…When I’m Eighty-Five!

My BFF and I have begun referring to This Hip Sugery as, ‘When I turn 85.’

In other words, I will feel old and frail, etc.  All those old-age stereotypes, as it were.  For example, we went to go see Gangster Squad last weekend (two words: Ryan. Gosling.), and it was at least -4,000 degrees with the windchill.  This prompted me to tell her, ‘when I am 85, you will have to go run and get the car so you can pick me up at the door.’

Which got me thinking that I should throw myself an 85th birthday party this spring, right before the PAO.  And I would totally register for shit, too.  Think of all the fun things I could get from other people; things that are on my must-have list for major hip surgery:

-Shower chair (‘WOW!  I had NO idea these come in Green Bay Packer theme!’)

-Raised toilet seat (Is the installation of this thing chick-friendly?)

-Cane and wheelchair (Maybe two or more people could go in together on these.)

-Millennium Crutches (This is the only thing I for which I will register that will give away my young age.)

-An awesome new messenger bag in which to carry stuff around while I’m crutching.  (Don’t tell anyone how many backpacks and bags and all that I already own.)

-Sock putter-onner thing.

-A new journal (I buy a new journal every time something happens in my life.  I have more journals than bags.)

-A hospital bed.  Seriously, might as well aim high.  This is the equivalent of registering for the $4,000.00 set of baby furniture but knowing you’ll be charging the crib and changing table for $94.99 at Target after the shower’s over.

I know people hate baby shower games.  But I’m hoping that my status as young person about to have her pelvis broken in four places will yield me some pity.  I don’t normally try to capitalize on that sort of thing, but I think it’s probably okay for my 85th birthday.  As such, I will have to come up with some stupid games to play.  That or people will pretty much just be dropping off gifts and eating amazing cake from Lane’s.  I don’t want them to feel cheated.  Perhaps I need to think more on this aspect of the birthday bash….

Adapting. Or at Least Trying…

 I should probably mention that I have a therapist.


I’ve gone back and forth on divulging this, mostly because of the stigma associated with mental health care in this country.  But I fancy myself as sort of an advocate of being mentally healthy (particularly in my job in the healthcare field), and as such, I should be forthcoming about that.  That and she might get a mention here and there, because she tends to say things that are very reasonable and would actually occur to me on my own if I took a minute to stop freaking out.


I began lamenting to her about This Hip Thing on Thursday (she doesn’t allow me to lament for more than a few minutes, which is good, because lamenting isn’t actually all that productive), and I could immediately tell that she wasn’t going to be able to relate to me on this one.  She has kids my age, and has been wonderful in terms of relating to me about motherhood, school, work, relationships and just about everything else I’ve told her.  So anyway, I don’t fault her for not empathizing about This Hip Thing in the way I need her to.   I have found, in telling a few others about this, that people who are athletes or who just love to run, or bike, or challenge themselves physically, have been more able to understand what it is about this that’s weighing on me.

What if I’m never the same again?

I mean, I know that I won’t be, in the structural sense.  And I also know that I probably won’t ever run again (at least not the marathon distance, for sure).  I know some people who have run after PAO surgery, but the surgeon who is going to be re-constructing my hip isn’t keen on running.  That’s fodder for another blog entry, though.

My body has always done what I’ve wanted it to do.  I played women’s tackle football.  I’ve run 3 marathons.  I was a competitive swimmer for many years, and it’s always been my intention to train for an Ironman triathlon at some point in life.  This body that I’m proud of has never failed me in this fashion, and although I think I knew that it would happen at some point, I didn’t think it would be at age 35.  82 maybe, but not before that.

I have begun ‘fluffing up’ my support network –  with women who have gone through this experience, mainly.  And they all definitely get what I’m feeling.  I think about stupid things like whether or not my football friends will view me the same way afterward (you know – like if you’re in a reptile club and you suddenly no longer own reptiles, what is there to talk about?), or if I’ll fall down the stairs the first time I try, or if my leg is going to be too numb for me to take up cycling.

It’s all a matter of processing.  And some days I’m doing it much better than others.