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Judi's Four Surgeries Never Slowed Her Down
You wouldn’t know it by her spry demeanor, positive attitude or composure, but at 82, the petite Judi Blank has seen her share of pain-filled days. Those days are over now.
Judi’s Story: “A few years ago I had two knee replacements, each knee at the same time. I would have had to have it done sooner if I hadn’t been getting therapy at the Peter B Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center at Menorah Park. I love the place. With the therapy for my knee replacements, I began healing but was still experiencing pain. To make things worse, I had a bad fall and smashed my femur. They had to cut out one of the knee replacements to insert a rod, then, they had to replace the replacement. Three knee surgeries on top of a rod,” she said. “That’s a lot for anyone to go through—especially in such a short period of time. Now, I’m almost bionic”.
After her surgeries and while healing, she wanted to be independent. “I never want to be a burden on my family,” Judi explains. “I want to be there for them.” And she has been. Even through her worst pain, she vowed to get better with a very important goal in mind.
“I was in a wheelchair when my grandson graduated from high school. It was my goal to make it to his college graduation and not be in a wheelchair!”
Sticking it to the Pain: “Not long ago I started having very bad pain in my back. Cortisone shots didn’t help. The knee and thigh pain was bearable but the back pain was debilitating,” says Judi. “One of my therapists at the Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center, Steve Saneda, PT, IDN Certified, explained to me that the pain in my back was being caused by the way I walked, shifting my weight to compensate due to the knee and thigh surgeries. Steve knows me and knows my body. He and Colleen Gast, PTA, my other therapist are both fabulous. He thought dry needling would help. I asked my doctor about it and he said ‘it can’t harm you’, so I tried it. It was a miracle, I am dead serious! So I’ve been getting dry needling in my back and in my thigh. The dry needling has definitely made things better (You do not feel that needle go in. I promise you). There is no pain.”
What is Dry Needling: It’s different from acupuncture. The needles are extremely non-invasive and small in diameter. Dry needling is based on neuroanatomy and scientific knowledge of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Using a very fine filament needle, they penetrate deeper tissues, considered trigger points. The needles can range in size from one to four inches to compensate for body mass and different locations that require the procedure.
Where’s My Pain? “After the first few sessions, I felt better. First I had two pain-free days. I thought that was a positive sign, then I had ten pain-free days! I made it to my grandson’s college graduation, and it was an absolute miracle! I sat there for six hours saying, ‘G-d bless Steve! G-d bless Steve! I didn’t experience one minute of pain, and I haven’t had pain in my knees, thigh or back since!”
“I appreciate being pain-free so much. Dry needling and therapy changed my life. I wouldn’t be walking without it. I feel so much better. On top of the dry needling, I get new exercises from my therapists and do them faithfully. My balance is not great anymore so they started me standing on one leg in the pool. I kept doing it. One day I realized I had been standing on one leg for a long time! You have to put the effort in yourself; no one can do it for you.”
What Have You Got to Lose? “I wish people would give dry needling a try. I’m sharing my story to help others get that help. It’s worth trying. I was so thrilled to be able to do several sessions, and I’m still doing great! I have more scheduled.”
I tell a lot of people about it. My neighbor hurt her back. I told her to go to the Center, and now, she thanks me profoundly.”
“I go to the Center five days a week because I know; you have to keep working on getting better. I am a big proponent of the Center. I like it because they help you understand what you need to do to get better. It’s very important.”
“I worked hard because I was so desperate to make it to my grandson’s graduation; it kept me going. I believe that. I plan on making it to my granddaughter’s graduation in three years.”
“I learned that when your pain is controlled, you feel younger and have more energy. I believe that whatever time you have left, you want to live it well. Every generation deserves their own life,” said Judi.
The Integrative Dry Needling treatment requires specific certification. Not all professionals are trained to perform this procedure.
Check for proper credentials before consenting to treatment. The Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center has therapists who are certified to professionally administer dry needling.
To make an appointment, call the Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center today at 216-595-7345.
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