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Back in the hospital

Tuesday (July 7) I was back in Decatur Morgan Hospital to have a total hip replacement, to be followed by another extended healing and rehabilitation process.

This procedure was made an option on June 12 after ten weeks of physical therapy. The therapy’s success was limited to muscle and balance building as the repaired hip bone failed to heal. However, my therapy session on June 11 resulted in my being able to climb stairs and walk with the aid of a walking stick.

“The x-ray shows that the bone has not healed as we had anticipated,” said my surgeon. “We are scheduling you for hip replacement surgery. The therapist will have you up and walking immediately after surgery and you should be walking unassisted in four to six weeks.”

“This is not something that was your fault or my fault,” he pointed out. “Hip bone repairs like yours don’t heal about 20 percent of the time.”

The bad news caught me totally off guard. My wife Geanell was stunned, too.

My first thought was the question: How much longer am I going to have to work and wait until I can walk again? I then realized how selfish it was to put my own bump in the road ahead of the hundreds of wartime heroes who face life head on without arms and legs or a healthy mind.

“How soon can he have the surgery” asked Geanell? Turning to me, she added. “We have gotten through this for nearly three months. We can do whatever it takes to get you well.”

How to make productive use of my time when not doing therapy or sleeping has been a challenge. With my walker in tow, I’ve found that going to the mailbox and watering the plants on the patio is a lot of fun. Reading is my favorite pastime, and I also enjoy watching sports on television, especially the football game reruns featuring the Crimson Tide.

Clif Knight is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.