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Lacing up her walking shoes and getting back to life

By The Health News Team | September 9, 2021
Sharp Coronado patient Diane Hobbs ready for one of her weekly walks.

Sharp Coronado patient Diane Hobbs ready for one of her weekly walks.

Walking along Mission Bay’s beautiful pathways has been a favorite pastime for Diane Hobbs. So much so, she’d frequent the Crown Point neighborhood on the bay several times each week to walk a mile, stay healthy and get outdoors. But roughly two years ago, she says she started to have pain in her left hip. Over time, she says the pain became excruciating.

“It was not just pain in the daytime when I walked, which became unbearable, but even as I slept,” she says.

Diane’s doctor advised her to seek care and treatment from an orthopedic surgeon after it appeared the bones in her hip area were starting to deteriorate. She was told she had little to no cushioning between the bones, and that she might need hip surgery.

“I remember a neighbor saying to me, ‘If you have a chance to get a new hip, get it done, don’t wait,’” she says. Hearing that, and with the extreme pain she was in, she knew it was time to seek options for advanced care and treatment.

Diane met with Dr. Joseph Jankiewicz, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Sharp Coronado Hospital, who specializes in joint surgery. Diane says she was eager to have the surgery after talking with him, as she knew she wanted to be free from pain and back out on her walks again.

“After meeting with Diane, we knew that her pain was really taking her away from the everyday things she loves to do,” says Dr. Jankiewicz. “Joint replacement is really about quality of life, and that’s what we wanted to get back for her.”

Diane admits, however, that the timing wasn’t ideal. She said she also felt a bit hesitant having surgery in a pandemic. “I wanted to get it done, but I didn’t know if it would be safe to do during the pandemic,” she says.

After some reassurance about hospital-safety protocols put into place at Sharp Coronado — including separate treatment areas for patients with COVID-19 and health screenings for all patients, doctors and staff — and as pandemic restrictions began lifting, Diane scheduled her outpatient total hip surgery for early August.

Reflecting back on that day, Diane says being at Sharp Coronado was so comforting. “From the calming music and videos to the Coronado scenery to the caring staff and nurses — even the valet service for my daughter and me on the day of surgery — all of it was so comforting,” she says.

Now that it’s been more than six weeks since her surgery, Diane says her spirits have been lifted. “I feel like I am 16 again,” she says with giddiness in her voice. “I’m up and about, and I’m on top of the world.”

And yes, she’s back to walking again — at least a mile every day. Still in disbelief that just two months ago it was torture to even think about walking, she said she missed it. Today, she is grateful to be back in her walking shoes again.

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