Saturday, February 1, 2014

Healing Takes Time

The upper half of this painting was created with heavy gel medium and a gear stencil. When this dried I washed and manipulated sap green over it. With Daniel Smith's Aztec Gold I coloured in some of the recessed gear shapes. I cut paintable wall paper to tuck under the bottom gear shapes, flooded it with water, dioxazine purple and small amounts of sap green and the gold. The way the paint pools and collects in the depressions is excitingly rich. Using the same colours, I lightly tinted wooden clock faces. I adhered these, the metal gears and clock hands to finish the piece.  

2013 acrylic mixed media, unframed on a cradled wooden panel 12" x 9" $175.
Available at Willowtree Designs in Claresholm, Alberta

This painting (my last of 2013) is a good one for me to reflect on as I struggle with patience and cabin fever. I must remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day ... it's only been two weeks since my total hip replacement.

January 19th, 2014

The surgeon explaining the procedure was enough.  I opted not to view a You-Tube video. No wonder I can't walk without aid. Many muscles were cut through. While looking up these muscle groups online I happened upon an image that made me gag. This visual is not for the faint of heart.

Bill and I were at the Lethbridge Regional Hospital (January 17th) before 6:30am because I was my surgeon's first case of the day - no wise cracks please. In pre-op, still undecided about general anesthetic v/s a spinal, I went with what the anesthetist would have chosen for himself. A spinal, but I did not want to be conscious.  

Sitting with my legs over the edge of the operating table, I was instructed to lean way forward and relax. Relax? Remarkably, I was calm! The needle hurt like hell. Its effect immediate. Heat instantly traveled down my legs followed quickly by immobility. The sedative had to have been in the injection as well for I don't remember being laid down. Nor, thankfully, having a catheter put in! I'm thinking the team was happier once I was asleep. I'd asked to see the apparatus that was going in and complained about its weight. My new hip is stainless as opposed to titanium.

The operation took less than 1.5 hours! I awoke in the OR to the sharp sound of tape being removed and a vision of blue tarps (sheeting) in front of my face. I was chatty in the recovery room; staff there were likely happy to see me taken to my room. Before lights out that night, I was out of bed (barely) taking two shaky steps to one side and then to the other.  

I didn't have nausea and vomiting until the following morning when I was installed in front of the bathroom sink for ablutions. It happened again after lunch. I was given enough drugs to sedate an elephant.  With both morphine and oxycontin coursing through me, I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt robbed of a vision quest or at the very least a nice high. They don't administer morphine after day two and I declined any more oxycontin.  

With my ambulatory progress and acing the required four steps, I was discharged (as expected) on the fourth morning.  

The staples on my 9" incision come out on February 4th. That's when I'll be asking the surgeon if the back pain I experience (especially standing) is because the repaired leg is a half inch longer than the other? Will I be evened out when the left hip is replaced? Yes, that one has to be done as well.

I read somewhere that the price tag for a hip replacement is $30,000! Happy that I live in Canada! I'm grateful for my most excellent nurse, Bill. His and the love of my family and friends. Your support, prayers, cards, flowers, gifts, food, wine, phone calls, messages and visits are invaluable. With all my heart, thank you!


  1. Very nice Alice, i really like the colors...coincidentally, i'm reading a novel about time travel ...soon i'll be going to visit an oldtimer named Bill, now thats going back in time, lol.

    1. Why thank you Alex! Yes we have a lot of time between us!