Some times I still look back at the negatives around having my hip replacement. Most notably the fact that I gave up my job (and home at the time). Four months on I feel like I have been rebuilding my life pretty well – here are 13 reasons (of varying levels of seriousness) why I am glad I had my hip replacement.
(1) Goodbye pain
The whole point of having my op was to reduce the crippling pain I was in.. TICK! I am still sore when riding and if anything jars my hip unnaturally I have sharp pain BUT it is nothing like that pain I had before.
(2) Hello 1.5cm
A bonus aim for my operation was to reduce the leg length discrepancy I had. I’m definitely taller and once my muscles get to where they need to be it looks like my legs will be even – who knows, I might even be able to have even stirrups! I’ve got as far as being only one hole shorter on my left side than my right.
(3) Valuing my health
I honestly believe you don’t realise what you’ve got until you experience something like this. Each day after my operation I got better, yes the pain, precautions and side effects were challenging but it had really made me appreciate the fact that I am generally very well. The drug induced zombie mode I was in at the beginning was horrible – now I’m tired because I’ve earnt my tiredness!
(4) New job experiences
One of the most gutting things about having to have my operation was that I had to leave my horsey school job – the silver lining was that working in the shop, the saddlery and as a private tutor has given me a new outlook on work and what is important in a job. I’ve now got a new job in a school which I start on Monday and will be continuing to tutor which I LOVE.
(5) The magic of self employment
Before my operation I had always been in stable, contracted jobs. Since my operation I’ve been very much in charge of my destiny when it comes to work. Like I said, LOVE working as a self employed tutor – I can really teach in the best way for the individual child which is what every teacher wants isn’t it?
(6) Tack and leatherwork
I’m not exactly ready to start making tack or anything but working in the saddlery has given me a much greater understanding of tack quality and how best to care for it – I’m sure Pea’s saddle and bridle will thank me for that. It does however mean that I am PETRIFIED that something will break while I’m riding – totally illogical.
(7) Quality time with special people
Six weeks with my parents after my operation could have been testing for our relationships but actually it was so nice to spend proper time with them and to share Pea with my mum who lives too far away normally but would love to be more involved with her. I also got to spend much more non riding time with Pea than I would normally. I’m now back at the busy life, time squish and riding comes over ‘playing’ with my pony but the months I had without riding meant I had proper chill time with her.
(8) Knowing my support network
When something like this happens you really get to know who cares – it is the people who bring you chocolate or send you flowers, the ones who send you supportive messages, the ones who push you (even when at the time it doesn’t feel so welcome) and the ones who don’t forget to be considerate of the situation even when time has passed by.
(9) Going places
I have actually been to more horsey events since my operation than I did before! The combination of a bit more time and the motivation to learn more to apply it in my own riding has taken me to Burghley Horse Trials, Blenheim Horse Trials, the British Dressage Championships and HOYS.
(10) Finding an outlet
Without my operation I doubt I would have ‘got round’ to starting my blog – which has given me a creative outlet and a bit of a focus for internet time! I’ve already gushed about the wonderfulness of bloggerdom in My Blogging Journey so I won’t bore you again!
(11) Seeing a future
Before I had my operation I was worried about what the future would hold. I was on crutches in the last few months and the idea of that continuing was scary. Yes I rode and walked but it was always getting worse. Now I can see a time when I can be as active as I want to be.. though today I’m very sore and stiff after overdoing it so I’m reminded that I’m not there yet!
(12) Starting a new chapter with Pea
It has been a slow start to the new chapter with Pea and I’m still playing catch up trying to get back to where we were before but I feel like now I’ve got the bones/ceramic I’m going to have for (hopefully) the next 30 years, we can keep moving forwards. Already I’ve managed to do an intro with Dressage Riders Online (which was a first) and I’m hoping to get out and have a go at an away competition before the new year! I cantered for the first time yesterday which just confirmed that I’ve got a long way to go.
(13) Super scar
I’ve been telling people for years my scar was a shark bite and now it actually curves round like one!