North

Yellowknife woman endures 'frustrating' wait for surgery

‘Getting up and down off the floor is a major undertaking,’ says Pat Moore. She was scheduled for a new right hip on August 4, but in late July, she learned it was cancelled due to a faulty sterilization machine at the hospital. 

‘Getting up and down off the floor is a major undertaking,’ says Pat Moore

Pat Moore was supposed to get hip replacement surgery this past summer. But in late July, Moore was told it was cancelled, along with over a hundred other surgeries, because of a faulty sterilization machine at Stanton Territorial Hospital. (Sara Minogue/CBC)

Pat Moore had her first hip replacement surgery at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife in 2007. 

"I was the poster child," she said. "Everything went really well." 

She was scheduled for a new right hip on August 4. In late July, she learned it was cancelled due to a faulty sterilization machine at the hospital. 

Twelve weeks later, she's still waiting for news.

Moore's hip replacement is one of 124 surgeries that have been cancelled due to a problem with Stanton's sterilization machine. She suspects there's also a backlog of people who would have been scheduled for surgery over the past three months, had it been an option. (The health authority promised a response to a question about this Thursday.)

Everyday life is now a challenge. 

"Getting up and down off the floor is a major undertaking," she said. "I probably can't walk more than about half a block ... just because it starts to hurt."

Moore goes to the gym four times a week, but she's modifying nearly all her exercises, including those with weights and kettle bells. "When I get up from this chair I'll have to work at getting up and thinking about not limping," she said. "That's almost impossible." 

Fortunately, Moore said she's had good access to pain management. She's also using CBD oil, which she endorses for long-term pain management. 

When Moore first went to her doctor last October, she found herself on a wait list for surgery three months later. The surgery was scheduled about seven months after that, which she thought was "excellent." 

She's now in a state of suspense as she waits for a call, ready to make plans to be away from work while she recovers. 

"Your whole life's on hold," she said. "It's very frustrating… and having no idea when this is going to be over."

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