One hip at a time…

In the middle of trying to get my house ready for going into the hospital for the operation tomorrow, I had a phone call from my surgeon. He said he’s decided to only replace one hip tomorrow rather than both. This is because of the risk of increased bleeding due to the Ehlers Danloss. Of course safety is the most important thing, but I’m still very disappointed about this. Even though they were going to decide in the operation whether to do one or both, there was still a 50=50 possibility they’d both be done. This would mean one operation and recovery period, whereas now the whole process will last twice as long, with another operation in three months. This means negotiating one operated hip, and one arthritic painful one. So it’s going to be harder and longer than I thought, but obviously need to trust the surgeon on this. Whilst being disappointed, I now need to adjust, and get myself ready to recover as well as possible from the first one, in order to establish the best base for the second one.

Through all of this, I’ve been moved by how wonderful and supportive friends and colleagues have been. It really has made a difference to the experience.

So now I need to finish getting the house sorted and packing. My flamingo t-shirt is ready to come with me! The flamingo has been a recurrent image. My good friend Pam, who’s a dancer, had a very bad accident and broke her ankle at around the same time that I was diagnosed with arthritis. We decided to go on holiday to the Canaries together that winter to get some sun, and bonded over our shared experiences. We then made a performance about this when we got back. This included reading out extracts from our doctors’ letters. Doctors don’t always really get performers, and what we do, and what we want to do. In Pam’s case she said to him that she had always wanted to learn flamenco dance, but now would be unable to do so. In the Chinese whisper from his dictation to his assistant’s typing up the letter, it became: ‘Pam is no longer able to dance the flamingo’. !! So from then on, we’ve become the two limping flamingos, as our shared joke.

The irony is that Pam needs to have another operation on her ankle. We had planned that we would support each other after our surgeries, but as things have turned out, she’s now having hers the day after mine! So we’ll be in hospital together, maybe on the same ward. So yes, there may well be another performance coming out of this at some point!

I have my playlist ready for the operation, and my audio books for afterwards (Juliet Stevenson reading ‘Middlemarch’, hooray!). I’d asked my friends on Facebook for suggestions for things to listen to and watch, so I’m going to finish now with two of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke slots, suggested by my friend Steve. I’ve seen both before, and I’m sure they’ll be a helpful part of the recovery.

See you on the other side!

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