Friday, January 18, 2013

Pain Management…Spare Parts!

For any youngsters following this blog…or even just dropping by for a single visit, I want to let you know that aging is not for the faint of heart!  Of course, it helps some if you have a good genetic makeup, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much alcohol, get regular exercise, eat healthy foods and maintain your weight at a level commensurate with your frame and height. 
OK, I’ll admit it…I might be fairly fortunate re: the genetic makeup, but when it comes to the other 5 keys to good health, I’ve only realized a couple of them. Anyone who’s followed my blog recognizes that it’s food focused…mostly on foods that aren’t particularly healthy…that I’m not exactly into working out…and that I’ve spent many years building up my oversized body…in the wrong way!
The above photo is of the Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic in Knoxville Tennessee. 

Hey…body parts do wear out!  To some degree, we all experience parts failures sometime in our lives.  If one is an athlete, is overweight, or both, joint failures are a likely outcome.  In my case, my right hip is kaput!  I’d like to think that my current situation was initiated back when I was playing high school football, track or wrestling…but I suspect it really occurred due to age and weight.  In any case, the pain has won out, worn me down and I need a new part if I want to be able to enjoy our retirement.

Ah yes…the symbolic long lonely walk toward the unknown!  Actually Laurie took this photo before Thanksgiving as I gimped along toward the Clinic and our initial meeting with my surgeon. 
The Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic is right across the driveway from Knoxville’s Parkwest Medical Center…aka the Hospital where the surgery will be done.  I can tell you that the waiting room for my surgeon’s office ( in this building) was a very busy place… This has to be a great business for doctors given the growing number of baby boomers who will need joint replacement or repair of one kind or another.
Laurie also took this photo of me signing in for my appointment with the surgeon.  Harold E. Cates, M.D., was easy to talk to, had a good sense of humor and, most importantly, he does hundreds of hip replacement each and every year.  When it comes to hip and knee surgery, he is a ‘go to’ surgeon of choice. 
Did I mention that Laurie loves any of this medical stuff…?  She regularly watches operations and emergency medical procedures on TV.  So it should have been no surprise to me when she actually asked the doctor if she could ‘gown up’ and watch my hip replacement surgery in person!  Of course, the answer was no…but Dr. Cates did promise to provide her with photos of the operation.
The pre-surgery instructions include a lot about medications…what not to take and when, as well as what to start on and when.  Dagnab it!  They also gave me a bunch of pre-surgery exercises to do… Bummer!  However, not doing them isn’t an option if I want to recover and be able to do the things that we want to do in our retirement…

Early this month, we went across the driveway to the Parkwest Medical Center (Hospital), for pre-surgery registration, therapeutic instruction for exercises needed before surgery and for Hip Surgery Classroom Instruction.  I must admit, everything went as smooth as glass…although I do marvel at man’s continuous 'attempts to go paperless' in the medical field. (Is it a practical effort and will such documentation ever be accepted when the attorney’s get involved?)
So the next step will be the surgery…fixing the square peg in the round socket syndrome.  Then there will be therapy…and more therapy… I will actually have to exercise to heal and regain full functionality!  Also, for several weeks, Laurie will be ‘privileged’ to drive me wherever I need to go.  But the long range plan is that we’ll be playing golf in April…and on a road trip not too long after that!  
After the surgery later this month, I’ll blog again about this life altering, (enhancing), experience.  It sure wasn’t on my retirement ‘bucket list’!
Thanks for stopping by for the latest on parts replacement and repair!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Looks like a gorgeous facility, looking forward to seeing your posts "post" the op!

  2. Dear David hope all goes fine, take care and talk us how you feel! xo
    Huggs to Laurie:)