Even when I'm not dealing with a hip re-replacement, I am still the Commander-In-Chief of AwkwardLand. I mean, if someone's going to accidentally light their hair on fire or fall and headbutt someone while trying to give them a hug, it's going to be me. When you add crutches, 16-hour work days, sleep deprivation, alcohol, a diet composed nearly entirely of coffee and the world's largest ass cushion into the equation, I basically become the Ultimate Grand Supreme Champion of Awkwardness and General Ridiculousity.
That was me at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, where I've been for the past few weeks working on the communications team. I've extolled the virtues of wheelchair rugby on this blog before and it's hard to describe the 2010WWRC with any other word but "awesome." Awesome rugby. Awesome people. Awesome event. Oh, and free Starbucks. Sweet, sweet Starbucks.
But while I'm a huge fan of wheelchair rugby, I can't say that my Freaky Cyborg Hip was too terribly impressed. The most painful part of recovery is clearly over, but the hip replacement provided endless opportunities for annoyance. It doesn't help that I have the patience of a sugar-high toddler or that I'd spent the past 6 weeks in bed eating frozen grapes and was not exactly used to being out and about.
The really strange part of having a hip replacement is that there are certain things that you physically could do (bending, twisting, crossing legs, etc), but you're not allowed to do them for fear of dislocation. After a few 16-hour work days and (let's be honest) a beer or two, the list of what you are and are not allowed to do becomes a little fuzzy around the edges and you can barely remember your name, let alone whether your air guitar rendition of "Living on a Prayer" is hip-replacement kosher or where you left your damn ass cushion.
Mostly, however, the problem was less pain and more annoyance. Annoyance at trying to balance crutches, an ass cushion and a tray full of Starbucks. Annoyance at having to call my friend C. to come pull my car out of the parking lot after some douche-kabob in an SUV parked so close to me that I couldn't open my door enough to get my left leg in. Annoyance at having to cruise the parking lot for a corner spot to prevent people from parking too close, being unable to find one, and having to park in the wheelchair parking and endure major side-eye from quadriplegics (and rightfully so). Annoyance at every well-intentioned volunteer or passerby or hotel staff who used the phrase "Gosh, you're really good on those there crutches! Bet you could beat me in a race!" or "What did you do to yourself? Sprain your ankle?" Annoyance at having to install a raised toilet seat in our hotel room, thereby turning the bathroom into a death trap for my poor roommate Shelley. Annoyance at trying to "dance" (translation: "moving my knee roughly in time to the music while waving my hands as if trying to put out a fire") on crutches.
That said, I think the trial-by-fire of the 2010WWRC ended up being good for the hip. Every day, the swelling actually reduced and the pain got less. It's also hard to remember you're in pain when you're having such a good time and when you have awesome friends who fly all the way from Illinois to party at the 2010WWRC and who generally rock your world. Besides, am I really going to complain about a semi-detached ass in a room full of quadriplegics?