Charles No Longer Has the Blues

Charles Clouse holding a guitarCharles Clouse, Santa Barbara

After his hip replacement, Charles no longer has the blues, but now he's able to travel to Memphis and play them.

Charles Clouse moved to Santa Barbara in the 1960s for college, and he’s called it home ever since.

After serving as a high school English teacher for 35 years, helping enlighten many a young mind, he is enjoying retirement. It means time to travel; work out at the gym with spin classes, yoga and weight lifting; and spend more time playing blues guitar.

It wasn’t always that way. In fact, just a few years ago, he was suffering from joint pain, something that would give anybody the blues.

Osteoarthritis had been taking a toll on his knee. It’s a common, degenerative disease that occurs when the cartilage between joints breaks down and causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

Charles was at a crossroads: to have surgery or not.

“I was concerned that the recovery would take a long time,” Charles said.

As the pain worsened and his range of motion diminished, he knew it was time to take action. In 2014, he chose treatment at the Cottage Center for Orthopedics at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, which has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for advanced hip and knee replacement. A total knee replacement was performed by Dr. Bryan Emmerson, and Charles was very pleased with the results.

“The surgical techniques are much better, and the engineering of the joints is far superior than in the past,” Charles said. “The recovery time was much faster than I had imagined.”

About six weeks after surgery, Charles felt normal again and returned to the gym for workouts, spin classes and yoga. On top of that, he and his wife could start traveling again, which inspired a trip to New York and to the Tony Award winning musical, Hamilton, on Broadway.

However, last year, Charles began experiencing pain in another joint. He initially thought it was his other knee. After examining him, Dr. Emmerson identified the problem was actually his hip, and he needed a replacement.

This time, Charles knew he didn’t need to wait; he had confidence in what was to come. At Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Charles had a total hip replacement. He recovered quickly again and was back to enjoying the things he loved – spin classes, yoga and weight lifting at the gym, planning exciting trips for the future and, of course, playing his guitar.

Charles is heading to Memphis for a blues guitar workshop this summer, and later in the year on to Spain and Portugal. He’s ready. The joint replacement blues are a thing of the past, because next he’ll be walking (and making music) in Memphis.