Ireland day 0252. Tuesday 07 June 2022- UKHip01
Five years ago – in March 2017, to be specific – I had to have my right hip replaced. Basically I had just worn my biological one out through a series of long walks with heavy backpacks – and also, to be honest, with a lot of running on pavements with poorly padded shoes, back in my youth.
All the doctors I saw about it told me that if I had a conventional replacement, I was likely to suffer restricted mobility and the possibility of dislocation if I did anything too vigorous. None of that sounded very appealing, so I decided instead to have it resurfaced – which has better performance, rather than replaced. It’s a more complicated operation and unless it’s done by a surgeon who specialises in it, there is a relatively high probability that it will go wrong.
I eventually found a suitable surgeon but because it’s a rare operation, you can’t have it on the NHS. So I ended up having to pay to have it done privately. The recovery took longer than I expected – 12 weeks till I was fully mobile again – but since then I’ve been very pleased with the results. No pain, full mobility, and lots of long exciting walks done with it in place.
Anyway all this is a long way of saying that it’s time now for my five-year check up. I need X-rays and, because the new joint is made of a cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy, I need a specialist metal blood test. So today I’m going back to the UK to see the surgeon who did the original operation, get the X-rays and have the blood test. The consultation is tomorrow morning, in Southampton.
So now I’m at Dublin airport waiting for the flight to Gatwick. (I should add that although the queues weren’t too bad here this morning, it always takes me longer than everyone else to get through security. My hip always sets off the metal detector so I usually have to have a full body search, so I have to allow some extra time).
I’ve been back to the UK a few times since coming to Ireland and each time the airports and flights have been a bit busier than the last. And today was the busiest trip, by far. It took much longer than previously to get through security and immigration, though in reality the process was efficient and I was through in about an hour.
Once airside, the airport cafes, bars and duty free were heaving. I must admit I liked travelling more in the immediate post-covid aftermath because, despite all the paperwork you needed, it was a much less frenetic experience. But it is quite good to see the world coming back to life again. I do sometimes wonder though if we are living in a bit of a fools paradise at the moment. With the latest toxic viral variant lurking, like a Tory backbencher, in the wings just waiting to stick the knife in when while our collective guard is dropped. Anyway, let’s enjoy it while it lasts – and hope that it’s for a good long time.
Right – that’s it for now. I’m actually on the plane now (completely full by the way) about to take off. Tomorrows blog will be much shorter as I’ll be travelling around, but normal service will be resumed on Thursday.
PS A few photos from the flight are attached. Excellent views over the Broadmeadow estuary, Malahide and the lagoon as we left Ireland. Cloudy over in Gatwick, though.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(No map today)