What a Journey….

Hi all,

I retired at 56 after 40 years at sea (Chief Engineer Officer). I’d always thought I was fit – nah – not even close. I gave up smoking, started cycling and hill walking in Scotland. Along the way I was diagnosed with Hypertension and had a nasty motorbike accident. Medication and activity solved the Hypertension and helped me recover from the accident. At 62 I started running which completely took over my life. Although I entered many events I consider myself as a recreational runner. For years I’ve run with a group of friends on a Sunday morning – breakfast always included somewhere. It is my life. Last year Aug 2021, six of us ran from Dundee to Edinburgh via the Fife Coastal Path – 100 miles – Event Scurry Two Bridges. We ran in relays and I totalled about 30 miles, much of it on soft sand which was brutal. During the event I was suffering from horrendous backache which I’d never had before. The following week I was struggling to walk 200 mtrs. Long story short a trip to the Physio diagnosed limited mobility in my left hip and severe inflammation – possible damaged or worn out hip. At this point I realised that the difficulty I had been experiencing for 18 months, getting on and off my bike from the left hand side was not groin strain at all but my left hip gradually getting worse. Physio’s advice – no more running for you Ian. I was devastated. I sat in the car, parked outside and just broke down. I phoned one of my running pals and instead of sympathy I got was  brilliant advice from her  – “get it properly diagnosed and if you need a new hip, it could all be sorted by this time next year”. I got recommended to another Physio – Jo McColgan in Forfar ( from the infamous McColgan running family ). I wrote her a letter and she took me on as a regular patient. Jo has kept me going for 12 months, physically and mentally up till surgery (THR) and now through recovery. She diagnosed the problem exactly which was confirmed by NHS X-ray – Osteoarthritis/wear and tear with bone on bone contact. I was placed on the NHS waiting list 3 years! – or longer. After 8 months it was obvious I was never going to last 3 years and at 67 this had the potential to ruin the rest of my life if I reached the point of very limited mobility. I bit the bullet and researched Private options. Spire in Edinburgh wanted £18000 for a MEKO Procedure THR waiting time 6 weeks. Nuffield Health Trust wanted ££12300 for exactly the same procedure with a Consultant who was just as qualified, experienced and was a keen sportsman. Nuffield waiting list was 12 weeks but having been so impressed with their Consultancy I opted for Nuffield. For the 12 months from Sept 2021 to August 2022 I stayed very active walking the dog three times a day, cycling and golfing three times a week (walking round) on Naproxen and Cocodamol with varying degrees of pain and getting worse with a bad limp. The activity was underpinned with a daily physio and strength program under Jo’s guidance.

MEKO THR (posterior titanium/high cross polymer non cemented both parts) done on August 11th just over 7 weeks ago. How am I doing now – absolutely brilliantly – walking perfectly straight, no limp at all, driving and cycling. Looking to start running again somewhere between 3 and 6 months. I’ll close this post now as I’d like to do a detailed post on my recovery as I’ve learnt so much along the way. This post is long enough already! Loved reading all of your posts which have been so helpful. Unless someone has been through this they probably won’t realise how tough it is – mentally as well as physically. I found it hard  mentally on quite a few occasions which is where my friends and my Physio helped so much. Cheers for now guys. Recovery (so far) post to follow.

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    • #20345

      Hi all, I retired at 56 after 40 years at sea (Chief Engineer Officer). I’d always thought I was fit – nah – not even close. I gave up smoking, starte
      [See the full post at: What a Journey….]

    • #20346

      Hi Ian,

      Great story, glad you found the solution in time (shame about the state of the NHS waiting lists though, my hips were covered by BUPA fortunately). You will be back to jogging then running before you know it, enjoy the process of continuous improvement – I recorded all my activities using Garmin watches so I have a permanent reminder of how my recovery progressed. Looking forward to your follow-up posts!


    • #20347

      That is exactly what I did Pete – recorded everything on Strava while I was increasing my walking distance by 10% at a time. Started off at 50 mtrs on crutches in the first week and never looked back.

      Cheers – Ian.

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