Holiday Schedule and Reader Notice

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Dear patient readers,

Today we will be on a weekend schedule to commemorate Memorial Day, so apologies to our non-US readers who have a normal workday today. On Tuesday, we will have at least three posts plus Links and Water Cooler; whether we have a fourth post depends on whether anything sufficiently interesting crosses our radar.

Next Tuesday, June 8, I am having a hip replacement. This is normally an unproblematic, high success rate surgery. Patients start walking pretty much immediately; walking is the preferred form of rehab. However, I have a complicated case and anticipate having a not so easy rehab, not due to the operation but the condition of the other hip, which deteriorated rapidly in the last two months and will be replaced on an early than usual schedule. I do not want to get into a tedious discussion of particulars; suffice it to say my surgeon and I both believe I’ll get better results long term this way rather than by doing a bi-lateral hip replacement. We need the data on if and how much my old compensation mechanisms come back after the first hip is replaced.

My productivity has already suffered due to my condition; it takes much more time than usual to do simple things like shower and dress. Doing regular therapy, particularly water therapy (which entails transit time, and showers before and after on top of the pool) means less time to blog and I am already at my limit with my elder care duties on top of site demands.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I’ll be off pretty much all of next week and am certain to be shifting more posting than usual on to the very able Lambert and Jerri. Jules plans to stop by the hospital and get the staff to hop to while I recovering.

This is not a permanent situation; if the rehab for the first hip goes well given my givens, I might be back to a normal schedule by just after the 4th of July weekend. My second surgery is set for early August.

I know you all mean well but please do not offer advice. At this stage, it amounts to second-guessing. There is no question I need these operations; I can barely walk and I have to move carefully, even in bed, not to have my hips make noise, as in the kind other people can hear.

I really had wanted to die with all my original parts. How I feel (hat tip Bob H):

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127 comments

  1. Isotope_C14

    Wish you all the best, Yves! Hope everything goes off without a hitch, and everything heals as fast as possible.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Good luck with the surgery and a solid, quick recovery. Take all the time that you need as your health has to come first.

  3. John A

    Good luck with the surgery Yves. As someone who had a reverse shoulder replacement, and the other shoulder going the same way, I fully sympathise about wanting to keep your own body parts all the way. But it can cause excitement at airports, some scanners beep me, some don’t. I never know till I get there.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Reverse shoulder replacements are difficult! Hope you are happy with yours. A friend is getting one the week after I get my hip done at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

      1. John A

        Had it in 2014, has gone well. the main aim was to resolve chronic pain, I dont have a great deal of strength in the shoulder but I am happy enough. I had years of rotator cuff repair and reconstruction that all gradually failed and the joint became arthritic. As I had almost nothing of a rotator cuff left by the end, a reverse joint is a better option. To date, all gone well. I hope all goes well for you.

    2. vlade

      re scanners. when I was a very young, I had a complicated femur fracture, requiring surgery and on-bone plate. When the plate was being taken out a year later, one of the screws broke, and I still have a bit of it in my femur.

      I beeped only once on a scanner (as in not just the randomised beep that you get but constant beeping every time I went past, even w/o belt etc..), at the LAX more than twenty years ago. Luckily, it was before the 2001, so I got waved through in the end.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Very best wishes with your surgery Yves, please take your time with the recovery so you can make the very best of it. I’m sure we’ll cope fine here in Lambert and Jerri-Lynns capable hands!

  5. Hayek's Heelbiter

    All prayers sent your way for a quick recuperation, especially of your feistiness!

      1. Copeland

        What doesn’t kill you makes you…grumpy!

        Best wishes for a speedy recovery Yves, thank you for being you, feistiness and all.

  6. skippy

    Ugh post op … but then if the new gear has you prancing around again … hope you get some clean air during your adventure.

      1. skippy

        Youngest 110 kg 6’3′ loose head rugby prop son had keyhole done on his shoulder last year after a train wreak tackle. Ex Wallaby team Physio and past player, along with a Surgeon that specializes in this demand side treatment, said his post procedure outcome was a direct outcome of him sticking to protocol [things you don’t do(hint-hint)] and rehab. They reckon its stronger than it was before and shortened his rehab significantly – compared to the norm.

        Sexy battle scars time!!!!!, but you knew that …

  7. Taurus

    Technology has improved greatly both the parts and the procedure over the last dozen years. The best thing about it is that after the purgatory of post-op, your quality of life will improve dramatically. I wish you a speedy recovery!

  8. Lemmy Caution

    Good luck!

    My wife had both her hips done last year and as you say, she was walking within hours after surgery each time. While every patient is different, she said each time the chronic pain was gone just like that, although of course there was a different, milder type of pain from the surgery itself that faded with each day.

    As you probably have heard others say, my wife has zero regrets and wish she had done it sooner. She is now back to doing many of the things she enjoys … gardening, long walks with the dogs and so on. Daily life is so much easier now too — all the mundane things like showering, dressing, puttering around the house, getting in and out of the car, etc.

    In short, having hip replacement surgery was a life-changing decision. I hope you enjoy the same outcome.

  9. BlakeFelix

    Good luck! If it makes you feel any better all the people who I know who had malfunctioning joints replaced ended up much happier with their replacements. Mostly knees, but it seems they are getting pretty good at that sort of thing.

  10. Zagonostra

    Hope all goes well and that at some point you restart meet-ups so I can meet you in person.

  11. you're soaking in it

    best wishes for relief and strength, and take the time to care for yourself as clearly as you care for all here.

  12. Juneau

    Best wishes for successful surgeries with minimal pain/bleeding and a speedy recovery.

  13. skylark

    My two best friends are now bionic babes with hip and knee replacements. I watched with sadness as their lives got smaller due to pain and mobility issues. Now, when we go walking at the beach, I have to hustle to keep up. May the goddess of rehab smile down on you too!

  14. sd

    Best of luck to you on the surgery. I am going to get in trouble, as I do have some advice – do exactly what your doctors tell you for post op excercises, no more and no less. It’s important that the new hip settle correctly.

  15. Kevin Smith

    Best wishes to you and your mom.
    Good thing you are a bright, fine person — people like you tend to do better than expected.

  16. JohnB

    Best of luck! My dad recently had both of his hips done, one year after the other – it sorted a bunch of other back/leg problems he’d been having for years, and he’s doing great now. Was impressed how fast the recovery was.

  17. dbk

    All the best that everything goes well. We all will miss you, be thinking of you, and be hoping for an excellent recuperation.

  18. ex-PFC Chuck

    Best wishes on the hip replacement, Yves. My wife got a new hip 7 years ago and says it was far less painful and the recovery far quicker than had been her experience with abdominal procedures, of which she has had all to many.
    Our son’s father-in-law, who’s in his mid-60s, has two artificial hips, knees and shoulders. They all went off without a hitch. His wife says all he needs now is a brain replacement. ;-)

  19. Tom Stone

    A friend had two hips replaced 3 years ago, she showed up at a dance two months later and was riding a Harley after 4 months.
    At age 66.
    Good luck!

  20. Carla

    Everyone we know who has had hip replacement(s) has had excellent results, and certainly Len and I wish the same for you, Yves. Kudos to you and your fabulous team for creating, anew each day, the most essential destination on the worldwide web.

  21. Procopius

    Hey, today’s antidote is a dead ringer for the baby our drop-in cat had last month. Not a single white hair on it (I don’t know how to tell its gender, but I really think it’s a he, and the other one [white and brown] is a girl cat) . The mother is a real calico, white, brown, and black, who just turned up one day and demanded, “Feed me.” She didn’t even stay here after eating for the first eight or nine months, and I don’t know how we’re going to get her to the new house.

  22. Siggy

    I have one and my brother has two, I call him Garry Two Hips. Early walking is, indeed, the best form of rehab. I wish you a well.

  23. MartyH

    My very best wishes. And forget all the bad moments before they are over. It makes the second round easier.

  24. lyman alpha blob

    Sending some good thoughts your way and hope to see you running around again in Maine soon. Looking forward to meetups again!

  25. Pat

    Sending good thoughts and best wishes. Here’s to a successful surgery and the fastest and best recovery possible! And to a repeat in August.

  26. Steven A

    No advice. Just good wishes and hoping to see you back soon. And, having undergone an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the pandemic, loads of empathy.

  27. Anonymous

    All the best, Yves. You make all our lives better. Hopefully the same can happen once again for yours.

  28. Arizona Slim

    Here’s hoping that the new hip will enable you to kick butt even harder! And take names too!

  29. Susan the other

    I will be thinking about you all day on June the 8th. I love you. Enjoy your pain meds.

  30. Pelham

    Adding my best wishes and a second to the suggestion to take whatever time off you like. It might even be a good idea if you feel really capable after a week or so to take extra time just to enjoy feeling physically better.

  31. weimer

    Lots of good energy, light, and patience – all for a most optimistic recovery!
    Be well, Yves.

  32. Dogwood

    Hope the whole thing goes off without a hitch Yves. Sending lots of well wishes and hugs for a super successful experience. Take good care.

  33. vw

    Best wishes for a swift and total recovery, Yves. My aunt had both hips replaced and she did great – even went back to riding ATVs in the desert at 70!

    Here’s a playlist from one of the most uplifting bands I know – just the chill and relaxing stuff for now, though :) When you’re feeling better, check out Caravan Palace’s more hoppin’ stuff… and go dance!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBn7QPQaVPo

  34. Wukchumni

    Hope the surgery goes well, and take your time recuperating…

    See ya back @ the ranch, er blog.

  35. Jack Parsons

    Best of luck! My mom did this 35 years ago in her 60s and is now 100.
    Complaining about socialist Medicare :)

  36. Bazarov

    Good luck, Yves!

    My grandmother, who was in her 80s when she got her hips replaced, was out of rehab in no time (the nurses said she recovered faster than anyone they’d worked with at her age), and her symptoms were much, much improved. I was honestly shocked by how fast she was walking–when I heard she’d been sent home, I was worried they’d pushed her out too early, classic American-shitty-healthcare style.

    She said that at the “sanitarium” (what she called the rehab facility), the care had an almost military precision, and the nurses were very reassuring and encouraging, helping to keep her spirits up and facilitating her quick recovery.

    That was, oh, 15 years ago–I imagine the care is even better today.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks but the problem is my other leg is shot and so I can’t rehab properly. The leg that is not being operated on is now worse in terms of walking.

  37. Alex Cox

    Best wishes for the ops and a fast recovery. My dear wife had both hips replaced a few years back and is much improved!

  38. Sue inSoCal

    Best of luck, Yves! Wishing you an speedy, bionic recovery. I’m going in tomorrow for placement of a measly infusion port. (Piece a cake.) I’ll be thinking of youuu! :)

  39. remmer

    Good luck with your surgery, Yves, and with the recovery. And hats off to you for getting so much work done through the pain.

  40. kareninca

    I know approximately ten people who have had hip replacements and in every case it went perfectly and they were thrilled with the results. I used to think that people should avoid surgery at all costs and put it off (and in fact that used to be the medical view with the hip surgery). But then nearly 20 years ago I knew two people who were in a lot of pain and had it done without any problems. It was transformative. The guy was about 60 y.o.; very very tall, and every step was terrible. I just saw him the other day; he is now 80 y.o. and happily lugging full boxes of books around.

    I also have a relative by marriage who has had both hips replaced twice, and both knees (she worked in a cafeteria and is heavy); all of her surgeries went fine and she is in Indiana on the Kentucky border (not the best place for medicine by my coastal biases, but that just shows I’m wrong in those biases).

    I bet in the next photo taken that kitten is biting someone!

  41. cocomaan

    Best of luck Yves, you have been talking about your hip for awhile, I hope you can get pain free and back to deadlifting and marathons. Just kidding, kind of.

  42. Jack Lattemann

    I had my left hip replaced in November 2020. The first two weeks are the most difficult, need a walker to get around. Also, be forewarned, sitting more than 30 minutes at a time at the computer was uncomfortable for me. However, healing takes place quickly, walking with a cane third and fourth weeks plus being able to negotiate stairs, normal but slower walking by the 6th week. Important: acquire the walker, cane, and sock-aid beforehand! (Readily available through various online suppliers, not as expensive as I thought, and you’ll have them for the second hip surgery.) Most importantly: no more continuous pain and aching, only occasional discomfort (mostly middle of the night) after 6 weeks, and none at all after three months. Best wishes for an expeditious recovery, Yves!

  43. JTMcPhee

    My little addition to the manifold good wishes and prayers that accompany you into this procedure. Best friend is having his other hip done this week, as an outpatient procedure. My goodness how things have changed.

  44. hemeantwell

    I hope your surgery goes well. And a rapid recovery after so much discomfort and impairment should be a great boost for you. Good luck!

  45. boz

    Best wishes for the surgery and recovery, Yves. Enjoy the enforced offline time!

    Thanks for the site and everything you and the team do.

  46. HotFlash

    Erm, um, have a nice time? Hip replacement is pretty well problem-free these days, my cross-the-street neighbour was walking in two days and mowing the lawn in a week — with a push mower! Here is a big hug from Mr. HotFlash and me, socially distanced at 953 mile.

    And a hug to that cute kitty, too.

  47. juno mas

    Positive thoughts for a smooth transition to better health. Rest and rehab will be your friend.

  48. run75441

    Hey young lady;

    I am sure you will be fine and recoup quickly. You are too feisty to submit. Keep you in my thoughts and let Dan know also. Best.

    Bill from Angry Bear.

  49. John Emerson

    My mother’s 3 hip replacements gave her 15 more years of active life. They went wonderfully even though one them eventually had to be replaced.

  50. Quantum Future

    God bless. You are a true servant to your elderly Mom and many people here. True respect.

  51. EmilianoZ

    It’s already amazing what you’ve managed to accomplish despite your chronic health concerns and the familial obligations you chose to honor. I’m not a religious person but I will pray that you come back stronger from your operations. In those difficult times we can afford no less. A decent person, so simple, so rare!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks so much but just so you understand: I am in excellent health except for lots of lower body issues, like asymmetries, that over time have whacked out my joints. So the divergence is pronounced and frustrating.

  52. orlbucfan

    🍀🍀Good luck🍀🍀 and best wishes for a rapid, smooth and complete recovery, Yves! Being feisty helps, too.

  53. Reader_In_Cali

    Sending well wishes for a safe surgery and safe, healthy rehab! So glad you’re able to prioritize your health and well being :-)

  54. Elijah SR

    I’m sorry you have to go through this, that sucks. Health issues like these are so overwhelming. I hope your surgery is successful and your recovery is as manageable and speedy as it can be.

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