Monday, October 5, 2009

Hip Replacement - Do I need it?

As we are hearing a lot of news these days regarding health care reform, I would like to have more choices in treatment in my health care plan. "Health care" is too much focused on the diseases. It doesn't give the individual too many options of treatment and certainly, in most cases, the benefit of really getting well.
Since the beginning of the New Year I started to develop pain in my right leg and hip while walking and standing. I contacted my family doctor for a physical and mentioned my concern with the right leg. She recommended an MRI, and after she had seen that report, referred me to an orthopedic doctor.

With a copy of these pictures, I appeared at the orthopedic doctor only to find that he preferred x-rays which he took in his local office. He showed me the pictures and pointed out that the hip joint was beginning to deteriorate. He was encouraging that I was still too young for a hip replacement and therefore suggested a steroid injection. That could only be done under ultra-sound at the hand of a surgeon in the hospital. What do you do when you only have two choices? I agreed to the steroid injection.
Unfortunately, it gave me only three weeks of pain relief. After that I went back to another doctor who had treated me for back pain earlier. I loved that treatment and the massages, but it didn’t bring the desired result. I heard that acupunture would give pain relieve. But it wasn't enough in my case. Next I tried a chiropractor. He was almost able to fix the difference of the leg length but couldn’t help with the weakness of the muscles and the hip pain.

My family went on a ten days vacation and I thought that is a good break. But since I was in pain most of the time I couldn’t really enjoy the time with my family, except that I discovered a new side in my kids, now they were taking care of me, wheeling me around and helping me walk.

What was I to do? When we came back from the vacation, I made an appointment with a different orthopedic doctor. He took another x-ray and convinced me that I needed a hip-replacement. The good news was that he suggested a partial replacement or what they call Resurfacing. It still makes an operation necessary by with lesser impact since the bone is resurfaced, kind of like a crown on a tooth. Again, I chose the lesser invasive procedure. The only thing was that they could schedule me except with a six week wait.

I was still looking at the perfect picture of a right hip joint every day (see above), wondering if there was any other way? If I was picturing the good outcome, then something better could happen, right?
Well, for about three weeks, nothing happen. Then, a friend of mine heard about my situation and he asked if he could talk to me about it. He is a licensed massage therapist, and he felt that he could help me. But the most important thing he suggested that I would ask a few other people to pray for me for three weeks to get some new direction. I was delighted, and felt bad that I hadn’t thought of prayer before.

There were still many concerns besides the operation. I was facing stiffness all over the body, joint pains and overall fatigue.
By the second week of the prayer condition, I felt motivated to look up the Internet for some answers regarding natural treatment for arthritis and joint pains. I came across a clinic in Cincinnati, headed by a medical doctor who was offering all kinds of alternative treatments. I got really excited and had an appointment within three days (I don’t know why allopathic practices need weeks of waiting).
In the meantime I had one visit with my massage therapist who with pressure points and exercise had me so limber that I could walk the stairs effortless. He told me that at the cellular level the body keeps memories like, I can’t walk right, this hurts and I have arthritis, etc. These are contraindicating messages to our mind and don’t help us to get well. Instead he suggested to focus on wellness, walking without pain, health and being whole. He also had me take a foot bath in ionic water which pulls out toxins from the body.
Then I went to the wellness center where the doctor had several alternatives for hip health. He explained that even though the bone of my hip deteriorated somewhat it is the muscles and the ligaments which become weak and need support. He had several options, like injections of joint fluid, prolotherapy which stimulates the soft tissue, ligament and cartilage repair or a third possibility, Platelet Rich Plasma injections which is adult stem-cell therapy. This sounded more like real solutions with a long-term pain relief.

On the very last day of the three week prayer I had my first injections. Even though it was painful I felt so grateful and hopeful that I had made a better decision with the help and support of my friends.
As some of you might face similar decisions in the next few years, maybe not regarding hip replacement, I really want to encourage you to trust your own heart and ask yourself, is this just a temporary solution or is this still going have me better in ten years. Because the body renews itself continuously, even into old age. With good nutrition, exercise and most of all a positive and hopeful mindset, we can remain healthy and well. And I belief that within the next few years we will learn of more modalities which actually support our health and not just disguise themselves as disease care (health care).

My present regiment for recuperation:
As I mentioned before, I had my first Platelet Rich Plasma injection on 9-21-09. Alongside with this treatment I am seeing a licenced massage therapist who helps me with muscle and joint stimulation through relieving acupressure points. I am able to do many of these exercises on a daily base by myself. He also uses an Ionizing Foot Bath to detoxify my body. Every time I do this, I am dumping more and more toxins, sludge and candida into the water.
One of my favorite exercise comes in handy with this situation: rebounding. Because of the low impact on my joints, I can do a light bounce and started to do even some jogging (not leaving the matt as yet). It also helps to strengthen the immune system which is a good protection for the colder months.
My vitamin regiment includes MonaVie juice, Microhydrin, Spirulina, Calcium, Vitamin C, Fishoil, and a Joint Formula. I also started juicing again to have the health benefits of the enzymes in the fresh pressed produce and the natural vitamins and minerals.
Last but not least the important thing is to believe in my recovery. God sees us as whole, healthy and complete human beings. With total faith and by participating in my health, I believe that I can be walk again very soon.

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