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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up Olympic spirit drives orthopedist Debi Thomas

    Christine Brennan on Debi Thomas: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colum...i-thomas_N.htm
    In addition to her humanitarian mission this fall, Thomas, who has a 13-year-old son and lives in Champaign, Ill., also has plans to skate again professionally. She will join other U.S. skating stars who are coming out of retirement for A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating Dec. 11 in Atlantic City.

    "I want to prove to myself that I've still got it," she said. "I look at it as a challenge. I've been jumping on the floor and my jumps are getting better every day. But I don't want to get people's expectations too high. In that way, it's just like surgery."

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    It would be great to see Debbie skate again. I'm sure she'll pull off a 2A at least.

    As far as not setting expectation too high for surgery, that would be true for cosmetic surgeries, but what would be a too high expectation for orthopedic surgeries ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    It would be great to see Debbie skate again. I'm sure she'll pull off a 2A at least.

    As far as not setting expectation too high for surgery, that would be true for cosmetic surgeries, but what would be a too high expectation for orthopedic surgeries ?
    Uh, there is a LOT that can go wrong with joint replacement surgery, and with potentially more serious consequences than with most elective cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately I know someone who has had to have his knee replaced three times in the past 14 months due to things that went wrong with the surgery. Last I heard, he still wasn't able to walk. That is a very bad result, but many other "good results" still do not measure up to what some patients have in mind. I know of several people who have had hip or knee replacement surgery and the post-op, rehab, and final mobility varied quite a bit -- but all (except the first case I described) experienced a great reduction of pain (nearly complete in most cases).

    Thanks for the link, Sylvia. I'm looking forward to seeing Debi skate again -- and I may actually have a chance to do so in person. I'm just a bit to belatedly learn that Debi Thomas has been living in my community for nearly three years! And I call myself a skating fan.
    Last edited by skatingfan5; 08-16-2010 at 05:44 PM.

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    I'm interested in who else will be in this "Golden Age" show. Anyone know?

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    What a wonderful story about an absolutely wonderful person!! Dr. Debi Thomas is beautiful both inside and out!

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    Debi was one of the first skaters that I really followed, and while I was disappointed for her at the Olympics, I've loved seeing her become so successful off ice. It's nice to see her involved in skating because she's a great role model for athletes trying to transition to the next stage of their lives.

    And to her for her planned trip to Nepal.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    As far as not setting expectation too high for surgery, that would be true for cosmetic surgeries, but what would be a too high expectation for orthopedic surgeries ?
    People often see surgery as a magic bullet that will solve whatever problem they are having 110% with no further effort on their part. That's true for every kind of surgery I've seen including cosmetic, bariatric and orthopedic.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    People often see surgery as a magic bullet that will solve whatever problem they are having 110% with no further effort on their part. That's true for every kind of surgery I've seen including cosmetic, bariatric and orthopedic.
    Some of that may be true, but personally, I was in such incredible pain with my knee there was absolutely no other answer. I tried everything, and I do mean everything. I had a knee replacement done 2 months ago and I am completely out of pain and recovered. There is no right answer for everyone. I had a skilled surgeon and great rehab. I just went back to work today. What is good for one person may not be the same for another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ponta1 View Post
    What a wonderful story about an absolutely wonderful person!! Dr. Debi Thomas is beautiful both inside and out!
    ITA! Thanks for the update on her Syvia I've always admired her skating and public life as a doctor

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    Dr. Thomas!!
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I look forward to seeing her skate

    Im all for surgery. When I snapped my ACL & ripped off the miniscus, my leg was giving out when I stood still making me collapse several times a day. After surgery I am able to run, dance, skate, do jumps etc. I adore my orthopedic surgeon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubak View Post
    Some of that may be true, but personally, I was in such incredible pain with my knee there was absolutely no other answer.
    I don't think you comprehended my posting. I didn't say surgery was bad or that everyone who has it is delusional about what it does for them. Heck, I've had four surgeries myself. I said some people have unrealistic expectations about what it will do for them and some people think surgery does all the work.

    In your case, that would be people who have knee replacement surgery but then don't go to rehab and/or don't do the exercises their PT gives them to do at home and then complain about how knee replacement "didn't work" for them when they don't heal properly. That doesn't sound like you at all.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    I can't wait to see her skate! I've been wondering how she's doing with skating aside from the doctor stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I'm interested in who else will be in this "Golden Age" show. Anyone know?
    I'm sure Fumie must be in it if it's a golden years thing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    It would be great to see Debbie skate again. I'm sure she'll pull off a 2A at least.
    Yes, it would be wonderful to see Debi out there on the ice again. I've missed her over the years.

    I will never forget halfway through her FS at Calgary, Debi looking at the camera w/this oh so lost and heartbroken look on her face. I just wanted to reach through the TV Screen and give her a hug.

    As far as not setting expectation too high for surgery, that would be true for cosmetic surgeries, but what would be a too high expectation for orthopedic surgeries ?
    Speaking as someone w/a mild form of a rare form of Dwarfism, and I've always said if this was the mild form, then I am very thankful even w/all the challenges I've got. Such as being an average normal height when my Parents were told that wouldn't happen. I'm 5"2 and proud of it!! Anyway....

    I'll be a guest in my Foot Surgeon's OR at St Mike's in Toronto again one of these days due to how my disorder formed my feet. In fact, he wasn't all that hopeful of fixing the problems I was having w/my left foot last year, simply because of how my feet were formed and are. That problem was an awful lot of pain and feeling like a bone was sticking out of my foot. In fact, he couldn't even examine the thing both at the Consult visit and then a few minutes before I went to the OR on Surgery Day last year and I couldn't put my full weight on the thing either. Things were *that* painful.

    I was positive I needed his help in the OR w/what was going on, as everything else I'd tried didn't work. He was pretty scared to agree to doing it though and really did not think what he was going to try would work. He also warned me several times w/how my feet are, he thought the surgery had about a 20% chance of resolving things.

    Turns out that feeling like something was sticking out? I needed to have the support bones of my last little two toes lifted because the way they were angled down. Even w/the Pain Meds and the leftover Anesthetic, I could tell right away something was different and in the right kind of different too. So I was feeling a bit more optimistic when I had my first follow up.

    He still wasn't sure it was going to solve the pain issues, but since this was the kind of proceedure where I could weight bear in an air cast right away, I *knew* the feeling of something sticking out was gone. So right there, considering just how "weird" my foot structure is and risky an operation on my feet is, just that much went past those "Sky high expectations".

    However, I'm very happy to say that a year and a half later and the pain's pretty much gone. It still aches when the weather gets damp, but I can deal w/that. I noticed after not needing the Pain Meds past week one Post Op that the area where the work had been done was numb in feeling. That's now gone, which makes me (and also my Surgeon as I asked him about it) think the angle those bones were at, were compressing either a major nerve or a couple of them. It's the only explaination why it went from not being able to be touched/examined, to my Surgeon being able to rub some lotion on/into it six months later.

    So...I hope that gives you an example of what Debi could have meant by "Sky High Expectations" when it comes to the Orthopedic side of things.

    Can Luc really be 13 now? Yi yi yi....Where'd the time go to!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzisk8tr View Post
    I'm sure Fumie must be in it if it's a golden years thing...
    Much as I would love to see Fumie again, the show is called a "Salute to the Golden Age of American Figure Skating," so I think the entire cast will be American.

    I am very happy that things have worked out well for Debbie, and am delighted that she will be part of this show. I felt like giving her a hug following her free skate in Calgary, too.

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    Hey! Maybe Nicole Bobek could "get back out on that ice" in this show!!!!!

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    This seems like the kind of show Michelle should do.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    This seems like the kind of show Michelle should do.
    The show is for skating stars coming out of retirement. Michelle has never retired .

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    Chicago Defender article (Sept. 1, 2010): Former figure skater champion headed on a medical mission to Nepal
    Thomas is now one of a few Black orthopedic surgeons, among an even fewer number of fellowship-trained female ones and will be the first Black doctor of her kind to join Women Orthopaedist Global Outreach in its mission to Katmandu, Nepal in Asia Sept. 24.

    WOGO, a non-profit volunteer medical service organization headed by five specially trained female orthopedic surgeons, will provide free hip and joint replacement surgeries to a select group of poor and impoverished Nepalese women who suffer from arthritis. Dozens of women in their mid-60s will receive the prosthetics.
    ...

    “It’s one of the poorest countries,” she said, explaining why WOGO chose Nepal for its inaugural mission. “The men rely on the women there a lot for work and hard labor-type work. And if you’re crippled by arthritis, it sort of shuts down the whole social scene.”

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