"You need a new hip" the Orthopedic Doctor told me like a mechanic telling me I needed new brakes on my truck. So matter of fact. No big deal. Lots of people get new hips these days.
Except it is a "big deal" for me.
I've made it 57 years without so much as a stitch, a broken bone, a single surgery. The last day I was in the hospital was the day I was born 57 years ago. I am very, very fortunate to have made it this far and remain healthy for the most part. Oh, a few minor health issues now and then, but nothing major ever. Healthy all my life. Until now.
More below the fold...
A year ago my hip started hurting a little. I ignored it. Then it got a little worse and I realized something really was wrong. Mentioned it to my doc when I went in for my annual checkup. "Better have it checked by a sports and ortho specialist" he says. Referral. Appointment in 4 weeks. The day comes. I'm hurting and can barely get my sock on my right foot anymore. X-ray. It looks bad. Lets get an MRI. "Yep, your hip is totally shot" he says.
I'm floored. I can't be falling apart - I'm still young. You shouldn't need a new hip until you're in your 70's or 80's I tell myself (and others). New limitations: no sleeping on your right side. But I've slept on my right side since I was a baby! No more long walks or standing for a long time. What? I can't go to Mardi Gras? Don't carry anything heavy. Don't get down on the ground. Don't cross you right leg over your left. How do I get my sock on? Ok, you can do it for that only.
I refuse to do pain meds even though it hurts all the time. Too many horror stories. Just started physical therapy and Dry Needling. It helps some. I can also do epidural steroid shots for a while doc says.
But I have a more immediate problem: Insurance. My small employer says they're gonna dump it at the end of this year and let us all fend for ourselves, and they're not joking. We have a good plan - a "Cadillac" plan in fact. It pays 90% after deductible. The Ortho Doc says I'm young for a hip replacement, but he'll do it when I'm ready. He wants me to wait a few years if I can bear it. I'd like to wait too. But what happens if I lose my insurance at the end of this year? I can handle paying my deductible and 10% of the cost after Blue Cross gets done discounting it now. But I have no idea what insurance I will have next January. It could be a costly financial decision to wait on the hip replacement.
I'm seriously thinking of going ahead with the hip replacement this summer while I still have insurance and know the cost. Is it crazy to do that?
Would you get a new hip if you were in my shoes?