Sunday, October 27, 2019

Vita Mutatur

For me, the world and all my plans have come to a screeching halt.  It’s a very long story, but in a nutshell, I learned a few weeks ago that my hip joint is shot to hell (bone on bone, they said) and there’s nothing to do but replace it.  It was quite an unexpected shock to get the news.  I went to the doctor knowing they would take an x-ray of my knee and possibly my hip, wanting to get the go-ahead for physical therapy to fix me (I’ve been limping around a bit, and my knee hurts if I walk a lot or stand for a long time), and thinking worst-case scenario would be a cortisone shot in the knee. 

Well, oh hell no.  The doctor put a cortisone shot in my hip and told me it’s not an emergency situation, but not to put it off for long - schedule the surgery because shots are going to be my life until the surgery is done.  Fortunately, he saw nothing wrong with the other hip or either of my knees.  I researched the doctor and the hospital where he works, after deliberating for two days, I called back to schedule surgery.  They connected me with the nurse who does the scheduling, she pulled my chart, and said “Oh honey, you were just here.  You have to have at least two more cortisone shots (3 months a part) and then at least three gel shots (3 months a part) before we can put you on the schedule.  Right now, we’re scheduling surgeries for eight months out.  You won’t be having surgery until the end of 2022 at best”.  I told her the doctor told me not to delay long.  She said my insurance wouldn’t pay until there is proof that the shots aren’t helping.  I scheduled the next shot appointment for January. 

Next, I called my insurance company.  They said, “bullshit!”  If it’s bone on bone and doctor says surgery is the fix, why waste time and money on shots?  Get it done before my knee or back get damaged from limping.  They recommended I get another opinion and find somebody who can do it sooner than eight months.

Now I have an appointment in Lexington in a few weeks with somebody who has a great reputation (based on Internet reviews and my sister-in-law who lives in Lexington.  I’m hoping to get surgery sooner rather than later...perhaps over Christmas or my spring break in March.  We will see what they say.  Meanwhile, the cortisone shot didn’t hurt as much as people tell me they hurt...the doctor put it in after rubbing something really cold on my hip first.  Moments after, I moved my leg around a bit and the doctor remarked it greatly improved my mobility.  Well, maybe so, for a few days.  But now, my limp is worse and it hurts sooner when I walk very far.  I’m blaming the shot, but maybe it’s just that now I’m paying more attention to it.  Someone and I played golf yesterday and I took Tylenol after because everything was aching.  Being crippled is not for me.  Perhaps the real point of the shots is to make you grateful for surgery.

To change the subject (PLEASE), Gracie traumatized me one morning last week.  It was still very dark and I was making my lunch to take to work.  Gracie goes out in the mornings and spends the days inside until Someone or I get home from work.  Anyway, she was outside and I heard her barking, and then something that sounded like a cat started howling.  My thoughts were that Gracie was terrorizing a cat, perhaps a feral (several live behind out house in the woods), or worse, one of the neighbor’s cats.  I ran outside just in time to see Gracie with something larger than a squirrel or rabbit in and gray in her teeth.  She was shaking it violently and it was screaming.  I shouted “NO!” which is one of only a few words that Gracie understands, grabbed a broom and smacked her with it.  I heard the poor animal’s last unearthly squeak, Gracie dropped it and stood over it.  I grabbed her collar, and pulled her back into the house.  It was dark, but from the garage light and a quick glance, it looked like a gray striped cat.     

I grabbed a box and flashlight, and went back outside (leaving Gracie in).  I was hoping the cat was dead so that I wouldn’t feel compelled to take it the vet for euthanasia or whatever was’s not right to let an animal suffer.  I was relieved to see it was a raccoon and already very dead.  It looked like Gracie broke its neck.  Poor makes me sad to think about it.  It’s likely that Gracie cornered it in our garage.

Gracie smiling

A few days later, I was sweeping the kitchen and saw both Molly and Gracie in the family room acting strange.  Molly ran behind the couch and out from under the couch ran a little ground squirrel.  Gracie lunged at it but it darted to safety under the love seat before she could catch it.  Molly ran to the love seat and tried to squeeze herself under it, but it ran back across and got under the couch again.  I opened up the back door to the deck so that perhaps they could chase the creature to the outside and it would have a chance to escape them.  Finally, I stopped watching and within 10 minutes, the cat, dog, and hopefully the rodent were all outside.  On one hand, I wanted our pets to take care of the pest, but on the other, I hate for anything to die needlessly (plus, I didn’t want bloodshed in the house). 

Our fall weather has been mostly hot and dry.  Leaves were later than usual to begin changing color, but just in the last few days, the color is stunning.  We had a hard rain last night and many of the red and orange leaves dropped off the maples.  Today the sun is shining and it’s breezy.  Every little gust brings down more leaves.  Within a few more weeks, the hills will be bare.  Ugh...winter is a dreary time of year, but at least we have holidays to occupy our minds and time with until January.  Oh yeah, and surgery, buying a car, buying appliances, getting new floors, painting walls, ...and whatever else comes along. 

Late October leaves
Fall leaves smell wonderful