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.
***Click here to see the video of Teresa up and walking 2 hours after her surgery!