My beloved has been suffering with his hip for the past couple of months and, as he suspected, he needs to have it replaced. In recent weeks, he’s seen a second surgeon and undergone a battery of tests. These included a telemetry where the length of his bones were accurately measured. Interestingly, his legs are both pretty much the same size, so he’s discarded the lift he got back in June. He also underwent a scintigraph (with radio isotopes) which highlighted an area of osteo-necrosis on the leg, which shows that it’s not properly healed. It also threw up arthritic areas in his left thumb and right shoulder – the result of numerous injuries from years of playing water-polo and rugby!
He’s now scheduled for surgery at the end of October, followed by 4-6 weeks – I’m hoping it’ll be the latter – of intensive physiotherapy at a day centre. Thankfully, he’ll be picked up and dropped off each day which’ll be so much better for me, particularly as I have a million and one things to do.
Naturally I’m feeling somewhat relieved that I didn’t book any vacation over Christmas. My beloved was planning on visiting Thailand to give a series of presentations and we were considering tacking some holiday onto that trip. Fortunately, it never got past the consideration stage.
He’s now counting down the days as he’s currently unable to walk very far, let alone ride, and is in constant pain. I should add that his pain threshold is very low.
Prior to his operation, he’ll be undergoing a further battery of tests, including a dental one and an ECG, plus undergoing physiotherapy so that he’s in good shape for the operation. I’m also taking him away to one of our favourite spa hotels where he can enjoy some relaxing thalassotherapy.
Naturally, he’s a bit apprehensive about the operation but underneath it all he’s revelling in the attention. He’s a bit of a diva – just like the outlaw – when it comes to matters medical. Once again, the person you really need to feel sorry for is little old me who’ll be at his beck and call for several months. Oh, hang on, that should read much more at his beck and call than usual!
After making fairly good progress with the rehabilitation of his broken leg, in recent months my beloved has gone backwards. His hip is now giving him serious gip, he can’t walk as far as he did six months ago and he’s finding it difficult to ride his bike for any length of time. He’s recently seen the surgeon who operated on him, who organised a lift for his shoe as the broken limb is now at least 1 cm shorter, which has helped. He also advised that in the fullness of time my beloved would need a prosthetic hip.
When you get to our age, “use it or lose it” is very apt. In an effort to try and improve the situation my beloved has been to see a number of different physios and osteopaths. None have come up with any concrete solutions although their treatments have provided some relief. Finally, my beloved has turned to one of the physios who deals with many of the pro athletes living around here. He’s identified a number of potential issues which we can probably address. It appears that not all physiotherapy is equal, some is just too general, particularly given my beloved’s former and continued lack of flexibility in his hips and back, issues which the injury has exacerbated.
Over the next couple of weeks, he’ll be undergoing a battery of tests and scans to determine his best next steps. Plus, he’s been referred to another local surgeon who’s a leg specialist rather than his own surgeon who’s apparently a shoulder man.
I can understand my beloved’s concerns. He loves sport and, apart from swimming daily, he’s been unable to ride or walk any distance recently. This tends to have a knock on effect on me. My injured knee has now recovered but I’m missing our daily walks and, while I don’t mind using the home trainer, I would prefer to go out on the bike. To be honest neither of us enjoys being cooped up at home, we much prefer the outdoor life. I’m hoping (and praying) he’ll soon be back to as good as new.
Our days have quickly settled into a routine which totally revolves around my beloved and the treatments for his broken leg. It starts with a good breakfast before an hour long physio session at the nearby hospital during which I go food shopping. After all I have to cook him three square meals a day to aid his (hopefully swift) recovery. Back home we ready ourselves for the daily visit from the nurse for his anticoagulant injections and change of dressings. Lunch and then a short nap for my beloved which allows me to get on with some work work, rather than house work.
My beloved stirs in time for a cuppa and checks on his emails. I start to prepare dinner and tidy up. While I’ve not been able to get out for a ride, I’m getting plenty of exercise being at his beck and call 24/7. He’s moving around well on his crutches and the swelling in his leg is subsiding. He is supposed to give it plenty of rest, particularly after the punishing physio sessions. This means I am chief fetcher and carrier for someone who’s not renowned for being patient. Our evenings are generally spent catching up with work before an early night.
While everything appears to be progressing well, there have been side effects. The anticoagulant injections affect the kidneys which means he’s popping to the toilet more frequently. Consequently I’ve allowed him to use my en-suite. A huge concession on my part given cleaning his bathroom usually sees me donning a haz-chem suit. It’s also given him gout in the big toe of the broken leg. He’s suffered from this in the past but we’ve not had a flare up since 2012. All of which has meant much searching on the internet, quizzing of nursing staff and speculation as to whether I should run him to the GP for something for the gout. Fortunately, it’s starting to subside.
Yesterday, after his stitches had been removed, I was given time off for good behaviour. Yes, just over two weeks since the accident, I’ve been allowed out to catch up with one of my oldest friends. We’ve known each other since we were eight years’ old and have kept in touch since being at grammar school for five years together. She lives in Austin, Texas but summers in the Luberon where she has a lovely honey stoned house in the pretty village of Gordes. She comes over in spring to ready the house for the summer season and was going to stay with us but, because of my beloved’s infirmity, we’ve opted for lunch in Aix. I’m taking my sister with me as she’s over here enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.
It would have been nice to spend the whole day in Aix particularly as there’s so much to see and do, including a fabulous market in the mornings. We arrived just in time for lunch at my chosen venue – you don’t honestly think I’d let anyone else pick the restaurant, do you? We dined in the beautiful enclosed, walled garden just a stone’s throw from Aix-en-Provence’s Cours Mirabeau.
My menu choice was somewhat limited, sea bass with mashed (with olive oil) potato and a green salad, but then I’d gone for a break not the food. My sister and my friend fared rather better. The other guests slowly departed and we went for a gentle stroll round the garden before enjoying a quick dash around Aix. It was my sister’s maiden visit and I wanted to show her the gorgeous town if only to encourage her to re-visit.
All too soon we were chugging back down the A8, remarkably free of traffic until we hit the toll in Antibes and the evening rush from whence we crawled home. I had had already prepared dinner – carrot and sweet potato soup with smoked paprika – so my sister dined with us before I dropped her back at her flat. My beloved claimed he was exhausted from looking after himself, so we opted for an early night. Today I was back to same old, same old……………