Woke up this morning around 5:30AM, covered in sweat. I got up and cracked a window, but it wasn’t particularly hot in my bedroom. I then remembered the last dream I was having, where I was running a race. I remember struggling terribly and having the urge to quit with every step.
It has been almost five years since I broke my hip. I’d be lying if I said I never thought about giving up. I am incredibly relieved that the day for this next, and possibly last surgery, has finally come. If all goes well, in 6 or 7 hours from now I will be waking up with a new hip, no limp, and pain-free for the first time in years.
Found this great video on the Stryker® website that clearly shows each step of my upcoming total hip replacement.
Had my pre-surgical screening, clearance, & workshop yesterday at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Things went very well. I arrived a little before my scheduled 9AM start time. After meeting with patient registration, they took some blood for labs, did a chest x-ray, and did a urine screen. Things went very smoothly and everyone was very nice.
I went back down to the lobby and read while I waited for my 11AM total hip replacement education class to begin. The class was a little over an hour long and was taught by a nurse educator, physical therapist, and case manager. There were about 10 patients in the class, and not surprisingly I was the youngest one. They gave me a bunch of reading materials and a DVD about what to do before my surgery, and what to expect during and after my hospital stay. I’ve never had a hospital provide provide so much information prior to a surgery before. It makes a lot of sense to prepare patients as much as possible prior to the procedure, as opposed to waiting until they’re in pain and on narcotics.
After class I roamed around the East side to find some lunch. At 2PM I met with a doctor who cleared me physically for my surgery. She said that my leg length discrepancy may be corrected, but at the least would be improved. I got home a little after 4PM both tired and excited for my surgery. Only one week away!
Reported to Bethesda Naval Hospital as ordered for my the temporary disability retired list (TDRL) periodic physical examination (PPE) today. I was told to arrive at 7:15AM. As soon as I got there, I was checked in, and sent to the orthopedic department. After they took my vitals and a few x-rays of my hip, I was seen by a Navy Lieutenant Commander orthopedic resident. He asked me about my activities of daily living, pain, and plan for my hip. He then evaluated my range of motion and strength. After talking things over with a colleague, they decided that I’d never be able to be a Marine again, and that they would put in the paperwork for my permanent retirement. It’s still possible that the retirement board will disagree and I will have to report back to Bethesda in another 18 months, but hopefully not. I look forward to hearing their decision.