“Oh, my goodness!” I exclaimed. “You won’t believe how well she is doing, just three and a half weeks since her hip replacement surgery,” I replied.
“How old did you tell me she was?” she questioned.
“She is 91 and will be 92 in September,” I answered.
“Mercy!” Sally said. “Wasn’t that a risky surgery at her age?” she continued.
“Well,” I explained, ”There really wasn’t a choice. Her femur head was deteriorating due to a lack of blood supply, and she had been in a lot of pain since this all began last September. She had a complete physical, including an EKG, an echocardiogram, a carotid Doppler, and a PET scan, just to be certain there were no underlying causes for the avascular necrosis. She passed them all just fine,” I shared. “About a week before the surgery we went to the hospital for an educational class on what the surgery would involve, the restrictions following the surgery, and the hip replacement parts. Patients can have a metal joint that is inserted into the bone, and the bone will grow around it, or a metal joint that is glued in. My mom chose the plastic femur head that glues in because it is weight-bearing immediately, lighter in weight, and designed to last 15 years or so, “ I continued. “I guess she figured that ought to last her at her age, “ I laughed. “If not, she said she would just get it done again!” I grinned.
Sally said, “Your Mom is amazing!”
“Yes, she is,” I responded. “Do you know that the day after the surgery, the surgeon came in and asked her if she was going to go to a rehab center when she was dismissed from the hospital?”
“Certainly not,” my Mom responded. “I’m going home!”
The surgeon said, “Well, who is going to be with you?”
“Karlene,” she answered.
”You couldn’t be in better hands,” he replied. “She is one of the best physical therapists around.”
Sally asked, “How did he know your sister was one of the best?”
“She had set up the physical therapy department at that hospital about twenty years ago, and she had also had a double hip replacement herself by that surgeon about four years ago. He knew her skills as a physical therapist, and knew our Mom would be in great hands.”
“So, has your sister been with her this whole time?” Sally asked.
“No, “ I answered. “We have been taking turns, switching off several days at a time. It has been great to see the improvement each time I come back. My sister took her for her first checkup 16 days after the surgery, and the physician’s assistant who checked her over said he had never seen an incision healed so well by that time. And her walking with the walker was very good, too!”
“Has she been out of the house much yet besides for her checkup?” Sally inquired.
“Yes,” I said. “She and I went to her beauty shop just a few days ago. They were all excited to see her. Of course, we took two pillows with us because one of the restrictions that hip replacement surgery patients have is that their hips must be above the level of their knees when they are sitting down. This is to prevent stress on the hip joint that might cause it to dislocate. If that happened, you would be back to square one and have to do the surgery all over again. Anyway, we went back to the salon area, and I met her hairdresser. What a cute, petite, cheerful, and pleasant girl! I went over to one of the dryer chairs nearby and worked on a custom knitting project I am doing and watched my Mom and Priscilla across the way. My Mom was getting her hair colored that day as well as shampooed and set. So, I knew there would be a little wait while the color worked its magic!”
“Your Mom gets her hair colored?” smiled Sally.
“Oh, yes,” I grinned. “She and I have the same philosophy on that. As long as color comes in a bottle, there will never be a reason to be gray!”
Sally laughed. “Cut from the same cloth, I see!”
“Yes, I guess so! I went over and asked Priscilla if she had anyone else during the time the color was working, and she didn’t. So, I asked if she would shampoo and style my hair. And, I was so delighted when she said she would. What a great shampoo with a neck massage! Oh, my! And then we went to the styling chair. My instructions were simple. Make sure it has that messy look. I don’t want every hair in place.” Priscilla smiled and went to work with the round brush and the blow dryer.
“Then I asked a question the response to which simply made my day,” I said.
”What was it?” Sally asked.
“Well,” I said, “I asked Priscilla to what length she thought a woman my age should let her hair grow. My husband is always saying I should let it grow longer--it's the men and long hair thing I guess!”
She said, “Down to the shoulder at the neck is probably okay. If it goes out on the shoulders, it might look stringy,” she suggested.
“Well,” I said to Priscilla, “I just wanted to be sure what was okay for a 68 year-old woman to do. And then came the really good part where she made my day, “ I said.
“What was it? What was it?” Sally asked excitedly.
“Priscilla just drew back, her eyes wide, and said, ‘No way. Absolutely no way! I was going to guess you were no more than 55!’ "
“Now, what else could anyone say that could make your day better than that?” I grinned.
"And now, let me show you some of the creations from my Boomer and Beyond friends (who are all over 40, by the way!) that will make everyone’s day! Scientifically chosen, of course, by that twirl your finger in the air until it gets very, very dizzy, close your eyes, and point to the list of team members of the weekly promotion thread method I used before! "
"Let's see where that finger landed this time!" Sally laughed.
West Sussex, United Kingdom
Salt Lake City, Utah
Asheville, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina