Client Spotlight – Teresa Hannah (Hip Replacement Client)
COVID-19 has consumed our lives for the past year. Every news outlet is reporting something on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times. The one thing that has not changed is that life must go on. We still need to take care of ourselves the best we can. For one individual, this meant taking care of her health. Teresa Hannah contacted us last year during the early summer, right in the height of everything, to inquire about a private hip replacement. This newsletter is to spotlight her journey, albeit during a pandemic.
Teresa had been experiencing hip issues as far back as 1998. She is an extremely active person who has run marathons, does long hikes, biking, swimming, as well as yoga. After her initial hip pain, she continued to do hikes that were close to marathon length with no problems until 2016 when her right hip started to bother her. By July 2019, her left hip became the one giving her the most trouble and she could no longer complete the 12-15 mile hikes.
She began the process of treating the pain with physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, foot orthodontics, various dietary supplements, hydraulic acid injections and a hip unloaded brace. The pain became so severe that she had to increase the Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Aleve over time.
After numerous tests to rule out more serious issues, it was confirmed she had osteoarthritis and needed a hip replacement.
On top of not being able to continue her active lifestyle while in pain, she was also planning a move from Alberta to Nova Scotia. The wait list for a hip replacement in Alberta was going to be a minimum of 1 year wait. The wait time in Nova Scotia was even lengthier with a minimum 3 year wait time.
She continued to deal with the pain until November of 2019 when it became completely debilitating. She was having trouble getting up and down stairs and at times, she was unable to even walk 2 blocks. Maneuvering in the kitchen or being on her feet for more than 15 minutes was uncomfortable. It also became uncomfortable sitting at her desk and at worst, sitting on the couch, floor or lying in bed. The only relief was to utilize a yoga ball to sit on.
Given the wait times, her husband’s age, and her desire to enjoy the precious years, led her to the decision to seek out private surgery. She came across our company on the internet and gave us a call.
We told her about a wonderful facility in New Hampshire that we work with and would be drivable from Nova Scotia. After doing her own research on the surgeon, she decided to go for it. We started making the plans and coordinating all necessary things to get her surgery.
The surgery was done Oct 30th and it went amazingly. She was up and walking within 2 hours after the surgery, (see attached video) and was released to driving back home within 5 days, although, she and her husband decided to stay a couple more days. We made arrangements for her to have physiotherapy done virtually, until her 14 day quarantine was completed, at a local facility near her new home in Nova Scotia. She was very happy with the therapist and received great care.
Teresa stayed with her physical therapy longer than normal due to her goals of hiking 10-26 miles in a day and running again. As of March 2020, she has been up to walking 2 hours and 40 minutes. Her goal is to be walking for 3 hours at a time and hiking 15-20 miles on an ambitious day!
When asked if she had any advice for anyone else in need of a hip replacement she said to consider what state of life you are in and the precociousness of your mobility. She was concerned about getting it too soon and having to get another one in her 70’s. Now that she has the new hip and new lease on life, there is no doubt in her mind she made the right decision. The way she sees it is that ‘she could have gotten a new car or a new hip. Her new hip is 100 times more precious than a new car. That said, it is deeply disappointing that the Canadian health care system has allowed joint replacements to be so low on the totem pole. Especially for relatively young and active people who could get back to productive work and more enjoyable lives in general more quickly if the wait list was shorter. There are many good things about the Canadian health care system, but this is one where there is huge room for improvement.’ When asked if she would do it again, she said yes.
Teresa was such an amazing client to work with. we are so pleased she had a great outcome and positive experience and is nearing her long-term goals. She has indicated she is willing to speak to anyone who is considering a private hip replacement at any time. If you have questions, please give us a call so we can answer them for you or connect you to Teresa to get first hand experience.
Also read below some notes from her journal on her recovery process the first few weeks after her surgery!
Recovery Journal Written By Teresa Hannah (Hip Replacement Client), Oct. 2020
In last week’s blog, we spotlighted one of our recent client’s, Teresa, who had a hip replacement done in the US. She took extra care in her recovery process and even journaled some of her post surgery progress. Although every individual is different, we thought it would be great to show her documented journey as a possible expectation of how you might recover. Keep in mind, Teresa was in incredible shape and did a lot of athletic exercise in the way of hiking, yoga and biking. Teresa’s surgery took place on October 30, 2020.
Nov 24 – Was first day I got on stationary bike at PT. Did it for 10 minutes on level 24 and more like 20 minutes on level 26. (This was just 3 1/2 weeks post surgery!)
Nov 25 (Wed am) – I am sleeping better. I am mostly down to the 2 daily aspirin for blood thinning and one type of pain killer in the AM – either two Ibuprofen or two Tylenol. (No narcotics!). Still very stiff and tricky to put weigh on my hip when I first get out of bed in AM. Once I move around it gets better. Increasing the number of 15 minute walks, and focusing on form, on resuming a graceful gait. I no longer feel like I am holding my breath to manage the pain when I walk. Range of motion almost in normal range in terms of PT – internal rotation to right is still not quite there.Scar healing well. Steri strips off on Sunday. Can do modest clam shells, a physical therapy exercise, again- yay! Still using my stick in house, but can tell that discomfort when putting full weight on left leg is subsiding. Still moving slowly around house, especially when I first get up after sitting.
Nov 26 – Did a 30 minute walk, and another 15 minute walk later in day. Did bike for about 15-20 minutes. Up and about in town doing errands for about an hour. Then dinner, cleanup, and prep that evening took probably a good 30 minutes. Today, as I go through my daily motions, I shall approach it ALL with a mindset of Thanksgiving. (Teresa holds citizenship in Canada and the US) A mindset of how positive all the movement is. How nicely the healing is progressing. I can spend a little time lying in bed on my left side with a pillow helping to prop my knees off the bed. I can do girl push ups without having my bum way up in the air.
Nov 27 – Was first day that I reduced the drug intake to one tablet of either 500 mg Tylenol or 200 mg Ibprophen each day. One 30 minute walk, and one 15 minute walk.
Nov 28 – Pain at 3.5-4 in AM. Realized I needed to skip walking today. Did bike for 2-15 minute stretches. Shopped on feet for an hour. Did PT exercises, puttered decorating the house. That was it.
Nov 29 – 3-25 minute walks spread through-out the day. Felt pretty decent. Pain about 1.5 in AM. Higher than that by end of day. Somewhere around here my body really wanted me to start doing modified sun salutations which I did.
Nov 30 – Chris (Physiotherapist) approved of my modified sun salutations and was fine with me doing a full plank on way down, but my body let me know I needed to lower myself all the way to floor and then push up from that position and not staying in a plank. Ever since Nov 26 (one week ago), I have mostly reduced my drug intake to either 200 MG of Ibprophen or 500 MG of Tylenol. Generally take it in the morning. Some mornings the discomfort (after being out of bed for 5-10 minutes) is a 1.5. Other mornings it is a 4 (out of 10).
This morning, after having 2 half-hour (or at least 25 minute) GOOD walks yesterday, where I was barely putting weight on the sticks and was moving at a mostly normal pace, and a 20 minute stationery bike ride (where I actually worked up a sweat, despite the low resistance of Gear 2 on right and one on left), and after having done more reps of the PT exercises, I notice my lower back is very tired and a bit painful. Like those muscles are working overtime. This morning, pain back up to 3.5-4 in AM. See how it goes each day. I find myself moving around the house on some days (not all yet by any stretch), with relative alacrity (not like my self from 2 years ago, but heading in the right direction). I can stand with reasonable comfort for longer periods, like last night in kitchen – after 20 or so minutes of cleaning up, still felt comfortable. Observed to husband that I am on fewer painkillers now than in summer. And we both observed that I am way better than last winter when I was so tangled up.
Dec 3 (Thursday AM) – Moving around the house with no hiking stick for the most part, other than when I get up in the middle of the night. Still use it sometimes to steady myself. Painful and stiff when I first try to get moving out of bed or if have I been sitting for a long time.
Watch Video of Teresa moving around 2 hours after surgery!