Sunday, February 22, 2015

DOLDRUMS

I was looking for a word to describe how I have been feeling about gardening, for at least 6 months. The word doldrums sprang to mind. Like those sailors in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner I was stuck waiting for a breath of wind to push my becalmed ship out to a place where I could catch the trade winds and send me on my way.


My lack of enthusiasm for the garden had slow beginnings, long before our 7,500 mile summer road trip to the Maritimes of Canada. I normally take gardening books and magazines to keep me busy during those days on the road, snipping out ideas from the magazines and dreaming about the garden back home. But strangely, I found myself barely thinking about the garden and I hadn't even packed the usual years gardening magazines.
 On our return I got busy cutting back the overgrowth of 6 weeks away. But as the weeks went by I found myself having increasing difficulty bending, lifting and carrying. All those things that I had done so easily for all my gardening years. Physical problems had been bugging me for nearly 2 years. I'd had physical therapy, thinking the problem was muscular, I'd researched, added all kinds of exercises thinking that this time I had the answer. I saw an orthopedic specialist who told be "hip surgery" I didn't want to believe him. So much so that we continued with our planned trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu in January. This is probably one of the most physically exacting trips we have ever taken and made me realize the time had come. Luckily I had made an appointment for a second opinion with an orthopedic surgeon for shortly after our return. X rays showed worn hip joints and huge bone spurs. Only one thing was going to put things to right and that was a total hip replacement. There and then I decided, and asked  'How quickly can you do this. I have two garden tours this April?' and so less than two weeks later he fitted me into his schedule and Friday I walked out of the hospital with a new right hip. And I really mean walked out.  I don't need a wheelchair.


On the return from the hospital, pulling into the driveway I was greeted by the rosemary bushes in full flower. I don't think we have had a year when they looked so magnificent. I sent David out with camera to take a photo and also one of the clump of narcissi blooming in the English garden. I can glimpse through the windows that spring is on the way.

Things will be running a little late this year as I have been told to stay away from all those nasty garden spores until my wounds have healed. I will have to send David out to buy tomato plants and he will have to pot them up into larger containers. Then there are the old broccoli plants to pull out before the harlequin bugs go to town, and check the alyssum for harlequins ( they love the brassicas and alyssum is one) There are the seedlings of brachyscome I started and now require potting up. Pretty soon I will be able to do all the things I always did out there, bending, lifting, raking. I feel a breath of wind blowing in my sails. I am starting to think about all the things I want to do out there.

When I think I could have had this surgery done over a year ago and saved myself a lot of pain. I am now like all the other people who say, "I wish I had done it sooner"

23 comments:

  1. I am glad you are doing better, both physically and mentally. Though not nearly as invasive as hip replacement, I am putting off getting a knee fixed. Ain't growin' old grand?

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  2. Sorry to hear about that Les. Is it a replacement or arthroscopic surgery? I think knee replacement is a little more difficult than hip but having said that we visited friends this summer and she was only 2 weeks from replacement surgery and was getting around fine. Like my Dr told me when it affects your quality of life then you get it done. I could have sat down all day with my old hip but that is not something I am either good at or want to do. Good luck.

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    1. First I am going to try Synvisc injections and if that doesn't work, then the arthroscopic surgery. I really do not want a complete replacement unless I have to, but that is the last step. The Synvisc is made from rooster comb, so I will have to put my veganism aside.

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    2. Unfortunately there are no options like that for the hip. I was looking at the source of the injections I have to do into my stomach every morning to prevent blood clots and they don't fool me with the word porcine.

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  3. Glad to hear that you are pleased after your surgery and hope that Les will have an equally good outcome.

    As a famous entertainer, aged 90, said the other night about his hoarseness, "If it wasn't that it would be something else." Take care and keep gardening, even from indoors for a little while.

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    1. Right Jean, undoubtedly it will be something else-the other hip then a knee or two. At least those can be fixed,

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  4. It sounds like you're already zipping down the road to recovery, I am glad. Good for you for understanding (eventually) that it didn't to be done and getting on with it. Hopefully your garden will continue to call for you louder and louder.

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    1. I think it is screaming right now as the temperature drops into the 20s. I am screaming at having to spend so much time in bed.

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  5. The important thing is that you did it and that you're on the mend. Now your garden can provide the motivation you need to keep up the PT and whatever else you need to do before you can plunge back in. I'm sure you'll be back to it in no time! Best wishes.

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    1. PT at the house every day. They want to make sure I do it. Ha! Thanks for your good wishes.

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  6. Well, I'm glad you did it and the garden can now be a joy again.
    Congrats. I'm glad all went well.
    Best wishes for a very speedy recovery

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  7. Wonderful to hear you are doing so well after surgery and even walked out of the hospital. I've been thinking of you since I heard the news.

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    1. Thanks Shirley. We have a date right? Hope to be back to norma by then.

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    2. We do and you were so thoughtful to plan surgery based on visitors to your garden! April it is.

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  8. Wishing you a full recovery--in both hip and passion for gardening.

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  9. I do hope you're feeling better quickly, Jenny. I know it must be frustrating but it sounds like you will be up and at 'em in no time. I'm glad the wind is in your sails now. I'll also keep in mind not to put things off!

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  10. So glad to hear you are on the mend! I truly enjoy your blog and all your gardening adventures. You have inspired me to purchase a National Trust Handbook to begin planning my first ever trip to see some English gardens. Best wishes for a full recovery. Leslie

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  11. Joining the crowd here to express my delight at your ongoing recoveries - physical and if "recovery" is not too strong a word to use in this context - spiritual as well. Your posts demonstrated you were continuing to work in your garden, but it had become too much about just that - the work. Maybe it was due to the discomfort from your hip, maybe something else had gotten between your work and your appreciation for the work, who knows? I'm simply happy - deeply happy - to read you are back to enjoying the prospect of gardening again.

    PS - You and David are both superb photographers. Rosemary never looked better.

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  12. I do hope you have a speedy recovery and find that the doldrums have blown away. I think spring in the garden will perk your interest back up. Those rosemary close-ups look a little like irises, don't you think?

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  13. So glad to hear the surgery was successful and that you are feeling better!

    You and your DH take the best trips.

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  14. Glad to hear the surgery went well. It is pretty amazing the way they get you up and on your feet so quickly.

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  15. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. At first glance, I thought those rosemary flowers were larkspurs.

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