Marvel of Modern Medicine

Sunday. Let me talk to you about Sunday.

For me Sunday is a day where I go out riding with friends. It is not so much about the ride, or indeed the route (although I will be vocal if there is less ‘big roads’ and more ‘twiddly climbing’ – genetics is such a cruel mistress), but the people. It is social – or rather – to put it more accurately, ¬†collective. Very much like when a gentleman goes to his local hostelry – his significant other may ask “how it was?” “good” an easy question – however “what did you talk about?” … pauses … well its not really about that – sometimes there may be few words exchange, sometimes setting the world to rights. What is going on is bonding, time together, shared passion, each other… even if it is quiet. Riding – is like this also.

A member of my family had one of the first hip replacements in the UK. He was a teenager at the time, and is now a pensioner. He has had three maybe four of these things. I remember seeing the first one and it looked very much like something that you would see in the garage when you were having a clear out and was left wondering what it once belonged to.. It was not ‘clever’. His last one however was a complete ball and socket, and most of his thigh bone. It is good, just do not go reaching for your phone if you have dropped it behind you apparently – badness. Repeatedly. He, like me isclearly a slow learner : )

Eleven weeks ago a friend in his *cough* late 40’s had his hip replaced. A bit of a local legend as a person, and on a bike. This was a big thing for him. Not just because of the pain, risk, so on – but the implications re riding – something very important to him – his life in fact. He was fortunate enough however to have a surgeon that raced, and the surgeons wife was his physio… who’s child he has coached. Not planned. Small world. Yadda yadda.

So – I am out of shape by about two years and a stone and a half (at least) – there I was “not half wheeling” alongside a guy who is 11 weeks out of having the upper half of his thigh bone and hip socket replaced – glancing down and seeing 26mph at over 300watts, and I am starting to lose ground.

It is hard to portray how impressive this is: Cut him open, contorted him to get the bone out, replace it, stitch him back together, recover, follow up, within 3 months back to better form than someone who was not in form to start with. Hypertrophy takes what – 12 weeks? This is not adaptation – this is limb butchery? Consider how long it to took to recover last time you broke something?

While medicine seems to be moving at a glacial pace as much as technology does… we are indeed now in a world where cars will self drive, rockets will land like Thunderbird One, and people can not just be up and around but pushing out substantial sustained efforts three months after having a hip replaced. I am in awe.

 

 

 

 

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