Huffington Post—October 22, 2012
by Arianna Huffington
I'm happy to announce that I've just returned home from the hospital with a new arrival. I'm not sure how much it weighs, but it seems to be healthy, and it's already walking -- albeit unsteadily and with a cane. And although I produced two children without an epidural, for this new addition I had no choice. I'm talking about my brand-new hip, which was swapped in last Tuesday. As a friend of mine said, there's a new joint in this joint -- and new joint and hobbling owner are slowly recovering. But the surgery has changed more than just my hip; it has also opened my eyes -- and my heart -- to the issue of blood donations, which I'll get to in a minute.
Now, a bad hip may not be life-threatening but, as I found out in the years leading up to my surgery, it can certainly be life-altering. It all started five years ago with a hiking accident. An MRI showed a labral tear. I was told surgery wasn't absolutely necessary, so I put it off. Then, a year later, I badly strained my ankle and needed crutches for several weeks, putting more pressure on the hip, which continued to worsen. I was given a year's reprieve when I met Anat Baniel, who practices a modified form of the Feldenkrais method of physical therapy.
But by this summer, the reprieve was over. My level of pain, buttressed by a new MRI, showed that the hip was now beyond repair.
I had already given up hiking and even taking long walks.
I was also blessed to have an amazing surgeon, Dr. Paul Pellicci, who was the youngest surgeon to become a member of the Hip Society about twenty years ago and a great team at a state-of-the-art hospital. And also the most fabulous Irish nurse, Anne Corrigan, who berated me in her distinctive accent when I forgot the post-surgery rules, but praised me -- "good woman!" -- when I did well. And now I'm learning to walk again on a new hip and leg that feels three inches longer than before (Dr. Pellicci assures me it isn't). After the surgery, he told me that he couldn't believe I was walking around on my old hip. It was like I'd been driving around in an old jalopy that I hadn't gotten serviced in years.
I'm also looking forward to some other things: Hiking, walking without a cane, sitting in the lotus position -- and not looking at every set of stairs like they're Mt. Everest.
Read the full story at huffingtonpost.com.