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.
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.
More articles by Jodi Seidler
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.
Calico — or the California Life Company — has been set up to research subjects related to aging and its associated diseases. Announcing Calico at a media briefing, Google said that the new and independent company will largely focus on age-attendant conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
Larry Page, Google’s ever youthful CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”
Note from Jodi:
I am VERY excited about this Google initiative. I feel aligned and thrilled where they are going with this (plus – I have a 12 year old Calico, named Cali)!
Tens of thousands of patients are stuck in the difficult situation of hearing about a defective medical device — such as a hip implant, knee implant — but not knowing which product they had implanted during a recent surgery. When a medical device is recalled, how should patients react? And how can they find out which implant is inside of them?
Beginning in 2014, some medical devices used in the United States will begin to carry a unique device identifier (UDI) that will allow patients, health care providers, manufacturers and federal regulators to track each device. With the new program, problems could be identified more quickly and recalled products could be tracked down and handled efficiently. Patients could rest more securely because they would be able to identify which product was used in their surgery. Patient information would not be attached to the UDI. By 2018 or thereafter, every medical device could be required to carry a UDI.
For now, patients who have a problematic implant should first try to secure their medical records. If that doesn’t work, a qualified attorney can provide counsel.
The Top 10 Essential Exercise Tips for Hips
If you could create the best possible recovery post hip replacement surgery and only needed to know what to do, would you want to know? If you knew exercise would give you pain relief pre hip replacement surgery and return you to good function in a timely manner post operation, would you give it a try? Exercise is the number one best thing you can do to alleviate the pain from your stiff arthritic hip and to recover strong after having a hip replacement operation. Learning the right type of exercise and which exercises are best is very important. Here is a top 10 list of the best exercises to strengthen your hips both pre and post hip surgery.
Here are the absolute essentials for a great hip exercise program:
Priority #1: Strong Gluteals! Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus
Priority #2: Stretch your hip flexors or illiopsoas muscle
Priority #3: Backward Walking
Priority #4: Gait training (heel toe and endurance)
Priority #5: Check Hamstring flexibility
Priority #6: Step Ups (do post-op only, pre-op is pain dependent)
Priority #7: Core exercises to stabilize pelvis & help posture
Priority #8: Posture awareness, stretches to correct poor posture
Priority #9: Functional exercises to help you manage daily tasks
Priority #10: Aerobic exercise to rebuild cardiovascular conditioning and loosen stiffness
You will want to ensure all of the above components are part of your hip exercise program. Combining all of these exercise goals for hip strength will give you the best opportunity for optimal recovery, balancing your body, maintaining function, and to achieve overall well being.
5 Tips for a Successful Hip Replacement Surgery
For starters, choose an experienced surgeon and finish with commitment to physical therapy
Total hip replacements are on the rise. Now, more than 285,000 of the procedures are performed in the United States each year, up more than 25 percent in just five years, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
“Total hip replacement surgery has some of the best results of all major surgeries,” says Paul King, M.D., director of the Joint Center at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md. Insurance, whether Medicare or commercial, usually covers the bill short of the co-pay. What’s more, the implants, whether ceramic-on-ceramic, or metal and highly cross-linked polyethylene, typically last 20 to 25 years.
Physical therapy after hip replacement surgery is one of the keys to a successful recovery. — Photo by Getty Images
Still, a hip replacement shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a big surgery and — as with all surgeries — there can be complications. To boost your chances of having a successful surgery, pay attention to these five things.
1. Choose an experienced surgeon who frequently performs hip replacements
William Washington, 73, of Washington, D.C., had a total hip replacement nine years ago after arthritis had so damaged cartilage in his hip that bolts of pain routinely shot through his back. He’s pain-free now and plays golf regularly, a happy outcome he attributes to his choice of an experienced surgeon. “He had done plenty of these and many people had recommended him,” Washington says. “He’s the mechanic. He knows the way to do it.”
Experience is the key, but how much? At least 30 replacements a year, says Brian Parsley, an orthopedic surgeon in Houston and one of the directors of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. And the surgeon should have done at least 100 procedures, says Justin Cashman, a Maryland orthopedic surgeon. How to find such a surgeon? “Your primary care physician can point you in the right direction,” says Cashman.
It’s very important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions. Additionaly, here are some suggestions that may make life a little easier at home. Please discuss these with your surgeon before you are discharged from the hospital:
- Remember that you’ll probably tire more easily than usual. You may want to plan a rest period of 30 to 60 minutes midmorning and mid-afternoon.
- It’s safer and easier to get in and out of chairs using both arms, and you should avoid low or overstuffed furniture. To increase your comfort, use a cushion or pillow to raise your body while seated.
- An elevated toilet seat may reduce stress to your hips as you sit and stand.
- A shelf placed in the shower at chest height help you avoid bending to retrieve items while in the shower.
- A bathtub seat (bench) allows you to sit while bathing for increased safety and comfort.
- A long-handled bath sponge may be used to reach lower legs. Women can also purchase razor extenders for shaving their legs.
- Avoid sweeping, mopping, and running the vacuum cleaner. Use long-handled feather dusters for dusting high and low items. Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to sweep, mop, and vacuum.
- You may ride in a car, but ask your doctor. If yes, you must follow your doctor’s instructions for how to get in and out of the vehicle. You can raise the height of the car seat with pillows to protect your hips. Your doctor will talk with you about when you can drive, typically within four to six weeks after surgery. If you have a car with manual transmission, talk with your doctor about driving limitations. Make sure you can use the brake without discomfort before you attempt to drive in traffic.
- Constipation is a common problem following surgery. This is usually due to your limited activity and any pain medications you may be taking. Discuss your diet with your doctor. It should include fresh fruits and vegetables as well as eight full glasses of liquid each day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Your doctor will probably give you a prescription for pain pills. Please follow your doctor’s instructions concerning these medications.
- Some swelling around the incision is normal. You’ll find it more comfortable to wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on the incision. Ask your doctor or other qualified health professional about appropriate wound care.
Week 1: Talking to your Health Care Provider
You get ready for a date. You prepare for tasks and meetings at work. How do you prepare for visits to your health care provider?
The first step is to find a health care provider you feel comfortable with. If you can share how you feel, both physically and emotionally, then you and your health care provider can work together as partners in your health care.
During your visit, explain your symptoms: what is bothering you, when it started, and if you have noticed any pattern. Ask for clear explanations about your condition, any medication or treatment, and instructions on how to recover after an illness, injury, or hospital procedure.
Consider bringing a family member or friend. Let them know in advance what you want from your visit. With good communication, you and your health care provider can team up to make sure you get the best health care possible.