This retirement thing is not all I expected. As previously mentioned I have arthritis and have been scheduled for a total hip replacement.
I am one of the lucky ones, it has only been just over six months from diagnosis to a surgery date.
As the day approaches I am reviewing the check list of do’s and don’ts from the hospital.
Patients are expected to bring personal items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, Kleenex, unscented soap, deodorant, comb and brush. Until I had to source it out I did not realize how difficult it is to purchase “unscented” soap. Soaps are available in a multitude of scents such as lavender, mango, basil-lime, cinnamon, linen and the list goes on. Once I found a bar of unscented soap I realized that it is more expensive than its “scented” partners. Go figure!
Do you remember when a small, institutional box of Kleenex appeared at your bed-side? My first thought was that the hospital is nickel and dim’ing patients but then my financial training kicked in and I realized that a box of Kleenex multiplied across the annual number of patients entering a hospital would represent a large savings on the annual operating budget. I’m also sure that there is a secret stash available for emergency admissions as one could hardly be turned away for not having a box of Kleenex with them.
Patients are also expected to bring non-slip shoes or slippers, knee-length night-gown, baggy shorts and knee-length house coat. You are told that a useful tool to dress one’s self is something called a “reacher”. The approximately 27” tool has a claw to pick up items from the floor while sitting to avoid bending past 90 degrees.
A fun exercise; using your reacher, lay your underwear on the floor, then holding first one leg of the underwear with the reacher; slip your foot in and then repeat with the second leg. Pull up the underwear until you can reach it with your hands. Carefully stand up using your walker, support bars or a vanity for support. Now that you have successfully put on your underwear repeat with baggy shorts. Being a woman I am cheating at this point and pulling a sundress over my head. Men are welcome to try this too if they have a sundress which fits them.
I may be making light of my pending surgery but it sure beats stressing over it. I plan to keep my readers posted of my progress over the next few weeks. Physiotherapy will be tackled with determination and I will not use the “poor me” card. At the end I hope that I can demonstrate that hip replacement surgery is not something to be feared but rather a chance to return to the active life all retirees deserve.