Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A new hip for dani


I was born with bad hips. Really bad hips. I'm also a person who does a poor job of sitting still.

Bad hips + move much = bad pain.

I spent 18 months of my life in a body cast from my armpits to my ankles, followed by years in a squeaky brace that held my knees outward to try and mold sockets for my legs to rest in. Imagine a toddling cowgirl who had the horse kicked out from between her legs and a metal bar inserted in its place...that's what I looked like.

It was cool though. My dad built me a pull cart that I could ride in and I had a huge bright red and orange stuffed turtle to rest my legs and brace.

The brace, my parents tell me, was squeaky - hampering my ability to sneak up on people. My mom tells a story of an incident in which I wanted to find my Dad....

The approach: squeak, squeak, squeak

My verbiage: "Where's Richard? I can't find the ol' coot!"

The exit: squeak, squeak, squeak - fade to black.

I think it was my being immobile for so long that led to my hatred for being still. As soon as I lost the brace, I began a life of playing soccer, volleyball, tennis, swimming, hiking, biking and found my true love for martial arts.

About 14 years ago the hips started telling me they didn't want to do it anymore. At first I scaled back my activities. With the pain still persistent, I got pissed off and gave in, thinking that 'rest' and beer would help ease that pain. It just made me fat. After 5 years of 'resting' and clocking in at about 170, my doc told me the pain couldn't go away until I lost the weight.

So I lost it. And threw myself back into the dojo to gain the mental and physical strength I needed to power through my life that consisted of a nagging limp and throbbing pain.

But for the past 4 years I have known the clock was ticking more quickly. My recovery time, even from little workouts, is taking longer. Anti-inflammatory pills have been a necessary beginning and ending to many daily activities. And sometimes, I sit down and cry because I can't climb the stairs at home without someone to help me.

I've also been stalling. Stalling because I know that it is time.

So when the doctor marched in and told me my hip is shot and I need a new one, I smiled. If I don't think about the way my body will sliced open on the operating table, or the fact that I could die...I get pretty damn excited.

Soon I'll have the opportunity to set off airport metal detectors and I'll pee out metal ions as they leech out of of my joint. I also think the Bionic Woman is hot, so I'll get to improve my own self image by living vicariously through a fictional character...

Today is a good day.

No comments: