I admit it, I am a procrastinator. I fully believe it was a condition I was born with. Fortunately, this, what I refer to as a personality quirk, has not had any serious consequences so far. As much as I irritate myself by being this way, I find some of my best results come from pushing the timeline.
I can look back and see that my hip had bothered me for quite a while. At first, it was just a twinge that came about with a change in the weather. No big deal; I could get around fine. Besides, as we age, there are going to be a few aches and pains along the way. I was getting used to using the arms of a chair or the edge of a table to pull myself up. Eventually, I told myself, if the pain got too bad I would get a cortisone shot and be on my merry way. So, for months and months, this was my mindset. I did start to notice that it was getting more difficult to take long walks, and especially ones on the beach. It was also harder to get up off the floor when playing with my grandchildren, but I continued to blame the weather for my troubles.
This past January, we went on our bi-annual family trip to Disney World. In years past, I dealt with a slight limp and managed to walk anywhere from nine to 14 miles a day. This year, even though I still walked about the same distance, I struggled and found myself having to stop more often. I also didn’t recover as well after a night’s sleep. It was after this trip that my daughters made me promise to go to the doctor. I think they were stunned to learn that I had actually kept my promise.
The orthopedist came highly recommended. I was having a good day, with my hip not really bothering me. You can imagine my surprise when he informed me that my hip was the worst he’d ever seen. Apparently, my left hip has only two years left before it will need to be replaced. Needless to say, I wasn’t quite prepared for the diagnosis.
I got home, looked at my calendar, and called to schedule my surgery. Having never had any surgeries, I had no clue what to expect. I had to take an online course and attend two pre-op appointments before the operation, which answered all questions, but there was no way of knowing how my body would react. Almost three months after my first appointment, the day arrived. I was first up on my surgeon’s schedule and was surprisingly calm.
I remember nothing after being wheeled out to the operating room until I woke up in recovery. From that point on, it was just hitting certain marks until I was taken to a room. I had lunch and waited for the numbness to wear off. Six hours after surgery, I was up and walking, with the use of a walker, down a long hall to a room with a set of short steps. After going up and down those, I walked back to my room. Having no issues, I was released and on my way home a mere eight hours after having a total hip replacement.
My reason for writing about this is to encourage those of you who have been putting off something which could improve your quality of life to stop procrastinating. If not for yourself, which it should be, do it for your family. It has been less than two weeks since my surgery, and I am amazed at my very quick recovery. I am gaining energy back and can now walk without any pain. I am so happy that I will soon be able to run around with my grandkids, travel without complaining about the walking, exercise more, and just feel better. I promised myself I would not wait so long to fix my left hip or attend to any other issue that may arise. That’s a promise I intend to keep.
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