According to the surgeon, the accumulation of stalagmites in my right hip joint was so profound he had to spend an extra hour in there with instruments scaling it off, like bad dental plaque, before he could commence with the replacement process on that side. I asked him if he used a Dremel tool or what and he looked at me funny, but I  imagine it being something like that.

The whole production took four hours. They are used to doing this to old, sedentary people I think and expect their lungs to kind of close down during the anesthesia, so there was someone right at my ear coaxing me to deep-breathe the moment I came up to the surface in the recovery room. I immediately launched into Puccini. By the time they found my posse — the Engineer and his mom, who had been out eating fish tacos — I had gotten through Wagner, Brahms, Schubert, and Oscar Brand’s repertory of dirty songs.

One of the recovery room nurses reportedly stuck her head out into the surgical lounge and asked who was here for the opera singer. I think they were glad to get me off their hands.

I spent one night in outer space, most of the next evening profoundly crashed, the intervals hobbling gingerly around the orthopedic floor on the hospital’s walker,  and meal times cursing hospital kitchens. They did do a decent grilled cheese sandwich, of all things, but I was glad to get back to the Engineer’s cooking.

I am full of staples, sealed inside some kind of space age waterproof bandage, stuffed with drugs that make me conk out at random intervals, and swollen up like a toad from the bruising and the gallons of fluids they piped into me, but everything seems to have worked about as predicted so far. I am going to be yea tired of sleeping on my back by the time they get the staples out (god, that’s barbaric), but rolling onto a side full of hardware is not a promising idea.

Mr. Ferguson and Nickel’s nightly habit of performing their marital shenanigans right on top of me is problematic too. The Engineer shoves them to the floor, where they utter the feline equivalent of “oh god, oh god!” before yowling loudly and running madly off in all directions. Don’t ask me; they’re both fixed.


Keep the good vibes coming, if you have any to spare.



9 thoughts on “Hardware

  1. Good vibes. Was this “Stalagmite” build-up weightlifting related, do you know? Increasingly, I’m thinking weightlifting may be my frienenemy. It’s issue after issue now, the worst being a neck-related (I think) dizziness and balance disorder, which is particularly bad because you can’t think straight with it. It’s currently at about 40% after a recent flare-up. It was at 100% for three months at the start of 2018 and I was completely out of commission. It was the most distressing thing ever. Soooo… strongly considering swearing off heavy weight training for life at this point. What about you? Will you be getting back to lifting after this operation?

    • Actually, my regular GP said that if I weren’t a mad lifter, this would have needed to be done four or five years back. It’s just something that happens once in a while and no one seems able to give a satisfactory explanation– hips and only hips go completely bad on somepne with no other real problems. Probably my very wide Q angle and hyperflexibility have more to do with it. Bottom line, mothing keeps me out of the weight gym.

      You might want to look into problems with trigger points in your sterno-cleido-mastoids — the cords that you see pop out from your ear to the center of your collarbone when you turn your head. I’m betting that if you can trap the belly of that muscle between fingers and thumb and work your way up and down, you’ll find areas that are shockingly sore and need to be rubbed deeply and slowly to get them to let go., Dizziness and imbalance are classic symptoms as are headaches and facial pain. They can get tight from 100 reasons that have little to do with lifting but the effort brings them out. Good luck with fixing it.

      • Yeah, I wish you a rapid recovery and return to the gym in that case. I still think I might rejig my whole damn life now though. Start just going to morning circuits and spinning and stuff instead. Holistic, low-impact, that sort of notion. I’ll be looking into what you’ve said about those trigger points.

  2. This, too, will pass. I’ve been trying to post more on Instagram for your entertainment.

    Your question re the instrument for removing the excess bone growth leads me to consider whether these surgeons ever use a GoPro to record their surgeries. I can imagine them posting amusing moments–or heart-stopping moments–on internal message networks. Maybe you should ask if there’s a video of your doctor doing your surgery?

    • There was video of my old open abdominal surgery and I watched it. She was being careful because of feuds with other doctors who were after her license once she turned them in for bad practice on people she’d had to repair. I thought of asking Unger (my surgeon) that. We’ll find out.

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