A tale of two hips - chapter 7

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A tale of two hips - chapter 7

Postby didds » 23 Jul 2016 11:08

This is for especially Scibby who had nagged me ... :-)

Its taken me over three years to get around to writing this. Laziness? I'm not really sure - its not the writing that is the issue... i write for an international rugby coaching ezine,


and an occasional blog


so its not the sitting down and writing that was the block.

I suspect its some sort of mental thing... that in some way leaving hospital with a new hip was the end of that chapter of my life and the rest was redundant. Whatever. But having been berated to complete my story ...

It hurt. A lot. A very deep soreness around my entire pelvic girdle and of course deep in the hip and right side. I sat most of the day in an armchair in the TV room, with a plank across the arms as a rest/desk, and a small table to the left on which my mini pharmacy and water bottle sat. Sleeping was difficult - I had to sleep on my back for the next three months I had been told. The drugs were on a fairly serious timetable which meant for the first couple of weeks at least I had to set an alarm to take painkillers at the correct time. I suppose the pain would have been enough to wake me had I not but I was very keen to not get to that state... as it was I didn't really sleep in those first weeks but dozed heavily I guess. Three sets of painkillers - paracetamool, codein, ibrufen - something to keep me shitting, antibiotics for the surgical wound, and other stuff that i can't even recall now.

The other aspect was boredom. I came home on Friday 21st December, signed off from work until something like January 24th or so. By afternoon December 24th - xmas eve! - i was connected to work going through calls. My boss pinged me on messenger, checked I was OK and asked what the proverbial I thought I was doing... I explained about the boredom and he guffawed!

I continued working on and off as suited me (and dozing) henceforth. Within a couple of weeks I was back working full time. It just seemed to make sense. The pain wasn't as bad now, but was still there. I was still having to sleep on my back. I still wasn't allowed to drive (6 weeks lay off). I was bored shitless.

I was on sticks for mobility aids, had a sock puller upper-er thingy, and a sort of rubbish picker contraption to pick things off the floor, including my underpants to get dressed! There was a raised seat thingmy for the loo so I could sit down without compromising my hip flexion (ie getting too acute). Getting out and about wasn't so much a problem even if in and out of bed was, but it meant we had to take a perching stool anywhere we went i.e. the pub! . We did Xmas service at our local church with me at the back on my stool. Though an atheist our local church is pretty cool, and I've swelled the ranks of the choir at Xmas - you can't beat a good sing song at nine lessons and carols after all! I couldn't obviously join them this year, but at the finale (so to speak) the choir end up at the back of the church for "Hark the Herald" - and I was in effect back in the fold as my fellow choristers stood around me and I could join them in one more triumphant harmonised carol. Oh - and we made our local at Christmas lunchtime - with perching stool - so other Xmas traditions were maintained naturally!

The get well plan was simple. Continued walking, stick aided, increasing the mileages, increasing the challenges. Sound familiar? I'd set my first target towards my eventual goal of walking unaided... the target being to walk to my local, a mile away, for a pint. I got there in under a month. Not bad seeing as on December 21st I could manage about 100 metres absolutely maxxed out.

Life otherwise continued as normal. I got back to driving after six weeks. Back to going to the office after 8 weeks. Boss didn't want me back on call yet as he was concerned about me doing the stairs if called out in the middle of the night. Bless him. Eventually I got down to a single stick, and I could eventually get back in the pool. First to just walk, supported by the water, but it was too much of a tease and I confess I probably swam far earlier than i really should have ;-)

But what to do now? Running was barred by the surgeon, and who was I to disavow him his professional advice? Friends - with the best intentions of course - had urged me to seek a second opinion on the running... many with takes of their mate who was running again after 13 minutes of the op etc ... I politely pointed out their mate wasn't still in effect a prop forward and in fact was a model for a pencil company. Swimming though really did work for me still, not surprisingly maybe. By early summer/late spring I was back in the lake and swimming happily. So desirous of a goal/target I signed up for brownsea again, and Mrs Didds did too. I did the half non wettie, and she the full, full wettie. Job done.

Life generally then just moved along... cycling was fun, but the hip definitely did/does hamper any grand illusions of doing any real distance. it takes a long time to get it warmed up really, well over an hour, and by about 50K it starts to get sore. Its not a killer in itself, but its unlikely that I'll ever now ride a ton. I just make do with high days and holidays trundles with Mrs Didds, but we are blessed with some stunning countryside interspersed with pubs and cafes in lovely locations so fun is still to be had.

Then in 2014 I peaked. Scilly Swim Challenge. there's a report somewhere ... viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10387

I can't really describe the effect it had on me. The hardest thing I'd ever done in my life - probably; Mrs Didds said it was "up there" with child birth (!). Afterwards I rode a 7th heaven for weeks - and possibly still do. It really left me with the feeling I could do ANYTHING I ever wanted to do. Mrs Didds too. But subconsciously it seems to have closed a door... I've not entered anything since, and don't seem to want to. Or rather, I don't think that for either of us (ie me and Mrs Didds) nothing else fills us with the same dread/awe/stimulation. this isn't to diss other very fine events eg Coniston etc. But they just don;t seem to attract us; I even ditched plans for a cross channel relay as probably not exciting enough ... We care doing an event in ireland this September 2016 as it happens but i think for both of us its more an excuse to go on holiday to be honest! We did a swimtrek holiday to Greece in December 2014 which in many ways was excellent - but I cut my leg in th sea on morning one and spent the rest of the holiday sitting on a beach bored shitless advised not to swim by a doctor, so it doesn't have overall happy memories for me.

So nowadays we pootle on bikes, and swim for the love of it. Mainly lake at lake 32, and i have occasional forays to Shepperton... we sea swim when we can... west wales and cornwall whilst on holidays there, Beer on the south coast as well. But its seems the days of "competitive" swimming are over. Not that i was ever competing! LOL.

As the endurance sport aspects have moved aside to become more hobbies done at whims, Am Dram has filled the hole. sublime to the ridiculous! From a few concerts with a local musical theatre group over the past few years, I'm now appearing in principal roles, none more enjoyable when i get to appear with my hugely talented daughter lottie


Last Christmas, in my local's cellar, I performed a reading of a short story I wrote back in 1996 - accompanied by a couple of poet friends with suitably seasonally inappropriate rhymes we raised almost £500 for the Wilts Air Ambulance. Loads of fun :-)

This year already I've played Lazar Wolf in "Fiddler on the Roof", and Curtis Jackson in "Sister Act" - with Mr Boo in "Rise and Fall of Little Voice" (Lottie is LV :-) ) and The Voice of Humanity in Jeff Wayne's "War of the World's" later in the autumn to come. Its great - but the bloody hip still gets in the way there particularly if there's any dancing or I have to get up off the floor during a production!

So... here I am 3.5 years post op. I'm at 90% maybe of what I bad before. It doesn't really affect me on a day to day basis any longer. I still get "bad days" when it really hurts, or its stiff and sore, but it doesn't stop me from doing anything I have to do, and i can still enjoy many aspects of what I did. But I do confess to a small tear inside when I pass people out running. I do so miss running. So much.

So what next? I dunno. More Am Dram I suppose. Lots of swimming with Mrs Didds. Pootling on the bikes around the beautiful Vale of Pewsey.

But I do know one thing.

My bloody left hip hurts like hell these days.

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Re: A tale of two hips - chapter 7

Postby King Sad » 23 Jul 2016 18:49

Well, what can I say... certainly kept yourself busy ... speedy recovery :D
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .

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