If you look at my calendar, you'll see October 20th circled and surrounded by stars, hearts, butterflies and happy faces. No, it's not my birthday (though International Arley Appreciation day comes up on November 15th, so you might want to stock up on some more candles and incense to spruce up your Arley shrine). October 20th is the day that my hip restrictions will finally be over.
Yes, my life is about to get marginally less awkward! No more will I have to explain to passersby on the street that my ass cushion is not a very large, squishy briefcase. No more will I have to say the phrases, "No, I did not sprain my ankle. I had a hip replacement. Yes, I'm very young to have a hip replacement. I'm glad to hear your grandma's doing well after her knee replacement in 2005." No more will I trip random waiters because I have to stick my incredibly long leg out into the aisle when I'm sitting down (although my chances of getting attractive men to land in my lap is now significantly reduced).No more will I forgo dates because visions of cartoon old people in the post-hip-replacement sex manual getting it on are dancing (and by 'dancing' I mean 'f*cking to the point of hip dislocation') in my head.
Yes, there's light at the end of the Tunnel of Hip Replacement Ridiculousness. For the past few years, my diva hip has been the star of the Arley show. First, my hip was subluxing/dislocating/migrating south for the winter and I spent a good year traumatizing my family and friends by having them tug on my leg to put it back in the socket. Then, there was the first hip replacement and the ensuing melodrama and the second hip replacement and the ensuing hours spent in physio getting dating advice from old people. I am now equipped with a full-time post at the Ministry of Silly Walks and a lifetime of jokes about being half-assed.
But while the hip crisis is beginning to go from "Life-Consuming" to "Generally Annoying," other body parts are stepping in for their moment in the sun. For the past two weeks, one of my ribs has been out of alignment, which is causing breathing to be very difficult and is generally making me crankier than a cat at a water park. (How did you pop your rib out of alignment, Arley? Oh...you know...just living the dream).
This means that not only does my poor physio have to teach me how to not walk like a crack zombie, she also has to stand on a stool so she can get enough leverage to push my rib into its home while trying not to push my spinal facets or SI joints out of alignment. Sometimes it feels like my bones were designed by Picasso. Having a Skeleton: You're Doing it Wrong.
Granted, I didn't do myself any favours when I fell down the stairs last Friday, which is the exact thing that the 85-year-olds at physio are always warning me not to do (along with not dating tall men to avoid having daughters with big feet, but that's another story). I got a little cocky and thought, "Since I am the Queen of Recovery, for my next trick I will go downstairs backwards on slippery stairs in equally slippery shoes and that should work out well for me." As I felt myself falling, I panicked, grabbed my crutches, and twisted my hip hard, which caused my semi-detached gluteus medius to swell up to a gluteus maximus.
To calm the swelling and force my body parts to play nice, my physiotherapist pulled out the big guns: lasers. At first, I was worried, since my familiarity with lasers comes from the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and I am already part evil robot. I was assured, however, that the lasers would calm the swelling and reduce the pain. Bring on the happy lasers! Cut to me, a few minutes later, laying on my side with my pants down as my physio (wearing large eye-shielding goggles reminiscent of the ones old ladies who have had cataract surgery wear to drive) presses the laser into the side of my hip and my ass. Ass lasers to the rescue! Dignity not required! I'm pretty sure this is not the way most people spend their Friday afternoon, but I have to admit that that the lasers did the job. The swelling in my ass had gone down enough by Friday evening to cram myself into skinny jeans. And if skinny jeans aren't a benchmark to recovery, I don't know what is.