Connie (YT)

Over 3 years ago I had developed severe pain in both knees and the left knee was worse. So I was told I needed open knee surgery. A replacement knee surgery. It went awful, it was terrible. They didn’t treat me up, it still hurts till this day. And it’s over 3 years ago. At the same time the other knee was hurting, not as much, but waiting 3 years to do smth about it, and I didn’t want to go back and have the same thing happen to the other knee. So I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t do anything for 3 years. I was in a wheelchair sometimes. The sypthoms in my right leg included pain, it was so bad that if I rolled over in bad in a certain way, the pain would wake me up. And that was while I was sleeping. And I don’t even want to remember what it was like when I was awake and trying to walk or do anything. I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t do anything! I loved to drive, I loved to go shopping. I liked to do things… My life was stand still and it was everybody’s mercy to drive me anywhere, which is a horrible feeling. I wanted to be independent. I love my independence, I love the freedom of being able to just jump into the car and go wherever I wanted to go. That came to the stand still. Emotionally I wanted to die. I’m not kidding. I’ve felt my life was over. I couldn’t walk without emmence pain. I just had no quality of life. And I really wanted to die.

I didn’t think that anything could help. I didn’t want to go through with the right knee what I went through with the left knee. I would never have going to go through that again, I would have rather spend my life in a wheelchair, than go through what I went through with my left knee. All I was is sitting in bed, laying in bed, making friends on Facebook. I had no outside life. I wasn’t even on a charge anymore because I was loosing faith in everything.

The minute I walked in to ARO started to change my outlook. Because I said “wow, just looking and listening to the people from the receptionist to the doctor, was a totally different world”. It couldn’t help getting a little excited. And even though I was very skeptical, I was also getting help back. I was starting to thing “Maybe this is going to work, maybe God is answering my prayers.” Because I want to be able to live again. To be able to drive, to be able to do some housework, to be able to do some laundry, to be able to walk across the room.

I was very impressed by the doctors here in the ARO. Because it was nothing like I expected. They talk to you like a regular human being. Dr. Dean was the first person I met and I love him! He is so sweet and kind and easy-going. In ARO, when I came here, I felt that at that point I had nothing to loose. I was very skeptical. I said “if this works, it sort of a miracle.” And I wasn’t even sure I will be a candidate, so I just tried to keep my excitement to myself, because when dr. Dean spoke to me, I was so excited. I said to myself “what if it doesn’t work”. I had doubts. It sounded too good to be truth. But I always had hope. Dr. Dean did a little test where he put an injection or smth in my knee. And I could walk! But I thought to myself that it is not going to last, it is just a test. I was excited I had no pain! When you know what it is like to have terrible pain and than all of a sudden not to have it. It is a miracle. ARO is a miracle. I’m so thrilled. I love every single doctor that I met, every nurse, the people that worked at desk, everyone.
They saved my life and my sanity. I’m very grateful. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. I’m already almost back to normal of before my knees gave out. I’m 69, soon will be 70 years old and I see the best years ahead of me. I’m not going to run any marathons but I don’t want to. I’m able to do what I need to do and I’m happy. Thank God! I’m glad to be alive and that’s it. Just from napping and constant pain, and anyone who’s been in constant pain knows what I’m talking about. When you’re a cripple practically and you can’t walk, what would you give to have you life back again? I even started dancing a little bit again. I always danced through all my life, not professionally, just loved to dance. And I’m able to dance again, I’m finding my rhythm back and it’s amazing!