Monday, August 02, 2010

Buck Up, Girl

I've decided to openly share a soon-to-be event in my life.  Recently I turned 64, and as we all know, that's no small number on the life ruler.  I'm also going to humbly confess that there were years that I actually thought I could fool Mother Nature and be the first person in human history to skate through the aging process, remain forever young, and maintain lasting good health.

Well, here I am pushed up against a wall facing distressing reality.  Mother Nature has slapped me on the head as a consequence for my selfish notions. 

With that said, let me share that two weeks from today I will be having total hip replacement surgery done on my right hip.  I've chosen to have the anterior approach, minimally invasive procedure, and the fangs of fear are biting at me like the teeth of a pit bull ripping my leg to shreds. 

I tell myself it's okay to be scared.  After all, my main frame is going to be sawed into and part of it replaced with a couple pieces of metal.  I asked my doctor if my legs will be the same length when it's over, and he smiled and said to me, "Do you have something against changing your name to Eileen?"

Yup, I'm facing the use of a walker for awhile.  Now, that's hurts the vanity within.  But, you know what, if it's gonna help me get me back to where I can walk around the block or walk around the mall without that nasty jab of pain, then I'm gonna be a big girl and do as the doctor prescribes.  Maybe I'm feeling the need to openly admit to fearing the surgery-- fearing that I might need blood, and fearing the realization that this is really going to happen to me, when it should only be happening to 'old' people.  That darned thing called 'fear' can really cause havoc with our heads and our days.  Wasn't it Woody Allen who said, "I don't like to be afraid.  It scares me."

My surgeon was carefully chosen.  I think we occupied his time for over an hour.  That's how long it took him to answer my list of questions.  Prior to our appointment, I'd done my homework and watched virtual and real videos of hip replacement surgery and read every article and forum I could find about it.  Some of my questions piqued the surgeon's interest, like how would I know to ask that.

Thousands of baby boomers are having successful joint replacement surgeries every year, and, so, I'd best buck up and be a brave girl.  It's simply my turn.  Medical science, along with the skillful doctors and nurses who devote their lives to helping humanity, give us opportunities that those of other generations wouldn't have dreamt of.  There were no surgeries available to help my gramma's arthritic pain and suffering.  So instead of harboring anxiety and fear, I've got to get myself tuned to the right station and listen to the music of scientific discovery and let myself be healed by its amazing powers. 

We are having a wedding in the family in October.  My nephew is getting married.  My goal is to be able to take hold of my husband's arm and walk pain-free down the aisle to our assigned seat without other assistive devices (other than the arm of a handsome usher).  It's good to have something like that to shoot for, cuz it gives a person the incentive to work hard to be the very best we can be.