From Disability to Four-Mile Walks

Climbing into the sleeping compartment of the family camper had become impossible for Judy Gettings, 61, a nurse and lifelong resident of Enid, Oklahoma. So she waved goodbye to camping trips with her husband Randy and her young grandchildren. The pain in Judy’s knees forced her to cut her hours at work and move with Randy to a one-story house. Finally, she decided to stop restricting her lifestyle. “The pain was so severe, I couldn’t do housework anymore, and I couldn’t enjoy my grandchildren,” says Judy.

Judy Gettings of Enid, Oklahoma was disabled by knee pain. She finally opted to get her left knee replaced, and then her right knee, at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center.

She made an appointment with her doctor, who suggested she see an orthopedic surgeon. Judy’s first requirement in a doctor was one that practices at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which she refers to as “my hospital.” “The staff and doctors are so friendly and I like the atmosphere,” she says.

Preparing in Class

Before having a total knee replacement, Judy attended the Joint Replacement Institute’s pre-op education class. The nurse manager, along with physical and occupational therapists, explained the surgical procedure, as well as demonstrated exercises for getting in shape before the operation. “I wasn’t worried about having pain, because I was already in pain,” says Judy. “The class helped me know exactly what to expect. People asked a lot of questions, and the staff answered every one of them.”

Left Knee, Then Right

Judy had her left knee replaced first, in January 2014. The physical therapists helped her stand up the day of surgery, and began therapy in her room the next morning. “The most important early work is improving range of motion,” says Chelsea Tuma, a physical therapist with the Joint Replacement Institute. “We help patients regain it through exercise, walking, balancing activities and stair climbing.” Judy did so well, she was back to work six weeks later, and back to St. Mary’s for her second knee replacement in September 2014.

Back to Activity

Today, Judy usually works 48 to 52 hours a week at a local retirement home. She’s also exercising – walking four miles every day on a path near her home. “There’s no way I could have done that before the surgery,” she says. Mostly, Judy’s happy to be planning a camping trip with Randy and her two youngest grandchildren. Randy is very pleased with his wife’s progress. “He says I’m running circles around him now,” says Judy.