Never ever in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have needed a hip replacement. It started out as a headache in my leg and soon, I couldn’t walk. After swearing off surgery, I spent two painful years in denial going to physical therapy, trying acupuncture, taking medications, even talking to psychics – and just plain praying for a miracle. Having never had surgery, I was fearful of the unknown.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you or anyone you know?
You feel dizzy, a tingling in your body, you feel like you’re being electrocuted with nerve pain. You cannot get out of bed or you wake up with migraines, pains in your mouth and teeth, joint pain, and it hurts to be touched…you just don’t feel like “you”. You want to isolate and sleep. So, you go to your doctor and he tells you it’s all in your head. No one seems to understand and you feel crazy. Some of us feel more deeply, some of us are very sensitive to our environment or are allergic to what we’re putting in our bodies. I used to consider myself the Princess and the Pea – where I would feel everything while others felt nothing.
And, regular blood work doesn’t tell an entire story of your condition or any imbalances or sensitivities you may be having. And you are basically being told what’s you are feeling isn’t really happening to you.
If no one is recognizing what you’re going through and you aren’t able to get to the source, you cannot begin to investigate a cure. To top it off, your friends tell you”you don’t LOOK sick”.
Chronic pain is debilitating, and having an ‘invisible illness’ is scary until you find a tour guide – a health coach to lead you into new terrain and a holistic view of your health, your diet, and your life choices. It is relieving to be able to take away the guess work with a DNA test and customized health approach. You no longer need to feel like a guinea pig, and there’s relief from the frustration in the hit and miss healthcare from the past. And as an advocate for your own health, you don’t have to accept prescriptions that are against your belief system (like harmful pain pills).
A health scare and dark night of the soul experience can lead you into an exquisite journey into the world of balanced health – of being an active part of your own healing. And most exciting, you become your own advocate, and surround yourself with a team of holistic health care professionals.
It’s empowering to find another route towards whole body health and begin to peel off the accumulated layers of not feeling well.
Because of DNA testing, stool testing, alternate therapies like acupuncture and massage, you can get to the root and begin to feel good again.
With your own personal health team of a physician, health coach and personalized testing…you begin to feel empowered and can take back your life.
Whether you’re suffering from environmental, hormonal imbalance, joint degeneration, parasites, allergies, an autoimmune disease (like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), or dental infections – with innovative testing and professional guidance you will be on the path to feeling more like yourself.
Jodi Seidler is a journalist, a patient advocate and the Founder of HipsterClub.com. In her double HIPster status, Jodi educates, supports and inspires people of all ages through the joint replacement process because it was life-altering for her. Understanding that everyone is a patient, and becoming increasingly aware of healthcare advancements, the changing medical landscape, and ever-advancing medical technology – Jodi encourages collaboration, continuing education and having the voice of the patient be loudly heard.
As hipsters, we at times, are not sure how active to be. Some of us get stuck in ‘why me’, others go out of their way to be super active to prove bionic hips are as good – if not better – than what we were born with.
Sitting on the sofa and fearing “if we move too much, are “too” active, that our hips won’t last as long” – is not the answer for a long an d happy life. Afterall, that is what we wanted – to get our life back, free from pain and fear. As in everything, moderation is the key – and continuing on with life the way we were before is important for our emotional health as well.
When I speak to other hipsters, we are all curious about the LIFE of a hip replacement, even long after our parts have expired. I am a huge chearleader for being your own advocate, and in this light – we must learn about our bodies. How do we feel after we swim, how does running feel to our hips, knees and legs, is walking the best way to feel healthy and play it safe. What I am saying is – listen to YOUR body. Every hip recipeient is different.
So many of us hipsters wonder how long our new hips last us. Sometimes we stay up at night pondering the possible scenarios…hoping we never have to feel that bone on bone pain again, or worry about another surgery. Recalling the times we woke up in the middle of the night with that OMG pain when we moved in our sleep. Or when we had to take comfort in using a cane to help relieve the pain and have assistance in walking. We recall the times when we cried UNCLE and planned for our hip replacement surgery, feeling like a dog or cat going to the vet…heart pounding, an out of body experience. The search and mission of finding the right surgeon, researching the right procedures for us and connecting with others for support, encouragement and education.
I recall when I asked a friend how long a case of golf balls will last me. We both had a good chuckle at the answer, and the humor in the question. The answer was – it depends how you play, and the course you are on.
Like a classic car that needs to be honored and sometimes rebuilt, our bodies are not that dissimilar. Whether we need new tires, an alignment, or new brakes – it’s about how we use our bodies, our genetics and what we came into this life with. I consider myself lucky in many ways with a new appreciation of this body of mine, and that now I can also help others who are walking down the path of becoming more bionic.
Putting the HIP back in Hip Replacements.
Contact me with any questions you have about the hip replacement process. I’ve become sort of an expert. With my Journalism background and my inquisitive mind, I should belong to a 12 step group for obsessing about having a hip replacement. I researched so like crazy, and kept a daily journal until one day I started an online Hip Club for people like me. One stop shopping to learn about hip replacements. No need to obsess and stay up all night like I did (unless you want to).
I have had two different hips replaced in two different ways, with two different materials and components. I’m learning it’s not the years, it’s the miles – so I budget my hips. I don’t ski, I don’t jog – but that’s just me. I love to walk and I love to swim. My left (metal) hip lets me know when I’ve done too much. It has affected sex a bit, but barely noticeable if it’s done right. I notice people as they walk by me, that maybe need or have had a hip replacement. It’s some kind of alien connection to other bionics. Finally, instead of saying “why me”, let’s get in the habit of saying “why not me”…and see what magic we can create for ourselves and for others in our orbit.
Fill out the form below and we will schedule a time for a 20 minute informational and supportive phone call regarding joint replacement do’s and don’ts.
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When we first discover, through bone-on-bone pain or an achy thigh or hip area, that we will be needing a hip replacement – our minds might be flooded with fears, questions and a WTF moment or two. I know that my mind and emotions were constantly alternating between disbelief, panic, and numbness. I went right to the internet and researched all night long, and also kept a journal because I had so much emotion and so many questions pouring out of me all at once.
I wasn’t a dancer, I didn’t jog, I didn’t do extreme sports or obsessive workouts – I just had wear-and-tear arthritis (AO) and dysplasia of the hip (which I did not know I was born with). The shit hit the fan when I was 50 and raising my son in his teenage years, as a single mom. So, if single parenting wasn’t enough I had to add a few hip replacements into my life’s mix.
Chronic pain is no fun for anyone, and we can easily become isolated, depressed, depleted and feel alone in our journey into becoming bionic. With young hip replacement recipients, many surgeons would ask patients to wait as long as possible before having surgery, and we did what our doctors told us. We waited until our quality of life got so bad we had to cry “uncle”; I waited two years until I could not even walk. DON’T WAIT. Research your options, get advice. Do your homework. Create a joint replacement support team.
What I didn’t know then or could not have fathomed is that my career and journalistic voice was about to change as well, but first I had to go through the dark night of the soul and TWO hips replacements in 3 years. I chose the conventional replacement the first time, with the posterior approach and titanium on plastic – and that was a very hard recovery for me and my little body.
Three years later, and with my right hip, I went to a surgeon who offered the anterior approach and ceramic and plastic. I was driving after two weeks and did not have the restrictions of the other. I was happy to become a guinea pig of sorts (a very cute one if I may be so bold) and see which approach lasted longer and which had less pain throughout time and travel. By the way, I was told that both approaches end up the same after the recovery period.
Well, it’s 12 years later, and I have to admit I have had a few bouts of scary pain and ache, which also created a sense memory of all that I went through. The pain was most uncomfortable: (1) upon rising from a movie theater seat, (2) after more than 3 – 5 hours of walking (Note to self: stretching first is a great idea), (3) I have to get up every 2 – 3 hours of sitting so I do not get stiff or achy.
Remember, it’s the miles – not the years that remind us how long our hips might last. They could last a lifetime or a few decades – but it is the quality of our lives as hipsters that matter. Don’t take dangerous chances with your hips but also don’t live quietly either.
Feel your strength for all you have been through, be proud of the new bionic YOU and go out there and rock the world. Make a difference. Express your strength. Be there for others. And be YOU in all of your bionic glory!
Feel free to write in your own tips and experiences of pain or relief. And write me if you need anything in your journey from HIP to Hero.
Jodi Seidler, Hipster Girl
Putting the HIP Back into Hip Replacements
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have needed a hip replacement. It started out as a headache in my leg and soon, I couldn’t walk. After swearing off surgery, I spent two painful years in denial going to physical therapy, trying acupuncture, taking medications, even talking to psychics – and just plain praying for a miracle. Having never had surgery, I was fearful of the unknown.
I love and live to walk. Back then, I could not walk more than a block without having to stop. Merely reaching the top of my apartment stairs was a feat that was not going to happen much longer. I basically had to become a pseudo-shut-in. Realizing I was only going downhill, I began to take matters into my own hands. I started calling surgeons and tracking people who had gone through this process before. I did a ton of research before and after so I knew what to ask when I met with the surgeon. In fact, I visited five surgeons. A swimmer at heart and new to the sport of golf, I was ready to get back to the life I had been missing out on. I needed to feel pain-free again. No one can imagine bone-on-bone pain until you have experienced it.
I created my own Surgery Preparation Regimen to get me through the next chapter in my life, complete with:
– A hip farewell party with 45 friends and family members to help create a positive spin on the experience
– Who would stay with me
– Who would bring me dinner
– How I would get around
– Who would take me for walks
– Who was my emergency contact if I was feeling down
– Who would take care of my son as I am a single mother
I also kept a journal so that I had a place to let my feelings out and get in touch with the ‘new me’ emerging through this process. I called it an initiation.
After surgery, my 88-year-old mother flew from Arizona to help ME. Talk about surreal. Never did my mother expect to be taking care of me and changing my light bulbs. But to be honest, it was kind of amazing.
Recovery was intense as I worked through the process of walking with an artificial hip. Then…TWO. I think it would be easy to say ‘poor me’ but instead, I embraced it and realized I needed to help myself and help others in the process.
Jump starting the healing process, I began blogging about my experiences. I am so grateful for the mobility I have now. I am now extra willing to help people struggle with the challenge of joint pain or those who need a replacement of any kind. That is why I wanted to blog. I created HIPSTERCLUB.COM to share my knowledge, experience, hope and to create a community.
Patients have to be their own advocate and I want to help be a solid resource for those willing to seek out the answers.
Whenever I see someone with a limp, I ask them if it is a knee or a hip! Who knows where conversation can lead.
Contact me with any tips or knowledge you wish to share with the group…
View this informational video that is given to patients who come to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, Total Joint Replacement: A Patients Guide. This example will show you more about the joint replacement experience, including how to prepare yourself and your home prior to surgery and what to expect after joint replacement surgery. Please note that your experience may differ slightly depending on which Dartmouth-Hitchcock orthopaedic team you see, however, the process is largely the same for all joint replacement patients.
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Symptoms and signs associated with joint pain can include
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