You probably know me better -if you do at all- as the editor in chief and business writer at LatinasinBusiness.us but today, I wanted to share with you how a “bad hip” has given me a new perspective of life and helped me take stock of my health.
I always say I will never be very successful in social media or politics because I hate to share my private life with others in the public eye. However, this experience has been so life altering that I wanted to share it with those of you who might be having this same health issue or know someone –your mom, your dad, a neighbor or a friend- who is suffering from a bad hip.
Age has little to do with a bad hip because it all depends on the causes of the injury. Through this experience, I have met people as young as 35 years of age who underwent a hip replacement procedure and patients as old as 93. Yes, it is true that the majority of “hippers” are the baby-boomers coming of age but there are other factors that might impact your hip and your life. That was my case.
How all started a sunny day in March of 2014
I was coming back from my son’s house a sunny and cold day in March of 2014. As a lucky Latina grandma, I moved closer to my sons to enjoy my beautiful granddaughters Alyssa, 4, and Kristina, 3.
The distance between my house and theirs is about 12 to 15 minutes by car but I need to travel a local route with three lanes on each side, a busy road with a 55 mile an hour speed limit and several traffic lights on the way.
I was standing on the far left lane at an intersection waiting for the green light when suddenly –don’t ask me why- I looked into the rearview mirror and I saw this Mustang coming my way. The driver was cutting off lanes, flying from the last intersection and rapidly approaching me. I thought, “he is not stopping!” and braced myself for impact. I remember wearing a heavy black thick coat with a hoodie, and my only instinct was to protect my neck.
As in a slow motion picture, I saw the guy looking down –probably to his cell phone- when approaching my car; then, he looked up but it was too late. His eyes opened in a terrified and hopeless expression. He impacted my car at full speed. Then I felt a second impact –later I found out a third car had hit him in a double crash- and my vehicle was pushed forward, hitting another car in front of me. Needless to say, my car was totalled.
Fast forward two plus years
After 2 years of unsuccessful treatments of painful back and leg pain problems –you name it– I did it. I was recommended a final unguaranteed solution: back surgery. I had increasingly lost strength in my right leg and could barely walk, lately using a cane to move around.
My life was in shambles. At 65, and having been a very physical person with a lot of energy all my life, I found myself thinking that it was all over and that I had finally hit the one health challenge I could not overcome. I was ready to accept a life with limitations.
I slowly started changing my work life. I´d had a successful multicultural marketing communications business for over 20 years with clients in nine states that required constant traveling. I had to give that up, unable to drive for long distances or having difficulty boarding planes and walking around airports as I used to. Also, I was unable to stand for long hours –my presentations would last between 5 and 6 hours standing on my feet.
A beneficial side effect: LatinasinBusiness.us was born. I created a virtual business that would allow me to stay in touch with what I love to do the most –writing and coaching– and the opportunity to create my legacy for Latinas building businesses, families and communities. I wanted to help them walk their path with less stress and more help than I ever had in my own business.
Before making this major decision about surgery, obviously I searched for a second opinion. A God-given circumstance then changed the course of action. Looking for a possible non-surgical solution, I consulted a Pain Management physician who had helped my son with some disks problems a few years back. He is an extraordinary diagnostician and he was the one who pointed me in the right direction. He connected the fact that I had had the right foot on the break during the crash, the traction of which, he believed, had impacted my hip. For the first time, I had some hope.
Find the right answers in someone you can trust
There is a happy ending to the story. It’s been 22 days since my “bad hip” surgery –I underwent the direct anterior hip replacement, a procedure with a fantastic recovery time and very little pain. I’m walking 20 minutes a day, biking 10 minutes daily, and leading an almost normal pain- free life. My physical therapist is extremely happy with my progress –she is also concerned I’m trying to do too much. But the reality is, I have not felt happier in a long time.
Finding the right physician is essential in the outcome of any health situation, someone you can trust and who proves you s/he can bring a solution to your problem –or at least, give you the path of hope you need to confront it.
As in many aspects of life, taking what other people tell you with a grain of salt is crucial in finding solutions to your problems. I don’t care if you have fame, are a celebrity in your profession or even if you were sent by the Pope: if it doesn’t make sense to me, if time and again you are not giving me the answers I need, then I have to look elsewhere.
I have gained some benefits from the situation. One, as I mentioned, was starting our site dedicated to the economic empowerment of Latinas, which I encourage you to visit. The other is a less stressful vision of my work life, finding a solution to continue to do want I love even in the worst circumstances. To be honest, interacting with these powerful and incredibly innovative Latinas has maintained my sanity all through these two years and nurtured me in ways I could not have imagined before.
Finally, I want to celebrate and be thankful for recovering my health, something so many times we take for granted. My wish is not to live a longer but a fuller, healthier life; that I can share with my loved ones without becoming a burden.
If you or someone you know is facing this same health issue, and you are unsure of the results or benefits of this procedure, do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll be happy to share my experience with you.