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Hip trip report

eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
Yikes, I'm terrified. Maybe writing about it will help. Some friends liked my Spain trip report and asked me to do a “trip” report for the hip replacement. We are an aging demographic and many are likely to need surgeries and replacement parts. Maybe it will be relevant for others.

It started three years ago. After a crappy winter of hard snow beating up my hip and a couple of physical work projects, a friend came down to ski at my lake for a few days. I was dialing in a new slalom ski and pushing to redeem my trick skiing. So I skied a lot. Probably more than my body could handle. My hip was sore but manageable. Until I pulled out for the gates in some choppy water at the end of a long set and something went pop. The hip really lit up.

It didn't get better and a couple doctor visits didn't change too much. After zeroing too many tournaments in a row, I finally got an MRI which showed a tiny fracture in the ball of the hip. No weight bearing for 6 weeks. Bicycling was OK so I stashed my crutches on the bike and rode everywhere. When I rode the hour hilly ride to a doctor appointment, the doctor put me on 6 more weeks of crutches. Released to ski for one end of season tournament and got my first standup of the year (with a watered down run – but it was still fun).

Snow skied over the winter with things improving pretty well.

Just about when the hip issues had become manageable, I got shingles. If you have read this far, GET THE SHINGLES VACCINE! Shingles is a horrible disease, the shot is a couple hundred bucks and a pinprick. Shingles filled up the nearly recovered hip with calcium and I blamed all my tournament zeroes on my painful hip. And slalom was out of the question – I couldn't really even try.

Treatment for shingles is a giant anti viral pill, a neuropathy pill with awful side effects for me, muscle relaxants which didn't help and a steroid, prednisone, which was magic. Prednisone is also on the WADA banned list so I could only take it for three days (taking it longer requires long tapering off periods that would have overlapped competition times, so off limits if I wanted to ski). I had a shingles relapse late in the summer which really lit up my hip as well as everything else. I went to the hip doctor looking for a theraputic use exemption for prednisone. Worlds were coming up and I might get tested so I needed to follow all the rules. Instead of a pill to just make me feel better, she saw my xrays “this is not the same hip as the one you injured – it's now shot” and sent me to get a new hip. “You are old. Stop skiing and get a new hip” was the advice. They gave me a shot of prednisone in the hip.

I was asked if it helped. “I don't know, I still can't cross my legs” I said while crossing my legs to demonstrate. Cool, this is great. Four weeks to worlds and I can ski again. Three weeks later, the effect wore off. I still had my best run of the year in the finals so no real complaints. Until a few weeks later – the hip was really painful. The cortisone shot just delayed the pain. Not a valid therapy.

Snow skiing was tough that winter. Drought snow meant ice skiing which rattled my hip and required hip flexibility to carve the skis. Some lessons and a lot of yoga and physical therapy got me feeling OK. Work was a problem if it involved ladders but I could paint and unclog toilets pretty well still (I am a toilet repairman it seems).

Steady improvement while waterskiing that summer – sort of. Slalom still sucked but I started enjoying skiing slow speeds just for fun. I stood up in a few tournaments, had fun coaching the kids and won Nationals. Interesting Nationals, I made it to the Masters Men division but only one other MM skier actually went to Nationals. When I ripped off my big toe toenail and pulled my back out a few days before Nationals (why was I moving that furniture by myself), I was really worried about my performance. I dialed back my run and did 100% of what my body was capable of that day to ski well. Good thing I skied MM as I wouldn't have won my age division with that score – but I'm still happy with that.

It snowed a lot over the winter. Great skiing but I did have to pace myself. It was hard to walk back to the cabin on my hip but the skiing was fine. Especially when it was soft.

This spring, I tried to get back into slalom. Worked pretty hard but couldn't get past 5 ball at 34. Even in practice. Couldn't qualify for Regionals so I focused on tricks. It was tough but my scores kept improving at every tournament. Finally got over 4000 – a huge milestone for me. Got sick right before Nationals (what looked like a Lyme bite right where the harness goes on my toe foot – made the whole leg weak including lighting up the hip) so I zeroed the toe pass. Got healthy, got strong and went to a last tournament. Tripped on the wake on my hand pass and pulled a hamstring. This was a week before Senior Worlds! But it wasn't a crippling issue – I might be OK. Worlds was tough. Barely made the finals. By finals, my hamstring was not better but not crippling. My hip locked up on me and wouldn't turn over for me. Wasted enough time to delay me off the podium.

That's when it decided for me. I can get by with one bad wheel but not two. Minor injuries are a part of any sport. If I get the nagging lingering problem dealt with, I might be able to handle whatever comes up. So hip replacement.

A total hip replacement is the standard. But athletes seem to prefer resurfacing (Floyd Landis is the most famous (infamous) to have the hip resurfacing). A couple years ago, my doctors didn't want to do resurfacings. There was a recall of one brand (I'd way rather turn in my diesel Jetta than turn in my hip!) and the lawyer sharks were going after all the doctors doing resurfacing. But now doctors are warming again to resurfacing. I don't see ads on TV anymore and the published studies I read showed better outcomes in the long term from hip resurfacings (probably skewed by starting with healthy athletes). The doctor that I was referred to a couple years ago is now one of the most experienced resurfacers. Cool!

So I'm convinced that Dr. Ball at UCSD should give me a Birmingham hip. Easy, right?

The first appointment to see him is in November and I'm calling late September. I get a cancellation for a late October appointment for the initial visit. There's a Birmingham hip mill in South Carolina, maybe I should go there? I call and whine for an earlier appointment with Dr. Ball and I get a cancellation in two days! Cool!

I'm too old at 61 to be a perfect candidate for the Birmingham hip. So I'm hoping he will be able to help me. The xrays look even worse than the last ones. I show him a video of my toe pass trick skiing. He rattles around my leg and smiles “you'll be easy”. The Birmingham hip will be perfect for you. I bribe him with a bottle of wine in thanks for seeing me so quickly.

A day later, I get a call from his scheduler. “Do you have anything you need to do now?” Now, I'm an appointed judge at College Nationals next week. I need to fix some tiles in a kitchen in an apartment and fix a heater. I should be able to get things stabilized in a week or two, no problem. They were saying 6 to 8 weeks for scheduling if I get an expedited cancellation. So I flippantly answer “it will take me a couple hours to get there but I can be there later this morning”. She answers “so Tuesday is OK?”

Wow! If this happens that fast, I can get back to work in time to really take care of a couple big looming projects, I might be able to snow ski a bit and even if I heal slowly I'll be ready for waterski season. I cannot turn down this opportunity.

My first call is to Connie to warn that I am likely to flake on Nationals. I don't know if I will be ready to work there that quickly. I did set up the cameras so they should be straightforward. Half the people say I should be OK to just play with the videos at the tournament, the others say I will be lucky to remember the TV shows I will binge watch while groaning on the couch munching percodan. We'll see.

So Friday I have all the pre op appointments. An EKG? Is my heart going to stop? Will I fail the test and not get surgery? Blood work? Even though I donate blood regularly, I hate needles. Pee in a cup? No problem but are they giving the results to WADA? I should be clean but I did have a poppyseed bagel a while back. I guess I passed because the doctor saw me next.

I have a tournament over the weekend. I'm not sure I should ski it and risk the injuries. The doctor says “I'm cutting you open unless you break your leg. Go have fun there.” I'm only signed up for tricks and that goes OK – the hamstring is almost healed but the hip locks up. I'm not allowed any Naproxen so I'm pretty stiff. On Sunday I get a write in to slalom. Make 30 and 32 at 15 off. Opt up to 22 off 34 because that used to be my starting speed. Run it! It's been a long time. And that was difficult. Too scary to attack 28 off the way I needed to - but I'm stoked to have made a pass.

The rush to get in the open spot is too quick for the insurance. We are all pretty sure that the insurance will come through but my share is still substantial. They want that up front. This is expensive! Lisa has been wondering if I will be able to get up our stairs. So she asks the nurses and doctors. “It depends.” But now they want me to spend the night in the hospital. Maybe I can talk them into the luxury ground floor Bahia hotel and dinner of lobster instead of a cold hospital room with thickened applesauce. My share of the payment probably makes the Bahia and lobster cheaper to me. I'm going to Amvets to buy a used walker and crutches…

No alcohol. Showers with some total kill antibacterial soap (how do I still have BO?). No late dinner (at least no Moviprep – condolences to those who know what I'm referring to). This is the stuff that makes you nervous. While I'd rather be getting my hands dirty with the heater repair, the phone remote repair is keeping me distracted.

Keep you posted (I hope).



  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @eleeski -- you will be fine! My wife had her hip go through a similar deterioration, and finally had it replaced. Of course they say "you shouldn't ski anymore". BS. She skis and feels fine. They had her walking the day of surgery and the day after and sent her home after she went up and down a flight of stairs. Not saying she was pain free, but she was able to get around pretty well from the time we got home and the recovery was much less than you might expect -- hip replacement is easier than knee replacement. Good luck!!!
    Jim Ross
  • DekeDeke Posts: 362 Baller
    edited October 2016
    @eleeski a big selling point for the Birmingham or other resurface is the large ball size which makes it less likely to dislocate, particularly in the early stages of recovery. However, the anterior approach Total Hip also reduces the likelihood of dislocation to a similar degree. Throw in the recalls, metal on metal issues and the fact that the resurface is done posteriorly, I don't know if it would be worth it anyway (it wasn't for me). The materials for the Total Hip have also improved it's lifespan so it seems like from a risk standpoint it's a good choice. The key is the anterior approach and having a surgeon who is very good at it. Either way you'll be better off for it.

    I'm not skiing much these days but that is not because of my 2 hip replacements, it's because of access. I can tell you that I continue to play a LOT of ice hockey, so I wouldn't worry. I know you are worried about the change in your performance but you will be much better off with the hip replacements than you are now.

    Good Luck!

    PM me if you'd like to talk about specifics. -Deke
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,006 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    My mother recently had a total hip replacement. The procedure is so much less invasive than it once was.
    Operation on a Monday
    Up walking with a walker on Tuesday
    Home Wednesday
    Moved to a cane Thursday.
    Moving better than prior to the operation within a week.
    Three weeks out and she is out walking the dog.

    Eric, you will do great. As an added bonus you will be bionic!!
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    just remember when a doctor answers ' depends ' he may not be talking about your chances of success -he *might* be talking about adult diapers.
  • dbresseldbressel Posts: 33 Baller
    Had a THR a year ago; best thing I ever did. I guarantee you will tell yourself “I should have done this a year earlier”. I was riding a bike at two weeks, snow skiing after 4 months, waterskiing @ 6 months and started jogging again recently. Two issues I encountered – (1) gained too much weight in recovery (My bad), and (2) with the replacement on my left hip and being a left foot forward skier, it is taking me longer to get back into skiing form. I waited too long and limped on that leg for over a year causing my quad muscles to atrophy some. Follow all the protocols, rehab, etc. and you will be back to all your activities pain free. Best of Luck!
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 66 Baller
    @eleeski your quality of life will be so much better and being able to sleep through the night alone will have you asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.

    After 2 total replacements I can stand on a ladder pain free or work from knees and get up with get up with out thinking about it. So your painting and fixing toilets will even be easier. As for sking, my surgeon asked me not to as well. I skied the course for the 1st time 2 years after my replacements. After many crashes I've had no problems.

    Take Care and follow your rehab!
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,362 Historical Baller
    edited October 2016
    Hip replacements: My right in 2005 and left in 2011. Waited much too long for the 2005
    one, but I had a complication of a blood clot in the lower leg. Taking blood thinners, so
    they wouldn't operate. The day after the 2005 operation, and a friend came by to visit.
    Asked me if I was doing OK vs. pain, and my answer was that I felt better right then than
    when I limped into the hospital. The newer method, anterior approach, apparently helps
    you heal up faster. I didn't have that one. Some 40 staples closing up my wound.

    Theory: The hip on your SL rear leg goes first. Feedback?

    Shingles note: if you have Medicare and maybe Medicaid, it is a LOT less than a couple of
    hundred dollars for the shot. Which I need to get soon, along with the yearly flu shot.
  • waterskicoreywaterskicorey Posts: 119 Baller
    Hey Eric, I'm 54 had a full hip replacement on my right hip on May 18, 2015, riding my bike an hour a day 6 weeks after (no hills) was back to work as a firefighter mid September and was back waterskiing on Oct 14. This season I am back to where I was before surgery (mid 38 off) with no problems. It's the best thing I ever did, should have done it a year earlier, take it easy the first 3 months. Good luck you will be better than ever. This a picture of my first set with my new hip
  • chrisroddychrisroddy Posts: 27 Baller
    Wishing you good luck and all the best in your recovery!
  • smalorsmalor Posts: 63 Baller
    Good luck @eleeski !!!!
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 3,972 Mega Baller
    We saw Eric this past weekend at the Imperial tournament, and prompted him to write about his hip deal. After enjoying his Spain trip report last month, it seemed like another chapter on recovering from joint replacement surgery would be good information for the BOS readers. I have no doubt that he will make a full recovery, return to skiing, and continue on the eccentric path of the mad scientist that he truly is.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,174 Crazy Baller
    @eleeski has a future as a blogger
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • LLUSALLUSA Posts: 237 Crazy Baller
    Anterior approach is by far the best way to go, no restrictions, as for someone who has had an anterior hip replacement and as the administrator of a short term rehab facility, anterior patients do better with less complications, and recover much quicker, and you can cross your legs, just make sure your doc does a lot of these, FYI the LaPoints recommend this, Bob and his brother (not Kris)
    LLUSA, Sr Driver, AWSA Board of Directors, Towboat Committee,Lake Owner
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,544 Mega Baller
    Cool report. My boss at work is a 50 year old Ironman distance triathlete who had his hip replaced in Q1 of this year. He is back on the bike riding long distances outside and in the pool. The doctor who did his hip said explicitly that he will be able to go back to doing triathlons which to me seems amazing with a new hip.

    Good luck.
    Mark Shaffer
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    Thanks for all the kind thoughts.

    Woke up early with a start. This is the day. It’s real now. Not the nerves on the starting dock, certainly not the excitement of Christmas morning but something more sinister. Not like being stalked by a coyote on a night walk after the flashlight failed, not like getting the fight or flight response going. But no way am I getting back to sleep.

    Puttered around – for hours. Showered with the horribly clinical smelling soap again. Read the paper – honestly I can’t remember a word of it but one comic made me chuckle. Posted the preamble to this that I had written earlier. Cleaned up the yard. Took a nice walk on the beach. I had a lot of time to kill before my afternoon surgery. We were just getting ready to go for a last workout swim at the Y when the phone rang. The scheduler asked how fast I could get there.
    “Half hour!”
    “You have been fasting?”
    “OK, hurry up here. there’s a spot right now!”

    Wow, this doesn’t happen. Early everything. Maybe early enough that I can get a discharge for tonight and spend the night at home or at least the nice stairless luxury Bahia hotel with a lobster dinner in place of thickened applesauce and beeping machines.

    Whisked into the prep room. The nurse hits my vein no problem (despite my big veins, the last one missed). All the doctors come say Hi. “Any questions?”
    “Can I get discharged today?”
    “Maybe but probably not. We’ll see.” Aside to the nurses. “Shut this crazy guy up”
    I don’t remember anything else.

    I woke up in agony. My shoulder was killing me. (It was the first arthritic joint to get a doctor visit. I kept worrying in my anesthesia haze that a bionic shoulder might be in the near future.) An ice pack for a couple minutes and I was groggily able to take stock of myself.

    No pain. No feeling from the waist down. No movement – at all. Complete paralysis. OK, this will pass. But nothing was coming back at any rate I could notice. The doctor peeks into the recovery room and says it went great! But I need to stay in the hospital tonight. Fine with me, I’m paralyzed and can’t move. Third story is not an option.

    I’m freezing. My alarm is going off. Low heart rate. Blood pressure and O2 are fine but I’m still a bit under. They bring me a cup of ice cubes. I hate ice – not just for skiing on – but I like warm beer and neat scotch. I dutifully swallow a couple bites to assure him that I can swallow and he brings me a juice box. Magic! Fluid and sugar! I’ve been fasting for hours and eating light for days. Immediately, I warm up and my heartbeat speeds up to where it belongs (or at least the alarms stop). I guess I’m addicted to sugar. Lisa does love me, she has smuggled in a box of See’s chocolates!

    I get wheeled out of the recovery room to my room – still paralyzed. The orderly jokes that I have a roommate. “Is she cute?” I ask.
    Lisa quips “it doesn’t matter, you’re paralyzed.”
    “And you have a catheter” laughs the orderly.

    In my private room, I am able to wiggle my right leg a bit. Whew! But I don’t have a catheter and the nurse is wondering when I urinated last. It’s been a while. They ultrasound my bladder, it’s pretty full. I’m completely numb though so I can’t feel it. Tried to pee into a portable urinal. Not a drop. I am lucky for an old guy that I’m pretty good about being able to pee. Not this time. The nurse threatens me with a catheter and gives me Flomax to no avail.

    Lisa brings in a nice noodle bowl and we have dinner in the wonderful ambiance of the hospital room. All the sitting up to eat (and trying to pee) has gotten some circulation going. I can move both legs and everything is tingling. Except the male hardware. Still completely numb – is it still there? A hip for a prostrate might not be a good trade. I mercifully let Lisa go home and am able to dribble enough to stave off the catheter.

    IV antibiotics, some Celebrex and a stool softener – sorry if it’s getting too graphic – maybe I shouldn’t write when impaired. Actually, I’m not in much (any) pain. So going without narcotics – for now. And I was able to pee better. Not too many beeping machines I might survive this!


    The beeping machines, the frequent wake ups and the squeezing leg cuffs make it hard to sleep.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    Nothing helps you pee better than the threat of a catheter! (or you can ask them to turn the sink on -- running water can help too!)
    Jim Ross
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,362 Historical Baller
    What do you get at a cheap bar and also afterward?

    Ans: A loose stool.
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,867
    edited October 2016
    Glad to hear you're doing ok. Man, when I had the first of my two surgeries this year I couldn't tell if I needed to pee for two weeks. Must be the nerve block. The first day I was in silly pain. Then I finally decided to try to go to the bathroom and pee'd for like 12 minutes. It wasn't pain from the holes in me but because my bladder was backed up to my arm pits. LOL
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • AndreAndre Posts: 985 Crazy Baller
    Good luck Eric!
    You'll feel way better soon,i'm sure!
  • gcam4gcam4 Posts: 69 Baller
    Eric, I'm 33 and had a hip arthroscopy in 2014. It is actually a longer recovery and I was cleared to ski in 4 months. You'll be fine. Also, my Dr., one of the best in hip arthroscopy, mentioned if I was interested in a partial that a Birmingham hip would be ideal. You'll be fine and skiing before you know it. Enjoy the night in the hospital, it was easier than going home that day and I'm glad my Dr. required me to stay one night!
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    This is a trip report. As in Grateful Dead’s “Long strange trip it’s been”. Pardon the graphic nature of what follows. Not every trip is a good trip.

    OK, the pain is very real and significant. The anesthetic wore off on my hip in the middle of the night. The horrible squeezie leg cuffs illicited a twitch response in my leg. Stark wake up. The hip pain wasn’t the worst. The squeeze cuff was digging into my good leg’s foot. Agony until I figured out how to reposition it.

    Then it was time to pee. No problem! The anesthetic must have worn off. But my testicles were on fire. If I lay down just right I could manage the discomfort. Sleep was out of the question so I read for a while.

    Peed again! Tried to sleep. Now the anesthetic was wearing off in my stomach. They had offered me an anti nausea drug when I went to sleep. They also offered narcotics. I was feeling great when I went to sleep so I turned it all down.

    Now, I’m a big believer in using whatever medicines you need. I stupidly thought that I didn’t need them. Now I get why they were offered.

    After a while I felt horrible. Cold sweats and nausea. The nurse came in while I was peeing (happy to keep that working) and said I could sleep on my side. That helped and I got some sleep!

    The resident wakes me up to check on me. I’m feeling pretty good. The hip pain is pretty high but now that’s about all. I don’t want to be woozy for the physical therapist who will check me out so I pass on the pain meds again. Really, I’ve hurt worse than just the hip so I’m OK.

    The physical therapists show up a while later. I get out of bed on my own and start going around on the walker just fine. She’s talking about unpleasant hospital and surgery stuff (like recovery times and moves that can dislocate the hip). One reason I’m not a doctor is that I faint at blood and guts (I’m a wimp). So I get out in the hall and start to gray out. Failed the PT test. I get some bicycle pedals and permission to sit up. They promise to try again in the afternoon.

    I used to have high blood pressure. What’s the use if I can’t keep it high enough to walk around the hospital? So I have plenty of time to type this. Working at Imperial is looking less likely…

    Lisa brings a hamburger and milkshake in for lunch. I’m riding the exercycle (no load and I can sit in a chair). I’ve been sitting up all morning. The nurse has me use the walker for a practice lap around the ward. No problem. Lisa lays out my street clothes and I’m ready for the therapists. A lap around the ward and a flight of stairs and I’m emancipated!

    I fall asleep on the car ride home. Until Brad calls. He had the easier recovery hip and was hoping I might be able to help judge. A couple sentences in and he’s wishing me well and off to plan B. My son spots me on the stairs and I make it upstairs. But I desperately need a shower (terminal BO, residual betadyne and hospital cooties). Our house is not set up for the handicapped. So Lisa heads off to buy a toilet seat and shower chair combo. It comes disassembled. Really, after surgery I still have to be a toilet repairman?

    The shower is magic. I almost feel human. So I promptly pass out for a few hours. It’s nice to be home.

    A light dinner and some binge watching TV. It hurts like hell. But I’m ready to sleep and heal. This is tougher than I thought…

  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,970 Mega Baller
    Hope you have a speedy recovery.
    My 65 year old friend just had his hip replaced two weeks ago.
    National slalom competitor for like most of his life.
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 274 Solid Baller
    @eleeski Very nice writing, you can write a book ...seriously. I am lucky enough (61old) all my joints are fine but good luck for your recovery and wishing you a great next ski season.
    Just by curiosity where in the US do you live ?
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @eleeski -- post surgery ALWAYS take the meds. You want to stay ahead of the pain, not get behind it and then have to catch up. Besides, they tend to make you sleepy and one of the best things for you post surgery is just plain rest.
    Jim Ross
  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,970 Mega Baller
    Just watch the codeine meds and constipation!
  • waterskicoreywaterskicorey Posts: 119 Baller
    I agree with @Razorskier1 and A_B use your meds keep the pain in check it will help you heal. But watch out for the constipation mine was more pain than my hip. The first 2 weeks are not fun but after that it feels better and better every day. Hang in there it will be well worth it
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,362 Historical Baller
    @eleeski You sure had your troubles. I had almost none of that with my hip operations,
    other than toilet trips. Although, first hip-op, I got wicked sores on my back from the
    rubber sheets and the very harsh detergent used to launder the sheets. For the 2nd hip-
    op, the hospital had changed their ways. I waited much too long for my first replacement,
    starting with hoping it was something else that would heal. First problems were noted at
    least 10 years before it got fixed.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    What a difference a day makes!

    Sleeping at home - but not in my bed. Our bed is on a ridiculously high pedestal and I don't think I am ready to jump up to it. But Kirk's bed is the right height and nice and soft. I sleep quite well, just waking up every couple of hours to pee (still working a long ways after the flomax) but getting right back to sleep.

    Able to hobble downstairs for coffee. Almost normal.

    Ran out of gas after a couple of hours. Maybe it was because Lisa told me to clean up my desk – no, I'm too tired to do anything productive, especially clean. Napped! That's rare for me. I'm down to just a sore hip. The systemic dolor that afflicted me yesterday is gone. The hip still hurts like hell but it's just the hip and surrounding third of my body.

    Taped Saran wrap over the incision and went for a shower. Bowels moved, barely. Maybe it is good that I avoided the narcotics. If I'm plugged up already, how bad would it be if I'd taken the narcotics. That's a pretty unpleasant side effect. But they offered Metamucil and stool softeners. Add some San Diego tap water and that side effect might be manageable. I think I might be past the need for pain meds now. Now my hip just hurts. Sorry for the grossness.

    I need my walker but I can get around. I'm favoring it a lot as I walk. The therapists (and now Lisa, vehemently) want me to walk straight. I think he put my hip together pigeon toed. But that's probably why I'm supposed to walk straight, to make it heal straight. I wonder if I will need to mount my back binding at a different angle. Or mount my snow skis with a wonky angle on the left (it will be hard to demo skis). I guess I'd better do the rehab properly.

    Honestly, I don't know if the desk is messier now or when I started. No wonder my workspaces are so scrambled. Typing this is just procrastinating. But I'm finding lots of cool stuff!

    So the therapist comes by the house in the evening to check on me. I'm getting around pretty well and she likes how I'm moving. I still have a LONG way to go but I'm where I should be. I'm supposed to be working the Collegiate Nationals. She said I would be OK doing the trick video. I have a ride out in a Tesla Model X so the normally 2 hour drive will only take 1 hour. Hmmm, what am I getting into? Am I healing too quickly? So much for the TV binge watching.

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    Off to Imperial with the therapist’s blessing. My ride is my buddy’s new Tesla Model X. Worth leaving the comfort of home just for that. The Tesla is a big comfortable SUV. It’s not a monster like a Silverado or Excursion nor is it tiny like a Subaru or CRV. Maybe a bit too big for my tastes but the size was just right for my level of disability. Sat in the back quite comfortably. Mike’s son drove the first leg. No hotdogging and he set the drive feel for “comfort”. Cruise control was set for 80 but the traffic made that unavailable. Autodrive was pretty cool. It kept a safe and courteous distance from the cars ahead, slowing and accelerating smoothly to keep the same gap. Smooth adjustments when people slimed into the gap between us and the car ahead. The traffic thinned out as the speed limit increased. Some back seat chatter about how bad speeding tickets are for teenagers and how an arrest me red new Tesla is a cop magnet and the autodrive got reset to a more reasonable level and held that speed smoothly. He had to rest his hands on the wheel to keep the autodrive engaged. Failure to do so would start with a warning after a while that if ignored would pull the car over and stop it. That’s a scary feature that we didn’t test to the limits.

    Stopping at the rest area (per therapist’s orders) we changed drivers and seats. Mike took over and I got a front seat. He switched to sport mode. The car seemed to raise up, get stiffer and the steering seemed twichier. The seat also moved automatically back and the radio switched. He wanted to show off on the onramp so he floored it. It was like being on a Disneyland ride! The discussion then turned to kilowatts and range and how the “ludicrous” speed option was foolish. OK… So we ran into some construction. The autopilot decided it would be fun to run over the cones forcing us out of our lane. A quick human override kept the cones in place. Good thing we weren’t watching Harry Potter. Self driving cars are still in the future.

    We arrived at Imperial (lots of kilowatts regenerated on the hill down) and found the event in full swing. All the camera instructions were in the exact pile where I’d left them. Hmmm. A chip had been dropped in the water and a couple skiers were missing. I felt pretty bad about not being there for the start but honestly they did a great (if somewhat disorganized) job. The lost skiers turned out to be scratches so all was perfect.

    I sat outside and helped with scoring. Reasonably easy and comfortable. It was a long tournament. Cathy, who had a hip replacement earlier, saw me and immediately shooed me away to the couch. I passed out exhausted for an hour. Thanks for the reality check, Cathy.

    Nice dinner provided by SDSU. A very small sampling of some fancy wines and I was ready for an early bed. Took my meds, Celebrex and asprin. And went to bed. Woke up after not too long. Churning stomach and a pounding heart. With weird beats. Not sure what was happening but I got back to sleep. Woke up a few hours later sweating profusely. Now it was hot and I’m in a sleeping bag so there is a good explanation. But I’m not super happy. When morning comes, I call my orthopod friend in North Carolina (it’s not too early there) and ask if I can stop the Celebrex. Celebrex is a cox2 NSAID, like Bextra and Vioxx. Vioxx lost a lot of lawsuits for heart damage and I got an irregular heartbeat when I took Bextra years ago. So maybe the Celebrex wasn’t working for me. I hate losing tools from the toolbox but I’ve still got asprin.

    The tournament runs smoothly. Only one scratch to confuse us and we easily found the challenges to review. Finished my part of the judging early so hobbled around to watch the tournament. Great skiing, fun enthusiastic kids and a wonderful venue. The kids asked what happened to me, asked what drugs I was using and asked how to improve their skiing. The adults all asked about the procedure. In depth. For hours. With what seemed a personal relevance. Maybe there is some interest in this narrative – given the demographics of society and our sport.

    A friend saw me on the webcast “checking out the college girls”. Sad situation. I can’t take yes for an answer. Hardware is still not working yet. Everything is still pretty sore and all bodily functions are compromised. The kind of questions people are too polite to ask directly? The search for a toilet with something nearby to push up off of was a challenge – as was using it.

    My wife came out to watch some of the skiing. Our friend Newt was mobbed by his team after his last collegiate jump. Great show of spirit and love of a graduating captain who started with few if any competitive skills and ended up a star and a leader. It is cool to see kids grow and see athletics play a part in it. I walked (shuffled?) around a lot enjoying the pageant.

    Really, Lisa came to take me home. I was spent. It was a tough ride home. Passed out early after a shower – showers make me feel human again. Slept OK but woke up with really sore ribs. Too much lifting the darn walker.

    Still, I am improving so fast! The stairs are not an obstacle and I’m able to get around without the walker. I got my compression sock on by myself! Still hurts but the limits are receding. I will be better than new at this rate!

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,508 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    Steadily improving. I can put on my socks by myself. That's no small feat given that I'm supposed to wear compression socks on the sore leg (you ever tried to put on compression socks? I hope not.). It takes a while but Lisa is stoked.

    The walker is outgrown now! The $5.40 from Amvets was well spent but That thing makes me look old! I'm way too vain for it. So now I'm rocking a cane. My grandfather's cane was made from the ball of his femur that they cut off when he had his hip done. I wonder if I can find that. With my resurfacing, that's not an option for me. Hopefully I'll pass the need for a cane pretty quickly.

    The therapist cleared me to drive! Lisa, however, has not. I'm not ready for a clutch, especially the Datsun's heel toe tempermental clutch. All the cars are busy, without me. So I'm stuck for a while longer.

    I haven't gotten the exercycle yet. I'm supposed to take it easy on that for a while. If I'm really charging the exercycle, maybe I can ride my bike. But none of the doctors want even a minor fall as that could set things way back. Maybe I'll lease a Tesla for a couple months?

    No exercycle so I'm running stairs. I remember running the stadium stairs as part of the college team drills. Nothing like that. I can, however, go up and down one foot after another. Actually it hurts less than regular walking.

    My son showed up with the exercycle. A craigslist special. Cost less than the toilet seat. It just needed batteries. So I hop on, crank down the resistance and do P1's workout. Hit the wall at 25 minutes after working up a good sweat – maybe a bit too much for the hip.

    New compression socks are impossible to get on, hurt like crazy and had to get cut down during the night. These things will kill me.

    The pain is way down but still there. I struggle to get up from sitting but after a couple minutes, I'm OK. Other pains are ganging up, my shoulder is killing me. Maybe the lying on my shoulder in the operating room lit it up or maybe using my arms too much is a factor. I've got pretty bad tennis elbow as well. And my right (good) knee hurts a lot – and it's never been an issue before. Maybe the hip pain decreasing is making the other pains come to the forefront. I hope all the pain eases in the next months of my recovery.

    I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. Why am I watching so much soccer? Who were the green guys that Bayern trounced? That's a couple hours of my life I won't get back. At least my to do list doesn't seem to be growing. I bet once I get out of the house it will.

    As the recovery slows down, it gets harder to maintain focus. When the novelty just getting my legs turning over on the exercycle wears off, will I still get on the thing a couple times a day? No running, no road cycling, no skiing, no twisting – basically none of the exhilaration side of athletics but all of the sweaty conditioning requirements. Think long term.

    While the physical improvement is slowing, it's still happening each day. I will get through this and hopefully be better physically afterward than before. But this is a bigger procedure than I had figured.

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