Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Hip and Happenin' Dude

The body is an amazing thing; so different than technology and far more awe-inspiring, yet it's technology that allows us to understand the human machine.

I had x-rays taken of my hips and pelvis this evening. This machine, peering through cloth, skin, and flesh to reveal the essence of my structure. Such odd looking things, bones. My face is highly personal -- to see it is to see me. My bones, however, are anonymous, though unique to me. Stripped of flesh, no one would know how I am, but without the bones, my flesh would be without form and unrecognizable.

My left femoral head (the "ball" of the ball and socket joint) is properly round, though the socket is decaying. My right femoral head is no longer a ball, or if it is, it looks like one my puppies have been gnawing on, and the socket is also pretty chewed up. To my inexpert eye, it doesn't look like it's to the place where it will begin to dislocate yet, though I suspect if an accident pops it out, it will stay out. I'm hoping replacement is still a year or two off and that the constant dull pain won't get too much worse before then.

And yet, technology... I can eventually get a hip replacement that will make it better than new (at least my new, which since the bone disease of childhood, has never been great). A titanium spike driven into the femur from which the head has been cut off, and a titanium ball that fits into a titanium socket. A friend with the same bone disease had his hip replaced five years ago. Because hip pain is a part of our lives, he was able to get back to work three days after the surgery (with a walker, then a cane) and now he feels fantastic. After constant pain, he (we) sublimate so much of it that we don't realize what no-pain feels like.

The coward in me who has never had surgery wants to put it off as long as possible, but to be able to ride a bike again, and ride a horse again, and maybe even ski for the first time... at least until the left hip starts to go... maybe surgery isn't such a bad thing.

And who knows? Maybe they'll inscribe my name on the titanium spike and my bones won't be anonymous anymore. :)

Wonder what a hip replacement surgery is like? Click

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Eyes (don't) Have It

I was flipping through pictures of our cross-country road trip the other day and was surprised to see I wasn't wearing glasses in any of the pictures. In just three years, my eyesight has worsened to requiring glasses all the time.

One eye is far-sighted, the other is near-sighted (which is such a symbol of my psyche I just can't stand it).

What this means is that when I don't wear my specs I have a constant touch of vertigo; not full-scale spinning, just a vague sense of swirling movement which must be caused by each eye trying to focus in opposing depth.

I can't read a screen without everything swimming in hazy water (I can read print, though, go figure) and the dual dis-focus means my depth perception is shot. My daughter tossed me a pillow once when I wasn't bespectacled and it was alarming. One hand went out, the other pulled back to catch it so it fell between them.

Oddly, 3-D movies only work one way for me. I can see "into" the screen, but when others see something project "out" from the screen I see plain old two-dimensions. IMAX? Forget it. I'm too aware of the frames of my glasses.

Oh, and in the dark I have tunnel vision which makes driving at night an adventure.

Just goes to show, the older you get, the less good-looking you are. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Never Exhaust Your Puppy

I was intending to post on a fun new event in our family -- Thunder has discovered the pool. When we go in for a swim, he now joins in. He's an excellent swimmer, chugging along, snapping at splashes. The only problem is that we can rest by standing up, but he can't (and wouldn't if he could). We tried to put him out, but he'd just run back in.

Finally, when it was time for us to go in and dry off, Thunder reluctantly left the pool and let us towel him down. After showering and getting dressed, I decided to blog about it. Now dry, he joins me in my easy-chair as I prepare to blog.

Then I hear an odd tinkling sound, like water trickling on cloth...

He'd managed to stand, but not to jump down and go outside. Thunder was peeing on my chair. Apparently he drank a lot of pool water... Poor easy-chair.