To the Editor:
We all know that as we age, parts of our bodies, like parts on old automobiles, fall apart or have to be replaced. I recently had my second replacement part installed — a “new left hip.” One arrives at the decision to have the operation when the pain gets too bad
We are fortunate in Manhattan to have am outstanding Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, which attracts patients from a wide geographical area; all of its physicians are outstanding. I chose Dr. Peter Hodges and his associates , and so far I can thankfully say, all is going well.
Equally important is hospital and rehab care to assure a good recovery. Prior to surgery a patient has to be cleared by his or her regular physician by undergoing the requisite X-rays and tests to make sure one is healthy enough for the operation.
Mercy Hospital did a wonderful job that began with requiring candidates for joint replacement to attend a class during which professionals in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and nutrition explain what one can expect and what one can do or not do. Candidates are introduced to some new devices such as a walker, a reacher, something to help pull socks on and others. These would become part of our daily lives.
The day after surgery about six of us elderly patients were corralled in the hall of the joint center at the hospital and given our first lesson on how to rehab and use all our new tools. Everyone at Mercy from the physical therapy and occupational therapy personnel to nurses and the housekeeper, Dolly, were upbeat, helpful and optimistic. After my three-day stay. I was transported to the Meadowlark Hills Bramlage Rehabilitation Unit.
I did not know what to expect when I arrived at Bramlage, but immediately felt at ease. Shortly I saw most of the same patients who were with me at Mercy, and we shared our meager progress reports daily.
Each day we were scheduled to meet the nurses, CNA’s, physical therapists and occupational therapists to guide us through our recovery. They emphasized what we could or should not do and tried to make us ready for our eventual release.
In my case this meant, that I could get in and out of bed by myself and dress myself. Of particular assistance daily were Jamie, Vivian and Tish. I am confident that the time people spend at a rehab facility like Bramlage speeds up the recovery process.
We are going to endure some physical pain in our lives, which I call the bad pain. Rehabilitation does bring on some physical pain, but it is good pain because it helps prepare you for better days ahead.