May 14, 2024

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Finally Gets the Help She Needs

OrthoIndy News

Jenny Brown was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was four years old. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting children. It is a swelling of the joints that is characterized by heat and pain.

“I wasn’t allowed to participate in sports as a kid, and sitting in gym class was a nightmare,” Jenny said. “My wrists wouldn’t bend fully, and I couldn’t sit on the ground at all. The worst part was that none of the teachers took me seriously. I adopted the ‘don’t let them see you cry’ mindset very early on.”

Despite the challenges faced when she was younger, Jenny still lived her life. She did dance from ages 5 to 18, became a supervisor and surgical coordinator at Ascension St. Vincent, and had a son who was very into sports. It wasn’t until 8 years ago that Jenny even considered getting surgery.

“I really let it go one for too long. I favored my left leg so much; they told me I lost 8 millimeters in it.”

With the pain worsening, Jenny finally decided it was time to get help.

Feeling Heard

Jenny was incredibly worried at first when she first came to see Dr. Millikan, but that anxiety quickly melted away. “Talking to Dr. Millikan felt like a breath of fresh air,” she said. “Before, I had never felt very listened to in doctor’s offices or taken care of, for that matter. I avoided going to the doctor for years because of it.”

“Dr. Millikan put the decision in my hands and listened to my concerns. He didn’t try to pressure me to schedule a surgery as soon as possible – he wanted me to be comfortable.”

After discussing it for some time, Jenny and Dr. Millikan decided to schedule the surgery out several weeks to give Jenny time to prepare. “I’m a single mother. I was very worried about getting around my house after the surgery. I bought every little gadget and gizmo you can think of that might help.” Later, Jenny would find that she was overprepared.

New Outlook on Life

Jenny was at OrthoIndy Hospital for less than 24 hours. Her surgery went smoothly, and after a few sessions with a physical therapist, Jenny had almost no issues moving about. “I got a walker to help me move around after the surgery, and after 3 days I didn’t need it!” she said. “I was so surprised by how short a time it took for me to recover. I didn’t need to use any of the things I had to bought to help me recover.”

Dr. Millikan was proud of Jenny and her recovery. “After meeting with Jenny, we were able to develop a plan of care that addressed her problems, but also fit into her busy life. Jenny’s hip showed the wear and tear of a busy life, but once the arthritis and unhealthy tissue was removed, the remaining bone was healthy and ready to accept the implants. Jenny did a fantastic job following her postoperative plan and did her part to ensure a great result. Great work, Jenny!.”

Now, Jenny can attend her son’s games without concern or complaint. “Honestly, Dr. Millikan gave me a new outlook on life. I haven’t walked without a limp since I was 5 years old, and now I no longer have one.” Jenny’s one concern was that she hadn’t gotten the surgery sooner. “If anyone has doubts, I beg you to reconsider. It’s a life changer. You don’t realize how bad the pain is until after the surgery. I recommend it to anybody – don’t wait until you’re older.”

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