Healing at Home

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on October 19, 2017

After living with joint pain for some time, Bev and Warner Bonderman each decided they wanted to do something about it.

The couple, who’ve been married for almost 53 years, did their research and chose Carilion's Joint Replacement Surgery program.

“I had a right hip replacement,” Bev said. “I had it done because every step was very painful before that.   I certainly couldn’t go up and down stairs with any degree of comfort.”

Warner had a knee replacement. He said that sometimes, while playing golf, his knee would “sort of collapse in the middle of a shot.” He never fell but came close.

He was also suffering from pain in his right knee.

“I just reached a point where I said, ‘gotta do something,’ ” he recalled.

Bev had her hip replacement two days before Christmas, and eight weeks later, Warner had a total knee replacement.

Staggering their surgeries allowed Bev and Warner to care for each other while they recuperated—at home. They said it was essential for their recovery.

“You have the freedom to move around,” Warner pointed out. “You have the freedom to sit or lay wherever you want to. And your schedule is controlled by you, not by somebody else.”
“Probably one of the biggest things we enjoyed was that we could control the ice packs we used,” he added.

“Besides that, it was just sleeping in your own bed,” Bev said. “When you’re home you sleep better, you eat better. You can regulate your medication correctly on your own schedule, not having to wait until someone’s available to bring it to you.”

But you do need someone “to help you put on those compression socks,” Bev said as Warner chuckled. “We also had a physical therapist come to the house a couple times a week for me and more for the knee. They were very helpful.”

In addition, home health nurses visited the couple twice a week and were in regular communication to help Warner regulate his post-surgery medication.  

The Bondermans are getting around much better these days, and they say that with the right motivation, some pre-planning and a little help, it’s very possible to recuperate at home after surgery.

“You certainly could do it if you had a family member come in for at least part of the day to help,” Bev said. “It’s just so much better healing when you’re at home—and comfortable in your space.”