I had my first appointment with the orthopedic consultant today, and I have to say it was a troubling experience. I had always been aware that I am being referred for steroid injection followed by hip replacement, although with no indication of when replacement would be appropriate. So on the plus side, I'm now in the system for the steroid injection "within the next 12 weeks", and for periodic subsequent injections if this manages the pain.
But had not known better I would have thought he was determined to talk me out of a hip replacement, having nothing positive to say about it. This from a man who specialises in hip replacement. Perhaps he's fed up with patients who think they're all going to leap around like Andy Murray after hip surgery (who was frequently mentioned in disparaging terms). I couldn't leap around like that when I was 18, I certainly wouldn't expect it now. I just want to be able to walk properly again.
On the plus side I know a lot more about the inefficacy of flu injections, which he seemed much more interested about, to the point that I wasn't able to get a word in edgeways about how my ruined hip was affecting my life, and what I wanted to achieve out of the treatment. I did manage to quickly mention that I can't do anything at all right now, and I'd like to go fell walking again, but he just said, and I quote, "I can't give you your old life back, I can't do that" and listing the ways hip replacement can fail. I'm not so stupid as to think artificial joints can ever be as good as a real joint in good nick, and I know all doctors have to tell patients what the risks are, but to be honest I've come back from that consultation feeling as depressed as I ever have since diagnosis.
I do know of people who have had complications from hip or knee replacement, but I've heard far more good reports from others, including people of my age or younger, and including family members. He even managed to underestimate my age, knocking 10 years off twice, even after I corrected him. Maybe it was this that made him think I wouldn't be suitable for hip replacement for a long time yet, as I'm aware they can't keep replacing them indefinitely as you wear them out. But I'd like to be able to walk up a hill now, not when I'm 75 by which time it will be the rest of me holding me back, not the sparkly new hip they've finally let me have. I don't know, but I feel like getting under the quilt and not coming out. Sorry for the moan, but rather than feeling full of hope from the glimpse of treatment on the horizon, I'm feeling quite the opposite.