonderful nurse of yours a big hug from us.

  7. so glad to see you doing so well, Mike! soon you will be dancing a 'jig'!

  8. butterbean carpenterJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Howdy Sandy & Mike,

    Thanx, Sandy for putting up with the sufferer!!! We're glad everything came out alright and you're back on your feet; AIN'T IT WONDERFUL?? When you get through with that walker send it out here to the ranch; mine's nearly worn out!! Where's the Phannie Express going on the first saga of 2013?? It's not far from NRH to the ranch and we have plenty of room for boondocking or y'all can use our E/W hook-up!!!! Come see the miniatures and all of the cats!!! Now, what are you going to have to fuss about?? hee hee You better not or she'll call the PT on you!!! Mine (PT) is gone after this week, but he instructed Joyce on the torture regimen; HELP!!!
    Hope all goes well with your rehab and y'all hit the road!!!

  9. Wow, no wonder you've been missing from the blog world for a bit. Glad to hear you are on the other side of the surgery, and that it went smoothly and that you are well on your way back to ripping and tearing.

  10. Your travels will be so much more fun for you and Sandy. You will no longer be limited by pain and discomfort! PTL

  11. My aunt has a severe arthritis and is scheduled for left hip replacement next week. I've heard it's the training and exercise routines after the surgery that'll test her patience. Glad to see you're doing well; truly an inspiration for her.


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