Concordia Foundation News

My journey to walk again – pain free I

Norma Walchuk

first started having pain and problems with my hip in my early 20s. By my mid-20s, the pain was unbearable and I went

to see a few different doctors and eventually, I asked to be referred to a specialist. We lived in Saskatoon at the time of being referred to the specialist. When I went to the specialist, Dr.

King reviewed the x-rays of my hips, and he knew right away what the problem was. Apparently, I was born with hip dysplasia in both hips. My hips were not formed properly when I was born. Should this have been detected when I was a

baby, they would have had me wear a brace. Te brace could have helped correct the dysphasia. If the brace doesn’t correct it, then they do a surgery as an infant which will usually rectify it. Aſter seeing Dr. King, he decided to send

me to his colleague in Saskatoon, for a second opinion. Because of my young age, the first two specialists were indecisive between doing a total hip replacement or a possible Osteotomy. Dr. Dust decided he would send me to a third specialist in Calgary. Te doctor in Calgary determined that they

would do an osteotomy on my leſt hip. He told me at the time, this would prolong the life of my hip until possibly my 40’s. Aſter that, they would consider having a total hip replacement. Tey didn’t want to do a hip replacement at the time, as I was younger and thought it would wear out too quickly. Tey thought It would require several more throughout my life and there would be nothing leſt to attach too. I went to Calgary to have the Osteotomy done

and the doctor invited other surgeons to come in from other cities to observe as there were not many surgeons who performed this surgery. Tis surgery kept me in the hospital for two

weeks. I flew back to Saskatoon where we lived at the time, to start my recovery. Since I could not allow any weight bearing on my leg for two months, I was using a walker, crutches, and a tra- peze over my bed to help me move in the night. I started going to physiotherapy three times a

week. Because this was such major surgery, the recovery time took over six months until I could

finally start completely putting any weight on my leg. Aſter fully recovered to this point I could finally go back to work part-time, but walked with a cane and had physiotherapy for quite some time. I would say that surgery recovery was at least a year and the pain was a lot less. Tis would be a surgery that I would not want to experience again. I still suffered from pain over the

Norma Walchuk.

years and should have looked at having my hip replaced sooner. However, be- cause of the osteotomy experience and the long recovery, I was extremely nerv- ous to have the hip replacement done. Transfer to Winnipeg changed everything

When we were transferred to Winnipeg for my

husband’s job about two years after my surgery. Dr. Dust referred me to a colleague he used to work with, Dr. Eric Bohm. Dr. Bohm was going to be my orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Bohm informed me, that if the pain does

get really bad, they would have to look at a total hip replacement. I agreed and let him know and I was added to the waiting the list for surgery. During this time the pain became unbearable

and I could not take the pain any longer. I was walking with a severe limp, and this was affect- ing other joints throughout my body and I was in chronic pain. Through this journey, I developed a high pain

tolerance and didn’t like to take medication. However, some days the pain was unbearable and I’d have to take Advil or Tylenol to help me get through the day and to sleep at night. I was in my late thirties and I wanted a better

quality of life. I was going to the chiropractor on regular basis and seeing an Athletic Terapist, who helped provide, relief from muscle tightness and helped with flexibility and body alignment. My chiropractor said to me one day, you

should consider having your hip replaced. Tis will save your other joints. By not getting the hip replacement, you are going to wear out other joints in your body and will eventually need to get them replaced as well. My bi-weekly appointments with my chiro-

practor and Athletic Terapist helped encourage me to go back to see Dr. Bohm who added my name to the list for hip replacement. It took one year for the surgery to take place, thirteen years aſter my original Osteotomy.

Te Concordia Joint Replacement Group and

the WRHA offered several preparation seminars to help educate me about the surgery and what to expect with recovery. I went through all the classes that they recommended and I was men- tally preparing myself as well as doing whatever I could physically to get ready for the surgery. Finally, the day came to have the surgery, my

husband came with me and stayed until I went in. I was extremely nervous, however, the doctors were very professional and reassured me that they do this surgery every single day and that they were really good at it. Tis gave me peace. Tey were very professional and caring. All the staff at the hospital treated me well and took great care of me. When I woke up I was afraid to move my leg or

bend my leg because I knew the pain it caused in the past. When I finally moved my leg I could not believe that the pain was gone. I was able to get up with some assistance and walk without pain. I was in the hospital for three days and I could

not believe the ease of movements I was able to have. Te surgery pain was minimal compared to the pain I experienced before my surgery. My doctor had told me previously that the surgery was 20% of my healing and doing the exercises on a regular basis was 80%. I was very faith- ful in doing my exercises every single day and multiple times. I was able to go from a walker to crutches to

walking around the block with one crutch and focused on my healing. Eventually, I went back to my athletic therapist who could not believe I was the same person. Not only had my body changed with my alignment, she told me that I looked 10 years younger. When you’re in chronic pain it’s mentally and physically ex- hausting and it does age you. Aſter having lived with chronic pain for so long I didn’t realize what it was like to be pain-free. Today I am pain-free and I just had my three-

year checkup with Dr. Eric Bohm in July. He was pleased with my progress said I don’t have to see him for another two years for another checkup. Since I was born with hip dysplasia, I will

eventually need to have my other hip replaced but hopefully not for a long time. I have noth- ing but great things to say about the doctors that I have dealt with over the years, in each city. I’m very grateful to the doctors and staff at Concordia Hospital and the Concordia Joint Replacement Group of specialists who have been top-notch, professional and kind and I have nothing but positive things to say about this team of professionals. I would personally like to thank Dr. Eric

Bohm and his staff for taking good care of me, over the years and I appreciate what they do not just for me but for others in their care.

6 Changes to Concordia Emergency Department explained Continued from page 1

care unit (ICU) are scheduled to close in June 2019. Where should I go if I need emergency or

urgent care? Prior to our closure, emergency depart-

ments at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winni- peg, St. Boniface Hospital, and Grace Hospital will undergo expansion and/or renovations designed to ensure they can provide treat- ment effectively, to larger volumes of people. Tese investments will also concentrate re- sources—including staffing and specialized equipment—to accommodate more patients while ensuring timely access to the right care. As well, Seven Oaks General Hospital's

emergency department will convert to an urgent care centre in September 2019. This urgent care unit will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for people with non-life- threatening illnesses and injuries (minor acci- dents, pain, and illnesses such as fever and flu).

In the meantime, the Concordia emergency

department will remain open until June 2019. Why are these changes taking place? Services are spread too thinly across six

emergency departments right now. Having three emergency departments will allow the healthcare system to concentrate specialists and diagnostic services in fewer facilities, re- sulting in better access and shorter wait times. For example, things will improve regard-

ing diagnostics. Only three of our six current emergency departments in Winnipeg – HSC, St. Boniface and the Grace – have access to diagnostics and specialists for serious life- threatening conditions. Patients at other emergency departments would need to be transferred to one of these sites, which slows down their treatment times and increases wait times. Te goal of the changes we’re making is to ensure that the right care takes place in the right setting at the right time.

Where does that leave Concordia Hos-

pital? In the past 90 years Concordia Hospital has

grown from a five-bed maternity hospital to a 186-bed community hospital and Centre of Ex- cellence for orthopedic surgery, research, and education. Our ability to change, adapt and grow has always been essential to fulfilling our mission. Tat mission remains the same today as it did 90 years ago: “To provide outstanding healthcare services in a way that reflects our Mennonite Christian values and demonstrates our passion to serve our community.” To help us continue to fulfill that mission,

our emergency room will be replaced with a Walk-In Connected Care Clinic or “WICC” in the same location. Tis clinic reinforces our al- ready strong relationships with local MyHealth Teams and community partners and affirms our status as an important health resource for residents of River East and Transcona.

Concordia will continue to serve a very

important role in our community as a leader in orthopedic surgery and research, family medicine, and rehabilitation for post-acute neurosurgical patients. Meanwhile, the Win- nipeg health region continues to pursue a de- tailed plan with Concordia to identify which health services might occupy our emergency department space in addition to the new Walk-In Connected Care Clinic opening there in June 2019. We’re excited to define Concordia Hospital’s new role in Winnipeg’s evolving health care landscape. How will the public know when, exactly,

the changes are taking place? Tese changes are taking place over the

next year. Please keep watching for updates in Te Concordia Way and visit the WRHA website for the most up-to-date, factual information: http://www.healingourhealth-

Working for Concordia Matt Wiebe MLA for Concordia

204-654-1857 | | 106-1111 Munroe Avenue Autumn 2018 The Concordia Way 5

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