Talking to Laurie with a Story
Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but it can be the push you need to make a life-changing decision. For Laurie Guzman, that involved a blunt conversation with her friends, a visit to Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee and a hip replacement that changed the course of her life forever.
A series of untreated childhood injuries led to a much larger problem in Laurie’s adult life.
For years, she lived with debilitating hip pain, that at its peak, resulted in her being unable to walk from her car to a table in a restaurant without resting at the door.
“At 51 years old, I felt like I was trapped in the body of an 80 year-old,” Laurie said. “I was having a personal journey that no one was aware of. It was a constant battle of feeling like I have no choice and no option to help my pain. I reached a point of desperation.”
During a breakfast with her friends one morning, they noticed the significant pain Laurie experienced walking from the door to sitting at the table.
“They told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear,” said Laurie. “They asked me why I lived this way. Why not just go to the doctor? Why don’t you call your insurance company?”
For Laurie, just picking up the phone to make an appointment was a scary feat. She feared what her prognosis might be, and that nothing would help her find the relief she needed. With the help of her friends, she made an appointment to visit Dr. Perkinson at Bone and Joint Institute.
“When Dr. Perkinson came in and popped my x-ray on the screen, I started to cry,” she said. “I didn’t need to be a physician to know what I was looking at. My hip was completely bone-on-bone, and had been for up to eight years. Dr. Perkisnon told me it was beyond necessary to have a hip replacement, but I feared all of the next steps. Would insurance cover this? What if something happens to me? Who would take care of my boys?”
All of Laurie’s questions were answered with one question from Dr. Perkinson: “And what are you going to do if you don’t do this, continue to live in this much pain?”
Dr. Perkinson proceeded to explain the risks, but felt confident that after surgery, Laurie would walk around pain-free. After two weeks, she’d come in for a follow-up and her life would be changed. Laurie agreed to move forward with her hip replacement.
“After my surgery, I was laying in the hospital bed and I couldn’t stop smiling,” said Laurie, “The nurse came in and asked if I couldn’t sleep. The truth was, I didn’t want to sleep. I was lying in a bed and I was comfortable. I was happy. I was at peace.”
Now two years post-op, Laurie is pain free. She often enjoys long walks, and runs a women’s business enterprise, The Inside Story.
“There was a part of me that was gone, and I didn’t think I’d ever get her back,” said Laurie. “I got a part back that has the freedom to move, to walk, to be physically active.”
Laurie’s son is an avid runner, and during the early COVID-19 pandemic, she agreed to walk on the Franklin High School track to help him stay moving.
“Running is his bloodline, and when COVID kicked in, he couldn’t be on the high school track team,” said Laurie. “I told him I would walk a minimum of two miles on the track every day, even through rain or snow. People started tracking me, and I did this for 97 days in a row. It really empowered me.”
Laurie has turned a new page in her life, and she hopes her story encourages others living in pain to take the first step to finding relief.
“There’s absolutely no factor that should stand in the way of someone living in pain,” said Laurie. “There are solutions out there for everyone. I’m very thankful for every person connected with Bone and Joint. I received clear, straightforward communication with compassion. The process and experience was so seamless, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop but it never did.”