23 September 2011

How Long Does the Pain Last?

A good friend of mine had his right hip replaced about three weeks ago by the same surgeon I used. A week after the surgery, I went to see him at home, and he was moaning and groaning "how long is this going to last?" He was very discouraged, and seemed to be in pain. It was difficult for him to get up even to go the bathroom or take a shower, and he was disgruntled by his own helplessness.

I went back a week later, and he was up and walking around. But he was still housebound and depressed, and still on the pain pills.

After the third week, he told me he was having to be awakened in the night for the pain pills. I asked him if he had any common sense, and if so, why wasn't he using it? If, indeed, he was sleeping, how bad could the pain still be? He lengthened the time between doses of the pain pills.

At the end of the fourth week, he went back to his office.

He's 81. Ritz, tell your dad to have a little patience. I'm in no pain, doing everything, I could sleep in a tent if I wanted to (I don't, but I've been trekking through India), I practice yoga, and everyone's body heals at its own rate:-)

18 April 2011

Annual Update

I've been to the ortho who says that after five years, I'm doing really well.  I know that's true, because I do anything I want to do. I am still practicing yoga, walking 1-2 miles a day, lifting weights and doing Pilates when I can. I would still recommend this surgery to anyone in pain.

Does it solve other problems? No. I still have the same issues with my back. But because they are not complicated, they are something I can live with.

If you want to talk to me about hip replacements, just comment and I will answer to the best of my ability. It has been fun hearing from people all over the world.

07 May 2010


Someone commented on this blog that her mother was afraid to have a hip replacement because she has scoliosis. I made sure my surgeon knew in advance about the scoliosis and adjusted so I was a bit less unbalanced after than I was before.  It had absolutely no effect on my recovery, however, or on the severity of the operation.

I'm now 3.5 years out and I don't even remember I have it most of the time. Of course I still keep in shape assiduously, which was the way I was before.

24 November 2008

Now I'm a Health Maven:-)

I'm a patient, not a physician, but I have valuable advice to give because I have gone through something you are contemplating or have just experienced. Two years the other side of my hip replacement, my doctor told me my muscles were visible equal on both legs, which is a big deal, because then you don't limp and you can go back to athletics. I can do that. In gratitude, I've allowed Wellsphere to make me a Health Maven and agreed to continue to offer advice from the patient's perspective to you. Here's a pretty well-crafted press release about the program.

Recession Special: Free answers from doctors and expert patients who truly care

Wellsphere’s Health Mavens provide free answers to millions of health seekers

In these difficult economic times, it’s comforting to know there are medical and patient experts out there who care enough to answer health questions online for free. Dr. Geoff Rutledge, MD PhD, Wellsphere’s Chief Medical Information Officer, told reporters today about the new Health Maven Program, which connects volunteer doctors, psychologists, nurses, personal trainers, expert-patients and other experts with health seekers who are looking for answers. Anyone with access to the Internet can get their health questions and concerns answered quickly and at no cost at

Health mavens are carefully selected, knowledgeable, health experts who are committed to helping others live healthier, happier lives. Hundreds of Health Mavens have volunteered to join the program and answer questions, with new Mavens signing up every day. “We’re witnessing an incredible growth in the number of people using the Internet to find health information” said Wellsphere’s CEO Ron Gutman. According to an iCrossing research repot, for the first time in history people with health questions are more likely to turn to the Web for answers than to their doctor. “Recognizing this trend among our users, we assembled the world’s leading network of over 1,800 medical and patient experts to share their experiences and expertise with’s almost 3 million monthly visitors. We are humbled by the experience, expertise and genuine care these wonderful individuals share every day with people who come to Wellsphere looking for answers” said Gutman.

In addition to providing a wonderful service to people seeking answers to their health questions, the Health Maven program allows participating medical professionals and patient experts to broaden their impact by sharing their experiences and expertise with a much wider audience, and to get the recognition they deserve. Here are a few of their comments:

"Being a Health Maven gives me the opportunity to interact directly with the Wellsphere community. It's been a lot of fun and professionally it's incredibly rewarding." - Melissa McCreery, PhD

"Wellsphere has taken caring to a new level and I'm glad to be a part of it," - Kathleen Blanchard, RN

"I enjoy being a maven - it seems that doling out advice and answering questions seems to be my calling in life." - Lynn Dorman, PhD

To find out more about the Health Maven program, please visit

23 September 2008

If You are Thinking of Having a Hip Replacement...

I am here to help. There's not much for me to update on my own progress, as I have returned, through Pilates and yoga, to "normal." (I've never been normal.) But I am here to help everyone else who is having a hip replacement.

If you are thinking of having a replacement, read this blog all the way through. I've tried to be as truthful as I can about the experience, from the day before the operation to the present, nearly two years later. Only by going back to how I felt at the beginning of the process can I remember how much pain I was in when I tried to register myself into the hospital, and when I walked down the corridors for the pre-op tests. In retrospect, I waited too long.

I thought I could cure myself through diet and exercise. I couldn't. But now that I've had the surgery, I see there are some times when surgery is clearly the best choice.

30 July 2008

Summer Update

So you may notice that these posts are signed by "Buppy the Puppy." His blog gets much more traffic than this one does, and it's written from his point of view, so signing them Francine Hardaway didn't seem logical, and Blogger doesn't seem to let you change your signature from blog to blog. Or if it does, I haven't bothered to learn.

But this is the latest and greatest on the hip replacement, which will be two years old in November.

I can now balance on my left leg. This is a big deal. Couldn't do it before the replacement, and couldn't do it for a long time after, because I also have a scoliosis that tilts me to the left. In fact, that's what probably threw the hip out in the first place. And then I have no arch on my left foot -- also a problem.

So now I recommend Pilates as a complement to yoga. Pilates has given me an even greater and more subtle sense of alignment, and how small muscles in strange places help you stand and walk. But if you are going to take Pilates, don't go to the gym or take a mat class. To get anything out of it, you have to use the Reformer, a wierd piece of equipment with an even stranger name. But the Reformer gives you the feedback you need to truly strengthen the correct muscles.

I probably should have known all of this before I trashed my hip!

06 June 2008

Francine Left THA Meets Francine Left THA

Left THA means total hip replacement of the left hip. I had that in November 2006. Today, at my 50th high school reunion festivities, I ran into another woman from my high school class, also named Francine, who also had a left THA. We compared notes and both agreed that the surgery had been fabulous for us. Like me, she had been a yoga practitioner. Like me, she's back in yoga.

Her recovery was remarkable, she said. And she told me she had read my blog, but that it was no longer available. So it reminded me to update it so Google would take another look at it.

I went to the Bronx High School of Science, and this weekend I'm walking all over Manhattan with my customary sprightly gait. No problems.

10 March 2008

The Future

The future of this hip replacement is bright. I'm at South by Southwest (SXSW), which has been described as Spring Break for geeks. For the past three days, I've worn a pedometer as I walked around town and around the conference center, just so I can see how I am doing for exercise. Yesterday I walked 15,755 steps, all on concrete. That's the equivalent of 6-7 miles. Although my back is stiff (that's a whole other matter), my hip is fine. So exciting that I can do all this now.

18 February 2008

Four Miles

Originally uploaded by hardaway.
So here I am, walking four miles (this was the half-way mark) on the Sawyer Canyon Trail with my daughter. The day after, I'm fine, if a little sore because I usually don't walk more than 2 miles a day. Now I think I can train for a marathon.