I have trained in the martial arts for over 40 years and hold black belts in karate and jiu jutsu. Although I was 56 years old at the time of my surgery I was still regularly training in the martial arts and Bikram yoga, working out at least 5 times a week. I came to HSS and Dr. Westrich after enduring increasing pain in my left hip over a three year period. The pain in my hip was constant and excruciating, and despite all this I resisted seeking treatment. To make my story all the more unique is that I have been in healthcare my whole adult career, as a paramedic (and to this day still work as such at New York Presbyterian), nurse, hospital executive and healthcare attorney, and yet I was deathly afraid of facing the inevitable, I knew I needed a new hip. I so feared surgery and especially anesthesia.
However, when the time came to have surgery I turned to HSS. I had always advised friends and families, and anyone else who sought advice on where to go with an orthopedic problem, to head straight to HSS. Being steeped in New York healthcare community I held HSS is the highest esteem. Moreover, when I had dislocated my elbow a year or so earlier, I headed straight to HSS and Dr. Daluiski. So when I finally resigned myself to the fact that I had to have surgery I turned once again to HSS.
Two good friends of mine, who are physicians, told me about Dr. Westrich. From the very first encounter with Dr. Westrich’s office I felt my fear and anxiety begin to ebb. Denise, the office manager, was so sweet yet so professional. From my first appointment for a consult through my surgery scheduling to my follow up, she was absolutely amazing.
Dr. Westrich examined me and took the time to explain every aspect of the surgery and allay my fears. He demonstrated incredible poise, empathy and professionalism, attributes that are, unfortunately, difficult to find in medicine today. I walked out of that first consultative visit with total confidence in Dr. Westrich and HSS.
Prior to my surgery I was required to take a class as part of the pre-surgical process. The professionals leading the class covered virtually every aspect of the hospital and recovery process. Dr. Meng, who conducted my pre-op medical examination, was absolutely wonderful.
On my day of surgery, I arrived at the appointed time, and was escorted through the registration and pre-op process by a series of amazing staff and professional personnel. The process was so organized and efficient, but concomitantly warm, welcoming and comforting. I was taken to the operating room at my appointed time, sedated by the anesthesiologist and woke up several hours later without any pain in my hip.
My two and a half days in the hospital were equally impressive with a parade of nurses, physicians and other professionals caring for me and explaining at every turn the process. I was discharged home walking with a cane.
I participated in physical therapy as prescribed by Dr. Westrich. In a little over a month post-op I was walking without a cane. After about two months, I was back to doing yoga and jiu jutsu on a limited basis. Three months later I was doing karate, Jiu Jutsu and yoga virtually without limitation. As I write this, nine months post-op, I can honestly say that my surgery and recovery have far exceeded my wildest expectation. I have enjoyed, since my surgery, a pain free and active life, engaging in the activities that I love and frankly doing things that I have not been able to do for a very long time. The relief of pain cannot be overstated – I am able to sleep through the night without waking up in pain throughout the night. This in and of itself is an incredible result.
Perhaps the greatest testament to the incredible impact that Dr. Westrich and HSS made on my life is the fact that five months post-op I carried my three year old grandson on my shoulders all around the Bronx zoo for an entire day.
It is not hyperbole to state that Dr. Westrich, his staff, and the entire HSS team have dramatically changed my life. Thank you.