...and other things I don't understand.

A few years ago, my husband, a friend, and I were sitting around, shooting the breeze when one of us (I don't remember who) brought up a news story that they had seen the previous day. A tenant of a Florida apartment complex had been walking home from work one day when an alligator fell from the sky at his feet. As it turned out, one of the other tenants had been secretly keeping the alligator as a pet in a second floor apartment. The alligator, it seems, was tired of his accommodations, and attempted to make a break for it by escaping through a window. Fortunately, the commuter who witnessed this attempt at autonomy, did survive. Unfortunately, the gator did not.

The three of us got a great kick out of this story, it seemed very silly to us. Silly as it was, to this day, I have never forgotten it. It is just one of the many things I cannot understand. Why on earth would anyone want an alligator as a pet? How on earth did none of the other tenants know the alligator was there? And, why, oh why, would you keep your pet alligator on the second floor?

As mentioned earlier, this is only one of the many things I do not understand. Life is so random, in good ways and bad. For instance, how is it that I, a fairly healthy and, virtually sane, 39 year old woman is now the proud owner of, not one, but two, prosthetic hips. It seems crazy and almost impossible, but true. Even as a child, I knew something was not quite right. In gym class or at Brownies (now I'm really dating myself) all of the other little girls could easily plop down on the floor and sit "criss-cross applesauce". I could not. All of the other little girls could do the splits and perform fantastic cartwheels on demand. I could not. I did not let it bother me much, however. I did what I could and got along quite well, thank you very much.

As I got older, I would attempt the many organized sports all of my friends were into: basketball, volleyball, baseball, badminton, running club, etc. I wasn't bad, just not great. I felt that I had potential, but there was always something holding me back. Not pain, per se, just an inability and inflexibility. As I got even older, such things did not seem so important. I went to school, moved away from home, met an amazing man, got married, and had my first child, a son. Soon after giving birth to Aidan, however, my "differences" did seem to become a little more important. The pain began. I was 27. This pain began innocuously; I had fallen down a flight of stairs at work and hurt my back. So, every once in a while, when it was really bad, I would attribute my suffering to that fall. However, by 2005, at age 35, I now had another wonderful child, a girl, and was also suffering from subluxations of both hips. For those of you who don't know (I had no idea what was happening), one or both of my hips would partially dislocate from the socket. By 2005, this would happen up to 4-5 times a day. Not fun. Not nice.

After much complaining (and believe me, no one despises a complainer more than I do), my husband finally convinced me to go to my family doctor. I did and was told that I was too young to have arthritis, therefore I should lose some weight. I had a nice 30 lbs of baby weight left from Cate (never mind that she was 2 years old). So I did. I lost the weight, began working out at the gym and became one of those annoying, healthy people who loves to eat right and work out furiously (not really). My issues did not go away. Instead, the pain and subluxations got worse. To my doctor's credit, he ordered x-rays and, after getting the results, apologized profusely. Apparently, my hip joints, and acetabulums (sockets) were seriously deformed. The ball joints were not "balls" at all. In fact, one was a triangle and the other was a rectangle. Also, and for good measure, my tailbone was fused to my spine on the left side. What fun.

To make a long story longer, I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon. My husband and I went, quite convinced that I would be given a prescription for pain meds. and told to come back in 10 years to discuss my surgical options. We were wrong. We were, instead, told that, although it would normally be recommended that a patient of my age wait, I could not. I needed a total hip replacement of both hips. Would I like a second opinion? Oh, yeah! I was then referred to a second, much younger surgeon, who specialized in hip and knee replacement and was at the forefront of current orthopaedic surgery. My new surgeon told me much of the same and added the news that both of my femurs had now begun to twist inward, forcing both hip joints into my pelvis. I was a mess. Dr. D. and his resident were quite surprised that I was actually walking, let alone procreating and going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Wow, I knew it all along, I was a Superhero! Ha!

Fortunately, and unfortunately, there was quite a waiting list (12-18 months). This being said, I had a lot of time to think, prepare, and panic. Then, before I know it, the time had come. I went in to the hospital on May 4/09 and had my left hip replaced. The surgery went extraordinarily well. I only spent 2 nights in the hospital. I endured 6 weeks of restrictions and precautions with the help of a truly amazing husband, 2 very helpful kids, and a wonderful mother. I was back at the gym, weight training with my trainer at 12 weeks post-op. I felt really wonderful and was eager to get as strong as possible for my right replacement which was scheduled for Oct. 29/09.

October 29 came around very quickly and it was time to do it all over again. This time, however, would be much easier, physically and emotionally, because I knew what to expect. Right? Wrong!

To be continued...

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