Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
With all of the challenges that accompany living with Parkinson’s disease, it is easy to understand why I put off having my knees replaced for almost two years. I scoured the Internet for trusted medical information about how people with Parkinson’s have fared after knee replacement surgery, but found almost nothing. I decided to wait, confident that in coming years replacement parts, surgical techniques, and surgeons themselves will continue to improve, combining to deliver better outcomes with decreased risk to all patients, including those who have PD.
Meanwhile, although I continue exercise and physical therapy on a daily basis, I could not keep ahead of the degeneration caused by my arthritis, which devoured every last bit of the cartilage in my knees. Finally, the pain of bone on bone arthritis began negatively impacting my daily life more than PD, disrupting my sleep and keeping me from my favorite activities, like marathon shopping. Now, with three weeks to go until my surgery, I am limping and relying on a walking stick to keep me upright. My knees and one leg are so swollen they look deformed, and maintaining my range of motion and muscle strength is a full time job.
What finally pushed me to schedule the surgery was a personal trainer’s observation that the longer I waited, the more likely it was that my PD and my arthritis would both worsen, making rehabilitation that much more difficult. I knew she was right. We hold our future in our hands. The decision to act is ours.