One year ago today I had bilateral knee replacement surgery with Dr. Rodriguez at HSS. In our house, we call him J. Rod because he's an all star!!
I am crying as I write this because it is the anniversary of getting not just two new wonderful knees, but getting my life back after many years of pain and disability!! I will be quick with this note because I'm off to Pilates. That's right, Pilates; I'm not just knitting and watching T.V. anymore. I'm not in pain every time I stand up - leaning on and using the table to help me rise, too embarrassed when out with other couples to get up to use the bathroom, afraid to climb or descend stairs because of the pain, hoping the hot shower would stop the pain every morning, being dropped off in front anywhere while my husband parked because it was too hard to walk, watching others play with the toddlers and smiling form the sidelines, hesitant to plan the travel we always expected to do in retirement because of my pain and inabilities or living on increasing doses of NSAIDs. You get the picture but that is no longer my reality. In fact it is the opposite now - I am a young 66 year old in mind and spirit, and now in body and lifestyle too!!
We chose HSS because of its reputation and Dr. Rodriguez on the recommendation of friends who had used him. EVERYTHING about those decisions has proven to be justified. "Bilateral? Both at the same time?!" everyone said with the face that said 'you must be crazy'. But it's really what I wanted, even though other doctors were even dubious. And when I went for my first consultation, that's what Dr. J. Rod suggested. That, his credentials, experience and amazing personality all sealed the deal. He thought I was healthy enough and 'young' enough to do both, and therefore to get on with my life sooner. It would take work on my part he said; but together we could do it AND WE DID.
So, after Pilates today, I'm also going to a travel agent; we're planning a three week trip to China. Among other things, I have to walk The Great Wall of China with these new knees of mine. And we're signing up for dancing lessons because of all the upcoming weddings - I really do love to dance and now I can again. I was sitting out for much to much before my new knees!!
I cannot say enough about the care and attention I received from Dr. Rodriguez's entire team and everyone at HSS (i.e., medical, administrative, nursing, PT, OT, aides, and cleaning staff). The expertise at all levels, emphasis on cleanliness, communication and clockwork-like procedures, attention to safety and prioritization of patient needs are among the things that make HSS a superior institution. And they are the things that allow the patient to focus their energies on recovery without worrying or even thinking about anything else.
On this one year anniversary, this is my THANK YOU note to all of you!!