I’m going to be a cyborg. Tomorrow, a surgeon is going to cut off the top of my femur, drill out a hole, put a metal rod in the hole, and attach some ceramic disks to the rod and to my pelvis so I can walk easily again.
I cried when I thought about losing a part of my body. But that part isn’t working well any more. I can’t walk without a cane and with one, I can’t walk very far. Pain and exhaustion force me to sit after a few blocks. And I can’t sit very long. That hurts, too. My grandson wanted me to make a hover car kit with him and I had to turn him down because I knew I couldn’t sit long enough.
I can’t get on my bike any more. There are no comfortable sex positions. There are no good answers. I’ve tried exercises, physical therapy, herbal creams and herbal concoctions. I’ve held this off for 19 months. I can’t do this any more. Even a wheel chair would not solve my problems: a combination of pain and weakness. That hip joint is not doing its job.
So why am I emotionally attached to the thing? I’m not emotionally attached to my bike’s parts. I buy new tires and inner tubes several times a year. I didn’t even mourn my bike when it was stolen. I bought a new one. Why is my body different?
Partly it’s my grandmother. She got a replacement hip in her 80's. She was not athletic. She did not get hit by a car while biking. Her hip broke when she fell. After she got her new hip joint. she was never the same again. She could sit. She couldn’t walk well. She sat around and played cards for the rest of her life. She moved into a senior assisted living community where she didn’t need to cook. Her greatest pride was that she didn’t need diapers. I do not want her life! I want mine - an athletic life with a comfortable strong body.
The surgeon says I can have that. I just have to become a cyborg. Not his word - mine. There will be rehab – the new joint won’t have the full range of motion of the old one before it quit working. The metal will make me vulnerable to infections, so I’ll have to take antibiotics before I get my teeth cleaned. I’ll have to carry a form to go through airline inspections. Yipes! – they already have me pegged as a terrorist (I always get the pat-downs, the extra questions, the unpack your backpack in front of witnesses several times, the take your cane apart, and more questions) – now I’ll be packing metal! But maybe I won’t be carrying a cane.
In general, I’ll have my life back. I’ll be able to climb stairs without holding the banister. Within in a month, I’ll be able to get on my bike and pedal all over town. I’ll be able to participate enthusiastically in sex instead of trying to protect my hip all the time, which distracts from the main event.
I should be happy. Instead I’m sad and frightened and hopeful all at the same time. I'm going to ask the surgeon to give me the top of my femur so I can see what's been hurting me all this time.