Medical Status Report
This past week, I made my way to an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon in follow-up to my July 27th hip-pinning,1 all the while nurturing hopes that I would forthwith be exchanging my walker for a cane – a switch which would signal a quantum leap2 along the path to full ambulation and, more to the point, represent a dramatic improvement for DrHGuy in the area of fashion accessories.
Well, it turns out that forthwith falls especially late this year. One can imagine my disappointment when the surgeon opted for conservative management, decreeing that the much desired transition from walker to cane would not take place for at least another month.
In hopes of accelerating my progress, I will begin Physical Therapy next week with the attenuated incentive that, should all go well, my right leg will be able to handle “touchdown weight”3 shortly thereafter. Regrettably, anticipation of that milestone does not set my heart aflutter.
For now, however, I have been – emphatically and repeatedly – instructed to continue to avoid using my right hip to bear any weight. While I am a tad dejected by the medical mandate, this turn of events has at least led me to extend my repertoire of walker-assisted activities beyond Walkernastics .
Because dance has always held a certain appeal, I explored the possibilities in this discipline, but the obvious choices – the tango, clogging, and the polka – proved unworkable because of the restriction against weight-bearing on my right leg. And, while it is hardly surprising to learn that something called “The Two-Step” includes movements beyond the capacity of the walking (on one leg) wounded, even the Bunny Hop, one finds, requires a different sort of hopping than the type I’ve been executing behind my walker for the past few weeks.
Happily, I discovered that many passages in the Alvin Ailey style are walker-friendly, and intricate routines in this genre can be choreographed that do not demand weight-bearing by the right leg. An example from a quotidian daily workout is pictured below:
- My hip fracture, the gory details of the hip repair, and the aftermath are reported in Sick Call II, Sick Call III, Pimp My Assistive Device, and walkernastics [↩]
- Ah, I recall with great fondness, a time when I could actually consummate leaps, even sometimes pairing them with bounds [↩]
- “Touchdown weight” is approximately 10% of ones body weight. “Touchdown weight” should not be confused with “Touchdown wait,” which was the three and one-half quarters we typically had to wait for the University of Missouri football team to score their first touchdown. [↩]