Nona Perry, orthopedic surgery patient of Dr. Linthicum, Howard Memorial Hospital
Nona Perry had always been healthy. “I did not take any meds, except an occasional aspirin,” she said. She loved riding her Honda BTX1300 motorcycle, and led an active life. “Sometime in 2004, I began to have pain in my hips when I had to change gears on my motorcycle. It got to the point that I worried about my safety. I went to a doctor in Reno, where I was living at the time, and he believed I had hip arthritis. He did not have much of a bedside manner. I was in a lot of pain, and his words were so discouraging, I went out to my car and cried.
“Then I tried pain doctors,” she said. “They gave me shots, which helped for a little while. I tried exercises and mind-control techniques. Everything relieved my pain somewhat, but not enough. I still could not ride my motorcycle safely, and I was uncomfortable all the time.
“After a difficult divorce, I moved to California to start a new life. I walked two miles a day with my dog, but both hips were involved by now, and every step was painful. At first I was convinced I could overcome it with mind-control techniques, such as meditation, but I finally realized that I had to find someone to help me. I went to another doctor, who said my hips were rubbing bone-on-bone, so it was no wonder I was in so much pain! He encouraged “After a difficult divorce, I moved to California to start a new life. I walked two miles a day with my dog, but both hips were involved by now, and every step was painful. At first I was convinced I could overcome it with mind-control techniques, such as meditation, but I finally realized that I had to find someone to help me.
“The recession was happening at that time, and I was laid off from my job. To keep myself occupied, and to hopefully find a new career, I started taking classes at Mendocino College. I had been a real estate broker in Reno, but the licenses are not reciprocal, so I took courses to get my broker's license in California. I also earned the new sustainability certificate. While there, I learned that there was a new type of surgery for hips, called 'anterior surgery,' which goes in through the front of the hip and is much less invasive.“
“Because I was unemployed, I had Medi-Cal insurance. I went to a well-recommended surgeon in Santa Rosa, who said my hips were rubbing bone-on-bone, so it was no wonder I was in so much pain! However, he did not accept Medi-Cal. I believe in positive thinking, so I began to tell myself that things were about to open up for me.
“I heard about a seminar in Ukiah on joint replacement surgery, and decided to go. The presenters were Doctors Linthicum and Bowen from the Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California, affiliated with Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. When I arrived, one of my classmates from Mendocino College was signing people in for the seminar, and I had met Patti Nichols, the joint care coordinator, through mutual friends; I felt comfortable from the beginning. After the doctors finished speaking, they asked if there were any questions. I asked Dr. Linthicum if he had done any anterior hip replacements, and he said, yes, he had. I was delighted! Here was a doctor who was doing cutting edge surgery right in my back yard! Not only that, but he was willing to take my Medi-Cal insurance! Right then, I knew in my heart that it was all going to work out.
'Before my surgery, there was a pre-surgery meeting with all the patients scheduled for orthopedic surgery the same day. We all went through surgery, the hospital stay, and physical therapy together. All of us were concerned, not only with our own recovery, but with that of everyone in the group. It was a lovely experience!
“I had surgery on both hips, four months apart. Both Dr. Linthicum and Dr. Bowen frequently checked on me in the hospital. I was pleased that they used my own blood for the transfusions I needed. I am vegan, and the chef at Howard Memorial Hospital always made sure I had vegan food. Now, when I go in for follow-up appointments, the nurses are so kind and friendly; they even remember my name. No one ever made me feel inferior because I was using Medi-Cal.
“I love that I can go barefoot again! I always looked down when I walked before surgery, afraid of a fall, or of getting my hips in an ultra-painful position. It is wonderful to be able to go about my life without pain now! Dr. Linthicum said it was good that I waited to have the surgery, because with the new materials, my hips should last a lifetime.
“I am grateful to the universe, and especially to the animals who had to be used to develop the techniques that allow me to walk without pain. I would recommend Howard Memorial Hospital and their wonderful staff to anyone! It is a very special place,” she concluded.
Paul Katinos, Orthopedic patient of Dr. Bowen, Howard Memorial Hospital
Paul Katinos was accustomed to being an active guy. He played basketball, baseball, and “just about any sport you could think of,” while growing up. As a busy adult, he still managed to play golf, and to take a run now and then. He and his wife, Maria, moved to Ukiah from Huntington Beach in Southern California in 2007, to be closer to Maria's elderly parents. Along with Maria's sister, Virginia, they opened Scootrz Deli at 2670 North State Street in 2013.
“My symptoms started in 2005, when I started to have twinges of pain in my leg and thigh. I thought I needed to exercise more, so I went to the gym and tried to ignore the discomfort. When we opened the deli, I was so accustomed to the pain and the accompanying limp, that I just kept doing what I needed to do. I did not expect to ever be pain-free again, so I dealt with it the best I could.
“By early 2014, I was in such excruciating pain that walking was almost impossible. I only walked when I had to, and certainly not for pleasure, as I had done in the past. I was close to needing a wheelchair just to get around. I went to a doctor in Ukiah, then eventually found my way to Dr. Bowen's office in Willits. To my surprise, I had a degenerative condition in my hip, and I needed a hip replacement.
“While I was comfortable with Dr. Bowen, I was apprehensive about having surgery. I had never been a hospital patient as an adult, and frankly, I was worried. However, when I was admitted, I felt like I was the only patient there. That's how good they are! The nurses, therapists, everyone on the staff was just wonderful! Sure, there was some discomfort after the surgery, but it was nothing compared to the pain I had been in before surgery. I had relief even before the hip healed.
“I was supposed to be out of the deli for eight to ten weeks after surgery, but I was back working the cash register, on crutches, in only four weeks. Now I am pain free! I work all day at the deli, walk two miles when I can, and even work out on the weekends, with no pain in the new hip. It is amazing to me. My only regret is that I did not have the surgery seven years earlier. I could have avoided so much misery!
“If I ever need to have the other hip replaced, I will definitely go back to Howard Memorial! If anyone is thinking about a hip replacement, I would say, Do it! Don't wait! It changed my life back to normal. Thanks to Dr. Bowen, I am as good as new!”
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