Wednesday, May 8, 2024

I try to take one day at a time

but sometimes several days attack me at once.

I'm feeling attacked right now. Six years ago I had my right hip replaced. Earlier this year I was feeling the same kind of "ow" in my left hip. In April, it got bad. I went to Urgent Care and yep, I'm due for a new left hip. It's bone-on-bone there.

Here's the kicker: I went to the Ortho group attached to my primary care and I can get in for surgery in July. That means three months (from time of diagnosis) of disabling pain. 

I immediately tried to get appointments with the other two surgical options I have here, and will see those providers in mid-month. I'm hoping I can get in earlier than July. That's one of the downsides of being in a smaller metro area--not many options.

I am, essentially, disabled now. I used to walk 10K steps a day and went to the gym 4x a week. Now I cheer if I get 5K steps and the gym is on hold. I still lift weights (at home) and am doing leg exercises (gingerly) to prep for surgery. This ain't my first rodeo so I know what to expect.

I've had back pain all my life, but I can cope with that. But now I am hobbling and while the drugs I was prescribed somewhat mitigate the pain, it's always there. 

Paradoxically, this has made me realize how lucky I am. Let me count the ways:

(1) the first major (hopefully temporary) disaster in 71 years

(2) drugs

(3) I am not in a war zone nor am I a displaced person suffering like this

(4) I have a caregiver who can assist me

(5) drugs (it bears repeating)

(6) I have distractions: books, my writing, streaming TV.

But most of all, there's this: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know what is wrong and I know it can be fixed; perhaps not back to 100%, but better than now.

I imagine all those people who have chronic pain with no 'fix'. What must it be like to know that this is the best it gets? I have hopes I'll be better. How does someone who hasn't even been diagnosed feel? How desperate, how depressing, how mind-numbing that must be.

So yeah. My summer is sort of shot. But I have ice, drugs, heat, a home, a diagnosis, and a chance to get it fixed. I am so much better off than so many people and I know it.

But I still may whine now and then. 🤔

Friday, March 8, 2024

Brain cells come and brain cells go...

 ... but fat cells live forever.

I've always been an exerciser; every day, pretty much 360 days a year, I exercise. I either walk or go to the gym and lift weights, or I hop on my little ski machine -- something. It hasn't put a dent in that pesky 10 pounds I'd like to lose, but I am in pretty good shape for my age.

A friend of mine just started exercise. She goes to the gym 3x a week and finds that she enjoys it! Like me she just wants what I call 'occupational fitness' -- to be able to walk a bit without puffing, to get out of a chair unaided, to get up from the floor with a minimum amount of fuss. She is not a morning person, so she goes in late morning and goes out for lunch afterward.

I firmly believe that it's a matter of habit to do this; I get up in the morning, put on my 'gym clothes' and either go to the gym or head to the basement to hit the treadmill or ski machine. For her, it's planning her day to have the mid-day break. She could never have done that when she worked full-time, but now she's retired and she can.

Habits are pesky things, good and bad. It's useful sometimes to examine them and decide whether to keep or not. If possible. How much of what we do is thought-out and how much is routine?