Determined Dinah

Dinah Shumway and Tom Dean

Kathi Bobillot

“Use it or lose it.” That adage could refer to what happens when a person doesn’t regularly exercise his or her physical body; consequently, he or she will likely lose strength, stamina, and endurance. However, the opposite scenario is bona fide … connoting the wear and tear on our joints.

Our featured resident is Dinah Shumway who is no stranger to an active lifestyle. She explained, “Sixty-plus years of tennis, hiking, ballet, tap, and skiing have taken a toll on my joints—not unusual for someone my age.”

So, her left knee’s nagging pain gave Dinah no choice, and the knee arthroplasty (replacement) was scheduled in January 2019. The surgery was at the Oro Valley Hospital on a Monday. This procedure sounds like the medical version of In-N-Out Burger. Dinah arrived at 7 a.m., woke up from anesthesia at 9 a.m., and reported to her first therapy session at 11 a.m. After another afternoon therapy session and one night in the hospital, Dinah was released. Her next PT session was scheduled for that Friday in Green Valley. Au fait with joint replacements, Dinah has also had a left hip and a right knee replacement.

“I knew from the first meeting on that Friday after my surgery that the therapy being offered was not going to be suitable,” Dinah explained. “You see, for my previous hip and knee surgeries, my therapist was a Norwegian gal, Torhild.” Dinah explicated that Torhild meant business, and that business was to get her back into “business.”

Being resourceful, Dinah contacted Tom Dean, the personal trainer at the Anza. “I asked Tom if he thought he could help me recover. He didn’t immediately say yes. Tom asked what my expectations were. I told him that I wanted to resume playing tennis in six weeks.” Implementing prudence, Tom said he wanted to do some research. Dinah continued, “A few days later, Tom called and said he believed he could help rehab me.”

At their initial meeting, Tom created a customized workout plan with 13 exercises: a combination of conditioning and weight training. “He was a pusher, for sure. We met about three times a week at first, then two times,” Dinah said with an excited tone. “I was back to the Barre exercises in two weeks. I tried to be diligent between meeting with Tom.”

At this point (three weeks post-surgery), the stitches were out and the swelling was gone. Ready to hit some tennis balls, Dinah dusted off her racket. She said, “In mid-February, my last meeting with Tom was just before competing in my first social tournament.” Dinah played the tournament around the first weekend of March, two weeks past her six-week goal, yet (to borrow a tennis term), a master stroke! “I credit Tom Dean with getting me back into condition from my total knee replacement. Thanks, Tom!”

If you would like to share your recovery story (that incorporates the Anza amenities) to inspire others, please contact Kathi Bobillot at [email protected].