Mariann Fedrizzi finds comfort, care at UPHS – Marquette

MARQUETTE —  Mariann Fedrizzi gets nervous when she has to visit a doctor. It’s not your typical nerves that just play in your mind. Instead, when it comes to her, it gets to the point where it legitimately affects her body.

“My blood pressure during one visit was 210 over something,” she said. “You just can’t control it. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried everything, deep breathing, meditation, all this stuff, and it’s just like you’re on top of a building and you’re afraid of heights.”

That’s why she was hesitant about going to get checked up when her leg gave in. She was walking to her car at Lakeview Arena and it simply went out from underneath her. Still, she managed to persevere and get herself home. 

Two days later after a swimming session at the YMCA, the same thing happened as she tried to leave, and this time, she knew she had to make a call to her brother, Michael Fedrizzi. It was now that she knew she’d have to overcome her fears in order to get the assistance she needed.

After being diagnosed with a hip ailment, there was only one place she wanted to go: UP Health System — Marquette.

Mariann’s troubles started when she broke her foot while walking her dog. The pain stayed with her for six months, and it never crossed her mind her hip was also causing her body issues until the first time she was walking to the lobby of Lakeview Arena and her leg gave in. 

“I didn’t know if I could make it out to the car,” she said. “I tried to ease the discomfort, but it was difficult. I tried to chalk it up to the weather or whatever and just find excuses.”

After the second issue, she decided to call her brother, who saw Dr. Leonard for his leg. It was his referral that convinced Mariann to overcome her fear of going to the doctors — commonly referred to as white coat syndrome. 

“What he told me about Dr. Leonard was that he would tell me what I needed to know,” Mariann said. “You wouldn’t have to deal with a runaround or any of that stuff.”

Her options for treatment weren’t great. She could get an injection, but there was no certainty it would work; it had a 50 percent success rate, you could only get it done once and its effects wear off over time. 

The other option was a prescription for what was essentially a suped-up aspirin. But medication seemed like another band-aid for what would be an everlasting problem. 

“I told him I can’t live like that,” she said. “I can’t block a block. People in the grocery store think I have Tourettes because I’m in the grocery store and my leg would give out and I would be yelling.”

That’s when Dr. Leonard brought up the option of a total hip replacement. It took Mariann by surprise, but she eventually overcame her anxiety and agreed to it. This meeting took place on April 26, and just six days later, she had the surgery. 

“For me, the quick scheduling was the best news ever,” she said. “If I had more time to think about it, I would have been in big trouble. It was craziness for four or five days, and I’d just wake up, sit up in bed and I’d read all the information they gave me.”

Mariann arrived at the facility for her surgery at 5:45 a.m. Her nerves were still apparent. She spoke with the nurses to let them know her concerns about her hip surgery and then met with Dr. Leonard one more time. That was enough to put her at ease.

“He told me there are other things we can do, but the only reason we do it this way is because we have faster healing and less chance of blood clots,” Mariann said. “I said, ‘Well, fine. I trust you, you got me this far. Go ahead.’ ”

When Mariann woke up from her procedure, there was Dr. Leonard standing over her to make sure she felt OK. 

“He told me the surgery went great,” Mariann said. “Let me know what to expect again, and everything was fully, fully explained to us.”

The next step was rehab. There were follow-up visits to monitor her progress, and in the end, her recovery was a quick turnaround. Now, two years later, she’s back to doing the things she loves, pain-free in her hip. You can find her swimming at the YMCA, walking her dog or in the stands at any of the local sporting events.

For someone who once feared a visit to the doctors, she now thanks UPHS — Marquette for getting her life back on track.

“The care was unbelievable,” she said. “The way I was treated by Dr. Leonard, the PA, the head nurse was unbelievable, and to this day if I have an issue, I know I can call down there and they’ll get back to me within 30 minutes.

“I never considered going anywhere else. Why would I when I have a doctor here who obviously is held in such a high regard by all of his patients? I was comfortable there and I felt like the No. 1 priority when I was there. Every concern I had was being addressed. To this day, I’d never go anywhere else.

For more information about UPHS orthopedic services, or to make an appointment, visit mgh.org or call 844.411.UPHS.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *