Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group
Physical, Hand & Aquatic Therapy
23456 Hawthorne Blvd.,
Torrance, CA 90505-4716
OPENING FALL 2017!
All parts of Jacqueline's story are anecdotal and not meant to be taken as medical advice. See a doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health.
What physical activities do you love to do?
There's so much I've done and more that I want to do. I am retired now and when I retired, I never stopped. I roller-skated and did all kinds of activities and classes. Anything anyone told me about I would do…crafts, sewing, or going to Broadway plays. I love line dancing and swimming. I've travelled extensively, to South Africa, Europe, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. For exercise lately I love to do water aerobics, but I haven't been able to travel and do any activities for a while. I had to gradually cut things out because I couldn't handle the pain in my shoulder anymore.
What happened to your shoulder?
It's mostly age because I didn't fall or anything. About eight or nine years ago doctors told me that my cartilage was deteriorating. I still felt pretty good doing all kinds of exercise, so I knew I didn't need surgery yet. The pain got worse, though, and it would wake me up in the middle of the night. I started taking Glucosamine and MSM to help, but my doctor told me it was making my cholesterol go up and I had to stop. Then I was back in pain all over again. I was starting to really lose my cartilage and I decided to change doctors. My new doctor started connecting me to different specialists, which is how I met Dr. Magovern.
What did Dr. Magovern do?
He discovered after taking MRI's and thoroughly testing and examining me that my right shoulder joint needed shoulder replacement surgery because it was bone-on-bone. That made me realize I had to do something about it right away. During one of my consultations with Dr. Magovern I told him that I felt I was just a bit too old for surgery, and he said, "You're never too old!" He talked about how I was in good health and that my age didn't mean that I couldn't have surgery. I also have a 42- year-old daughter who knows so much about this new technical stuff and that medicine isn't like it used to be when I was growing up. My daughter said, "Mom, no one goes around in pain like that. Doctors have all new things and you don't have to worry." I also talked to other women who have had more surgeries than I would ever think to have—on their hips and their knees and whatever—and they were so happy they'd done it. I said, "Wow, what am I waiting for?" I decided to have the surgery and ever since I haven't regretted it.
I had some pain one morning in the hospital after surgery because I accidentally didn't take my pain medicine. You need that right after surgery! Other than that I haven't had one bad day or night since. I'm already going to therapy and the therapists are just awesome. They are really, really good at working with me and I am able to do all kinds of things now. I can give people high fives and so forth.
Once your shoulder is recovered, do you think you'll start being really active again?
Yes, I'm looking forward to picking up water aerobics again! I feel wonderful but I have to wait until Dr. Magovern says it's okay to do it. I'm excited. I don't know why it took me so long to have surgery in the first place.
When Dr. Magovern talked to you about having surgery, had you tried any other therapies?
I had a Cortisone shot and it did nothing but leave a great big mark on my arm. It didn't work at all. I also had about 12 weeks of therapy some years ago but it just didn't do any good. That was when I started taking the Glucosamine.
What did you like best about Dr. Magovern when you met him?
It just seemed like our personalities must have clicked. I loved his bedside manner. He is a warm person and was concerned about me. He explained his credentials to me and how he specialized in upper extremities and especially the shoulder, and how he had taken classes for extra credit so he could learn more about it. He even teaches and oversees other doctors. That was very impressive. I could tell he knew what was going on in his field.
I told him I was very scared, and he was really nice and I felt like he was a friend. He told me the truth when I asked him how late I could change my mind. He said if I got on the table and changed my mind he would just stop! So his personality was what I liked about him. Even when I was in the hospital he was very attentive. He came just about every day. I know he had a busy schedule, but I'd look up and he'd pop in the door and ask how my shoulder was and how I was doing.
How has your rehabilitation process gone?
When I came home, my husband was helpful with fixing meals and helping me. In about three weeks or less I was able to get up and start doing things. I never really liked to sit down, but I was very careful not to move my arm. It was in a sling and I wasn't allowed to pick up anything heavy. I really followed Dr. Magovern's instructions. I started physical therapy and it has been good ever since.
Are you okay with how your incisions from the surgery look?
They are disappearing now, just fading away. Every week they're looking better. I asked Dr. Magovern to please make the incisions so that I can wear sleeveless clothes! I didn't want the incisions to show. So he did it well, and now when I put on a sleeveless blouse it looks pretty good.
What advice would you give people who are in pain like you were but are afraid of surgery? I would tell them the truth about how scared I was, but if they want to go for it, it would be to their advantage. If there was any way I could refer others to a doctor, I would refer them to Dr. Magovern.
Why would you recommend him to other people?
Because he is a very warm, caring person and his bedside manner is superb. I love the way he answers questions. He seems like he's not only your doctor but someone you've known for a while and who understands you. He meets your needs if at all possible.
Are you glad you followed his recovery instructions so closely?
Yes. I decided that he knew best and kept my arm immobile and in my sling for as long as he told me to. I've heard people say many times that they've had surgery and wouldn't do it again because it didn't work. I wondered what happened, but having been through it myself I suspect what might have happened is that they didn't do what they were supposed to do. Sometimes people think that when they have surgery, that's the end of the matter. But you have to follow through because the healing process is the most important. I can't imagine having a better doctor than Dr. Magovern, but we were a team. I did my part, too.