For seven years I had been struggling with all sorts of pain from my hip to my ankle on the left side. After many doctors and physical therapists (and all manner of therapies) I went to a new physical therapist, who had a completely different diagnosis: he felt it all stemmed from my hip and, after a bit of therapy, we decided it was time for an x-ray. I was at the point where I could rarely walk without severe pain. I'm a hiker, and the final time I hiked before going for the x-ray my hiking buddy wanted to go get the car to pick me up at the trailhead as we finished - I was in absolute agony and she was freaked. I'm also a jazz singer and at my last performance before surgery I was literally holding on to the piano the entire time because the shooting pain could be so excruciating. These were deal breakers for living my life. (And I had this fantasy that one day I'd play tennis again. Now, to be clear, I'm not good at it! I'm a hacker but I missed it!)
The x-ray led to the decision that it was time to see an orthopedic surgeon. I already knew I would only consider HSS from stories over the years from family and friends. So I asked people to recommend a doctor as HSS. I received several and made what I thought was the first of several appointments to check out a few doctors. I met with Dr. Gonzalez Della Valle. That's all I needed. I knew right away he, and his staff, was the right place for me to land.
I remember the day after surgery the nurses (in that INCREDIBLE hospital!!) kept asking about my pain level. I finally had to ask them to explain what they meant. I mean ... I KNEW pain before they rolled me into surgery. This was something different and way way more bearable. Not exactly pain (to me) really. I want to add that the hospital experience was like something from a science fiction movie about what expert, caring, kind and loving care can be in a hospital. When I filled out the evaluation (where the range was a scale from 1-10 (10 being best) on various questions), at one point I answered that the form failed because it needed a 12 in most categories.
Since my surgery I've performed quite a bit - completely pain free. I've hiked. I've gotten down on the floor and played with the great nieces and nephews (and slid down the slides with them!). And I even played a bit of tennis! When I stood on the tennis court I got choked up. I could not believe I was there. And, on January 21, 2017, when the Women's March took place, I was able to join in (in NYC where I live). I met up with a group of friends and, because of the turnout, we basically stood in one place for 3 hours. I told a friend after the "march" that there would have been NO way I could have stood in one place without holding on to something for 20 minutes let alone 3 hours before my surgery. It was exhilarating to be able to participate in life in this way.
Dr. Della Valle and his staff are remarkable. I thank him, them and everyone at HSS for, literally, putting me back in MY game. Put your hip in their care!!!
My photos are all since the surgery. The scenery is from a hike. Others are me playing with the kids, performing, and my Women's March (me in the back in the blue coat). Notice how happy I am in all of them!