A letter from "One Who Would Be Better Off Dead":
I just found your website yesterday. I have been browsing
around in between crying times. Your site is beautiful and your heart must be made of pure "Gold".
There is so much inconsideration and hard hearts in this world that I kinda get
out of control when I find true human beings.
I have not had any surgery yet, I just got the results
from my MRI about two weeks ago and I guess I don't have to tell you that I am
scared to death. All I can think about is being disabled and in severe pain
for the rest of my life and I really would rather be dead right now.
The real horror about this whole thing is that it has
been coming on now for 4 years. It has just been coming and then going away for a while. Each time
that it has flared up, the doctor sends you here and there running all kinds
of tests, even MRI's, but it seems like nothing ever shows up until it is too late. I guess I call that LIFE.
Since just before the MRI, I have been getting worse
every day. The pain is breath taking and the length of time that it takes just to
get to the bathroom is unbelievable. I take pain pills but the pain is more
severe every day.
I have been spending my time trying to pick a doctor to
go to and trying to comprehend all of the possibilities of the many changes in
my life. The hardest one to deal with right now is the fact that I just can
not get up and go. I am or was a very active person, on the go constantly,
and working in my yard and gardens every day. I think that I am going into a
state of shock.
The pain has taken over my life and even being able to
tolerate the pain does not help because my right leg from the hip to the knee seems to be dead and the way
of walking is very slow and painful.
This whole situation is like being thrown into a pitch
dark room with no windows and just sitting in a corner and praying for light or at least for someone
to come along and touch your shoulder and whisper soft encouraging words.
At least I do have my husband, Leroy. We have been
together since 1964 and married since 1965. Besides being in love we have been best friends and the other
half that supports and becomes the right hand for the half that isn't doing too good. My half has been the
sickly one and his half must have a whole lot of patience. Without him there would be
no sparks of light at all. In the many years that we have been together, we
have been though many dark tunnels together but we have always managed to get to the other end and see
the bright light again. Leroy has always been the strongest half but this time he seems to be a little
Anyway, Linda, the results of my MRI show
"AVASCULAR NECROSIS OF THE RIGHT FEMORAL HEAD". My family doctor showed me a little
about it by using a skeleton chart. It didn't sound good but he said not to
come to any conclusions before seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon. But that there
would be surgery.
I have searched though the AMA and done a lot of
research on each one listed with my insurance. I am going to call and get an
appointment today. Hope I don't have to wait to long to get to him.
I have come to the understanding that this is not
going to be like a lot of other surgeries or recoveries. This surgery, even
if successful, is going to change my way of life quite a bit. I am in such
pain that I just really can't believe that there will ever be any relief. I
even hurt like hell just sitting here and typing.
Once again I want to give my best to you, Linda, and
I would be very honored to meet someone like you. As you can tell, I ain't
seen or felt nothin' yet so I hope I will be able in the future to visit your website and
maybe someday even contribute to it.
I am going to e-mail it to my family and friends because
it is really a very good way to let them know what is going on and being that I have not notified anyone
yet, I guess I will just do it by sending this letter to all. I do not have the strength
to sit here and write each one individually so I hope that they understand.
I thank you for contributing your valuable time to send
support to so many people, me being one of them.
Have a great day and I hope to compute with you and the others
alot. If you want to attach this to
one of the message boards on your website, please fill free to do so. Maybe
there is someone else out there who, like myself, is just now entering the
mystifying and terrifying world of hip surgery.
And, by the way the opening page of your website is
"HILARIOUS". God bless you and all the ones who have already been there.
Best wishes, Pat.
PS; I am using this is a message to all my family
and friends. Please forgive me for not sitting down and calling or writing
each one of you on a one to one basis but my time at any one chore is very
limited. I am in a great deal of pain and, right now, a whole lot of fear and self pity. The roads ahead look very rocky and
To my sisters, I don't have to tell you that I would
give anything just to be able to have my MOM for a little while. Just to hear her voice telling me to shut up and
get dressed would be a great dose of LOVE.
Anyone reading this letter needs to go to this
wonderful and very informative website called www.totallyhip.org
there are no words to describe it.
I really can't take back all of the words that I wrote in that letter. It was the day that my family doctor gave me the news that I would
need hip surgery but to what extent would be up to the surgeon. This was back in the first week in Sept. I came home, flopped down in my desk chair and started crying and wishing that I was dead.
Then I dried up and realized that I needed to research the doctor and find out more about this hip deal so I went surfing from one website to another. When I went to the AMA (American Medical Assoc.) to find info on the surgeon I saw an invitation to go to a website called "Totally Hip". The name sounded kind of neat so off I went to see what was there. I was amazed as I saw the little man inviting me in but then when I went in and saw
Linda's picture and read the letter , the tears flowed but I felt a warmth, or a comfort, I just took a deep breath and went on reading. Well, it just seemed like I had found a place to go for comfort and a place where I could just start typing and get it all out and so I did and afterwards I really felt better and I knew that someone was around to give me
The next day when I checked the website and checked my e-mail I was overwhelmed at the wonderful people who had taken a moment from their lives to help me in my time of fear. God Bless each and everyone of you. As the tears come right now I want you all to know that I am so glad to have had the privilege of
communicating with you. You have lifted my spirits so much and given me so much info about what I will be needing and what I will be going though during and after this surgery and that has put a bright light where there used to be a dark path of fear. Thanks to all of you and I am proud to be a Hippie.
I am going to have a THR on December 12, 2000. The surgeon is excellent and very well known here in Jacksonville,
FL. That is why the waiting list is so long. Thanks to your letters I am going to give 2 pints of my own blood so that the healing process will be better and I have already got my crutches and my grabber and all that stuff and I feel like a PRO. I am a little scared but I guess that's normal. All of the people at my doctor's office are so sweet and I can call anytime with any question and they are right there for me.
Thanks again and I will stay in touch. I hope that I will be able to comfort someone soon.
UPDATE FROM PAT: July 9, 2003
Pat , THR , right side on Dec. 31 ,
I see that my letters are still
posted on your website and when I read them I sure can relate back to it
but now I am doing great.
I can walk as many miles as I want
and I can ride a bike, get in and out of my Van, go shopping, just GO
and GO and GO.
I Thank God every day for a brand
new life and the finding of your website. I can walk just as good as I
did before any pain. It is a miracle and I am blessed to have had such a
good surgeon and God on my side.
Anyone out there who is postponing
hip surgery needs to think about it again. Right now you are in so much
pain that it is totally indescribable so make the decision today to get
rid of it. The surgery works and you will be very grateful that you
decided to do it. Stay online with Totally Hip and you will make it all
Believe me, I know. I made my
decision after finding such a wonderful website, Totally Hip, and
writing to and receiving so many loving letters. Letters from people in
the same boat as me and willing to share their stories with me and write
me every day just to see how I was doing. The members of Totally Hip
gave me encouragement and helped me before surgery, after surgery, and
all thru my recovery while they were in their own pain. I was even given
the opportunity to help a lot of other members while I was in my own
I could go on and on but I'm sure
you all can figure out how much I love Totally Hip and I will remain a
member forever. I always know that any time I need a little boost or
whatever that I can go to my e-mail and click on one subject and after
writing to others in despair, I forget mine.
I still would love to have the
opportunity to meet you, Linda. I have come to the conclusion that you
are in that club of Angels from Heaven. You have been an inspiration to
many lonely people in need of friendship and care.
Click the links below
to explore the
TOTALLYHIP web site