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January 09, 2004 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-01-09

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Getting A Hip Outlook On Life

am not a
patient person.
On the road.
At restaurants.
At pointless business
meetings, which I
find almost all of
them to be.
Let's get going.
Let's get out of here.
Let's get it in gear.
Reality Check
It is not one of my
more attractive quali-
; ties. But in the last month or so, I
have been given the chance to work
on this personality defect.
I had hip replacement surgery on
Dec. 10, which came as quite as a
surprise to this veteran reporter.
I'd been having leg and back pains
on and off for a couple of
months, which I was
treating with Dr. Cantor's
Macho Remedy. Tough it
out, and eventually it will
go away. Besides, I didn't
have time for this. There
were columns to write,
book proposals to get
out, trips to take.
Then one day, the
thing fractured complete-
ly — reducing me to an
abject, whimpering mass.
I'd had surgeries before,
but none of them called
for an ongoing impedi-
ment to my ability to
move around.
Now I had to slow
down, be patient, think
things through.
A walk across the room
called for certain strategic
considerations. A shower was
planned out with the efficiency of a
military exercise.
Many years ago, I saw a detective
movie starring Dick Powell. He had
been drugged by the bad guys,
found himself undressed and said:
"All right, tough guy. Now do some-
thing really tough, like putting on
your pants."
For some reason, I liked that line,
and it caught in my memory. But
now I realize just how difficult put-
ting on one's pants can be. With a
healing hip, it takes skill and manual

George Cantor's e-mail address is

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dexterity. Not to mention patience.
And don't even get me started about
I putting on socks.
A trip downstairs is an adventure.
An item dropped on the floor, a
But I slowed down, thought out
my moves. More importantly, I
I learned to empathize with those who
can't move as quickly as I'd like
them to. Understanding often begins
with pain.
It also gave me the chance to read
a lot, watch more televised football
I games than I ever thought possible,
lose some weight. Appreciate what
two good legs are like.
There was one part of my recuper-
ation that I especially treasured,
though. My wife had to be away


from the house all afternoon and
wanted someone to be with me, just
in case.
The person who came over to
baby-sit for me was my mother. And
for those few hours, it was like being
a child again, being cared for by the
person who had taken on that job
right from the very beginning. 'She
was very good at it, too.
Things are better now. Soon I'll be
driving again, back in traffic, getting
irritated, chafing at delays.
But maybe with a bit less of an
edge, a greater willingness to make
accommodations. I don't know if
that's the way to bet, but it's the way
to hope.

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