Ian – Kalispell, MT

If I’d gone another six months, I probably wouldn’t be walking.

I knew there was something wrong with me, but I couldn’t get x-rays because I didn’t have insurance.

Well it turns out, I severed the arteries to both hips and I haven’t got blood flow into either hip for about three years. So (the doctor) thinks both hips have been dead for about the last two years.

It’s bilateral avascular necrosis. Doc didn’t take any time. He’s like, “This is what we’re going to do: you’re going to get both hips replaced. I’m putting the referral in right now.”

If I’d gone another six months, I probably wouldn’t be walking.

(Finding out) was a relief. And knowing there are people on my side. And knowing there was something wrong with me. And knowing that there was an end to the tunnel and there were people who were going to help me get there.

I was a little embarrassed about even using county health and Medicaid. But the guys and girls (who encouraged me) were like “Ian, you’ve worked hard all your life. This is your one chance to get yourself fixed and get back out there. So take it.” I’m not the kind of guy to take advantage of anything, so I was hesitant. But (Flathead Community Health Center) made it really comfortable for me.

The depression was intense. Besides the physical chronic pain, daily. Just the mystery just the waking up every day, taking 20 minutes to get out of bed, not being able to move and having to figure it out. I just wasn’t me.

If the clinic here hadn’t happened to be put into my life right then I don’t know what I would have been doing, because I was starting to get so progressively bad. When doc came back in with the x-rays. It was like a watershed moment. Everything started flowing from this way started flowing that way and now there’s people saying this isn’t right, we’re here for you, let’s get this fixed.

I’m big on giving what you get. And I believe in living with kindness.

Knowing that I’ll be able to give back what’s been given to me is kind of a driving force. It’s gives me more of a drive to attack this and to do the therapy and to follow doctors orders. Because right now I’m being given a gift that I could have never imagine was going to happen.

I’m thankful and I want to pay that back.

Listen to Ian’s story.