Hip Hop

My husband has just had his second hip replaced, ending his foray into surgery as he’s run out of available hips. Well, more accurately, limped out of available hips. After the operation, they said that if he could walk and do stairs on crutches he could leave hospital. They may as well have put the words red rag and bull in the same sentence.  Armed with a high pain threshold, an excellent surgeon, superb anaesthetist and a large dollop of sheer cussedness, he was out of hospital within 48 hours. Not so much in-patient as impatient.

Hip replacements come with all sorts of delightful extras, some which were left behind at the hospital, like the catheter, and others which followed us home, like the raised toilet seat, regular abdominal injections and crutches. The anti-clot stockings cannot be put on by the patient so you need a serf, slave or wife. Having a shot at putting on the support stockings requires the determination and strength of a shot-putter. So far I’ve discovered 16 different techniques with which to not put them on. By the time he doesn’t need them any more, I will be at Edisonian levels of repeated failure. I’ll be so frustrated by then, I might be driven to reinvent the light bulb. It would probably be easier.

Hopalong  is not allowed to drive for six weeks. It’s January. It’s England. The windy South coast. Apparently it’s OK for him to walk two miles in a freezing force nine gale, stumbling over bits of rough pavement, at risk from cyclists, cars, (although luckily, not ice cream vans), overtaken by little old ladies on zimmer frames, yet not fine for him to sit at the wheel of his cosy automatic, tootling around the district, whizzing past polar gear shops. Currently, I’m dropping him wherever he wants to go, so running a male delivery service. I expect that he believes it’s first-class male, whereas I think of it more as damaged goods. I guess either is fine as long as his hip wasn’t classed as ‘opened in error’.

Not being able to balance without crutches has a distinct downside, as he’s not able to open a wine bottle unless I lean him up against a counter and take his crutches away. Yet the cost is worth the gain for such situations.

The very big upside is that he’s had to take on quite a lot of tasks that normally plop into my ethereal in-tray. After several days of his tidying the study, I’ve discovered that the carpet is pale green and there’s a fireplace at the back of the room. The main concern is that he may switch into male non-filtration tidying, essentially taking the contents of the cupboards and dropping them directly into the bin. Efficient, although it might cause a few problems later.

‘Mobile charger?’






 I’m hoping he’ll continue to enjoy new and exciting experiences like yesterday’s virgin attempt at sewing on name tapes.

The other upside is that he’s now symmetrical, with the scar on each side. I now no longer have to worry about whether he gets run over by a bus because at least he’s neat.

Once he’s recovered, we’ll throw a fancy dress party to celebrate his new pain-free status. The theme? Hippy.

Peace and harmony, cool cats.






Alison Gardiner 2014


About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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