I was sitting having a coffee in a small café in the town near us. I looked over to their poster board filled with numerous cards and advertisements and my eye was caught by a photo of Terry Fox. He was a young Canadian who lost a leg to cancer and set the goal of crossing Canada, on his one leg, to raise cancer awareness and raise funds for research. He did not make it the whole way as the cancer spread and he died on June 28th 1981. He was 22 years old. Now every year people take part in the Terry Fox Run which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Cancer Research.
The photo in the café was to advertise this year’s Terry Fox run. There was a picture of this extraordinary young man in the center and above the words: “I’m not a Quitter”. Those words struck a chord with me. I am not a quitter either. But the day before I had received some tough news.
I had gone to see the orthopedic surgeon who had replaced both my hips years ago. I have great respect for this doctor and he knows me and understands how important horses and riding are to me. Twenty years ago he replaced my right hip. I had asked him if I would be able to ride after the hip was replaced. “Of course” he replied. “But it is forbidden to fall off. ” Ten years ago he replaced my left hip. So we have known each other for many years.
He looked at the x-ray of my hips and told me that the small fracture I had was still healing and that was not a problem. But what was a worry was the right hip socket. It was showing serious wear and tear and looked unstable. He asked how it felt and I told him it had been giving me problems for months. Last winter it had affected my ability to ride. He told me it would need surgery to replace the socket liner and the ball. He said he could see that the grains of plastic that were coming off the old socket liner were causing inflammation and what they call pseudo tumors which are like little cysts. He said he thought the hip was “unstable” and surgery was “urgently” needed. The problem is he is now in his 70s and no longer does surgery. So he told me he would write an email to another surgeon in the same hospital and refer me to him for the surgery. He wrote the email on his phone and sent it and then filled in the official paper work for the referral. He also told me that with the Covid backlog and a lack of staff wait times for surgeries were long . He had told the other surgeon that he felt my situation was urgent but he could not say when I would get to see this surgeon or get the surgery.
Not being able to plan my life is a tough one for me. But at least I now had an answer to why my hip had been bothering me for months and had affected my riding as well. I will get the surgery at some point . My hip will feel better and it will mean I can ride without pain or discomfort. And…I’m not a quitter so I will get through this. The plus is that the hip fracture has led to the xrays and now I know why the hip has been giving me problems.
For the time being I am not doing any serious riding work and no lessons. I do not want the hip to get worse and I don’t know how long the wait will be for surgery. But I can still take Biasini out to the forest trails. My husband and our little dog came with us this past week and here is a video. It was a cold morning so I have a blue quarter sheet on Biasini’s rump.
I’d love to hear from you!