February 11, 2014

I got to touch it.

Not actually "IT" but one just like it.

A prosthetic hip device.

It was way smaller than I had envisioned.

The meeting with the surgeon was amazing. I'm not going to apologize for writing an INFORMATIVE post instead of a scathing mock. My hip is serious business.

Unfortunately (but not a deal breaker), I really didn't like his answers to my key questions...
  • He wasn't keen on the idea of taking pictures in the OR. Didn't rule it out, but he described his process and his Zone and the need for stuff like complete absence of contaminants so the implant doesn't introduce any bacteria or other shit that could cause infection. Infection is WAY BAD in a hip replacement. Because of the iffy "no" regarding pics, I didn't even ask about video. Call me "chickenshit"...go ahead. 
  • He didn't think I was weird for wanting to see the sawed-off femoral head. He said he will not only show it to me, but they can probably take a picture of it for me. But...it will be very challenging to bring that keepsake home. Apparently, it must go to Pathology. And because it's a biohazard or biowaste or whatever, if I want to retrieve it, I must contact a local funeral home. It will be kept in formaldehyde, the funeral home people will collect it and take it back to their place. I will then need to fetch it from them. And pay them. Around $200-$300. That's one pricey mutherfucking paperweight. Not sure I need it. He also said they really aren't all that cool. 
Fortunately, I did like his answers to questions regarding his skill, expertise and experience. And he had a great vibe. So yeah, I guess it was a popularity contest, and he won it hands down. In fact, I canceled all the other consultations with other surgeons. I'm going with this guy.

All the websites I've been checking out to calm myself down and feel informed through this scary, freaky process mention asking how many surgeries the doctor performs in a year, suggesting the number should be at least 300-350. My surgeon-of-choice does about 900. He LOVES doing this.

The big drawback is...I can't get on the official schedule until April or May. The scheduler has put me on the wait list, but she is not yet sure when the "set" date will be. I'm doing my best to be patient.

I know that if push comes to shove and the wait starts to feel unreasonable, I can always just follow along on a few YouTube videos of the surgery and do it by myself at home. I'm definitely as much of a #hardcore #badass #motherrunner as this blogger who is planning an unmedicated c-section...at home, last I heard. One possible flaw with my plan is the lack of readily-available-to-the-public hip implants. No wholesaler will sell me one and I couldn't find any on eBay. And, as luck would have it, there are no blogger giveaways for one. Also, my insurance won't cover it. On the up-side, a major bonus of doing it at home is that there would be no impediments to documentation...meaning: I can LIVE-STREAM it! Maybe I could do it in a blow-up pool in my living room? I think my diseased femoral head might feel better about leaving my body directly into nurturing, warm water. A hospital is so...sterile and uninviting.

But for now I'm working hard to get in shape and lose some weight. Mostly recumbent bike (which I do not enjoy) and elliptical (which I love) and free weights (which are fun). It's kind of interesting to push into the pain as much as I can, knowing that the joint is just going to be shitcanned in a couple of months anyway. No need to baby it or worry about damaging it further. Time to focus on getting as strong as possible. The weight-loss part is a different story for a different post.


38 comments:

  1. That surgeon does sound awesome, aside from his not wanting you to take pictures. Weird. You should definitely at least get a picture of the bone as a keepsake. Maybe you can blow it up in black and white and hang it over your fireplace. You know, artsy-like.

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    1. I'm already crafting the driftwood-and-macrame frame!!!

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  2. Part of a bone seems less bioharzardy than the giant, throbbing, wet placenta that all these crunchy moms bring home from the hospital with them, but maybe I'm missing something. I'm glad you found a surgeon you like. Oh and thanks for the shout out about my brave, inspirational drug-free home c-section. I'm also shopping around for videographers!

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    1. As part of my inspirational fitness prep I could bike over the Rockies and video it for you! I do have an iPhone.

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  3. Yay! Glad you found a surgeon!! Hope you move up quickly on the waitlist -- maybe stalk the currently scheduled patients and convince them that they really don't need that hip replacement? ;)

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    1. Blogging has given me lots of experience with stalking. My husband is so wrong about it being a waste of time.

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  4. That's a bit rude to call your hip bone a biohazard. And even ruder to charge you so much to keep it. My vet gave me my dog's testicles and my other dog's uterus for free so the kids could take them to school for show and tell.

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    1. Did they wrap them up or put them in a jar? Ziploc Baggie? Pictures????

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  5. OMG that is really just kind of hilarious & ridiculous, what you have to do to get a piece of your own skeleton back! I tell you, I would be seriously considering it, just for the conversation starter value. "Oh this? Why that is my femoral head. No, dear, I have a new one now. Want to see pics from when they sawed it out?"

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    1. It could be a birthday present to myself!!! You just helped me make the decision! Thank you!!!

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  6. I totally get the surgeon's order for no contaminants. I have a friend permanently in a wheelchair from precisely that. Damn if Zensah or Reebok made hip implants, I'd so get you one. To hell with BlogHer. I have visions of a whole mad-blogger hip reconstruction event.

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    1. If you see any on a rafflecopter, let me know!

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  7. So glad you found your true surgical love! Crazy about all the steps needed just to take a piece of you home. You'll be in before May, there are always cancellations. Yay!

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    1. "There are always cancellations". YESSSS!!!

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  8. So glad you find someone you can get behind! 900 a year?? that's awesome!

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    1. Aren't you supposed to comment in Italian?

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    2. Mi piacerebbe ma ho perso merda Italiana!

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  9. Do it at home! Think of all the internet points you'd get on your website from the photos alone!!!
    Weight loss is for proms, it's all about weight redistribution!

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    1. I know!!! I keep thinking of the possible pageviews and truckloads of FREE SHIT!!!

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  10. I wish you all the luck on this and a speedy recovery. I work with a woman who had a hip replaced late last year and she is doing wonderfully..she said it wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it would be.

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  11. How strange. I feel like most of them give you either a picture or video at the end. I know for both my knee surgeries they did. I love those things! (Yes, I am very strange). Also, how do you love the elliptical!? It's a torture machine to me!!

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    1. Did you YouTube the videos? Or is there a confidentiality agreement? That is quality care right there. I am totally jealous!

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  12. I work in surgery and used to help with tons of hip replacement and he isn't kidding about infections being bad news! Good luck with your surgery and here is to a speedy recovery!

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  13. You have a shit ton of things going for you: You don't live in butt country, USA so you probably have great docs near you. You seem to weigh about 65 pounds :). You are a tough bitch. So basically you will have the best possible outcome with this of anyone, ever. Good luck! Here's to pain free life and pain free exercising too.

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  14. I guess, all things considered, you MIGHT want to avoid infection. Might.

    You know he's good if his schedule is that full. I'm excited for you to get the show on the road!

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  15. i forgot to subscribe to this and forgot about this one...so sorry!! keep calling back for cancellations. That's what I did :)

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  16. Only you could make a post about this topic, funny!

    I can't believe you have to go through all that with the funeral home to bring it home! I still think you should do it. And I do hope this awesome surgeon somehow finds an opening in his schedule. So happy you found "the one"!

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  17. 900 a year... no way that is just to many, maybe 900 in total, where would he find time to do 900 in a year?

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    1. He's frequently in the OR from 8am-10pm. He doesn't get paid per surgery because the health plan he works for doesn't pay that way...so it's not his "get rich quick" scheme. He genuinely LOVES doing it. All of his stats are impressive and pretty incomparable.

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  18. I hope you move up on the wait list! Home OR's are kind of the new thing though...you totally could YouTube it.

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  19. Your surgeon sounds like good times. He prob totally loved your queries regarding photography. Pity it cannot be youTubed or live blogged. But honestly here's hoping you get upped in his sched!!!
    :-)

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  20. I wish you so much luck with your hip replacement. My fiancé is in his early 20s and has beer had any health problems except his hip. I have not followed your blog long at all but I can tell you are a very strong willed person and set slightly in your ways. But all that I have been through with my fiancé I truly think you should talk with other doctors! He went to a doctor that did 100s and 100s of hips a year and was hard to get in to see. Turns out this "amazing" doctor was like a hip installing jack ass. After surgery my fiancé said the hip never felt right and this doctor seriously told him suck it up I put the hip in and I know it's right. Turns out it was infected, which a new doctor found. 3 years, 5 months of a picc line with antibiotics 5 times a day and 4 months in a hospital he is thankfully on his way to recovery that the new doctor thinks will be 2 years until he is 100% recovered. Just because a doctor puts hip after hip in does not make him a good doctor. More questions you may want to consider are the brand of hip, what would he do if it does get infected the longevity of the hip he plans on is it a metal on metal hip or does it contain a plastic liner. I understand my words may not mean a thing to you but I wish some one would have given us this advice years ago!

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  21. How have I not found this blog till now?

    Any way, I watched a video of a wrist implant surgery in college and I will say now you cannot unwatch that stuff. I always thought surgery was neat and organized but it is very crude. Like hack saw and weird cranks crude.

    Any way my grandma had her hip replaced (I think 2 years ago now) and recovered remarkably well. So good luck to you!

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  22. Since we are personifying the hip these day: Hurray, that's the sadistic (maybe even machoistic? )spirit! Just abuse the crap out of that mother effing hip in these last days before the replacement, before you trade up for the shiny trophy model . . .. seriously good luck, thinking of you

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  23. When my mom had her knees replaced I asked the physician if I could watch. He told me no unless I was a doctor. I told him I was a PhD candidate (at the time) and that in less than two years I would be. Plus I'd totally aced neuroanatomy with the med students. Apparently that wasn't good enough to get me in the viewing room. Lame.
    What's the status for scheduling?? I'm hoping they get you in ASAP. Diseased hip needs to go.

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  24. I was supposed to have a spinal during my surgery, and before we got started I asked the surgeon if he would show me the femoral head after he cut it out. He slowly turned around and looked at me like I was nuts and loudly stated "NO". Turns out, after trying 8 different times, they couldn't get the spinal in and I was put under anyway. I would LOVE to have video from my surgery!

    I got to touch a prosthetic, too, and was completely floored by how heavy it was for the size. I blame that (and all the other metal) for a good 10 pounds of my weight :)

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Say it. But if you can't own your shit, don't dump it on me.

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