When I was in the seventh grade, I hurt my hip playing unorganized football. Since I was one of the few fat kids in the neighborhood, they’d give me the ball, and all the kids would jump on my back, and I would carry the pile toward the end zone. I was the William “The Refrigerator” Perry of my day.
One day, this Fridge malfunctioned.
The medical term for my condition was called slipped emphasis. In actuality, my ball and socket joint had slipped out of place. To correct it, I had to stay in the hospital for 13 weeks in a full body cast that went from my toes to my chest. The only two holes in it were there to allow me to take care my “business.”
Thirteen weeks of this for anybody would be brutal, but for a hyper seventh grader? Let’s just say I was miserable.
The doctors predicted that I would have arthritis at an early age because eventually the bones of the hip joint would fuse. And so it has. The bone on bone has been very painful for a very long time. In fact, it’s been this bad for maybe 15 to 20 years.
With exercise and diet, I have been able to live with it, to the amazement of many. When doctors today see my X-ray, they ask how I functioned this long without hip replacement surgery or drugs.
Coincidentally, my 13 weeks of being incapacitated as a kid happened during this time of year. That meant that my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent in this plastered cast.
It got to the point where I had to take matters into my own hands by trying to escape from the hospital. While I was lying on a gurney so that they could change my bed, I managed to roll myself down the hall and out the door of the ER. It was cold, and the sheet covering my butt had blown off. I didn’t get very far – plus, I had no place to go.
It was very sad.
Even sadder was Christmas Day. Pops arranged for the local funeral home to bring me home in … yeah, the back of a hearse. When I got home, I was placed on the floor between the Christmas tree and the dinner table. It was the worst Christmas ever.
I missed a lot of school, so much that I should have repeated the grade. But since Lionel Richie was one of my best friends, and his mother was our teacher, and our mothers were close, she passed me. Besides, Lionel wasn’t any smarter than me and hadn’t missed any days in school. She couldn’t hold me back and not him. So we both went to the next grade.
One good thing did happen as a result of my condition: It kept me out of the military draft. If not for my condition, I would have gone to Viet Nam. Remember the draft lottery? My birthday fell in the top third.
Everyone says I’ll be as good as new after the surgery. It’s hard to imagine with the constant pain I’m in. But the person who encouraged me more than any doctor was Morris Day of the Time. Morris had a total hip replacement operation two or three years ago.
We traded war stories about our condition backstage at the Soul Train Awards. “You’ll be just fine after surgery, he said. “In fact, I’ll show you what you will be able to do. Watch me tonight.”
The house announcer said, “And now, the original members of The Time!” Morris checked himself in the mirror, let out one of his patented yells, did a James Brown slide to the center of the stage and held court.
My last day on the air will be Thursday, Dec. 8, and my hip surgery will take place on Friday, Dec. 9th. After the operation, I travel to Jamaica to recover and rehab for two weeks at an awesome private villa, surrounded by family, friends and a physical therapist. I’ll be back in the big chair on Monday, Jan. 2. I will be on a walker for a while, and then a cane. After about six weeks, I’ll be ready to party full tilt.
Skip Murphy will be in the big chair, with Sybil and J., while I’m gone. Treat him well!
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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