I don't know if I've ever stated it in my journal itself, but I've long had the tradition of getting a "treat" after any medical thing I have to put up with. When I was growing up and had to take a deep shot to alternate thighs once a month from 7 to 12, I used to get little things like pencils or any fun toys I wanted. When I had to take the biannual trips to the Children's Hospital for IVs, blood-work, bone-scans and the like, I would get something bigger (especially since those frightened me more). At this point my most "famous" post-medical treat is the Minerva McGonagall hat, which was delivered to me at Rowe a month after my hip replacement, came with me to England and DiaCon, got me a camp job at Rowe, came to Orlando, and has decorated every place I have lived.
I know I haven't spoken much here about my hip's behaviour lately: it's wobbling. It's really a most disconcerting and discomforting feeling, when one is standing on one's hip and it begins to wobble. It'll happen when I'm balancing on the one leg to put on trousers, or when I'm taking off shoes, or when I'm brushing my teeth. It isn't the whole leg that wobbles--not a balance thing--but very much feels like the hardware of my hip wobbling.
It was particularly bad last night when I was walking up the stairs. I finally looked it up and found all sorts of talk about osteolysis, aseptic loosening, loosening in general of full hip replacements...and how it can lead to hip revision, which can be just another hip replacement, and which never seem to go as well or last as long as the initial replacement (and mine's only 5). I also read that 10-15% of cementless full hip replacements (as I believe mine was) experience loosening by the 5-year mark; mine was in June of 2012. (I only have so much femur to lose to a spike being jammed in it, too, being a height-challenged person, and I'd really love to live and walk for another six-ish decades if I can!)
As you might imagine, it spooked me. The above is, of course, all worst-case. I'm not sure what I hope it is--maybe something that can be fixed in revision surgery that isn't a full replacement, like replacing a little part or something. I hope it isn't "oh that's nothing don't worry about it", honestly, because it's difficult to not worry about one's hip wobbling as one stands!
Anyway, I don't have more than the regular pain (which doesn't necessarily say much), and no stabbing femur pain, so that leaves me with the hope that it's not something extreme. I mentioned my wobbling to the secretary (who is also the Doc's daughter) and asked whether that should make me push for an appointment sooner rather than later even though that wouldn't work well with my insurance; she put me on hold, asked the doctor, and came back telling me he thought it would be fine to wait until May.
I suppose I'll just try to be a bit careful, then. It did make quite the bad night last night; I looked it up, wasn't in a great mental place, and fell asleep crying. I don't always admit to myself how positively petrifying it can be to have a hip replacement at 23, to have had it for five years, and to think about the future--knowing there will be at least one revision replacement, likely two, and not knowing how any of it will go down. And wondering if one will occur too soon, or not go well, since that's not exactly rare. And if the technology won't catch up as quickly as I'd like. And if my femur will get too weak and I'll end up with osteolysis and an even worse hip than I started out with and two canes or a wheelchair, and whether that will happen at 70 or 60 or 50 or 40 or 30 or even, fuck, 20-something...
I know everyone has health concerns. Goodness knows I have enough of the regular ones (can we say "breast cancer", like my mother and other women of the family before me? Or early stroke, like my grandmother? Or even Alzheimer's?). Having something so specific to worry about, and knowing that while it isn't as likely as my fears but is still definitely quite possible, certainly can keep me up at night sometimes and give me bad mental health days come the morning.
Today I'm trying to distract myself from everything. It's almost working.
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]