Saturday, July 11, 2020

Happy Anniversary...

Today is the anniversary of my Total Hip Replacement (THR) surgical procedure done seven years ago. It was and continues to be a true blessing in my life and I am forever grateful to Dr. Michael Parks, M.D., and the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. Literally, I became a new man free of excruciating and debilitating pain on this day.

Prior to the surgery, I had lived with pain for the majority of my life. I experienced an injury to my knee when I was 14 years old which precipitated a series of physical compensations that eventually resulted in the deterioration of my hip joint 48 years later. The six months just before surgery were the most painful. I found myself unable to sit, stand or lie down for any length of time. I could no longer actively run to say, catch a bus. Walking was very painful and climbing stairs was worse; especially negotiating busy exits from the subways to street level. I avoided sexual intercourse because of the limited mobility during intercourse and the long painful recovery afterwards. The Qigong and other exercises I depended on over the years to give me some relief no longer did so.

Dr. Parks and his staff were all excellent in assuring me that the procedure and outcome would be smooth and effective in relieving my pain. I remember the trepidation I felt entering the cold surgical theatre as the team made final preparations to begin my procedure early that morning seven years ago. I was able to count backwards to 97 I think... 

I'm told that the procedure took about forty-five minutes. When I awakened, I was a bit disoriented initially, but the fog slowly lifted. I was transported by a kind nurse to my shared room and fell asleep. When I woke up again, I realized that there was something missing. I was no longer in the kind of pain I had become accustomed to most of my life. It was gone! Nothing!

Yes, I felt the discomfort of the surgical procedure itself which was masked by the various meds I had been given. However, I knew the difference and it was crystal clear that I was better. Not long after waking up, my nurse had me begin walking with a walker the length of the corridor and around. She had me sit up in a hip-high chair and not long afterwards stroll around the hospital floor again. 

The following day I was using a cane and walking up a set of mock stairs. On my third day, I was discharged and sent home with self-care instructions and an appointment for a home visiting nurse to provide physical therapy for several weeks. Luckily, my home nurse was a former martial artist and understood my recovery goals. She designed a prudent and assertive recovery program for me. I also did physical therapy for several weeks afterwards at a local physical therapy office. 

Seven months after my surgery, I was cleared to resume my normal physical activities with some minor, but important restrictions. A month later I began training with kettlebells doing swings and have never looked back.

Today, I am stronger and more flexible than I ever was in my youth. I was able to begin and successfully complete a 3-year intensive Training Program in Taijiquan and Qigong from 2016-2019. I am fit enough to continue training and exploring my physical boundaries. And, I am pain free! I truly believe that it is never too late and all things are possible with proper support and guidance.

Urban Qi FIT

Tenacity | Diligence | Discipline | Courage | Resilience

1 comment:

  1. And yet you taught that entire time without complaint. Amazing! Thank you Good Doctor☯️