When Illness Strikes the Young: One Woman’s Fight to Find Healing through Faith and Laughter

Taura Colbert’s book about her exploits as a stubborn patient and her inspired recovery hits Amazon in December. Colbert’s book tackles her experience through humor.

Phoenix, AZ, United States., November 06, 2013 -- Taura Colbert was a woman living in pain. Almost 10 years ago, at the age of 33, she couldn’t walk, drive a car, sit on a sofa or even sleep without feeling it, excruciating deep-bone pain in both of her hip joints that was her constant companion.

Then, in 2004, the pain became so extreme Colbert was forced to seek medical help and was told she needed to have a bilateral hip replacement to replace both of her hip joints. Colbert had suddenly joined the 285,000 Americans who need a hip replacement each year. The difference was Colbert was a young woman in the prime of her life. She needed answers. Common diagnoses related to hip replacements in younger people include rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes the inflammation of the synovial membrane; post-traumatic arthritis caused by serious injury or fracture; avascular necrosis caused by dislocation or a fracture that limits blood to the femoral head; and a childhood hip disease. But answers weren’t forthcoming for Colbert. “One doctor said I was just unlucky,” she said. “All of the cartilage in both my hips just disappeared so I was walking around with bone on bone. There was no clear explanation. It just happened to me.”

Now 42, Colbert looks back at her reaction when she first heard the prognosis. “I was 33 years old,” said Colbert. “I had a hard time accepting that someone so young needed to have something done that people who fought in World War II and who were great grandparents were having done. It was unacceptable to me.” But it wasn’t simple vanity that caused Colbert to reject her prognosis. As a woman in her thirties, Colbert feared the change in her life an operation might bring. “I was so young, and there were so many things I hadn’t done,” she said. “I wanted travel and have fun and have children. It was just too scary. I was afraid that the operation would make it impossible for me to do those things, so I just kept living my life like it would go away.”

For three years Colbert suffered the pain intent on living her life on her own terms even as her symptoms worsened. Her days became filled with painful challenges. Bending over to do laundry was painful, the turning and twisting required when vacuuming was excruciating. “I couldn’t even walk in Target,” she said. “I had to stop grocery shopping. I had get people to come and help me clean my house because the pain was so great, and I was in my thirties.” Her condition also impacted her at work. As a project manager and consultant for a Fortune 500 company, Colbert traveled a good deal, causing her to suffer the pain of long lines and walking long distances through airport terminals. “My life was becoming one in which I was basically disabled,” she said. “I could barely walk through my house. It was terrifying. It was like my body wasn’t mine anymore, and I was so young."

That was when Colbert reached a breaking point. “Because of my faith, I thought, ‘I don’t want an operation. I just want to wake up and feel better,’” she explained. “I prayed a lot. Then I realized that the person who was brought to me to help me with my pain was my answer, and I had to trust that however the healing came to me was good.”

That was when Colbert chose to return to a doctor she’d seen during her search for answers. “I went back to see Dr. Ott,” she said.

“Sometimes patients have difficulty accepting the diagnosis they receive,” said David M. Ott M.D. of OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates and medical director of OASIS Hospital in Phoenix. “It’s understandable, especially in a young woman like Taura, but I was able to alleviate her fears and assure her that a bilateral hip replacement didn’t mean she couldn’t have a child, and it would give her back her mobility and allow her to live her life the way she wanted to live it.”

“I trusted Dr. Ott. He was kind and when he said, ‘let’s get you some relief,’ I realized I had suffered for too long, and I couldn’t go any longer. I had to trust that modern technology would be able to give me the kind of life I had lost.”

In March 2008, Colbert had her first anterior hip replacement. She says she chose the style of hip replacement because there was no cutting of the muscle tissue around the bone and recovery time was significantly shorter than a regular hip replacement. “The day after the surgery, I felt amazing. It was such a relief. I felt it immediately,” Colbert said. She followed the surgery with another in June 2008. “I was walking the day after each surgery,” she said, “and that September, I was in a 5K. Before the surgery, I had been in a 5k and come in in absolutely last place because my hips hurt too bad to continue. It was humiliating, but finishing this race so soon after my hips were replaced was a dream.”

The following year, Colbert participated in a 13-mile half marathon. “After the surgery, I had to get a new mindset,” said Colbert. “This experience took its toll on me, not just physically, but spiritually. I made a commitment to myself that if I was going to go for it. I’d write a new chapter. I’d be better than ever.” That new mindset included plans to write a book about her experiences and use humor to help others face their own dilemmas and empower themselves to live their lives to the fullest. Colbert wrote a book about her experiences, “Activating Your Inner Hero: Getting a New Mindset and New Joints”, which will be in stores soon. “Some people get a surgery like this and feel afterward that they’re disabled still,” said Colbert. “They still live their lives the same way. I want to help people, no matter their situation, to see that anything is possible."

“That’s why I wrote the book. I hate to see people affected by something like this. I spent too much time affected by my situation, eating too much, taking too many pain pills, feeling ill and feeling sad. I don’t want other people to go through what I did.” Colbert’s book tackles her experience through humor. Using laughter as a type of medicine, Colbert lets her reader in to experience the most poignant moments of her life. “I can laugh now, but I remember going to Target, my favorite place, and being forced to use a motorized cart because I couldn’t walk through the store,” said Colbert. “I almost tore the store up because I didn’t know how to work the cart. I laugh about it now. I’m okay with it, and I’ve healed from it. And now I invite people to read my book and take the ride with me, to find their own Targets and motorized carts and to laugh at the folly we create in life. It’s all a matter of mindset.”

Colbert’s book, “Activating Your Inner Hero: Getting a New Mindset and New Joints” will be published and available on Amazon.com in December 2013. For more information on OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates, please call (602) 631-3161 or visit www.aoa.md. Find out more about Arizona Orthopaedic Associates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aoaatgateway and Twitter at www.twitter.com/aoaatgateway.

About OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates:
OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates strives to improve the quality of life of patients and their families through outstanding orthopedic care. OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. Along with the treatment of immediate or chronic problems, top-rated and board-certified orthopedic surgeons strive to integrate the doctrine of prevention in all treatment plans as a way to alleviate possible future difficulties.

Al Stevens
OrthoArizona - Arizona Gateway Associates
690 N. Cofco Center Ct
Suite 290
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Contact Details

Company Name: OrthoArizona - Arizona Gateway Associates
Issued By: Al Stevens
Phone: 4808481770
Address: 690 N. Cofco Center Ct Suite 290 Phoenix, AZ 85008
City: Phoenix
State: AZ
Zip: 85008
Country: United States
Website: Visit the website

Keywords : bone pain, hip joints, hip replacement, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease,

by Al Stevens (few years ago!)

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