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
Jodi Seidler from Hipster Club shares her tips and insights.
Just like baby proofing your home, it’s important to prepare your home for your hip replacement.
Find a Doctor, hospital or Doctor that uses the manufacturers that you want in your hip or knee!
Find Joint Replacement Clinics & Hospitals
Santa Monica, California
Both Posterior and Anterior Procedures by Robert Klapper, MD and Robert Klenck, MD
Because of my orthopaedic care, I can have MY LIFE BACK, not live in bone-on-bone pain and most importantly I can now help others. I created HIP communities through this life changing process and HIP initiation – at hipsterclub.com and hipsterclub.ning.com.
Area weather warnings help patients
- Chris Rauber
“Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot,” as described in a poem my daughter Katie memorized in first grade, it can have a big impact on health, especially for people with chronic medical conditions like migraines or asthma.
Since mid-December, Bay Area residents, and others in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom who suffer from migraines, arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart conditions, can opt for free, localized weather warnings. Using such information, they can either stay indoors, make sure they take their medications, or take other steps to avoid potential weather-triggered difficulties.
The MediClim.com web site, created by Dr. John Bart and meteorologist Denis Bourque, sends localized warnings 24 hours before Bay Area conditions change in ways that could contribute to chronic health problems. He says U.K. studies have shown that such early warnings can cut hospitalizations for chronic conditions by 20 percent.
How to be Participatory in the Face of Adversity
Nancy Finn | May 14, 2013
From the lens of a patient who recently experienced major surgery, I now realize how difficult it is to be participatory when you are in pain and taking large doses of pain medication which dulls the senses and puts you in a place where you are not really thinking about anything but how to get through the next couple of days.
I consider myself to be an empowered patient who fully participates in my health care, questions my clinicians, and evaluates the risk/benefit of treatment plans presented by my clinicians.
I use the health data my clinician offers, including the reports and notes that are in my electronic health record, and confer with people who have had some experience with the same or similar conditions. I always go one step further and search the web for relevant information that applies to my particular health concerns. I provide feedback to my doctors and never hesitate to speak up and ask questions. I tap the wisdom and advice of my peers and encourage my providers to be participatory.
Leveraging ePatient Communications
Posted by bryonmain on February 28th, 2013
As social media in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry becomes more widespread, a growing trend is ePatient communication. The internet has become the go-to source of information for many people; that holds true as they research diagnoses, check up on current research, and connect with others for support.
Citizen bloggers, with a particular diagnosis, educate themselves, and are a key source of information for others with a similar diagnosis. In the digital age, where nearly everyone has a smartphone, these “man on the street” blogs offer a personal voice, answering questions and addressing areas of concern, as well as offering support. Patient bloggers, read by a wide range of patients and caregivers, can be a key source of internet buzz, when they offer a review or opinion on a new therapy or drug treatment option. Pharmaceutical companies can network with these bloggers, gaining both a platform for patient marketing, but also a window into the concerns and trends patients notice.
Many Americans turn to friends and family for support and advice when they have a health problem. This report shows how people’s networks are expanding to include online peers, particularly in the crucible of rare disease.
The most striking finding of the national survey is the extent of peer-to-peer help among people living with chronic conditions. One in four internet users living with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, lung conditions, cancer, or some other chronic ailment (23%) say they have gone online to find others with similar health concerns. By contrast, 15% of internet users who report no chronic conditions have sought such help online.
When asked about the last time they had a health issue, however, 71% of adults in the U.S. say they received information, care, or support from a health professional. Fifty-five percent of adults say they turned to friends and family. Twenty-one percent of adults say they turned to others who have the same health condition. The oft-expressed fear that patients are using the internet to self-diagnose and self-medicate without reference to medical professionals does not emerge in national phone surveys or in this special rare-disease community survey.
Join a discussion of this report on e-patients.net: Healthcare Out Loud