Suzanne Lichtman, 65, was living a life of denial for three long years. She repeatedly told herself she had a temporary problem that would go away on its own. Suzanne’s problem was that she was in constant pain due to hip issues. She had increased her dosage of Advil, until she was taking nine or ten a day. Suzanne saw two different doctors and both told her the same thing; she needed hip replacement surgery.
However, Suzanne still refused to face the facts. She tried to do physical therapy to get her hip back in shape, instead of the surgery. Suzanne limped horrifically. Her entire body leaned to the side as she walked. The pain was constant. She was forced to drop out of her beloved hiking club because she could no longer walk a mile, let alone five. Suzanne had to buy a self-propelled lawn mower because she could no longer cut her lawn with a push mower. Not only was her pain affecting her body, it was also affecting her relationship with her family.
When Suzanne traveled to Washington D.C. to visit her son and his family she was limited on what she was able to do. She could not walk to go to museums or the zoos. Suzanne could no longer play with her toddler grandchildren either. She had to sit in the outfield to watch older grandchildren play baseball because the bleachers were impossible to climb or even walk to for that matter.
“I cried every day and night,” said Suzanne. “Although, I continued to do everything I could even in extreme pain and only cried behind closed doors.”
The diagnosis-total hip replacement surgery
One afternoon, while Suzanne was cutting her grass, a man walked by with his dog. Suzanne was crying and he asked her what was wrong. When he noticed that she could barely walk he shared his hip replacement story with her. She finally had the courage to get out of denial and face the facts.
“I realized that I could no longer live that poor quality of life,” she said. “I realized that there was hope if there was determination, and I certainly had that determination.”
That’s when she called OrthoIndy and her life made a drastic change for the better. Suzanne made an appointment with Dr. Eric Monesmith at OrthoIndy South. Dr. Monesmith was direct and to the point. He told her there was no way around it, she needed hip replacement surgery and the sooner the better. Suzanne was given a choice: return to her previous active lifestyle or live a life of pain.
“Suzanne had osteoarthritis of the hip,” said Dr. Monesmith. “She had exhausted other forms of treatment, such as medications and over the counter supplements. She was having activity and lifestyle limiting pain and she wanted to be active again. Hip replacement was her only option if she wanted to go back to that lifestyle.”
Suzanne decided to accept the diagnosis and trust Dr. Monesmith. “Dr. Monesmith was very positive and reassuring,” she said. “He was confident in his ability to do a great surgery and that I would recover to return to my normal active lifestyle. His self-confidence gave me the peace of mind I had been seeking.”
Hip replacement recovery
Suzanne’s surgery was a success. Although, she had to give up running, high impact activities and slamming on the garden shovel, she has returned back to a normal life. She walks without a limp, has re-joined the Indianapolis Hiking Club, sleeps pain free and is able to garden again, her favorite activity.
“Thanks to Dr. Monesmith, I feel alive again,” said Suzanne. “I am able to do just about everything I could do prior to the hip pain. I am happy.”
To someone considering hip replacement surgery Suzanne would like them to know her story of success. Often people hear a horror story about someone they knew or heard about and that often makes people weary about getting the surgery. Suzanne said if the gentleman she talked to that afternoon would have told her his success story earlier she would’ve had the courage to get the surgery a lot earlier. That’s why she was compelled to tell her story.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Monesmith please call 317.884.5166 or learn more about joint replacement surgery at OrthoIndy.