Recovery Continues

Day 237 of Retirement, 95 days with the new hips

First Eskimo Game Of The Year

I have been very amiss in not writing since my surgery. Only one post since the surgery and that talked about the day of the surgery. Some have asked me why I was not writing, for that I must apologize. I found that I did not have a great interest to write while in the early stages of recovery. Now that I am feeling so much better I want to start writing again.

Thinking back to the surgery and my time in the hospital, I can confidently say that I was very blessed. The care I received in the hospital was AMAZING. My surgeon does not do the “anterior” approach so it was the standard hip replacement surgery. I also became aware while in the hospital that they would not have done the “2 for 1 Special” if the “anterior” approach was the surgery of choice.

I remember very well taking my first few steps the day after the surgery and how humbling the experience was. Very little energy and I did not go very far the first day. By the time I went home from the hospital I was doing about 100 steps. Of course using a walker the entire time.

Thankfully the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament started the day of my surgery so I was able to watch the 1st and 2nd rounds in the hospital. It was great, private room, big screen TV and food that was pretty good. (Although I did not want to eat very much). One of my friends brought me a bottle of Coke and it took me 3 days to drink the bottle. Those who know me well know that Coke is my beverage of choice.

A number of my former staff came to visit me in the hospital and we all realized that I did the right thing by retiring first and then doing the surgery. It was discussed that I would have been in the hospital and then at home working away on my “Blackberry”. I would not have slowed down at work and would not have taken the time to recover. With all those thoughts in mind I felt comfortable with the fact that I retired before surgery.

In the hospital they showed me exercises that I needed to do at home until the surgeon gave the OK to start Physio. Thinking back on it now, it was so hard to do some of those exercises in a minimal number, now they are easy and I can do them in great numbers.

A doctor doing rounds came in on Sunday morning, and told me how “brave” I was. She stated that she would never do 2 hips at the same time as she was afraid that she would fall down and that no one would be there to help her up. The Occupational Therapist and I were talking about her comments and he said “Gord if you fall down at home when you are alone phone the ambulance and they will come and help you up”. Thankfully I have not had to do that and if I did fall now I am pretty confident that I could get up on my own.

When I came home I ended up sleeping in the bonus room on the main floor for a few weeks as I was not yet ready to tackle the stairs using crutches to go to the bed room. I think it was more of an unwarranted fear, as when I started doing the stairs it was slow but easier than I expected.

Roxanne has been so amazing these past 3 months. I don’t know what I would have done with out her. She is PERFECT. The greatest care giver that anyone could ever ask for. She works all day and then is still eager to help me out when she gets home. She is an absolute blessing from the Lord

I got the OK to drive at week 7 from the surgeon. Roxanne went with me the first few times just to make sure. I did great and she was comfortable with me driving on my own. It has given me lots of independence and allows me the chance to get out of the house on a regular basis.

When we saw the surgeon at week 7 he said I was making great progress, especially for having 2 hips replaced. I started Physio at that time and they also say I am making great progress. However I have to continually remind myself that having two hips done is not the same as one and it will take longer to recover. The blessing is that I will not have to go back in for another surgery.

The picture at the beginning of today’s entry was taken on May 26th at the first Edmonton Eskimo game of the year. We were able to get tickets in the accessible section that day. I stood the entire game which was great. Since then we have sat in our regular seats for 2 games and everything has been great.

I think I will end for today, but for anyone reading this blog that is needing or contemplating hip replacement and you have the option to go for 2 at the same time that is what I would recommend. If you have any questions please let me know I would be pleased to answer them

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Day 175

Just back from the recovery room

It is hard to believe that today is day 175 of retirement or as I can now say day 35 with these 2 new amazing hips. I must apologize as I said I was going to keep people updated on my BLOG. Easier said than done as I did not want to use my phone to type. Today I have lots of energy so I will hammer the keys on the computer for a while to share some updates. I won’t cover everything today but this will be a start.

March 20, 2019….first day of Spring, start of Purim and Gord gets new hips.

I remember the morning very well. The sky was very clear and a brilliant blue as Roxanne and I drove to the hospital. I wanted to drive as I knew it would be a while before I could drive again. Even when we got the the hospital I let Roxanne off at the door with everything and I went and parked her car. I thought I could prolong the surgery just a little longer. I wanted to keep my independence as long as I could.

I won’t remember every detail of my hospital stay but over the coming days will try to write as much as I can. Surgery was scheduled for 11:10, we got there about 9:30. There were a number of other people also there to have knee or hip replacements. It was very apparent I was the youngest that day. Not only the youngest but the only one that day who was going to be having a bi-lateral hip replacement. “The 2 for 1 special.”

When it was time to come and wheel me to the operating room, I told the nurse we needed a moment. I wanted to pray with Roxanne before it was time to go, The nurse said she would even pray with us…Roxanne and I both shed a few tears, then it was time for me to go. I reminded myself NO FEAR, and the Lord is with you.

Into the operating room I go. I knew my surgeon and although he is quiet he is a great guy. I was introduced to the others and remembered their names. Just prior to them getting ready “to do what they needed to do“. I said keep working I want to pray. So I prayed verbally and thanked the Lord for their talents and abilities. I asked the Lord to bless them and their families, that it would be an easy surgery and that I would recover faster than normal. Then it was AMEN, there were 6 in the room and I heard at least 3 AMENS when I finished. It was a not a spur of the moment decision to pray, I had felt the Lord’s nudging for many days that I needed to pray before the surgery. I wanted to thank the Lord for the team in the room. Beyond their skills in the operating room, but even for their day to day lives.

After Amen, I did not remember anything else until I was in the recovery room a couple of hours later. A short while in recovery and then to my hospital room, where it would be wonderful to see Roxanne’s face. I will talk more about Roxanne in the coming posts, but I have seen over and over and over this past month how truly amazing Roxanne is. What a blessing from God. I could not have asked for a better wife and best friend. She is a miracle.

I am sure the pain medicine they gave me was good as I was smiling as you can see in the picture at the start of the Blog. We took the picture shortly after coming back to the room. We had 2 amazing couples come visit later in the day, it was great to see friends.

Physio came in later in the night and sat me up. They wanted me to try and walk a few steps. I think I could have done it, but they say that I looked a little “green” so they decided to pass on the steps but I did sit on the side of the bed for a while.

That was the end of day one. I can confirm that all arthritis pain was gone, the only pain I had was the surgical pain. So when people tell you that the arthritis pain is gone at the outset, it is…..

Well I hope you enjoyed reading day 1, and I will try to write more in the coming days. Thank you everyone.

Day 139

It is now day 139 of retirement and I am still finding new adventures every day. I miss my colleagues from work but I don’t really miss the work itself. It has not taken me long to adjust to the next phase of life.

In late February Roxanne took some time off work and we headed to the NASCAR races in Atlanta. We had an amazing time and it was so great to connect with people we had met in previous years. We are already looking forward to going back in 2020.

I have been absent from the Blog for a while and for that I do apologize. I can guarantee that the next several weeks will see me writing far more.

In the summer of 2013 I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of my right hip.. That was a real shock. I always thought it was only the elderly that had this issue, was I ever wrong. It was worn out probably from years and years of being very active. I first met my surgeon in 2014 and although I was a candidate for a replacement at that time I was not mentally ready. I learned to cope and at that time I said “it really isn’t that bad.” I would say it really wasn’t that bad and although I had pain, I could hide any limp etc. I had visits to the surgeon again in 2015, 2016, and 2017. I knew that it was getting worse, and he was surprised that my symptoms were not matching the x-rays for level of pain and discomfort. He had indicated that most people with the x-rays that I had would have already had the operation.

Jump forward to the summer of 2018 and my annual visit to the surgeon.
It had been getting harder and harder to walk and everyone noticed my limp except me. I told him I was ready. He said that I was healthy enough that he would do both at the same time. My right hip was so bad I did not realize that my left one was also joining the party.

Coming home from the Nascar races in Atlanta we changed planes in Minneapolis. For the first time ever I asked for a ride in a cart as I just could not walk anymore. That in itself was very humbling for me. The prime of my life at 57 and I could not walk through the airport. The driver of the cart told me he had just had his hip replaced and he said it was great.

This brings us to tomorrow, March 20th. I am scheduled for a bi-lateral hip replacement. Almost 6 years from the first diagnosis I am having the surgery. I have no idea what the day will bring. Many of you know that my faith and trust in God is the most important thing in my life. With that in mind I know that I should not fear, but I do have some apprehension. But I will not fear. I have come too far in life to lose faith now. I know that He will direct the hands of the surgeon and I am also trusting the Lord for a very speedy recovery. Tomorrow evening my Jewish friends celebrate Purim, I will never forget that my surgery is on the same day as that celebration.

Roxanne has been such a blessing throughout all of this. I could not have asked for a better wife. She is so amazing and so supportive. I love her so very much and I know that she will be very patient with me over the next few weeks while I recover. Roxanne is a perfect example of a Proverbs 31 woman.

So now everyone is up to date on my life. I do promise to write as much as I can while in the hospital and also recovering. Retirement has been an amazing journey the last 139 days. Tomorrow I will start the next chapter in the fantastic journey.