Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One year of recovery fun

May 13, 2008 I was riding my Easy Racer Folding Gold Rush home from work. It was rainy; I was descending a steep hill just east of Microsoft's headquarters when i slipped, fell and broke the left hip socket of my pelvis. See Broken pelvis about the original injury, surgery and recovery and Thanks. I never got my energy back and continued to require a cane to walk. Then I was putting more weight on the cane when I should be progressing to less. The surgery at Harborview Hospital successfully helped my pelvis to heal, but despite three stainless-steel plates, the hip socket didn't form round like it needs to be. So it tore up the ball at the end of my femur. So I had a second surgery March 16 to patch up an unhealed area and do a complete hip replacement at Valley Medical Center in Renton. I have a huge chunk of stainless steel in me now. The "patch" was a bone graft. Now don't wince because when they do a hip replacement there is lots of bone to spare; they don't have to cut into another area of your body. The additional repair put me on crutches at 50% weight bearing for - well, I am over - "4 to 6 weeks," now it will be 9 weeks. I missed over 4 months work and have days less than 5 months using crutches - plural. I also used one crutch for about a month. One crutch gives a little more weight bearing and a lot more stability compared to the cane. I have no big complaints. Well, one exception below. Life has not been bad. I have received support from friends and strangers all the time. At coffee shops their instinct is to carry the drink for a person on crutches. People always hold the door for me. And lots of people prayed for me and gave me support. Boeing's short-term leave covered the first three months last summer (not at full pay, but much more than half) and 5 weeks this spring. But when I wanted to return to work in late August I could work in the morning but had to sleep in the afternoon. But Aetna did not cover it. Their book said 8 to 12 weeks: "Mr. Hebron doesn't have to carry over 10 lbs. (but I do) and he can sit," so I didn't need any more according to the experts at saying "No." But my management doesn't pay me to take naps. So I used up what little sick leave and vacation I had and was out thousands of dollars. I expect to be off crutches next week and soon full weight bearing. I started physical therapy last week, so I can use more muscles now. Thank you for your prayers and support. - Ron Hebron

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