Patient letter about total knee replacement

Melodie Chenevert opted to have her surgery at CMH, rather than go to Portland

April 16, 2019

Dear Columbia Memorial Hospital, 

As Nurses Week approaches, I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you for the excellent care I received when I had a total knee replacement November 27th.

I was in the post office last summer when the angry knee I had been humoring for well over a decade totally stopped working. Because I couldn’t get immediate access to Dr. Carin Pluedeman, my primary care physician, or any local orthopedic physician, I limped into Urgent Care. It took me over six weeks to get back to my former decrepit self. During that time, I saw Dr. Pluedeman, and she referred me to Dr. Douglas Abbott. 

I really like Dr. Abbott. I loved his sense of humor, the way he interacted with his assistant and the fourth year medical student, and especially the way he explained everything to me and my husband. He said on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worse, my knee was a 10 and recommended I do something before the end of the year. 

A group of nurse leaders from CMH visited the Lost Art of Nursing Museum and its curator, Melodie Chenevert, in late June 2019.

A group of nurse leaders from CMH visited the Lost Art of Nursing Museum and its curator, Melodie Chenevert (front, in blue), in late June 2019.

As a retired nurse, I know the smart thing to do is go somewhere they do nothing but knees 24/7, but I just couldn’t contemplate driving back and forth to Portland. My husband and I were both 77 and, according to our veterinarian, our elderly German Shepherd was 93 in people years. It would be so much easier on all three of us to have the surgery done in the neighborhood. So I signed up with CMH.

A couple of weeks later, four nurses out celebrating a birthday came to visit my Lost Art of Nursing Museum. They were CMH nurses, and two of them were sporting Dr. Abbott knees! That really made me feel good about my decision. I told them it sounded silly but my biggest worry was the three days I would be hospitalized. Would I get good nursing care? They assured me I would, and they were right. 

All my caregivers were kind, professional and quick to help. I’d like to especially thank three of my nurses: Victoria and Whitney who took care of me day and night and Margaret, the discharge planner, who arranged for me to have home physical therapy for the first two weeks. That was a life saver! Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Frank and Brian for the excellent physical therapy while I was hospitalized. They made sure my husband knew how to get me in and out of our house and car. 

Because I live in Cannon Beach, my outpatient physical therapy was provided by Providence Hospital’s clinic in Gearhart. They did a phenomenal job. I only wish the rest of my body worked as well as my new knee. 

We are so lucky to have such wonderful care available here on the North Coast of Oregon. Again, many thanks! 


Melodie Chenevert, RN, MN, MA
Cannon Beach, OR

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