Virginia Holte THR in Hawaii
(Ballerina, Ashtanga Yogini (3rd series) Pilates Instructor, GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Specialized Master Trainer)
Name: Virginia Holte
Date of surgery: March 27, 2015
Surgeon: Dr. Thomas Kane, Kane Orthopedic Institute
Hospital: Queens Medical Center, Oahu, Hawaii
Virginia Holte Bio (from the West Hawaii Dance Theatre website):
Ms. Holte is the Founder and Artistic Director of West Hawaii Dance Theatre, and Guest Instructor for the Maui Academy of Performing Arts.
As a professional dancer, Ms. Holte performed extensively with major dance companies, including the Washington Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Chicago Ballet and Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, touring both nationally and internationally. She was often invited to perform as Guest Artist, with companies such as New Jersey Ballet, Hawaii Youth Symphony, and the Ballet Gala International.
Ms. Holte is a graduate of the Academy of the Washington Ballet, and attended the National Ballet of Canada Teacher Training. She received certification in both the Cecchetti and Vaganova Methods of Classical Ballet, and created her own syllabus based on these to suit the needs of our Hawaii community.
Since 1986, Ms. Holte has been educating in Hawaii's community in dance through daily classes, outreach school presentations and historical theatrical performances, such as "The Nutcracker," "Don Quixote", "Gaiete Parisienne", "Swan Lake", "Coppelia", and "Alice in Wonderland" to name a few.
And here is her story in her own words:
My life is movement. I'm a Sagittarius... us fire signs have to move!
At age 2, I started Roller Skating at the Oak Ridge Roller Dome in Hobart Indiana, participating in many Artistic Roller Skating Competitions.
Age 8 brought Classical Ballet Lessons to my life, which propelled me into a 45+ year career of performing in Professional Dance Companies, (Sugar Plum Fairy and all those fouettes - even at age 50!!).
Teaching Classical Ballet, Choreographing and setting ballets for students and professionals, and Founding West Hawaii Dance Theatre, a 501 (3) c Non-Profit Dance Academy in 1989, this is my life.
About 25 years ago, and living in Hawaii, we have some of the first Yogi and Yogini Instructors to bring Ashtanga Yoga from Shri K. Pattabhi Jois in India to the Western world, and of course I had to be involved in learning and excelling all the Series: Primary, Second and the super intense Third Series. I even had the privilege to study with Pattabhi Jois himself on several occasions!
In the middle there somewhere, came about a decade of Pilates Teacher Trainings, incorporating that important information into my instructions, and finally 16 years ago , luckily bumping into the most intelligent exercise system of all, Juliu Horvath's GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®, of which I am now one of Juliu's selected Specialized Master Trainers for both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®.
So, as you can see, I have the best of all worlds. Every day I wake up at 5:00 am, living on Hawaii Island, one of the most beautiful and powerfully rich places on the planet, and proceed to partake in a daily practice either Ashtanga Yoga, or one of the GYROTONIC® OR GYROKINESIS® formats for myself.
Then, off to teach 6-9 classes per day (a combination of ballet, setting ballets, Pilates, Yoga, or GYROTONIC® OR GYROKINESIS®) on the Big Island four days a week, and on Maui three days per week, sharing my love of all these movement systems with whoever was interested.
Then, one day, about 4 years ago, all that changed.
I remember it all too clearly. It was a Friday. I had already finished a Second Series Ashtanga Yoga practice, taught a GYROTONIC® Client, then was teaching my 10:00am Adult Ballet Class (which I did barre and center with them to keep in "ballet shape"), when I went to show a "passé" at the barre, and my left leg would not go up. Nada, nothing. I could not even get it into a low coupe. Weird. I went on to finish the class, and thought, well, perhaps I should get some ice, and rest it, but not until the end of the day, as I had about 5 more classes of different types to teach.
Well I did ice it that night, and to make a long story short, over the next four years, my left leg keep getting worse, not better, with everything I did. Never in my life has I had any trouble with my hips. They were always there for me, flexible and strong. Splits were never a problem. Getting up and down off the floor was easy. But these things I took for granted that my body could do, at will, any time of the day or night - - when I was teaching or performing, soon starting to fade away, little by little, one by one.
I started Physical Therapy in 2011, in which they did ultrasound, laser beams, manipulation, and light exercises. That seems to be Ok for a while. Then I tried changing my nutrition ( I already had an excellent diet), but my naturopathic doctor put me on more herbs and vitamins specifically for joints. She even tried the "arp wave therapy".
Nothing was working... and my leg kept loosing its turnout, which I was used to having a LOT of, but not anymore.
A cocktail of acupuncture and massage came next. My acupuncturist is an excellent Chinese Doctor. We were hoping for the cartilage to rejuvenate. These therapies were taken both once a week for about a year and a half. I also got Osteopathic adjustments by an excellent doctor,(who was also Principal Ballet dancer trained in France.) Those seemed to take the edge off., but this deep aching pain in the left hip socket was always there, and not getting better.
Now, I was getting up in the mornings, put both feet on the floor, and had to push myself up, and hope I could actually stand. Then, I would crawl to lie on two small rolling balls on my sacrum for about 10 minutes to be even able to stand up and brush my teeth. I was dragging my left leg around, and limping. If it was raining, my hip got worse. I could hear my mother saying "I know when it is going to rain, my joints ache."
I could not walk up the steps with my dance bag. Had to go one step at a time I had to really decide if I needed to go into the store to buy something. Then, I would look for the nearest shopping cart to hold onto so I could walk into the store. No longer could I bend over to pick something up without having a severe nerve pain travel down my leg. I had to stand there for a moment before I could put one foot in front of the other. People I had not seen in a while kept asking, what happened to your leg? I would say, "oh... just been sitting too long." I was in denial. I kept telling myself, "this will heal up, you are a dancer, and injuries heal up eventually." All the while I was maintained my morning workout (even though it was decreasing in intensity) and teaching 30-42 classes per week, taking no pain killers, and only using a heating pad on my leg and hip at night.
But, my quality of life was decreasing terribly, and I was not a happy camper. I had several clients and friends who had had hip replacements, so I started asking them about their experiences. Next was searching the Internet. Was my labrum torn? Do I have a bulging disk? I was seeking answers online for my condition. I had never had a primary care physician, only a naturopathic doctor; so, going this route was not even something that I wanted to consider.
What finally woke me up and I realized that this was NOT going to heal by itself, was that I was getting the Academy ready for 2014 "Nutcracker" performances, and I was in the costume room, and could not even get up of the floor or carry the costumes out to my car to take to the studio for the students to try on. I had to hire someone to assist with the whole Nutcracker Production, which in previous years, had been no problem.
In the back of my head all this time, I started researching my condition. Through my internet and word of mouth research over the previous years, I started seeking a Doctor that 1) I could trust, and 2)could help this fine tuned dancer body get back to what it was. No matter where it was in the world: Germany, New York, Texas...
The Big Island of Hawaii, though wonderful, is not a good place for traditional health care, so I knew I would have to go somewhere other than here to get the best advice. But, whom to trust? I did not really trust any doctor, because I had heard horror stories about hip surgeries. However, several of my clients and friends in Hawaii had had hip replacements with Dr. Thomas Kane, Founder of Kane Orthopedic Institute, who is on Oahu. Dr. Kane is also the head of the Joint Department at Queens Hospital on Oahu.
I took about year after finding out about Dr. Kane, but finally, in mid-December, 2014, I got the courage to called to make an appointment.
From the very first phone call, I was extremely impressed. There were no message machines. A live human being Jane, answered my call on the first ring. Even when I called back with questions, either Jane, or Dr. Kane's Orthopedic Nurse, Wendy would answer the phone almost on the first ring. There was no problem to make an appointment whenever I liked.
I set a date in January 2015 to fly to Oahu for an appointment with Dr. Kane.
On January 9, 2015, I flew to Oahu. From when I entered the building, and Dr. Kane's office, I felt at home. I was sent downstairs for an X-ray at 1:30pm. At exactly 1:30, I was called in for the X-ray. The technician says, "Oh, I see you have an appointment with Dr. Kane. He is the best! If I ever had to have anything done to, he is the only doctor I would see". This testimonial certainly boosted my confidence.
My appointment was for 2:00pm. A t 1:50pm, Dr. Kane himself came out to greet me. He asked me to walk, and, even before looking at the X-ray said, "Sit down! Let me draw a picture of what is going on in you hip."
He proceeded to draw the exact picture of that which the hip X-ray revealed. No more cartilage in the left hip, and the acetabulum was crammed up into the hip socket. So he recommended a THR, and explained exactly how he would do it. Titanium cup, Vitamin E infused Polyethylene liner, Ceramic Ball, Titanium rod. No cement. No fuss, no muss. I will be up walking the day of surgery. Three days in the hospital. I could drive my stick shift and get around to classes within 8-15 days. Boom. Done. Dr. Kane has done over 7000 of these procedures successfully.
This man is an angel, and his staff so supportive. I scheduled the surgery for March 27, 2015 at Queen's Hospital on Oahu. Dr. Kane gave me a cortisone shot in my hip before I left that January 9 day, and already I was feeling better. The shot made my hip feel so good, and I could function about 50% better than before. Amazing. And there was no bruising from the shot. Now, my biggest hurdle was finding a Primary Care Physician. I did not have one. Up until now, I only had a Naturopathic Doctor, but, they do not count in these situations. You need a Primary Care Physician to "clear one" for a surgery. I had never had a surgery, so there was a lot to learn. What I did learn is that even thought your whole life you might have regular-low blood pressure, when you see a Primary Care Physician for the first time, your blood pressure elevates. It is called "White Coat Syndrome". Well, I had that big time.
I had to change my Primary Care Physician, because I was so nervous with the first one, that my blood pressure never would go down. I finally found Dr. Lawrence in Waikoloa as a recommendation of one of my long time clients. Dr. Lawrence, a very kind man who specializes in Geriatric Care and Internal Medicine. Dr. Lawrence cleared me for surgery two weeks prior. One has to have a full CBC Blood Count, X-ray, EKG, Urinalysis, regular Blood pressure prior to surgery to be sure your body can withstand the rigors of the Anesthesia.
Many tests to pass!
My best friend and colleague, the Finish Prima Ballerina, Soili Arvola, flew in from Florida to take care of me in the hospital, and teach all my ballet classes the week after surgery. Her husband had back surgery the year before, so she was a really good help in the hospital and knew what questions to ask.
The Queen's Hospital experience was outstanding. From the time we entered the doors, until three days later when I was discharged, the service was excellent. The food was healthy and delicious. Each step of the way, from the surgery preparation to the anesthesiologist to the recovery room team, to the nurses and doctors who tended to me the three days after the surgery, the exit, and even now that I am home, (Queens hospital calls every 3-4 days to check in on you) has been extremely supportive. As I was being wheeled into the surgery room, I saw all smiling faces around me.
I asked them if they loved their jobs, because that was the ONLY way I was going to allow them to wheel me in there for surgery - surrounded with people who are doing what they love. They were all angels! The only drugs I had were 3 drip bags of antibiotic on day of surgery, some LYRICA for nerve pain, oxycodone for regular surgery pain ( only took about 3-4 of those... they made me loopy) stool softener, probiotic, Tylenol, and baby and aspirin to prevent blood clots.
On day three, I had passed all the 'Hospital Release Tests', which are Physical Therapy movements, Occupational Therapy Movements, and having a bowel movement. Some of the medications make you constipated.
Now I am home.
Virginia at the Honolulu International Airport, ready to fly back to Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii, 3 days Post -Op THR on March 27, 2015
One has to fly from Oahu to the Big Island, and it was interesting and fun to be wheeled in a wheel chair onto and off the plane.
It is now day 16 post -op. I am driving since day 8(my car has a stick shift. Left leg operated on-no problem), teaching, and slowly getting back to my life. However, important to go slow so everything will heal properly. There is no pain in my hip and I am not limping.
I had a walker for 5 days, and now I am using a cane for support and balance. My acupuncturist came to my house immediately upon my arrival home, and has been working on me two times a week. Today I will have a massage. I expect not to have a cane in about 4-5 more days. As of today, day 16, I only take about 2 regular strength Tylenol and 3 baby aspirins per day. I expect to not need that much longer.
The only complication I had in this whole journey was on Post-op day 3, when I was getting ready to leave the hospital, I had an allergic reaction to one of the drugs (not sure which), and ended up with a bad, itchy rash on my back. Now, day 16 post-op, it is still there bit, but shrinking. I've been drinking lots of lemon water to flush out the liver.
The main thing that happened, besides having a brand new hip, is that my perception has changed. Immediately after surgery, and to now, everything is enhanced, like HD TV Technicolor, Disney world. I am happy to be here, and look forward to dancing again, with full range of motion in about 6 months to a year.. Right now, I am using my knowledge of the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® to rehab and make my body function properly again. Not dancing yet, but feeling good, and looking forward to the next 3 months, 6 months or a year for full recovery.
To be Continued...
If you have any question, please feel free to contact me!
Virginia's Personal Website:
Virginia Holte: Specialized Master Trainer
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®
West Hawaii Island GYROTONIC
Virginia Holte: Artistic Director
West Hawaii Dance Theatre