by Linda Willis
My mother always said I was “born running.” I became a multi-sport amateur athlete who competed in volleyball and tennis, cycled, skied and practiced yoga.
In my early fifties I learned my intensifying hip pain was due to severe degenerative osteoarthritis. The extent of the damage and my symptoms called for a total hip replacement. I thought that I would be limited in what I could do after the surgery, and it felt like a large part of who I was might be lost.
As I'd never had a major surgery, I was also apprehensive about the procedure itself. My surgeon and the team at Greenwich hospital laid out in detail what the surgery and recovery would look like and answered my many questions. They took the time and devoted the attention to get to know me as a person. They then coached me on might be particularly challenging for me (losing some independence for a period after the surgery) and what I might find particularly helpful
During every point of my experience in the hospital the team explained what was happening and what I could expect next. After the surgery, all of my needs were promptly met, and I was given options whenever possible. If there was a little bump or delay in the plan, I never felt discouraged because I knew the team was supporting me. I was always offered a smile or affirmation just when I needed it, even in the middle of the night.
I believe the doctors and nurses at Greenwich Hospital have chosen to be there because they care about serving the patients as people. They connect to the person rather than the patient. I believe that connection meant everything to my ability to heal quickly.
I attribute my remarkably fast recovery in large part to my surgeon and the rest of the team. Within a few weeks of my surgery I was able to return to my “regular life,” and within 3 to 4 months I had returned to all of my sports.
A year later I needed a second hip replacement which went as well if not better than the first. I will always be grateful to the team at Greenwich hospital who allowed me to stay my constantly moving, youthful self.