New Hip, Old Body: Humpty Dumpty edition

Friends, it’s been a while but the older you get the faster time goes.  So really…I’m counting it as about a week since my last posting. Hey!  It’s my blog. I can say whatever the hell I want to say, so I say so!

So, back to the hip thing and the fun never stops.  Never.

After the “redo”hip, I stayed home the prerequisite amount of time and did all the exercises I was supposed to do. I was careful.  Really I was. More boring days in front of the TV.   Yada, yada, yada. Add in 24/7 IV antibiotics and 6 weeks home nursing care and I did ok.  I  WAS CAREFUL, PEOPLE!!!!  (ish)

I returned to work in the office on March 15.  Oh Happy Day!  You know you are bored out of your mind when you want to go back…no… you look forward to going back to a terribly mind-eating, creativity-killing, boring office job. God bless it.  I loved it.

Things were really going well. I was getting strength back, could stay up at night past 8:30. Life was getting back to normal. And by normal I mean being on oral antibiotics for a year to make sure all the little creepy bacterial bugs are gone for good kind of normal.   Again, I was considerably weaker than the first recovery period but hey, I’m no Spring Chickadee and those germs were wicked!

I even started a new project. I became a “Konvert”.

For those of you who may have been living under a huge rock in  galaxy far, far away for the last couple of years… a “Konvert” is a person who adheres to the KonMari Method of organization. I jumped into it up to my eyeballs. I won’t bore you with the whole concept because if you’re not into the method, your eyes will just glaze over as I try to tell you the process, you’ll begin to yawn, check the clock, surf the web for another blog to read and we’ll never be friends again. So I won’t subject you to a long discussion on how awesome it is. I will say, in a nut shell….there’s this tiny young Japanese girl (Marie Kondo) who wrote a book called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up- The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. It’s been  #1 on the NY Times BestSeller list for-like-ever and has sold well over 3 million copies and in said book is how to do the life changing magic of organizing your surroundings and personal belongings by going through ALL you own and ridding yourself of everything except the things in your life that make you happy and bring you joy…. and by default your life will be more simple and totally better. (She probably could have started the simplification with the title of her book. If I were naming it, I would have gone with “Keep Only The Good Shit” …but that’s just me.

You’re glazing over. I KNEW it!!!  Ok, I’ll stop but I promise you, it is legit, I LOVE, LOVE,  LOVE IT and I highly recommend you run out and by the tiny book and change your life but that has little to do with the meat of this particular post about my hip so…  let’s move forward. Shall we?

On Friday, May 20th, I came home from work and decided that since I gave myself permission to get rid of lots of things I was hanging onto for years for no reason other than I felt guilty about wanting to get rid of them and my closet, dresser drawers, jewelry case and bookcases were so much more organized and I felt lighter in spirit, happy I gave away books to the nursing home and clothing to GoodWill and less weighted down by material crap and …. Sorry. I’m doing it again.. I’ll stop. I promise.

Bottom line …I now had the room to display some lovely things I had stored away because I just had no room to set them out.  Like the little blue and white ceramic piggy bank from Vienna, Austria.  Made by  Gmunden Keramik company. Cute little thing. It gave me “joy” to now be able to display it.  So, I leaned over to put a lovely little porker that was giving to my son when he was a baby,  a place of prominence on a shelf so it could be admired by all…when I heard a pop. Not a loud pop or a painful pop, just a “pop”.

This is where the”ish” in the first paragraph comes in.  No, Wait.  Damn it.  NO!  I will not take the rap for what happened. It was a fluke. Went I bent over, my knee which has been weak since the first surgery, gave way and traveled in toward the middle of my body allowing the hip to be at an angle that the weight of my body popped the fucking thing right out of its brand new metal socket.


I knew immediately.  Even if I hadn’t known immediately, one look at my leg that was now hanging in the wind like a marionette who’s puppeteer had let go of the strings holding it up, was a pretty good indication…I WAS  FUCKED ROYALLY!!!

In times of crisis, it is often said that time slows and things happen at a snail’s pace.  That is not what I think. I think the mind speeds up to interstellar warp speed and allows you to think millions of scenarios all at once in a split second or two.

Here’s kind of the way my mind  went during a 2-3 second interval after the pop.

Oh Fuck. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK.  What do I do now! My leg is out of joint! It’s just hanging there. The foot is backwards….FuckFuckFuck!!!!! Pain, pain, PAIN!!!! There’s a window in front of me, I can’t fall forward. Call some one.  Where the hell is my phone. On the table behind me. can’t reach. must try to sit. get phone. How? no support on left. can’t put weight on it.  Get to the floor. can’t fall on left side. Could make worse. Fall to right side. no metal in me there. Doc can pop it back in at hospital. Oh Shit, doors are dead-bolted. Brad has extra key.  Oh hell, is he till in Chicago?  Amanda might have key.  Gotta get to floor. I can ease down. grab lamp table in front to  steady…. shit it’s falling too. Don’t land on lamp. drop the damn pig. don’t fall on pig. Oh shit Falling!! TURN to right!! TURN, damn it on right side. Don’t break right arm. ON THE RIGHT! FUCK!!!!!!

I’m paraphrasing of course because the pain kind of makes you forget some of the stuff but it pretty much went that way…with maybe even a few more expletives.

Then, it went like this:

Shit! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!!!  Yes, I really did think that. Hand to God!

So, now I’m on the floor and on my right side. No bones sticking out anywhere. So far, so good. Gotta turnover and grab the …. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!  PAIN. Can’t move.  got to move. have to move. Gotta hit table leg. Phone drops on floor behind me, I get  it. OK. Got Phone. But….

The doors are dead-bolted. Now what? If I call, no one can get in. I did the only thing I thought I could.   I’ll  drag myself across the floor to the bolted door (that led from the living room to the garage) and unbolt the door for the paramedics to get in. It sounded simple enough in my head. Easy peasy…not so much in reality.  With each pull I was killing my right arm and shoulder and making the left leg drag along the floor; getting my prosthetic foot caught on a table leg,  a chair leg, anything sticking out really,  but since I had no control over the leg, I had to stop, grit through the pain and pull the leg free of what ever it was caught on. I made it half way before common sense, gravity and extreme pain kicked in and I realized getting to the door might as well had been three city blocks away. Fuck the deadbolt;  not gonna happen. The pain as getting to the level that I was in danger of passing out. I was also afraid of anymore damage to the dislocated hip by gravity pulling down on it. I was still praying it could be put back without surgery. The one thing I knew as a certainty was … the hospital was going to happen one way or the other.

At that point,  I cried. Hard. And for a few seconds, I gave up. Fortunately, I didn’t let myself stay in depression land for too long. Since I was in trouble,  I knew I had to call my son.

Brad had a key. I called Brad. I kept saying, over and over, Please let him be home from Chicago by n…..  “Oh, Hi, Honey. Where are you? You still in Chicago?? Please, dear Lord. Don’t let him be in Chicago.   Well, I’m in a little bit of trouble. …” I don’t remember exactly what I said after that because I was crying pretty heavily. Brad…Dear sweet child of mine… held it together.Well, at least he did not fall apart in the chicago airport that I could hear. He calmly told me to call his wife Amanda  and that he’d try to get an earlier flight. (This is where all those midnight feedings and bzillion readings of “Cat in the Hat” and “The Going to Bed” books and staying up till 3 AM  on Christmas to put 900 stickers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sewer Sets paid off.)

The paramedics were the next call. I knew Amanda could give them the code to raise the actual garage door but from there they would have to break my inner door down to get to me. I wasn’t about to let them bash in the front door since I would have no way to secure the house when I went to the hospital. The inner door from the garage was by far the best option.  Turns out, the paramedics and fire department got there before Amanda, so I gave them the code to the keypad myself over the phone.

They tried to talk me out of breaking down the door. They thought I would be hit by splinters. Splinters!  At that point, splinters were the least of my problem. I finally convinced them I was safely out of the line of shrapnel by screaming, “For God’s sake just bust down the fucking door!!” and they busted the hell out of the dead bolt, door jam and metal door. In a brief moment of pride, I congratulated myself on the choice of lock and door for security. If it took that long for firemen to break in,  a burglar did NOT stand a chance. Way to Go,  Judith!!!

I know what you’re thinking. the pain couldn’t have been too bad for me to think lucid enough to come up with this plan. Well, friends…you are DEAD WRONG.  The pain was intense with a capital “I” but there was just no choice in the matter.  The doctor was even impressed. I’m telling you it was the speed thinking thing.  My mind was in warp-drive at that point. Beam me up Scotty!

After the door crashing, Amanda arrived with my grandson who was sure he’d find me in a pool of blood but recovered when the paramedics let him tour the bus while they stabilized me. They knew I was gonna scream. I knew I was gonna scream. I just didn’t want Bennett to be close to me when I did. So he got to look at all the neat stuff in the Ambulance while I screamed and said things that would have made my mother wash my mouth out with Tide.

I made the two VERY cute paramedics (hey! pain is one thing but cute is cute, people) make sure they did not “Micheal Jackson” me with the Fentanyl they were giving me and after what seemed like for-ev-er, they lifted me  and got me on the stretcher. (Insert lots more cussing and screaming here).

It seemed like they took the scenic tour, but after we got to the ED, my assumptions were confirmed. Since the  x-rays showed no breaking or chipping of the area, the decision was made to manipulate the joint back into place without surgery. I knew nothing of it since for something that major, they have to pump you full of morphine just to the brink of knocking you out for good. Screaming only works so far, you know. There were more than a few interns from the orthopaedic department in the room when it went down. I have a feeling they may not see it much in practice so for them it was a lemons/lemonade thing.  Again, I was in LaLa land by then courtesy of joy-juice extraordinaire.

That was Friday night. I stayed  in the hospital for observation, more x-rays and pain control until the afternoon of the 22nd. I stayed home Monday and Tuesday that week and was back in the office on Wednesday.  That’s pretty much where I am now. It’s still sore and I do have some pain I didn’t have with the two previous surgeries and it will be that way for awhile because, as it was explained to me, when you totally dislocate a hip, you tear the delicate something or other  lining of the bony thing-a-ma-jig (Very medical and technical). It has to heal like an athlete’s torn muscle has to heal and it takes time.

Time. I got time. It’s patience I’m getting really fucking short of!

I saw the surgeon last week.  His comment as he came into the exam room was, “Well. I think it’s safe to say that you are now the poster child for anything and everything that can pretty much go wrong with hip replacement surgery.”

Thanks, Doctor Obvious. Love you too!











Categories: bilateral BK amputees, Hip replacement, life

2 replies

  1. What a horrendous ordeal! Sorry to hear you had to go through all that, but I love the humorous and wise way you can report about it now.

  2. Wow…

    Sent from Pescatore’s iPad


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