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An Ode to Hip Hope

A Life Without Hip Dysplasia


A Poem by Xandra Lee


Considering a life without hip dysplasia, a life that’s not mine.

Uncomplicated. Unregimented. A life without design.

Dreaming of a life not at its mercy, a life benign.

Not imprisoned by my body, sentenced or “doing time”.


Pondering my mornings, waking free from ill health,


A blessing to feel rested, feeling “normal”, myself.


Not waning or falling, able to take my full weight,


Now effortless to dress in haste when I’m late.


Just leaving my house, no longer a mission,

No dread of getting stuck in my car, in a bad condition,

I’m on buses and trains, no fear of being bumped, left stranded,

My independence returned, proudly embracing my life, singled handed.


Every chore, every task, I can take in my stride,

No grocery shops where trolley pushing is a painful joyride.

Goodbye jobs half done, making choices over which matters more,

Sacrificing, clean clothes, a proper meal, as feeling as poor.


No click, clunk or crack, forget giving way without forewarning,

Dragging heavy legs, the pain I try and hide, I am not mourning.

Feeling alone, private tears, begging freedom from dark abyss,

The desperation, the exhaustion, that burning agony I will not miss.


Farewell time in hospital, surgeries, physio, the struggle,

This grueling existence no one could fathom, that was the trouble.

Toss aside brain-numbing painkillers, my soul they do steal,

Sickness, drowsiness, med-hangovers I no longer need to conceal.


So long horrid restless legs, able to enjoy a duvet day,

Not needing swinging momentum getting up from sitting, or where I lay.

Good riddance to the creeping, the crawling, frustration I can’t rest,

My resolve constantly pushed and put to the test.


For all that I dream, I see things I am missing or lost,

My life stolen, an ill-considered wish to return it at any cost.

But my view is being clouded, I am more than just ‘sick’,

The meaning of my life I am overlooking, be careful, it goes quick.


My scars tell a story, a life fought for and overcome,

Though it does not define me, proud they are battles that I have won.

A colourful spirit, my strength of character shines through,

Hip dysplasia has taught me, strive for dreams, persevere, pursue.


A lesson to cherish life, taking nothing for granted, to remind us,

That we have resilience, tolerance, experience love and great kindness.

Reflect not regret, live not exist, laugh often and enjoy your time,

This life with hip dysplasia, it’s a life that I love, that’s all mine.


Check out Xandra's instagram: livingwithhipdysplasia


For those of you non-UK peeps, a duvet day is a day where some employers give you some "personal" days to take off without explanation. A trolley is a shopping cart!



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