I’m Aching For A Vacation…

Hello Your Fit Day Friends,

I’m off…to India.

Now, the typical response from a friend would go something like this: “Wow! Great!  Have a great trip! Wish I were going! You gonna do some yoga?”

Well, not exactly. You see, it’s not really a ‘vacation’. At least I wouldn’t call it that.

I mean being sliced and diced and then a mechanical device inserted into my hip joint is not my idea of a vacation! But call it what you will, I’m going, it’s for medical reasons and it seems more and more people are resorting to this option when they don’t have the resources- like being able to change your medical coverage due to pre exisiting conditions in order to get get the best surgeons to treat a serious problem.

Now, if you’ve been following me on Facebook or receiving my fitness newsletter most of you already know that I’m headed off to India for my hip resurfacing surgery. If you need a recap on why I’m choosing to go outside of my HMO (well that should say it all right there!) as well as outside of the country as well,  click here.

I’m Not Nuts!

However a few things have changed since that last post and I need to clarify. I have been getting a lot of emails asking why now am I going to India. Some of you actually thought I was nuts going out of the country, let alone to India.  So I wanted to update you on the reasons and how I came to the decision to go around the world, instead of…well… half way, for my new hip.

After writing that post I was finding it still difficult to come up with all of the needed money to see one of the top surgeons, Dr. De Smet, in Belgium. I had known of another great surgeon with an incredible track record, but was reluctant to fly around the world… to India. Why? Because it was, well around the world. It was in India. And India is hotter than hot. In fact there are 2 temperatures in Chennai: extremely hot and dreadfully hot And there  are a lot of bugs in hot weather. And did I already mention how hot it is in India? Those were my main concerns; not that Dr. Bose was one of the best surgeons in the world for anything Hippy!

Having my heart set on seeing Dr. De Smet, but not being able to come up with all the money needed to get the surgery (flight, accommodations, food, lodging, incidentals, recovery, re hab expenses, etc), I emailed him and told him of my plight. Simultaneously I got back on my stability ball chair and did more butt numbing web surfing and Googled ‘grants for hip surgery’.

At this point in my journey I had done about 80 plus hours of butt numbing research and was very familiar with the patient advocate Vicky Marlow from SurfaceHippy website. She has put together a series of informational videos of some of the top hip resurfacing surgeons in the world, and I have watched every one of them, more than twice! I would call Vicky the go-between for many of these top hip resurfacing surgeons.

Only now I found that Vicky had her own more updated website which brought me to her program, DAST, which offers a once a year grant for a hip resurfacing device to those individuals who have NO health insurance but are in need of a hip resurfacing. Wow!

Now, going back to my previous blog you will well recall that Dr. De Smet had told me that the BHR was a device that was not suitable for my mild displasia, and although he was one of the best surgeons in the world and still implanted the BHR, he suggested that the Conserve Plus would be better suited for me.

So I emailed Miss Vicky and sent her over to my blog to read my story, asking her if instead of being a candidate for a BHR grant if she would consider approving the Conserve Plus for a DAST grant.

That same day I also emailed  Dr. De Smet and told him about this program , which he already knew existed.  He said he could work with the manufacturers to give him a Conserve Plus device, as well as cut some hospital costs, but that I would still be responsible for hotels, etc.. and he suggested I email Vicky to get her approval for a DAST grant for the Conserve Plus device that he intended to use in my hip.

So I patiently awaited a response from Vicky.

Boy was Vicky prompt in emailing me back. Within 24 hours there were 2 long responses in my inbox. And they weren’t what I wanted to hear. At first…

I was not a candidate (my heart sunk-at first- but not all was lost). Since I had an HMO heath care provider already I didn’t qualify on that alone.

However, as I said, all was not lost. According to many other great hip resurfacing surgeons she had contacted, I was certainly a candidate for the BHR. However in order to get great results it depended upon the surgeon placing the device. And even though one of the best doctors, Dr. De Smet, seemed biased towards the C+ for my hip, based on the information Vicky provided me and with more butt numbing research-reading patient testimonials, and watching more videos, and reading more research on the importance of placement of the device-I came to my own decision that going to see Dr. Vijay bose in India was the best option for me.

You can read about the procedure and watch an interview of Dr. Bose here ,and the Apollo Hospitals here

Let’s Get To The Bottom

What it always comes down to is the bottom line. It’s about 20K less to go to India. But even if it weren’t, and going to Belgium was the same price as Dr. Bose, I believe I would still opt for India. Why? Because  after reading and talking to patients who have traveled to India for hip surgery, Dr. Bose is a healer, is a meticulous surgeon, and the treatment you get is world class.

So, there you have it. As you read this I’m either in India learning to walk again, or in CA getting on with my new life…

As for medical travel it seems to be the new rage. But cost cutting aside, the quality of treatment alone is good reason for others to peruse this option.

So stay tuned for my blogs and newsletter and in the meantime you can read about other ‘medical vacation’ hippy patients stories HERE.

And I’d love to hear from those of you who have had hip surgery, in the U.S. or abroad, and what your experience was.

Leave your comments here…

Make it Your Fit Day with DebbyK!






4 thoughts on “I’m Aching For A Vacation…”

  1. Hi Debby,

    Just wanted to wish you well on your recovery and thanks for posting such a great blog…I recently watched a special on traveling to India for hip surgery and it was really cool to see that you have done this as well. It seems to be a great option! Best of luck and enjoy your “vaca”!


    1. Thank you so much!
      I’ll be updating the actual travel to India soon. I hope that I can help others who have these big decisions to make. Travel is tough, as well as the rehab. But I know that I have gotten the best Dr. along with the best treatment and care.
      Hope to touch base with you soon when I get back to CA!


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