July 21, 2022 was my hip’s swan song. I had one last virtual private class with my teacher Sean Kelly. We did a simple (but never easy) barre practice exploring pas de bourrées and turns with rond de jambes. Afterwards I hobbled along to walk the pups with Tim, then showered and crawled into bed shortly before midnight.

On Friday morning, my alarm went off at 4:30. It was time to take another anti-bacterial shower and mentally prepare for the day ahead. The top image shows me getting out of the car before heading into the hospital with my new “accessories” in tow.

These two images show me pre-surgery donning a so-not-my-color “gown” and a “fall risk” wrist band. Here’s where I got my IV, answered hundreds of the nurse’s questions, and got all geared up with compression socks covered with grippy feet socks, a hair cover, and the gown that shall not be named.

From that room I said goodbye to Tim and hollered pet care instructions to him (“don’t forget to give Gizzie water” and “make sure the daycare knows he has to be carried up and down the stairs”) as I was wheeled into another room to start the anesthesia—a nerve block and epidural.

About 15 minutes later I ended up in the surgery room where the anesthesiologist told me, “Now you’re going to sleep.” I tried to fight it as long as I could because all the lights, surgical team, and instruments fascinated me. I think I lasted a few seconds.

I woke up next in recovery phase 1 where I was monitored and given Ginger Ale and Saltines (my favorite part of surgery). After a couple hours I was transferred into recovery phase 2 where I stayed until late Friday evening.

The first time the nurse tried to help me up, we heard a pop and gave each other that “uh oh” look. I’d dangle my feet over the side of the bed and get too nauseous and have to go horizontal again. This lasted for hours and finally she said I should stay overnight.

During this process another radiologist came by to snap a photo and that’s what you see below. Apparently my femur cracked while getting the implant so the surgeon had to band it together (see the zip ties?!).

Friday night was rough. I was admitted to the hospital and had to buzz anytime I needed help—water, anti-nauseous meds, pain pills, Saltines, the bathroom.

The doctor popped in Saturday morning and said he hadn’t seen a hip like mine for awhile. Apparently my soft tissue was “balled up” and something about my socket being bad. I was heavily medicated, so I only remember snippets of the conversation.

Later the physical therapist knocked on the door to start our therapy and when I sat up I felt sick again. I had to rest a bit and then she helped me scoot down the halls with my walker to the hospital’s rehab gym. When we started the stairs I got nauseous again and had to sit down. Then I threw up and was ready to go again. Funny how much better one feels after getting sick!

She showed me a few exercises and then the occupational therapist stopped by to help me get dressed. That is such an ordeal!

I wanted to stay another night to stabilize but the doctor wouldn’t approve it, so I was discharged. While being wheeled out to Tim’s car in a wheelchair I started to shake and feel nauseous again, so I threw up most of the way home. Ugh!

The last photo below is me after getting out the car (not easy!) and scooting down the sidewalk in my hospital socks.

Overall I’m doing okay. The pain is minimal considering what I expected, but the effect on daily life is huge. While I recover Tim has to bring me food and drinks, help me get clothes, socks, and shoes on, walk and feed the dogs, drive me to PT, help me up and down the few outside stairs to our condo, pick up the many things I’m dropping, and bathe me (we’re trying this shortly—send good thoughts!).

I know for some of my beloved readers this may be a surprise. I’ve been dealing with hip pain for approximately six years. Two years ago I pulled something in a basic ballet class and have been hobbling around a bit ever since.

That’s when I started seeing orthopedists, began PT, got an MRI, and was informed I needed a hip replacement. I’ve tried to manage it with cortisone shots and anti-inflammatories to get through last year’s road trip, this year’s renovation, and the June ballet festival beforehand. Now I have open space to rest and recover, so the timing worked out well overall.

A BIG thank you for all the kind words over the weekend. You helped lift my spirits! Bisous. x

PS Seems like that hip pop wasn’t anything to be concerned about and I think the nausea was caused by anesthesia and the narcotics so I’m transitioning to Tylenol.