Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Push Is On

This past Monday I met with the surgeon who is going to do my hip revision,Doctor Craig Smucker of the Morgan Kalman Clinic. I was ready for just about anything I was going to hear having heard the same speech the first time around in 1986. Mary went with me and I am thankful for that, my Bride is always so supportive. A few new twists this time around that I must say kind of hit me like a brick. After looking at the x-rays the good Doctor explained the shadows around the socket portion of my hip.

Bone Loss (Osteolysis - os·te·ol·y·sis)

In addition to inadequate stress loading, bone can also be lost through a process known as osteolysis. Here’s what happens: As the hip stem’s hard metal head rubs against the softer polyethylene cup in the hip socket, the friction can degrade the polyethylene over time, causing small wear particles to break off in the body. The body’s immune system rejects this foreign debris, attacking it much like it would attack an infection. Unfortunately, since the polyethylene debris typically settles around the site of the implant, the immune system may start attacking the surrounding bone tissue. This is known as osteolysis – literally, "eating away" of the bone. As the patient loses bone tissue in his or her hip, the implant may become loose and no longer function properly. Many orthopedic surgeons identify osteolysis as the number one cause of hip implant failure. I also have some action going on with the top of the femur resulting in a possible weak bone scenario with the potential for it breaking apart when removing the initial implant. This would require additional work to put Humpty Dumpty's parts back together again and thus leave me grounded for a longer period of time. I know, how could I be thinking about flying with this surgery just around the corner. It's what pilot's do, they always protect their medical, besides the thoughts of not flying again would be the ultimate worst case scenario for me so I really don't want to go there or think that, it makes for bad mojo.

As you can see there is much to think about with the upcoming surgery so for now I keep my thoughts focused on flying. I am going to finish up my lessons in a TAS Flight School plane. Even though it will cost more per hour I will save one hour each lesson flying to and from the airport where the school is located. It cost me $87 an hour wet to fly our Archer so it will be a savings. It also will allow some actual instrument time since I won't be stuck on the ground at Wilmington( KILG) trying to get to Brandywine (KOQN) on those marginal days. My ride will be a 1981 Piper PA-28 161 Cherokee N988LA. I spent some time in this bird back in my, I'm a new Private Pilot days and made a flight to Georgetown (KGED) and across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, NJ (KWWD)with Mary.

I am scheduled for a lesson tomorrow morning at 8am then again on Sunday. As the title stated, "The Push Is On" I want to have the instrument rating prior to my surgery. I hope to get a check ride scheduled this month. The PTS is now priority reading material everywhere I go, lunch break, sitting around the house or waiting for Mary while she darts into the Target pharmacy. More updates to follow....


Rob said...

When are you to be done tomorrow? I'm in center city for a meeting at 9am,... pending when I get out and you are done, I could meet you for lunch again. I'd come right out 76-202 to the airport. Call my cell or send me a text.

Have Fun! Clear skies out there,.. oh,.. you won't see them! Ha Ha

Gary said...

I wish I could meet up but I have an 11am semi-final inspection on a project at the bridge. I will be up again sunday afternoon.

"Have Fun! Clear skies out there,.. oh,.. you won't see them! Ha Ha" Your just not right....I'll remember that when your under the hood. ;)