Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Facing a new adventure

On Monday, June 22, 2015 at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, CA I will be beginning an adventure.  I am having major surgery:  a total right hip replacement.  My doctor is Dr. James M Hartford, the handsome and (I'm counting on) gifted surgeon who will perform the operation.  I've been struggling with nagging osteoarthritis for half a decade.   What this has meant is that I've slowed down considerably because walking long distances or hiking has become difficult.  The handwriting has been on the wall that unless I do something this pattern of physical diminution will continue. So finally this winter I decided to go forward with the surgery that I am hoping will give me a new lease on life.  I have been encouraged by the well wishes of friends some of whom have had the operation and for whom it has made a big positive difference.  (Kathy Rowland, you are my role model!)

I've always been mobile and active.  While I'm not a runner or a distance walker I've moved around the planet at a healthy speed.  I like being in motion, going places and doing things.  Increasingly as my hip has become less reliable I've become more cautious and conservative about doing much of anything that requires lots of walking or movement.  I'm all for slowing down, but I just don't want to throw in the towel for traveling and having adventures. My friends know that my husband Ron is a serious runner and very active guy.  I'd like to be able to keep up with him as the years go forward.  So, I'm about to step into a new world of surgery and hospitals and rehab and all that.  It appears to have a lot of unknowns.

While I have a lot of confidence in our medical system I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I'm a little scared about it all.  I've already been to a class that explains all the things I won't be able to do for quite some time after the surgery.  Chief among these is bending over to pick up something.  I know this sounds crazy, but I'm having trouble imagining a life without picking things off the floor.  I do have two of the "picker-upper" thingies to carry around with me.  I've been counting and on the average I bend over to pick something up two to three times an hour.  Perhaps this will be a time to learn how to drop fewer things.

I also don't know how I'm going to handle pain.  I've been blessed that I've not had much physical pain in my life.  And, I know that I will be given whatever pain medications are  prescribed for this sort of thing.  It's something of a mystery to me how my body/mind is going to react. I imagine scenarios, but the truth is I'll just have to wait and see.  I don't think of myself as "tough" when it comes to handling pain and discomfort, but reality is not the same as imagining.  I will just have to discover what comes next.

On the very big plus side I have wonderful Ron who is promising to take care of me when I come home from the hospital to rehabilitate here. He has such a kind and gentle nature and seems willing to take on a lot.  I gather there will also be Physical Therapists who will come to the house to help teach me how to exercise and get the body to heal and become strong.  I'll have a walker and cane and all manner of aides to assist me.

I also know that I have lots of loving family and friends who are cheering me on and sending good vibes and prayers and food!  (Thanks Cheryl who sent literally 40 pounds of dinner meals for the coming month.  I am thrilled to have three freezers full of healthy food. An awesome, creative gift.)

I am considering writing this blog as a record of what's going on during the month or so that I am recovering. I'll try to post as often as I can.  Writing is a good way to process an experience.  And, since I won't be out and about perhaps having a daily writing assignment will be a good thing.

So, if any of you are interested in how it's going check this blog page from time to time.  It's likely I'll do an occasional update on Facebook, but I don't want to turn social media into a pity party.  Most of you know that I'm eternally optimistic.  I'll be hoping this mental trait serves me as I take this new journey.  And, I plan to do art and writing to keep me out of trouble.

Here are some recent painting on silk I've done. Color always makes me happy.


  1. Dearest Patricia:
    You will be in my thoughts and heart as you participate in this new adventure that will hopefully have you up and about and walking through the bluebells in England or some other equally delightful foray. I know you can do this with your good spirit and whole heart. I look forward to keeping up to date via your blog and maybe a call or two.Lots of love, Trudy

  2. Sounds like a mindfully considered decision, and sounds like you're well covered with help and love! (Needing a little help is a blessing to others, an opportunity to serve.) There are many unknowns, and these kinds of things are always scary. Hopefully we can both take things one day at a time, one moment at a time, and take things as they come, always with the knowledge that this, too, shall pass. Hugs to you and Ron!