I now know what it feels like to be old. I’m walking with a cane, it hurts when I move, I’m eating mushy food. Yuk.
But at least for me and for now, the condition is temporary. It doesn’t hide the fact that I’m heading to that very eventuality of limited and diminishing abilities that comes as sure as death and taxes.
So I had a hip surgery the other day. In my estimation it was not serious. The procedure was to graft a piece of my hip bone onto my jaw bone so I could have some teeth bone and chew my food again. Teeth are really important. More so, if you are a fresh and raw foods enthusiast like myself.
For some reason it never dawned on me that they were actually going to cut into my hip muscle and have to go through several layers of soft tissue to get at the bone. I just tossed it off like “oh well, they’re gonna make a little incision and just siphon off a bit of hip bone and transplant to my mandible. No problem. Hooray, for the magic and wonders of modern medicine.”
I woke up from the general anaesthesia that had me knocked out cold for the three hours operation. Groggy and foggy, ⥀ dazed and confused when I did come to I realized I’d been cut open in three different locations on my body and I felt like the victim of a stabbing. How could anything be this painful? Give me some morphine quick.
I was well cared for at the hospital no doubt. But I hadn’t adequately prepared myself for this procedure and it really took me by my short and curlies. What can I say? So now only four days later I am still sorely bruised and swollen, I somehow acquired these swollen jowls that look like someone punched me in the face. And it feels like that too.
Now, after surgery, follow up is to be strictly observed: first two to three days clear fluids only. No chewing, no spitting, no brushing or excessive mouth activity (what does that mean?) for the next week at least. I have to baby that mouth. But the upshot is that I’ll probably lose some weight on this liquid diet so I’ll suffer gladly.
So here I sit eating mushy jello which I made with strained fresh raspberries and natural gelatin because it is easy to swallow and easy to digest and has a little nourishment. I am also drinking fresh vegetable juice which I make here at home with my own juicer: Carrot, Beet, Parsley, Apple, Lemon and Ginger-- so again pretty nourishing. I’m not starving I just feel ‘deprived’, I mean what I wouldn’t give for a grilled cheese sandwich right now; or a gorgeous fresh salad with feta and olives?
Food aside: I couldn’t go to my neighbour’s 96 birthday party with all my dear friends at a lovely Ethiopian restaurant last night because I couldn’t get out of bed. Yeah. It sucks. Never mind trying to carry something when you are walking on crutches. Or trying to bathe when you can’t get half your body wet?
Okay I get it. One’s ability to look after oneself is indeed diminished by a procedure like this and the brutal result is that it resembles old age. The good thing is: this is only temporary. My hip will heal, my mouth will heal; I will eventually get my long-awaited teeth. I’ll run again, and swim and eat and be in control and whole again.
Thank god for modern medicine.