Take My Hip-Please! # 7

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, contemplated having hip replacement surgery and decided to go through with it. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. Here is Bill’s seventh post in the eight article series. In the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!

The decision on replacing the left side of my ass.

52CF048C-I no longer remember exactly what I thought would happen during the post surgery period, but there is a possibility I am the victim of inflated expectations.

“The major difference between the posterior (my surgery of 10 years ago) and anterior (what I just had completed) is the point of entry to the body and cutting of the buttock muscle of the former.

Anterior patients are told, “We get you up right after surgery; recovery is faster because we do not sever your buttock muscles, and the entire process is less intrusive and painful.” Now who the hell could turn that down? When asked which approach I prefer, I felt as if I was reliving that iconic scene in “When Harry Met Sally: “I’ll have what he’s having.”

These images were re-enforced by the early exposure I got to post-surgery patients dancing about in praise of the surgeon and each other for having completed the journey, if not together, at least in the same time frame. I now see that I have also been influenced by TV ads that promise “same-day” spinal surgery after which you are back to work. They all should stop it!

Here is what actually happened: They got me up right after surgery with visions of sugarplums dancing in my drug-induced head. I was fine and not feeling much pain. No one said anything about being stiff and sore, a condition that would remain with me for the next two weeks.

House 2During this time, our refrigerator broke; Claudia got some sort of stomach infection; and we both lost intestinal control during the same period. I will spare you the details.

A full week into the recovery-journey, things are better, and I have concluded that having the operation was definitely worth it – provided that I will return to a more active and less painful life-style. There is every reason to believe this will happen.

Meanwhile, is hip replacement surgery something you should consider, and, if so, when? We are back where we started. Whenever the pain in your hip becomes greater than the anxiety and inconvenience of surgery, you will get it done. Meanwhile, don’t rush it. It ain’t no fun!

I have a hunch that with a little more time, I will have more insights to share when I am a little farther along in the recovery process. So stay tuned for one final installment when I can sum up the range of emotions and thoughts about the whole hip replacement journey!

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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Take My Hip-Please! Day 6

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s sixth post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

Bill Holland 2 at 33 percentA decision on replacing the left side of my ass

#hipreplacement

Today is the day. It’s 4:30 AM, and my wife Claudia and I are waiting for the driver to show to give us a ride to the hospital for registration and then the operation. Okay, I admit to being a little nervous. But it is about more than the surgery.

 First, my wife has to be there for check-in and to make any decisions during and after surgery should the need arise. She also needs a ride home and back the next day for my discharge. She would like to handle this alone, but her MS prevents it. That’s why my anxiety is more than it might normally be. However, there is an upside to this because the need to focus on getting my wife to the hospital takes some of my attention away from “going under the knife.”

 Tick, tick, tick – it’s 4:45 AM, and the driver is no-where to be seen. Tick, tick, tick – 5:00 AM comes and goes and still no driver. I call the health care service and am told, “She is on her way.”

 The next two minutes were filled with a one-way confrontation during which I explained that “on her way” is well beyond the time she was supposed to have arrived as agreed. Now it is too late to get me registered at the hospital to be first in line, and just possibly I would lose my chance to have surgery that day. It quickly became clear that the person on the other end of the phone saw herself as the victim in the exchange. Here she is, up before the crack of dawn with no extra compensation for having to deal with clients who don’t appreciate that her efforts to coordinate transportation have been above and beyond the call of duty.

 Before the last grain of sanity passes from my head, I ask for the number of the driver.

 “Hello, is this Mary?”

 “Yes, this is Mary. You must be Mr. Holland. I’m glad you called. I have already talked with the office to let them know that I’m on my way. I should be there in about 20 minutes,” she said in a in a light-hearted voice that belied any awareness of actually being late.

 “Mary, can you get from where you are to the hospital? If you can, let’s meet there, rather than having you come to my house. It just might be that this whole thing can be salvaged.”

 Mary responded cheerfully, “It’s a plan!”

 I ended the call, rushed to get Claudia in the car and headed to the hospital. Just before entering he highway, Claudia said to me quietly, “You handled that well.”

 I only wish there had been nothing for me to handle. I already thought everything had been well planned so I could have the least amount of anxiety on the morning of my surgery.

 Oh, well!

 The rest of the morning was uneventful, save for actually having the left side of my ass removed.

 Day Seven would come soon enough!

That’s all for Day Six: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming Day Seven.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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Take My Hip-Please! Day 5

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s fifth post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY FIVE

 

IMG950085

Chief Hand-Holder, Susan

The truth is that Susan has the wrong title. Officially, she is known as a “Surgery Scheduler.” It sounds simple enough and self-explanatory. But, let’s examine that more closely. The next time you are provided service, ask how you felt as it was being delivered: worse, the same or better?

 

 Every time I spoke with Susan, I absolutely felt better. I noticed others in the hospital and doctor’s offices provided me with a similar level of experience. A few, however, left a distinctly negative impression. As a result, I left the interaction in a hostile mood thinking about how I might avoid this person or situation in the future. When the procedure to be performed itself produces anxiety, positive interactions ahead of it become very important.

 When I shared these observations with Susan, she understood that her job was more than that of a surgery scheduler. More than anything else, Susan is a “chief hand holder” – a title she takes just as seriously as her official one. Her personality, seriousness of purpose and understanding of human nature helped me gain a sense of comfort that I had chosen both the right hospital and doctor.

 “Lots of people are anxious about surgery,” she said. “My job is to help them deal with it.”

 The connection established with Susan gave me context for the experience I felt during my first visit with the surgeon. It was a day when many patients were meeting him for the first time, and other post-op patients were returning to be released from restrictions on driving and other normal daily activities. For the latter group, it was like a family reunion – people who had previously not known one another celebrating that the experience was over and had been as easy as everyone had promised, very much worth the inconvenience and anxiety.

 Those of us still facing surgery looked on this scene, wondering if our experience would duplicate what we were now watching. Would it? We shall see.

That’s all for Day Five: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming Day Six.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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New! El Despertar del Sueño Dorado

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“Awakening from the Golden Sleep” in Spanish!

Arriving July 6, 2017! My short story, “Awakening from the Golden Sleep,” was recently translated into Spanish by Emilio Bernal-Zubieta of Monterrey, Mexico. The story describes the childhood of Ana Valdez, who grew up in Mazatlán, Mexico in the 1980’s and who, as an adult, became the President of Mexico in my novel, The Z Redemption. Intelligent, beautiful and mischievous, Ana is a protagonist you will never forget!

 
Beautiful latin girlLLegando el 6 de julio, 2017! Mi historia corta, “El Despertar del Sueño Dorado,” fue traducida al español por Emilio Bernal-Zubieta de Monterrey, México. El cuento describe la niñez de Ana Valdez, quien creció en Mazatlán, México en los años 80s y que de adulta se convirtió en la presidenta de México en mi novela, The Z Redemption. Inteligente, hermosa y traviesa, Ana es una protagonista que nunca olvidarás.

Para más información, visita www.danielwetta.com por más detalles de este cuento y las historias de The Z Redemption.

For more information, visit www.danielwetta.com for additional details about this story and the stories of The Z Redemption.

Take My Hip-Please! Day 4

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. His series of 8 or so posts is excellent, and I will share them here. So, here is Bill’s fourth post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!

IMG950083A decision on replacing the left side of my ass! #hipreplacementsurgery

I found out today that my wish to be the first surgery of the day has been granted. No, it is not that they are doing me special favors. It’s that diabetics have more complications during surgery, and there are only two of the eight scheduled that day with the affliction. So, there was a 50/50 chance I would be scheduled first, anyway. My request simply pushed the odds in my direction.

But why first? I have heard, but have not confirmed, that my surgeon does at least eight in a single day. I want the guy to be fresh and ready to go. Who knows how tired he gets replacing joints?

The other unconfirmed rumor is that he alternates between hip and knee in successive operations. I haven’t asked and have no idea if these things are true. It is true, however, that my guy looks like a 35-year-old hippie-and-fitness freak. The women all think he is great. The men don’t care. They only care that he is respected all over as one of the best in the business and that he offers a relatively new implant called a “Jiffy Hip.” He’s my guy!

The procedure has a much smaller incision running front to the side, and the muscles are separated without being severed. That’s why you are up and walking the same day of surgery, and recovery time is reputedly shorter. Our friend Alissa just had her hip replaced, and she is already off to Europe on a cruise.

I have received a lot of reactions from friends. Those who have gone through the operation claim that it’s easy. But they are saying this after the fact. Those who have not needed a hip replacement offer prayers for me. Those who are still in the contemplation stage simply do not know. I think these are people who need to know about “Jiffy Hip.”

Maybe you could help me help those contemplating this surgery by posting this series of articles I am writing in your social media accounts. Together, we can inform and encourage confidence for people who undoubtedly would need it!

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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Take My Hip – Please! Day 3

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s third post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

 

 

 

Bill Holland 2 at 33 percentMore thoughts from the Colonial Capital, being helped by my friend Thomas Jefferson above: I have gone from feeling as if surgery is down the path a way to realizing that it is just around the corner. Am I nervous? Or have I calmed to the point of thinking this too shall pass and everything will be okay? Neither! To be honest, I’m a little scared. Not as scared as I am on a bumpy flight, but scared nonetheless.

 It’s to the point that I wished I had paid more attention to the instructions which the hospital gave me about exercising to get in better shape. They sell this approach on the promise that recovery will go much better if you follow their instructions.

 The truth is I have done what they told me. Kind of. It’s not my fault that those “daily” exercises I have faithfully completed are supposed to be done three times a day. Wow! I had better get going!

 Of course, both you and I know what’s wrong with this approach. It’s like the person who plays golf 3 or 4 times a year and really wants to play well at the company outing next week. The best she can do now is to get to the driving range an hour or so before tee time to get her swing down. It’s not going to work. I wonder if I am destined for a similar fate?

I have now made a firm commitment to doing those exercises at least three times a day and even more if my joints can take it.

 At this point, my instincts are to keep on writing about what’s on my mind. But to do so without focusing on the reader is a major violation of what is said about some of the best advice I have received about writing: “Always write with your audience in mind.”

 As such, I now share with you some of my upcoming topics. I am writing about these things from your viewpoint; i.e., that of the patient, which is what I am! Here is what I am thinking about:

 Why I want to be the first operation of the day.

Is it true that some on the surgeon’s team members have the wrong title?

My care-giver at home also needs care. (Are you in this position?)

Pain control!

How long do I have to stay?

Will my newly acquired mobility post-surgery be as successful as I hope?

How will my life change?

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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Take My Hip-Please! Day 2

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s second post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY TWO

 Surgical Attendant immediately before surgery: “Now Mr. Holland, which hip are you having replaced?”

Me: “The right one.”

That’s the way it was several years ago when I had my right hip replaced. But once the general public became aware of the almost daily incidences of operational errors ranging from amputating the wrong limb to performing double mastectomies on the wrong women (and worse), extra precautions have been added to make sure the correct operation is performed on the right person.

Today, the question about “which hip” is asked and recorded with nearly every pre-surgery encounter. It sticks out like a sore thumb whenever a wrong answer is recorded.

And more things have changed: The chances of surgically related infections have been greatly reduced by having the patient enter the hospital as clean as possible. That means special bathing each day for three days prior to procedure with a sterilizing cleanser and sponge; a change to clean sheets and pajamas each night; and instruction to make sure all hospital staff wear gloves when attending your incision.

If I had to guess, however, the worse patients are the ones who, like myself, have gone through this before. My arrogance started with the boastful admission that my last surgery was a breeze (That’s a lie – just not a big one.) So, I reasoned this time that there was no reason I couldn’t also carry forward with plans to sell our home and move to California!

House 1 at 33 percentThat’s right, a little more than a week before the hip is to be replaced, we are in the midst of showing our house and attending to the many details that putting a house on the market requires. “A stupid move,” you say? Now you tell me! Where were you when I needed advice?

It’s too late now. We will put things on hold for a few weeks while mending takes place.

I share this with you as the rationale for not attending to more immediate matters. For example, I got a call from the hospital today asking me to log into my “online patient program” and pay more attention to some important instructions they were sending. That’s right, each patient and their care-giver are given special, personalized instructions about daily activities associated with the upcoming surgery. The surgical planners know when you are not complying and are quick to follow up.

Though my house has been taken off the market, I wonder if I have waited too long to take this “hip procedure” as seriously as I should. I hope not.

From here on, I am out to redeem myself and have as good a recovery as possible.

I anticipate that my emotions will still race forward and I will continue to describe my fears as “mild anxiety.” But, having let you in on my little secret, you know better. I need to get busy!

That’s all for DAY TWO: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming DAY THREE.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

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