Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Here's the news. On 12/11/2018, last Tuesday, of my own free will, I drove to the hospital, got totally undressed, signed some papers, and let them pump me full of a cocktail of muscle relaxants, pain killers, and sedatives.

Then, with a sharp knife they sliced open my thigh.

With a reciprocating saw, they cut thru my thigh bone.

With a hammer, chisel, and plyers, they broke out the ball from the hip ball and socket and pulled it out.

They then took a powerful power sander and polished up the inside of the socket slicing off the bone spurs and cleaning up the narley part that wrecks the spherical shape.

Then they jammed  into the sock the strangest looking device made of titanium, plastic, and ceramic.

 Basically, they jammed (hammered) a cup my  hip socket and then jammed a ceramic ball with an attached metal rod into the thigh bone at one end, the newly placed cup in the other.

Once in place, they cleaned up the mess that they'd made being sure not to leave any bone chips or other evidence around, pushed all the muscles and stuff back into position, and glued the incision back together.

Then they high fived each other, stopped for a coffee break and a chat, and moved onto the fourth hip replacement of the day.


Later that day, they watched me take ten steps in one direction with a walker. Turn around. Walk back.

The next day, they took me to a little room to see if I could climb and descend a few stairs, sit down and get up from a fake car, and otherwise move about. They also checked that I could pee. Then they send me home.

So far so good....This is what being healthy but needing a new hip at age 60 looks like.

Want to know more?

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Of Gis, Equipment, and Retiring from the Martial Arts

I loved going to the dojo and went for nearly a decade 3- 5 times a week.  I stayed in shape, developed flexibility and strength, learned all sorts of new skills, got some nice belts, and made lots of friends.  All three of the kids participated to a greater or lesser degree. Two of them got black belts. Kate  then moved onto jitsui which she has trained for half a decade in: David got interested in boxing and trained for a year.

But about 5 years ago (around age 55), my combined hip and back problems took the fun out of it. After a few years of multiple back spasms and a very rapid decline in my ability to kick, I made a sad decision.  The straw that moved me was when  the doctors convinced me that I was going irreparable damage to my back (since I had one fused-up hip).

This week, the decision got revisited and punctuated.  My wife decided to redo parts of the house and we had to do some cleanup.  Sadly, so sadly, I was confronted with a few piles of old gis and equipment.  I stared at it in dismay. I sulked. I put on my gi for one last time and did a little shadow boxing with front kicks (I can’t do round houses or side kicks at all anymore).

Then I packed it all up and gave it away. Sad.  It was a really fun era for me.  I was lucky to have it.

So now it’s just swimming and biking. Ok, swimming and biking it iS!