Here we are. Day five of the new year. How are you doing on those resolutions? Yeah? Don’t feel bad. The single resolution I’d planned for didn’t even make it to the new year.
See, I’ve always wanted to be one of those disciplined writers who could sit down for x hours every single day and write. This year, I vowed, I would make that a priority. I’d even decided I would take my notepad and my Alphasmart to the neighborhood library for two to three hours a day. I’d write. Away from the distractions of dirty dishes, floors that need vacuuming and the family who never loves me at any other time quite so much as they love me while I’m trying to work.
Great resolution, right? December 30th blew it right out of the water. That’s what I mean. Didn’t even make it to January 1. This is what I get for scheduling my overdue physical for the last business day of the year. Everything went well – except for getting on the scale after all those Christmas cookies – but I could work those off. Right? Did I just add another resolution? Dang.
I happened to mention to the doctor that my left hip had been bugging me. She said, ‘Probably tendonitis, here’s a physical therapy referral. Let’s do an x-ray, though, just to be sure.’ Four hours later, I had a phone call from the doctor’s office instructing me NOT to go to physical therapy. There were ‘changes’ in the joint, she said. Instead, they sent me for an MRI and referred me to an orthopedic doctor. I do the MRI on Saturday. By Monday, I’m sitting in the orthopedic doctor’s office looking at a couple of snapshots of the inside of my own body and there it is. Clear as day. Bone. Dying and crumbling in my left hip.
Cue complete freak out.
Good news – ultimately, this will be a hip replacement. Today, it’s just a long round of physical therapy, acupuncture, exercise and chiropractic appointments to keep everything where it belongs for as long as possible. But you see how the resolution faired. So much for the library. Looks like I’ll be doing what I’ve always done – writing in between. Writing in waiting rooms. Writing to exorcise fear, boredom and frustration. Writing to indulge in imagining all of the miraculous physical feats this body wasn’t designed to perform (not to mention imagining all of the heroes who’d inspire these feats…that’s another post).
Oh, I’ll still go caving. I can still ride my racing bicycle, though I cannot race. I can still sail and live on a sailboat with too many cats and the occassional visiting otter. And I can still write. The physical therapist recommended sitting on a heating pad while I work…commence the jokes about the hot seat and/or hot butt.
This is something called ‘avascular necrosis with partial collapse’ – the blood supply to the left femur was disrupted at some point in my life and the bone, without blood and nutrients, cannot survive. Accidents can cause this. Alcohol abuse and steroid use can cause it. We suspect a terrible car wreck from my childhood – but we’ll never know for sure.
Here’s the real point, though. If your health is not one of your top resolutions, why isn’t it? You cannot help the people you love if you aren’t healthy. What will it take for you to get strong? Screw weight loss. Worry about strength and flexibility. Losing weight is a fine goal, but it’s only one part of a larger puzzle. Aim for healthy. Shoot for happy. The rest is icing.