Helen, 60, was always active as an elementary school teacher. She noticed that there was a “deep pain” in her right hip and over the counter pain medication didn’t help. When she had an X-ray, the doctor told her that synovial fluid had been depleted from her hip joint, which was causing her bone on bone pain. But at that point, they said she was too young for a hip replacement. Helen modified her activities but at one point she felt like her pain made her seem as if she “was 98 as opposed to 48.” Helen needed to find a specialist who could see she really needed a replacement and couldn’t wait. She found one who, after a series of tests, told her there was no question: she needed a hip replacement.
HELEN: My name is Helen I'm sixty years old and I've had a total hip replacement my life was kind of active very active doing a number of things like teaching school and being with the elementary school children you have to be active and keep up with them and then I did acting and have to keep up with that you know when they tell you to walk after walking today he said if the set and a lot of times when I had to do all of these I was in pain.
HELEN: I just noticed in my right hip there was a-a deep hurt and some time as I was walking I would almost fall, you know lose balance on it. I noticed that when I would try to cross my legs there was pain. I noticed when I would start bending down from my waist on the right hand side there was pain. When I was sleeping, turning over there was pain on the right side and so I began to notice that and take pain medication just over the counter it wasn't doing any good so then I went to a doctor to have this checked out. I was given the X-ray and there was less synovial fluid that had depleted from the joints and it was causing my joints to rub together but at that point they said I was too young for a hip replacement.
HELEN: I chose to do water aerobics to carry me over because the buoyancy of the water helped the impact, it helped to move my body, you know my legs. By doing those types of routines in the swimming pool I was preparing myself to get stronger and I also was working on the pain that I was enduring. I felt as though I needed the exercise because I like physical exercise and the aerobics that I was doing the pouncing hard on the floor was even making more pain so I had to find a physical activity that I could do that would cause me less pain doing it.
HELEN: When the light came on, Helen it's time when I was working on a show and it was with a singing group and it demanded choreography and we had the choreographer there and I couldn't do the movements they had to alternate the movements for me because I could not just even bear the pain and that was the aha moment you have to go and get this done. I went back again to the same doctor had X-rays done again and it was getting more complicated, it is getting worse. It affected my back, it affected how I sat for long periods of time I could not sit in one place I had to move periodically, I’d have to switch you know over and get the pressure off of my right hip. So yes it interfered with a lot of my physical activity. I was in pain, I was the one bending over stooping over looking like I was 98 as opposed to 48 so I knew I needed a hip replacement.
HELEN: I was told that I needed a hip replacement and that I wasn't getting the hip replacement I had to search until I found someone that would see already that I needed the hip replacement and then get it done.