Counting my blessings…it’s just a hip

I had my left hip replaced in 2007. I’m not going to say it was a pleasant experience, it was not. But it was necessary if I wanted to continue in my profession as a martial arts instructor. I still had the Taekwondo school and was very aware that I needed to set a good example for my students. Working within the perimeters set by my surgeon, I was back teaching at two weeks, performed patterns and self-defense for my 4th Dan confirmation test three months after surgery, and even snagged a silver medal (in sparring) at the International Championships in Las Vegas six months after surgery.
I remember the pain, the frustration of not being able to put my clothes and shoes on. I remember hating seeing my shadow, because it looked like an old crippled lady hobbling along with a cane. I remember calling my friend/instructor Danny Dring, who had hip replacement the previous year, and asking if he got depressed. “Hell yeah I got depressed. You go from being able to work out and do things for yourself to being helpless and being in pain. “
Lifting my leg with my hands to get in and out of a chair or a car. The incision, and then the scar. Crutches. Cane. Being afraid, really afraid, of uneven surfaces because I knew if I fell it would hurt like hell, and I literally would not be able to get up by myself.
I couldn’t sleep in my bed. I spent the first few weeks in a recliner, because rolling over in my sleep was not a pleasant way to wake up. Apparently I roll over a lot in my sleep.
So now, the Formerly Known as The Good Hip is going under the knife on Wednesday. And I will admit to whining about it quite a bit. Steve is taking off work and will stay with me in the hospital room in Denver. This surgeon says I need to use crutches for four weeks and a cane for another four.
I liked two weeks with a cane better.
But different surgeon, different philosophy and I will do what he says.
I’m sure I’ll whine about it, and get frustrated, and get a little depressed. With all that being said, let me also say that I am counting my blessings big time right now.
• This is an elective surgery, and it will make my quality of life better.
• We have insurance to pay for it.
• I don’t have to scramble to try to get back to work
• Steve Cox is a wonderful caregiver
• Keely is old enough to not be a worry and to actually be a great help
• I have a community of friends that I know I can call on.
In the last few weeks, while dreading the surgery and the aftermath, I’ve been slapped upside the head with how lucky I am.
Last week my friend Alisa McCoy found out she had colon cancer. She is in her early 40’s, mother of Emily, a high school senior, and Ben, who is nine years old. I talked to her the other day and she was very matter of fact about the whole process. She understands the worse that can happen, is prepared for it, and optimistic that everything will work out ok. I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire this lady. As we were hanging up, I told her I was going to quit whining about my hip replacement, because I realized that in comparison to what she was going through I really should just shut up.
I have to be realistic though. I will whine and bitch. Even though I know what I am going through is nothing compared to what Alisa is going through.
Surgery was a few days ago and we are getting updates on Facebook. She is in good spirits and I know she is going to get through this.
Ryan McCormack is a friend and former Taekwondo employee. He was always my rock; smart, calm, an amazing martial artist, and he just quietly got things done. He moved to Dallas after getting his degree, and has been working as an actuarial. He is also a gifted musician who writes as well as performs. Ryan had a stroke a few days ago, the day after his 38th birthday. All I could do was stare in shock when I got the news.
Ryan will be going to Little Rock for up to three months rehabilitation. I don’t know the extent of the stroke, but I assume he will be learning to move, and perhaps think, again.
So between Alisa and Ryan, it has really been brought home to me that I should really be counting my blessings.
It’s very easy to focus on the negatives in our lives. Sometimes we have tunnel vision on all the stuff we don’t like, and don’t want to do, and we fail to acknowledge the good. So during the next few weeks, when it is going to suck to be me, I’m going to complain and bitch. But I vow to be thankful for all the blessings I have and the people in my life that love me.
Every time I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m going to offer a prayer for Alisa and Ryan. They will be getting lots of prayers.