Thursday, 3 June 2010


Zed's dead, Baby. We gotta get out of town.

Otherwise put , change of plans. Whatever you thought you were going to do, forget it. Bruce Willis put it pretty succinctly in Pulp Fiction.  The original script immediately followed this with a quick Fade To Black. Game over.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture you can't interpret ain't worth squat. If you don't know what looks right, how are you supposed to know what looks wrong? Take this X-ray. Of my own hip.

A doctor can see clearly however. The first guy (an anonymous radiologist I never actually met) who had a look at this said and I quote: " a moderately severe osteoarthritis involving the left hip joint with joint space loss, particularly superiorly and osteophyte formation." He wrote it down. Black and white.

This did not inspire confidence, but I went to a consultant. He basically shook his head and said quite a lot: "bio-mechanically unsound," "not remediable without a replacement," "no range of motion" blah blah blah. What I heard was: Zed's dead.

Forget tennis and golf. This for me is like someone coming up to the stool where I am perched and kicking away two of the legs.

When? "When the pain is too great. They don't last forever, probably 10-15 years max, so put it off as long as possible."

I am thinking. Zed's dead, baby, we gotta get out of town. 

The news that truly shocks, said Peter Gabriel, is the empty empty page. 

It is what happens when someone tells you something that you thought only happened to someone else. Things which have happened to me at one point or another in my life.  You are at risk of redundancy. Check. You have cancer. Check. Malignant. Check. You have to fire everybody. Check. 

Equally hard to take, perhaps, is something along the lines that: Your normal life is going to be put on hold. Maybe only for a while. Maybe permanently, but in any case you are going to have to start with a blank piece of paper. Start over. If you work at it and are lucky, you may get a part of it back, but basically, the chapters you have already written are history. Interesting, perhaps, but history.

The empty page.

After a short while ( a good night's sleep, even), you can come to terms with that. OK, so the 18 year old living inside your 54 year old body was a pure figment of your imagination. 

Oh well. There will be some other new beginning. There will be a new challenge. Some other part of my body or mind will have to take up the slack. What about that guy I saw who was born without any limbs? The guy who made me cry just watching the sheer exuberance with which he attacked life? What about my son's friend, a champion tennis player, who has MS at 25? 

Moving parts wearing out? Ain't no thang. One door shuts and another opens.

Zed's dead, baby. 

If you can force your heart, and nerve, and sinew, to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on, when there is nothing left within you, except the Will which says to them: Hold on.

Gripping words, Mr. Kipling,  but not the modern way. Not with titanium and ceramic.

It hurts when the cartilage goes, pretty much all the time, so I am going to get a second opinion, and when I find the correct simpatico surgeon, start writing afresh.

1 comment:

  1. Zed's dead, perhaps, temporarily. I live in a town which is prove that hip replacement does not have to deprive you of activities you have enjoyed. Perhaps not the tearing-around-the-court tennis game. But how often have you played like that in the past ten years? Perhaps a long, arduous and sometimes painful recovery...That,too, is o.k. Not fun, but o.k.
    My recovery from rotator cuff surgery was arduous, often painful, and sometimes depressing. But my spirit, like yours, is a positive one. You will do it.
    The measure of one's age rests not in adding up the years you have lived, but adding to the brain's capacity to live as vigorously as one feels like living each day that goes by . Your choice. As far as I can see, your choices usually are right on!
    Love you lots --always. Mom