I had terrible shoulder pain and could no longer ignore it. X-rays and an MRI revealed advanced osteoarthritis in my shoulder that would require the replacement of the ball and socket of that joint. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon in my immediate area, but after much thought I knew I had to see Dr. Chehab. He had performed surgery on my Mom’s shoulder several years ago and came highly recommended. I was able to get an appointment soon after requesting one and went to Glenview to see him. He agreed with the diagnosis and explained the surgery. He also thought at this time I was not a very good candidate for that procedure. I felt like I’d been hit with a ton of bricks…lots of life limiting pain and no surgical intervention? Now what? Well, I may not have been a good surgical candidate, but I was a perfect candidate for the OrthoHealth program. At least it was something I thought, so why not. Little did I know at the time, that OrthoHealth was about to change my life in a very positive way.

I got set up with a physical therapist, a nutritionist and a health coach. I met with Christine Marchinski, PT, DPT first. I got a very thorough evaluation and the shoulder exercises began. But remember I was there for OrthoHealth too. A few weeks into the PT, I had my Method Testing which was to determine at what heartbeat range that I would burn fat while exercising and not muscle. After that was determined, a personal workout program was designed just for me. It was designed for me to strengthen my shoulder and my entire body. It was hard at first, I wasn’t a workout person. Christine was kind, encouraging and knowledgeable. As the program progressed, so did I. I enjoyed working out at the Grayslake facility and I was beginning to feel empowered. During this same period I also met with Dr. Vanderby who is a pain specialist. She worked with me to find pain relief so that life was more manageable, so I could do the exercise program in less pain. I met with Arlene Temer-Wittcoff, RD. She’s a registered dietician, through whom I learned a lot about what things that I was eating that were good choices and those that were not such good choices. She hit hard on the sugar aspect of food. The thing that will forever stick in my mind is this, “our brains cannot distinguish between sugar and artificial sweeteners.” That fact just amazed me. I always thought the artificial sweetener was better for me….NOT! And the second thing was “carbs without benefit of fiber, do us no good.” I was also lucky to get to meet Donna Taylor, LMT, CMMT. She was to become my Health Coach. She helped me to set goals that were achievable.

So with the help from all the professionals I mentioned above, plus all the support staff I am unable to recall, I’ve gone from a middle aged woman that exercised very infrequently, who ate poorly, who was wasting time and life to someone that exercises regularly and with purpose and keeps a log of it, cooks fresh meals and keeps a journal of everything I put in my mouth and is among the living again. They couldn’t, however, help with the middle aged thing! I have a long way to go, but for the first time in my life feel I can do it and it’s all because of the OrthoHealth program and all the wonderful people involved in making this program possible!