Home.

A steady diet of painkillers, better-than-hospital food, rest and various spots to sit that are jacked-up with throw pillows so that my hiney and hips are hoisted out of harms way.

I receive visitors: my Nurse at Home and my Physical Therapist at Home.

The Nurse comes to take my temperature, blood pressure, pulse and get a blood sample. She is not great with getting blood work. She draws blood with little confidence. She ties-me-off clumsily and searches intently for a tapping spot, finally pricking me and filling the small sample tube… leaving a drop of blood on the carpet for good measure.

No, this isn't one of the exercises...

No, this isn't one of the exercises...

My Physical Therapist– Bonnie, however, is the best.

She has an exercise regimen that is challenging but not impossible. She takes my hip to the brink of pain with simple exercises that would make you giggle for their lack of physical challenge. But they are strenuous work for me, my new hip and its 33-surgically-stapled 12″ scar. I do the exercises and Bonnie brings me back from the brink o’ pain. I do exactly as she says and slowly my hip is getting stronger.

Then Bonnie does a dirty trick. She adds more exercises to my regimen. Curses! She is a physical therapist/dominatrix!

But this is the drill. The ONLY way to get back to normal is to do the physical therapy. And Bonnie is great at designing a program that builds the muscles.

I'm wearing hose, no garter belt required.

I'm wearing hose, no garter belt required.

My poor surgery leg is very swollen and bruised beyond belief. Bonnie suggests I get something called JOBST Compression Stockings. They are super-elastic hose that run to the top of the thigh and help improve overall circulation. They’re $60 a pair and I only need to wear one on my surgical leg. I take the suggestion and start wearing hosiery– but I will not succumb to stylish pumps. A man must know his limits.

Bonnie is right. After a couple days, the swelling in my leg goes down. My blood is now circulating well and reducing the bruising. I am healing.

My challenge at this point is simple: I must survive the nurse taking my blood work so that I have some circulation.