I have always had problems with my left hip – it’s something I was born with. Medical treatment of 1958 had me in a brace for nine months while a hip socket formed. My Dad remembers the doctors saying at the time that I’d have problems with it later in life, but what they were able to do then gave me a much better quality of physical life than was available just a generation earlier!
Now it’s the 21st Century, and children with the issues I was born with have corrective surgery in utero.
But I live with the advances of the mid-20th Century, and here in Norway those birth issues and a half-century of living brought me to compassionate doctors who were able to offer a chance for relief from pain that was getting worse.
In February 2010 I had hip surgery that, hopefully, would give me relief from the pain and postpone – or eliminate – the need for hip replacement when I was older and not able to recover from surgery as easily.
There are no guarantees with surgeries, of course, and unfortunately that choice wasn’t the best decision for me. I wish the crystal ball had been working when we decided on that first surgery!
And so, in February 2012 I had a second surgery to take out the titanium bolt, and in August 2012 I had full left hip replacement.
For all my surgeries I was fortunate to be a patient at Kysthospitalet Hagavik, the premier Norwegian Orthopedic hospital that is part of the Helse Bergen health system. I met patients who traveled five hours by car – or who lived up near the northern part of Norway and flew down – because they wanted their surgeries at this hospital. I lived just thirty minutes away.
There is no ER or ambulances, no panic or hurry, no disruptions or loud noises in the corridors … just peace, quiet, beauty, relaxation (not just from pain killers!), and caring, compassionate nurses and doctors.
If it wasn’t a hospital, it is a place where I would want to vacation! And I was fortunate to have those surroundings for my post-surgery recoveries. Here are a couple photos taken during a recovery walk after my first surgery in February 2010 … and a funny cartoon that I shared as a joke with my surgeon during a recent follow-up visit!