Cookin', Critters and Chillun

A hip spring vacation

While many of you are off at the beach, visiting relatives, even taking a cruise this week, I’m having the hippest spring vacation.

By the time you read this, I should have a brand-new right hip. It’s not exactly the spring vacation people lust after, but I’m ready.

I’m not surprised that my hip joint has worn out. My mother had three hip replacements over her lifetime, the last when she was 89. I figured I might have a few more years before I needed one, though.

The hip had other ideas.

The good news is today’s anterior surgery is supposed to be so much easier on the patient because the surgeon separates the muscles in the front of the upper leg instead of having to cut through the side or rear. Recovery time is a lot shorter, too, and there’s not supposed to be as many limitations on what you can do.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

John Hall, the recently retired principal of Salem High School, and John Givens are my hip heroes, along with Bonnie Pollock, guidance counselor at Glenvar Elementary School. John Hall was driving a car in a week – shhh. Don’t tell his surgeon.

After years of pain, former athlete John Givens walks without a limp, and it’s been only two months. He admits it takes him a few moments after he gets out of a chair to get going, though. It takes me that now.

And Bonnie was walking with only a cane after two weeks.

All of them have given me advice, as have bunches of other people. Bless you all.

My plan – if all goes as expected and physical therapists at the hospital agree – is to go from LewisGale to check into Richfield’s new Rehab Center to get physical therapy twice a day for as long as it takes me to be able to get home. My goal is to be back at work at the Salem Times-Register about May 19.

Meanwhile, I’m telling you all this because I want you to know you’re in good hands. Longtime newspaper guy Mike Stater is filling in for me while I’m gone, and will answer your emails, take care of your news, photographs and ideas.

Three nights in a hospital is longer than I’ve ever been in one since I was born. And 10 or more nights sleeping in a bed without my Bill is far longer than we’ve been apart except when he was in graduate school, right after we were first married.

I’ll see you in a few weeks. Thanks for all your encouragement, and your prayers.

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