At one time in my life, I thought I was hip. Today, I have a new hip.
Titanium, I think. I didn’t get to check the label before they inserted it into the right side of my body last week. I was out cold.
We are the Baby Boomers, the post-WWII generation defined by the slogan “Make love, not war.” We did both and now the medical profession is busy treating us.
I am an old vehicle with a lot of mileage on the odometer. I need new body parts. It started small and simple, with eyeglasses as a teenager, all the way to hearing aids as an old guy. Now it is a new hip, which was neither small nor simple, although the orthopedic surgery crew made it as easy-peasy as possible. I’ve been navigating with a walker since Day One of my recovery.
Exactly what is it I am hoping to recover? Well, let’s start with being able to walk, move on to walking straight and painlessly, and end with catching my grandson.
OK, that last goal is unattainable. But you get my point, which is that I have a Point 1 and a Point 2. I’m halfway between them, trying to figure out what Point 3 should look like.
Recently I attended a gathering of former Fresno Bee colleagues. The event was limited to those who had written, edited, photographed and created artwork for the Bee in the 1980s.
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So several of us were retired, and a couple, like me, were gimping around. I was reminded of a comment regarding the now-famous (infamous?) era we grew up in: “If I’d known how important the Sixties were going to be, I’d have taken better notes.”
You never know, growing up, how significant your generation will be considered by history. Indeed, we Boomers witnessed in the 1960s such historic events as a presidential assassination, man walking on the noon, the Civil Rights movement, a Hollywood cult murder, the invention of the birth-control pill, the first heart transplant, Star Trek and the Super Bowl. (I might have forgotten a few items, but, hey, I survived the Sixties.)
The Sixties grew into the Disco ‘70s, then by the 80s we were concentrating on career and family. We didn’t worry about knees and hips until they began to hurt as we reached our own 60s — in age. By then, we were less interested in which joints to hang out in and more keen on which joints were failing us.
So here we are. The Generation that witnessed the birth and growth of a lot of initials — LSD and LED, NASA and NASCAR — is now learning medical lingo (THC/CBD, anyone?). References to bones, joints, muscles and ligaments aren’t just for football aficionados anymore.
We’re hip to our hip pain. And our knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders and backs aren’t in great shape, either. We’re as engrossed in pain management as much as we are in money management.
Me, I’m looking at returning to the golf course, so I can once again say this to my 70-something Wednesday tee buddies: “Guys, we are the lucky ones. A lot of guys our age can’t do what we’re doing, or they never got to our age.”
(Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. Selma Stories runs regularly in The Enterprise.)