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Ermelinda Balocco

Atlanta, GA
  • Ermelinda Balocco in the photo 1
  • Ermelinda Balocco in the photo 2
  • Ermelinda Balocco in the photo 3

I underwent a total bilateral hip replacement in 2013, but before making this decision I faced a long road of terrible sufferance. Enclosed in myself I kept on suffering psychologically and physically for more than two years, spending my days lying in bed because of the pain.

I was a divorced, brilliant, admired woman and a mother to two wonderful kids. I had a beautiful job that I loved and for which I had a lot of awards. I was invited to dinners, parties, I did a lot of sports, from skiing and diving to ballet. I had a lot of friends, but as I began to suffer and I was not able to move anymore, the whole scenario surrounding me changed.

Often envied, maybe for the strength I had in facing serious painful private problems, all of a sudden the world began to crumble. Beginning quietly, it shortly ruined completely on me: a terrible arthritis stage made me suffer.

I was educated to never complain and nobody was aware of my situation, and when I tried to talk about it with my sons, for example, I realized that in such situations nobody really cares and, overall, nobody really understands the hell that people pass through when affected by serious arthritis. At that time everybody was thinking that, anyway, I was a strong woman and I could do it. I could do what? Now it seems funny to me, but I was even ashamed to go for groceries. Crossing the parking lot became a mental problem because someone could see me limping and grabbing a cart became a huge achievement because it worked as a cane. So one day I made the great decision: I went to Dr. Padgett, who simply said to me: “You cannot keep on like this, you need surgery." I was terrified, but I underwent my bilateral THR six months apart.

One month after my first surgery I was already walking fast in Central Park smiling at the sky looking for my Guardian Angel who made me meet my doctor to whom I owe my new life. Although I still have little things to fix, now I can do Hatha Yoga, Yoga Tune Up (only available in LA), Zumba, belly dance, etc. All of this has been the greatest lessons of my life. I already extremely believed that life is not about power, and success, it is not about materiality, or pride. We must be humble and recognize that it is really about simple things: being able to walk and run again in the wind, these are the greatest gifts I ever received in my entire life. Thanks to Doctor Padgett, who gave me a new self-confidence through freedom, independence and happiness. I also have to thank this highly specialized hospital, which really deserves to be ranked #1 of the country for Orthopedics.