Tom Dolan - Ice Hockey, 7/12/07, Dr. Rubinstein **VIDEO**
Update September 7, 2009
Our hockey team won the 2009 summer championship in overtime a couple of weeks ago. I had the thrill of playing in this and enjoying the feeling that I helped contribute to the victory. It was our eighth championship and my first after returning from surgery. I am so blessed to be able to take part in the things in life that really make me happy. This event capped off a really active summer that included walking, running, biking, tennis, racquetball, ice hockey, and wiffle ball with my boys. Just thought I would share with you all.
Life is good!
7 Months Post Op
On November 10 2006 I sent my first post to the Yahoo Surface Hippy Discussion Group. Post #92175 I was basically telling everybody who I was and that I was new to the board.
I had already been suffering with Hip pain but didn't do much about it because my time was needed to care for my Dad who was very sick in 2005. After he passed away my pain seemed to get worse. I started looking for Doctors.
Two of them, from my area, were very nice but not experienced enough. One had done 1 and the other wouldn't give me a number, he just said that he was in single digits. I came back to the board in Feb 2007 asking if I should take a chance on an inexperienced Doctor #100599 and did I hear the responses. All great telling me to think hard before making a decision on a local in experienced doctor.
One response was from Pat Dukes telling me about Dr. Rubinstein. I was dealing with some pretty bad pain and now my Mom was very sick. I had stopped playing hockey in December 2006. I sent Dr. Rubinstein my x-rays and he responded the same day that I was a candidate. He said that he played hockey too, and that he saw no reason that I would not be able to go back to hockey at some point.
My first appointment with him was the second week of March 2007(#102286) and the x-ray showed some cysts on the femur ball but he thought nothing serious. He was ready to take care of it that month, but I had other more important things going on in my life and I had to live with the pain a little longer.
We set the date for July 12,2007. During that visit Dr. Rubinstein said that he would skate with me once the hip was healed. My Mom passed in June of 2007. It was a tough time and even tougher with all the pain I was in. I was walking with a cane at that point.
July 12, I had the surgery and Dr. Rubinstein was outstanding. Everything he told me to expect happened and pretty much when he told me it would. I followed his protocol to the T. No cheating at all. My most frequent form of rehab was walking. I did all the exercises, both at home then at a rehab facility, but every chance I could I would walk. They were never power walks; just slow relaxing and sometimes long walks. Of course I started slowly less than a mile, but I would walk every day, gradually increasing distance. I used a cane for the first few days until I felt comfortable with out it. Sometimes I would walk halfway with a cane then halfway without it. Just carried it in case I needed it.
By six weeks I was totally pain free (#116500) and walking over 3miles a day. I now follow a low impact regiment of exercises including walking, biking, and some weight training.
I am now at 7 months out. Last week I skated with the good Dr. Rubinstein as he promised. Dr Pugs loves hockey as much as me and it was sure great skating with him. Paul Hamilton from the board heard we were skating that night and came all the way out to take video. It's just another example of the great people on this message board. I am back playing on my hockey team again.
I seldom even think about my hip because there is no pain at all. I have 95% of my ROM back, which is more than I had a year ago by about 40%. The Yahoo Surface Hippy board and the people on it are one of the reasons I feel so good. You helped me to take control of my surgery. You offered me feedback and gave me opinions and told me to form my own. You told me that the one thing that is certain is that IT'S MY CALL, NO ONE ELSE'S. I made some great friends on this board.
For those of you that are contemplating this surgery or just rehabbing from this surgery, believe me when I say, there is an end to this pain and a life of normalcy in your near future. If you're in the Chicago area please consider getting an opinion from Dr .Rubinstein. His honesty and drive for perfection is impressive. He Is a man who loves what he does. He is a believer in this procedure.
I am now a different person. I never knew how homebound I was during the painful years. No I am jumping up every few minutes going outrunning errands I would have never done in the past. Here is how sick it is. I have been looking forward to each big snow here in Chicago so I could snow blow the driveway and sidewalk. I hadn't done that for two years. Heck I was doing the neighbors driveway. I have my life back again. Thanks to all of you and to the good Doc Rubinstein. My best wishes go out to all of you.
Tom in Chicago
RBHR Dr. Scott Rubinstein 7/12/07
August 24, 2007
Subject: Six Week Report
Hi to all my friends on the board,
I said that I would be updating at six weeks and I can't believe it is already here. I swear it seems like yesterday that I sent my first post asking for advise and help. So much has happened in that short time. I still come back to this board to watch people reach out for help, get their surgery, then report how well they are doing.
I can't give an update without saying how thankful I am to the good folks on this board. Without your help the story would be so different.
My update will not talk about how far I walk a day, how long I can ride the stationary bike, or how many hours I am working out a week. That really means nothing in the big picture, everyone heals differently.
Here is what matters. I am at 6 weeks post op, and I can walk without a limp or pain. I can sit or stand for hours without pain. I can sleep through the night without any pain. I am taking no more meds, nothing. My mind is not focused on constant pain, it is focused on living pain free. I smile, laugh, and do more than I have for the last two years. I am starting to live the way it should be.
When I joined this board you all promised hope and you were right.
My best to you all,
Right BHR Dr. Scott Rubinstein 07/12/07
11 Days Post OP - On the other side in Chicago
July 24, 2007
Sorry for taking so long for a detailed update but didn't have the urge to go on the computer while on the pain meds.
Checked into St. Joseph Hospital in beautiful downtown Chicago on Thursday 7/12 at 6:00 AM. All went smooth and was prepped for my date with Dr. Rubinstein at 9:00 AM. Some of you know him as Dr. Pugs. He is always gracious enough to give tips and medical opinions on this board. In fact it was this board that recommended him along with other Doctors in the Chicago area. Dr. Rubinstein came in the prep room and was full of positive energy and made me feel real good about what I was about to do. In fact I have emailed and called Dr. Rubinstein on many occasions leading up to surgery and he always exudes a very positive attitude about this procedure. He reassured my wife about what was about to take place and we were off to the OR. I asked the anesthesiologist to go with an epidural based on the feedback from this board and both he and Dr. Rubinstein agreed that would work fine. I was awake until just before the first cut and then it was of to sweet dreams until recovery. The anesthesiologist And Dr. Rubinstein were there to greet my awakening. Both were very happy with the result of surgery and the post op x-ray looked fantastic. The surgery took less than 90 minutes.
When the epidural wore off I was greeted with the joint and muscle pain but no arthritis pain. I could wriggle my toes on the operated leg but could not raise it or slide it back and forth because of the pain. I opted for the morphine pump but it made me pretty loopy so I didn't push it very often. However because of that I had some significant pain. No sleep, I mean 0 minutes of sleep night one. I cannot sleep on my back and although loopy the morphine didn't knock me out.
Day two in the hospital started with Dr. Rubinstein visiting and telling me that I will be skating sooner that it feels, and he and I will need to find some ice time together. Dr Pugs plays hockey too. After he left the PT nurses came in and helped me out and onto my new hip. I read so many threads on this board but until you actually experience it there is no explanation of how it feels getting out of that bed for the first time. No arthritis pain but there was severe muscle pain. I had the feeling that something might be wrong but all the folks that I talked to said you just got hit by a MAC truck. It will take time.
I won't bore you with a day by day but I was out of the hospital Sunday just two days after surgery. I am doing PT at home lost the walker day two and lost the crutches at day 7 post op. I am walking with a cane and still have some significant groin pain but it's manageable. My PT nurse says that I am ahead of schedule. I have walked a mile each day outside starting day 7 post op. I Too am in the exercise, ice, nap, exercise, ice etc. mode. I do see progress every day. I am not used to my hip yet, but I do see progress. PT is helping a great deal and I am not pushing it. I stopped the Vicidon on day 8 post op because I just didn't feel right. I am taking extra strength Tylenol every 4 hours and that keeps the discomfort manageable.
I am now at day 11 post op and I am starting to get back my energy. I am so happy I did this and I can tell it is going to get me back to the life I once enjoyed a few years ago.
There are many great surgeons performing this surgery and Dr. Rubinstein needs to be on that list with the others. I will highly recommend him to all who live in the Chicago area.
Sorry for the long-winded update. I will update again at 6 weeks post op. Thank you to all you surfacehippy friends out there that helped me through this decision and preparation for this procedure. This board and you all are helping many. YOU HELPED ME!!!!
Best to you all,