I need a four-wheel drive walker. The two-wheel drive model that the hospital gave me is literally a drag, especially on outings to the lab for coumadin checks. The rubber thingies on the rear legs scrape along the parking lot, and lifting the walker every step is hurting my back. Plus, it slows me down. I am stable enough that John doesn’t have to worry about it rolling away out of control dragging me along behind it, so he is currently en route to Austin’s Pharmacy to purchase wheels for the back. Woo hoo! I will celebrate by taking a walk outside.
Week Two with the bionic hip has been a week of ups and downs. At the end of Week One, I was overwhelmed just by having family around. The girls all came over with their babes and it was great but I just didn’t have the stamina to deal with it.
“Mom, do you want to hold the baby?”
We’re in the family room. I have used my one trip downstairs to sit on a rock hard chair with a pillow because the sofas don’t provide enough support. I ask for some coffee. Shelley sits on the hearth with a bloomin’ cold, sneezing away into Kleenex. Kristin holds eight month old John. Julie holds two month old Emily. My mom has free hands. Nothing against Hanny here, but she is the least qualified person in the room to make a good cup of coffee. Kristin hands little John to Hanny. He decides it’s a good time to demonstrate separation anxiety and starts crying. Kristin takes back John; Julie hands Emily over to Hanny. Little John comes to sit by me on the floor but bonks his head on the chair. He starts crying. That gets Emily crying. Then I’m crying. Finally, Shelley puts down the Kleenex and says, “I’ll make the coffee.”
That was the same day the washing machine died.
Sniveling, sneezing, stuffy, achy, gotta-get-a-neti-pot Shelley sits beside me in bed with her laptop and we research washing machines. Sister-in-law Jackie just happens to call and recommends Miles Appliance in Shrewsbury. So, armed with facts and prices, I call Kevin Miles.
“Do you want to come in and take a look?” he asks.
“I’m recovering from hip replacement and I’m not exactly mobile right now.”
Sight unseen, I buy the washing machine over the phone.
The washing machine arrives Wednesday. And I’m feeling pretty darn good. I’ve stopped taking the heavy-duty Oxycodone and have progressed to the non-narcotic Tramadol I was using before surgery (the very same medication that my friend Lisa’s dog takes for arthritis pain). The laundry room has been cleared out for the delivery and there is hope in the world. (Or at least the laundry room.)
So what do I do? Wednesday evening and all day Thursday I do laundry. I’m so pleased with my productivity. I use The Claw to pick up dirty laundry and place it in the bag on my walker. I shuffle over to the washer, toss in the laundry, add my detergent, press all the magic buttons, and lie down to listen to the quiet whirrrr of the new machine. That, of course, is followed by dryer loads and folding. But I am physically able to do it and I’m happy.
Until Friday. The sore muscles in my leg are throbbing. The incision staples itch. My lower back is sore and the sciatica zips down my leg all night long keeping me awake. I can’t do my lower back exercises, I can’t take anti-inflamatories, I can’t soak in a hot bathtub–all of which I would normally do to relieve the discomfort. I’m miserable and grumpy.
And I miss my dad. When your dad had hip replacement in his fifties and twenty years later you have hip replacement in your fifties, he really ought to be around to coach. (Reminder to self: contribute to the Ron Smith Team Reason campaign against pancreatic cancer.) But then I try to imagine Dad’s style of coaching:
“Stop whining. Suck it up. Get off your duff and walk.”
Ok, ok. I will. Just as soon as my new wheels arrive.