Further to my Hip job – Closing the Door – not yet!

Monday I went to NYGH for the final visit with Dr. Hosein Mehdian, the one and only orthopedic surgeon for me. Four months since my hip replacement. I was lucky – it went well, and I did appreciate all your funny comments about my August blog on the subject.

Anyhow, I arrived at NYGH at 8:00 a.m. to get a final X-ray done – then waited in a small med room – paced back and forth and swung my arms in a pitiful attempt at exercise. Then two gorgeous young guys in green walked in and introduced themselves – they were orthopedic surgeons – part of Dr. Mehdian’s team.

“What pain medications are you on Mrs. Starr?” asked the one with the black rimmed glasses.

“I am not on any pain medications”.

“Seriously, Mrs. Starr” says the other hunk. “We need to know what pain medications you are taking”.

“I don’t take pain medications – except when I played golf in September – I took an Aleve just as a precaution”.


“No meds? You played golf 8 weeks after your surgery?”

“Well, your boss obviously did a great job. Now I didn’t do any tork routines – I didn’t move anything but my shoulders”.

“How many times have you played since then?”

“Three times. The girls and I had our usual fun days – lunch and lots of gossip”.

Then they had me lie down on the bed and they lifted my left leg (left hip replaced) turned it here and there – no pain – they kept staring at me – then had me roll onto the left side – roll over onto the right side – lift my left leg again – asked if I was in pain – I wasn’t – and that was it. I got up, shook my shoulders, did a mini-twist of my hips, and gave them a big smile.

“Mrs. Starr, we have to tell you that it hard to believe that you are as old as you are. You really don’t look it”.

WHAT WAS THAT????? A COMPLIMENT?????? EEK!!!! And there I was thinking how cute they both were. And my brain still thinks that I am sixteen.

Anyhow, Dr. Mehdian came in, said I never had to see him again, that my own doctor Fadie Amin was now in charge – and – a hug – and goodbye.

Next day I am in Dr. Fadie Amin’s office for the after-surgery appointment and review.  BUT – I am now suffering from severe pain in my lower left abdomen – or I think it is my abdomen – I thought it was either blood poisoning from the knife cut I had done on my finger or food poisoning from the meat lasagna I left on the counter for too long.

Neither. Turns out that those two hunks who had been moving and grooving my left leg and hip the day before forgot to alert me that the muscles would probably protest because they hadn’t been used in a very long time.

Luckily for me, Dr. Amin has a superior brain – and after he stopped laughing, assured me that it was the unwelcome pushing and pulling of my left leg that was causing the pain.

“So why didn’t they alert me?” I asked. After my hip surgery, the freezing of my lumbar nerve or whatever it was delayed the pain from the hip operation until after I got home. And then I suffered.

“Treat this as a muscle pull”, said Dr. Amin. “Take a couple of Tylenols”. I did – feels better – but still a bit sore. I should have asked the two hunks if there was anything I should know. They obviously didn’t think they needed to mention the possibility of muscle pain.

Next doctor’s visit was dermatology today at Sunnybrook. I am lucky to have the brilliant eyes of Dr. Raed Alhusayen checking my skin. Today he had a gorgeous young girl assisting him, also with black glasses, who is a dermatologist as well. She didn’t look older than fifteen. And they found some “things” that they decided to act upon right then and there.

I have had basal cell issues, outlined in detail in my 2012 blog about Dr. Nowell Solish and the Mohs clinic at Women’s College Hospital. But today I got scared. This check-up was just routine after major surgery – I could easily have not made the appointment.

But – how lucky I was – and in fact, others must be as well – that Dr. Alhusayen immediately spotted potential problems and arranged for the “things” to be tested and cut out. How great it is that Sunnybrook can respond right away – and that the medical system can work fabulously.

Three mini-surgeries on one face – mine. The freezing reminds me of childhood – three bandages – if the results are a recurrence of the basal cell, Dr. Alhusayen says it will be okay because it was caught fast. My last examination was six months ago and nothing was there. So all of you reading this, when was your last check-up on any part of your body? Do it!

Our medical services in Ontario are a positive for many of us – though not for all. But if not for OHIP et al, what would I have done? And if not for Sunnybrook’s great expertise, and NYGH, and Women’s College, how many of us, especially Seniors like me, would still be here?

And yet… here comes some politics.

Several months ago I had an “exchange” with Kathy English of the Toronto Star. I had written a letter which The Star printed about the bias and stupidity of the nincompoop brigade when it came to the payments to Syrian refugees.

I complained that as a Senior who had paid income taxes all of my life, I was only entitled to $550 a month in government subsidy. No housing allowance, no dental plan, no travel expenses. The refugees were getting $2400+ a month – this was not fair. Why are Canadian Seniors not first on the list to be concerned about?

“Oh no” said Ms. English. “The refugees don’t get that much money”. When she told me who gave her that information, I laughed. A once upon a time politico who had just been fired from the magazine she worked for. So I told Ms. English that when she finally conceded that I was right and she wasn’t, she could take me out for lunch. I usually prefer men – but in her case I would make an exception.

Interesting how a newspaper can actually keep the facts from the public without a hesitation. Anyhow, now that the public is becoming less and less enamoured with good looks and selfies as they watch billions of our tax dollars go down the tube, perhaps the real pay-outs will become known.

But I must balance my critiques with appreciation. If I wasn’t a Canadian, and a Senior, I would never have had the excellent medical treatment that has no doubt improved my life. Stephen Harper was a part of that – but so was Paul Martin.

Maybe it is time for “Canadians first”! Why not? We paid our dues – we deserve it!