Being Truly “Hip”


Above: Christmas cactus gift from friend.

I wish everyone who reads this post the very best!!!  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (Chanukah), Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holy Days, and blessings for all on this day regardless of religion!

As I type, I have my backdoor open and can hear the melodic warble of a bird (not sure what kind).  It’s lovely.

I am now 10 days post-op from my hip replacement.  If I am able, I’ll try to take some photos of what Christmas Day looks like outside.  That’s probably as much as I can offer garden-wise.


Above:  Current view from my back door into the backyard. More about the orange house in another post.

I have been blessed by the love of many friends and neighbors in my journey to regain my ability to walk.  These folks have been my legs and hands when mine were worthless.

While not garden-focused, I invite you to hobble around with me a bit (you don’t have to use a walker or a cane) while I tell you what this hip replacement has been like SO FAR.

First, I can honestly say I was scared to death about this surgery, and this comes from a former nurse who has experience with previous surgeries.  To allow someone to saw off the upper portion of an essential bone (akin to the drum stick of a turkey) that I’ve lived with for over 50 years and throw it away bothered me. A LOT.

My raw feelings were that my chosen hospital, East Texas Medical Center (Tyler, TX), was like a giant anonymous chewing machine.  You, the patient, go in for your pre-op assessment and are unemotionally prodded, pried, and poked.  The “human-ness” in my opinion had pretty much been taken out of the process:  When I cracked jokes, for the most part, no one laughed.  When I made a mistake, it was instantly pointed out.  And of course, I was made to wait for over THREE hours (10 am to 1:35 pm) to see the hospitalist who assisted me in cultivating a “piffed” (pissed and miffed in one) attitude.  Note:  If you’ve not been in the hospital for a few years (and I hadn’t), hospitalists are the newest thing since latex gloves.

Surgery day was fairly routine.  A friend dropped me off, paperwork got processed, and the hospital staff walked me up to the surgery suite to hook me up to my surgery bed.

I became a bit emotional when I witnessed another family praying for their family member prior to surgery.  My family was absent. However, a good friend surprised me by showing up at my bedside.  She and her friend prayed for me, and I felt a lot of love. This was important.


Another view from the back deck.  Note the position of my Garden Lady’s head (middle of photo).

With both general and regional anesthesia, the first 24-hours were a breeze.  I was also relieved to know no one on the surgical team passed out when they viewed me in my natural state.  (That view’s a shock even for me.–I try to avoid looking whenever possible.)

Post-op my feet didn’t realize they belonged to me and steadfastly refused to work.  It felt strange to stare at them asking them to move and finding that they had taken the day off.

I’m not a TV watcher at all, but ended up watching endless reruns of The Property Brothers and Flip it or Flop It (Yes, I know that’s not the real name of the show).  I think I can now live another 20 years without seeing these shows again, but I have to admit I learned something:  For the Flip It or Flop It gang, it’s all about tearing out at least one wall in every house to open it up and going with light and bright surfaces in the kitchen.

I spent an extra day in the hospital because of those non-operational feet mentioned above. On the 3rd day, I was more than ready to go home.  Another close friend, dressed as an elf, picked me up and we were on our way.

Having to depend completely on someone else for almost everything was humbling.  Do our plants and animals feel this way?  I realize they don’t have our brain, but still…


Above: Messy view from just outside the back door.

So now I’m home, and my wild lab puppy is being good by not jumping on me or on the bed although I realize this is because she’s got aspirations to be a garden designer as she’s rearranged a few things in the back yard.  Oh, and did I mention, my “Lady of the Garden” has become Linda Blair of the Exorcist?  Her head is currently facing the wrong direction.

The minor back yard fixes (fallen over pots, fallen tree limbs, the Garden Lady) can wait until I learn how to walk down the deck stairs again.  No one’s looking anyway, so who cares?

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