Aalsa is a 69 year old woman who enjoys swimming, weight training and dancing. Aalsa's dance of choice is the Tango. She is retired and living life to the fullest. "Dancing helps me feel some control over my body; I can move it where it needs to go. I danced a lot when I was younger and decided to take it up again because I missed it."
When Aalsa realized she needed her right hip replaced, she immediately set out to find the best. "I read all the literature I could find on hip replacements and called around to several universities looking for a doctor who was doing research on the subject. I found Dr. Gustafson. When I saw him at my first appointment I had so many questions and had become so familiar with the terminology, he asked if I had gone to medical school. He spent an hour with me answering my questions and addressing my concerns; I knew he was the doctor to do my surgery. I really did my homework to find him."
"It was so important to me to have the best surgeon that I even changed insurance companies to get the coverage I needed. Thirty-two days later I had surgery."
Aalsa says prior to the surgery, "I tried to stay as active as possible and I waited until I couldn't stand it anymore. The first surgery was so successful that when it was time to do the second surgery I didn't want to wait. Surgery wasn't any worse than what I was already going through in terms of the pain. Pain takes away your energy and ambition. Once that cycle starts it's downhill, the pain is what your life becomes focused on."
"Whatever you're going through prior to surgery is worse than having the surgery itself."
Aalsa had her left hip replacement recently and is doing fantastic. "My energy level is better since not dealing with the pain. I couldn't wait to get out of bed the day after surgery and start physical therapy. I knew it could only get better now. Getting my body back to functioning in a normal way was paramount. You have to keep your body moving; the pain is secondary. The more I do the less discomfort I have. After surgery I had everything to look forward to. I was back in the pool eight weeks post-op and dancing again four months after the surgery.
"I entrusted Dr. Gustafson with my life and it has been nothing but good. This has been nothing but a life changing experience. I can't imagine my life the way it was. I would tell anyone in this same situation not to wait, it's not worth it."