I am 55 and the owner of a new titanium hip as of seven days ago.
After a long-time colleague – a former Marine with close to 20 years on me – wrote, “Wow, you’re young for that!” I started to think about the experience.
I am reminded that childhood scars can often times be the deepest.
As a toddler, I was climbing a dresser that tipped over on me. My mother told me, “They said you bruised your hip; but I first noticed you limping when you started to play basketball in 5th grade.”
I am reminded how important it is to protect children – and I am in no way suggesting my mother was not caring. She was and still is an amazing woman. Kids climbing things is natural, and straps of today were simply not a thing in the ’60s.
I reminded how important family, friends and colleagues are, their outreach and well wishes and visits all matter. My wife has been the most amazing. I teared up when she told me she cried as they wheeled me into the operating room. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer and I can’t imagine life without her. I am reminded that being in her arms is the most comfortable place in the world.
I learned that my daughters and my niece are great care-givers – something I have not had an opportunity to witness first hand in such a circumstance – and am reminded that their humor is one very bright part of my life. Doing this during my daughters’ school breaks has been a great because they’re home and we’re together, and that is the best.
I reminded that even as an adult, it’s still great to have a parent and be a parent. My mother has visited daily, and been a stand-in care-giver. Now that work and school have resumed, she comes for lunch and helps me walk with confidence down the street and back. She’s become my personal trainer.
While sure, I have experienced some of the downsides of medicine in the modern era – and sure, like all organizations of people and systems, there are frustrations – I’ve also experienced great care and support. Day surgery amounted to a full day – 8 total hours in the center – for a complete hip replacement. I am reminded that dedicated professionals are performing with great outcomes on a routine basis.
And, there’s no question, I am reminded of the importance of health insurance. I am certain I would have been in for continued and worsening hip pain – and the loss of activities I love – were it not for my health insurance. I can attest that pain to the point of it affecting one’s sleep does impact productivity and mood.
I am reminded that life throws everyone curve balls over which we have little or no control other than our own actions and our own dedication to a path forward. Remembering that my path is full of loving and supportive people is the first gift my new hip is giving me. To each of you, thank you. I will remember you always.