Barbara Leap

Barbara Leap


3DPT: Tell us about your first few weeks after your surgery

BL: They were rough, I have to admit. I started out with virtually no pain the day after surgery, but then made a dumb move, twisting my left hip (which had just undergone total replacement four days earlier) as I tried to recline on a couch. The twist (probably a pulled muscle or tendon, according to my surgeon’s assistant) caused excruciating pain in that hip for the next six weeks. Dr. Chuck at 3dpt in Haddon Township was careful not to have me do anything to further aggravate my hip, but he was creative and came up with some exercises that helped but didn’t hurt (too much). He’s currently making up for lost time, having me do 50 of each exercise now that my pain is gone.

3DPT: What do you enjoy most about your experience in physical therapy?

BL: I can’t say I love the exercises, but I’m glad to be doing them because they’re helping me regain agility and the ability to walk without a walker. I do enjoy Dr. Chuck — his friendliness, encouragement, expertise, and (twisted) sense of humor. He’s easy to talk with and is a good listener. I also enjoy the days when his wife, son, and dog stop by! And it’s been fun talking with the other patients, all of whom seem very positive about their recoveries. We’re all grateful to Dr. Chuck.

3DPT: What are your therapy sessions like each time you come in?

BL: They’re varied, which prevents boredom. Dr. Chuck doesn’t have me do all of the same exercises each time, always coming up with some new ones. And the ones that are the same are in random rather than routine order. I like surprises.

3DPT: What is the one thing you want to be able to do most when you are done with your therapy?

BL: Join a circus as an aerial acrobat without a safety net. But even more than that, I want to be able to take long walks and ride my bicycle again. I used to walk or bike two or three miles a day in good weather and haven’t been able to do either in about eight years because of my pre-surgery hip pain. I’ve been stuck with a walker for the past four of those years. But now I can envision myself back in my former life, totally pain-free and walker-free.

3DPT: What did you do for a living?

BL: The first 10 years after university: reporter, feature writer, and columnist for the Courier-Post, Bulletin, and Inquirer (in that order). Then worked in Rutgers University-Camden’s public information office, starting as assistant director and later promoted to director.