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Hip replacement not the fountain of youth, but close

January 12, 2018 11:33 am Updated: January 12, 2018 11:38 am

The idea of a second childhood is a good subject to ponder.

I came into this world round-bellied, bald, toothless, unable to walk and complaining at the top of my lungs. I slowly matured into a fine example of an adult human male: Big-muscled, magnificent mustache, I peaked physically when I was middle-aged.

It’s all downhill from any peak I’ve ever reached — slowly, I became round-bellied, my hair is vacationing somewhere south of the border, the Tooth Fairy returned and collected my teeth again, but forgot to leave any quarters or new baby teeth in their place.

I get grumpy more and more frequently and my walking regressed to using a cane and, finally, lately, a walker.

I am once again at the toddler stage. If I were a car, I’d be listed in the classified section of the paper as “restorable.”

Restorable is something I can live with, I’ve restored a lot of cars, some of which actually worked when I was done with them. I worked out a plan and implemented it a piece at a time. Round-bellied was solved by losing 20 pounds. I look good — even if svelte is harder to spell than fat.

Bald, fortunately, is in style so the only thing I did was buy a “Bald is Beautiful” T-shirt. My local dentist made me a new set of choppers that work as good as the old ones, and even look better.

I decided to keep the complaining since the older I get, the more I enjoy it. I diagnosed the walking problem as worn out ball joints. My doctor confirmed my diagnosis, which pleased me, and she sent me to Albany Bone and Joint where X-rays confirmed that after 70 years of running, jumping, football and soccer, my left hip joint was worn out.

I was introduced to Dr. Harbin, who, although not as old as my sneakers, had a very pleasant competent air about him. He explained the whole procedure. It was pretty much like replacing the ball joints on my mustang.

Up on the lift, pull out the old one and install the new. The Queen drove us in Friday morning. By noon, a brand new shiny replacement part was installed, and I was back in my room. After a foggy, groggy afternoon and a bountiful hospital meal that I think was chicken on a whole wheat bun and a tiny container of some kind of squashed fruit, I spent an interesting night where I tried hard to get to sleep.

When I was able to, I was awakened by a smiley nurse to be poked, prodded or hooked up to a computer on a cart to see if I was still breathing and my heart still continued to beat.

The night finally ended and after another bountiful meal — French toast, I think — I was rousted out of bed by a cheerful young thing that paraded me up and down the hallway and up and down some practice stairs to see if anything fell off.

It didn’t, I was packed up and the Queen took me home. It’s been almost a week, I’m getting around well with just a cane, the walker is parked in a corner. My gait is smoothing out, I can walk farther and better each day. The sharp, grinding pain of walking before the operation is gone. I may have to give up my toddler status thanks to Dr. Harbin and his flock of nurse angels.

Ballet lessons, here I come!

Thought for the week: You know you’re growing old when almost everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work. — Hy Gardner.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at