The surgeon did not laugh when he saw the x-ray pictures. But I did—it looked like somebody’s match house had lost its right corner. I guessed this was a warning to me about what my hip MIGHT look like some day. It could not be my hip. I mean it looked like something Victor Frankenstein put on his monster.

“What is that?” I laughed nervously.

“Your leg,” he smirked. “What did you do, Mr. Stobaugh?” He said—the same way Deborah says it to Raymond on EVERYONE LOVES RAYMOND. “Whaaaat did you do????”

I looked closer. It was not a picture of some poor slob’s hip, it was my hip. My poor pathetic hip!

The whole hip had shifted—”the way my life seemed to be shifting too.

I hoped the surgeon had placed the picture in a twisted way—the man obviously need to move the picture around–and it was all a mistake. My hip was headed to Dallas and my femur was headed to Baltimore. I was in big trouble and I knew it.

I also knew that I had been a bad boy, and, even worse, Karen had warned me. I don’t know what was more frightening the impeding surgery or Karen’s “I told you so!”

For 12 vendor seasons, 240+ conventions, 480 loading and unloading sessions, the old custom made hip thing was shot.

Funny thing. There is about $400,000 worth of technology in the thing but it all depends upon a round piece of hard plastic rotating on a Teflon ball. And that plastic thing was cracked or soon would be. Worse, it was depositing toxic plastic flakes into my right femur cavity thing. I knew there was space there—I had seen the old move INCREDIBLE JOURNEY—but I was unprepared for the pile of plastic in my leg piled next to my femur like parmesan cheese.

Something had to be done.

“Surgery, you need surgery quick.” He said. “You do not want this plastic cap to crack more or you will be begging me to operate.”

I believed him.

Well, one good thing: I met my deductable. And on Dec. 8, 2009, I went under the knife.

Comments are closed.