English: Hip joint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I knew I would be away from my blog for a few days this week because I had appointments with my Orthopedic surgeon two days in a row. I have osteoarthritis as many older folks do…another of those delightful age-related illnesses. The Doc says he can do nothing for my hip..the cartiledge is gone and I’m walking bone on bone. The X-ray is awful. “When you can’t stand the pain anymore, we will replace it. That could be this year, next year, five years from now, or ten years from now, or never” (assuming I die in the interim?)
The X-ray of my knee discourages him and me. I underwent athroscopic surgery on my knee a few years back to repair a torn meniscus (knee cartilage) and in the intervening time, the cartilage has completely disintegrated. However, he gave me a shot of cortisone in the knee so apparently it is not as bad as my hip where the cartilage between the femoral head and its socket has completely disappeared.
Actually, my back is worse than hip or knee, but I wanted to eliminate the hip and knee as possible “side effects” of my back issues (scoliosis, spinal stenosis)…hence my visits to see him this week. He says the knee and hip have problems of their own. Osteoarthritis affects everything in my body it seems.
Doctor Mac compares the cartilage in my joints to the tread on tires….when it wears out you replace the tires. I don’t think they can replace my backbone, however.
All this wouldn’t make me miserable, except last week my ophthalmologist told me I needed cataract surgery. Actually, what he said was, “Are you ready to get rid of those cataracts?” I’ve known for years I was developing them…a genetic thing it seems, as is osteoarthritis.
Meanwhile, David is suffering with his own arthritis issues. He accompanied me to the doc’s yesterday and saw his own guy who is in the same practice in the hallway. David had an appointment next week, but his doc asked him how he was, and David told him.
Next thing I knew the doc had pulled David into an examining room and given him two shots, one in the new replacement hip (bursitis), and one in the old knee..both on his right side. He told David his new replacement knee (left side) would not hurt as much if the 83-year old knee (right side) felt a little better and he shifted his weight onto the old knee. (Got that??)
Anyway, the major motivating factor behind my attempt to lose weight has been to avoid exacerbating my arthritic condition. I have lost 20 lbs and need to lose 20 more. However, David is underweight, so weight does not explain his arthritis. On the other hand, banging my knees when roller skating and a couple of birth defects in my skeleton were probably contributing factors, to say nothing of falling off the porch and landing on my hip on a huge concrete planter.
Whoever said aging isn’t for sissies knew what he was talking about.