When arthritis pain in his hip began limiting his mobility, Nicholas McDowell knew it was time to step away from his role as a trauma unit nurse. After retiring in 2000, Nicholas underwent nearly seven procedures, all focused on alleviating his arthritis.
Thanks to self-confidence, faith in god, and the excellent staff at Mercy Health – Lorain Hospital, Nicholas has had what he needs to persevere throughout this battle.
“You can’t give up,” Nicholas says. “I’ve been through so many surgeries that if I sat there and doubted myself, a change would not happen. You have to be 100 percent confident in yourself to believe things are going to work out.”
Nicholas has continued to believe any goal is reachable, even after several surgeries and years of recovery. With each surgery, Nicholas has gone through physical therapy both in the hospital as well as at home. His doctors continue to hold him accountable, making sure he remains cautious but still active.
“Right after surgery they don’t let you lay around,” Nicholas recalls. “They want to get you on your feet as quickly as possible to do passive and active range of motion exercises.”
At first, exercises with a walker help tone muscles in the hip and joint area. They also allow Nicholas to practice maneuvering around his house by climbing stairs. At home, Nicholas sees a physical therapist that helps him stay active. This includes focusing on his upper and lower body strength as well as walking to continue strengthening his entire body.
“It’s usually by the sixth or seventh visit… I’m good enough to go in and out of my apartment,” he shares.
Staying active has a great effect on Nicholas’ health both physically and emotionally.
“After four years of surgeries at Mercy Health, I’ve been homebound quite a bit. But because of therapy, it’s helped to get me out as soon as I can,” says Nicholas.
Enjoying his newfound freedom, Nicholas often goes for walks. Even though he can no longer work, he finds joy in the things his health allows.
“I can’t chop a tree or run a marathon, but I can do all the things that I enjoy,” he says with a smile. “Without God, without the Mercy Health staff support, and family and friends, I couldn’t do it.”
Find a Mercy Health doctor near you and schedule an appointment today.