Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Two progressive, incurable diseases too many

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.


3 comments on “Two progressive, incurable diseases too many

  1. Wanda Frederick
    July 22, 2012

    Sheryl, I can imagine you are dreading the surgery, but think of all the mall walking you can do afterward! The only people I know who had a problem after knee surgery are those who didn’t follow up with PT–not a problem for you! I am sure you will do great. You are the most resilient person I know. Also, knowing you, you will have checked to make sure you will have the best surgeons. Anyway, wishing you well and a speedy recovery.

  2. Ruth
    July 24, 2012

    I’m so glad I found this blog. You just follow your doctor’s orders and do the exercises they give you and you’ll be fine. I was dx’d in 2004 with young onset. Since then I’ve had 3 back surgeries and both my hips replaced and a foot surgery. I too searched for information, research, and found hardly nothing. My left foot and leg are in constant motion and I wanted to know how that would affect my outcome. My leg kept moving around so much they had to tie it down, put the bed rail up and put pillows along the side, to keep it in the bed. It wanted to get out of there! Everything turned out fine though. God bless you

  3. Marsha
    July 27, 2012

    Sheryl, my girlfriend had the same surgery you’re having on both knees 3 months apart. She stayed with me both times for a week each time. She was up and walking, with a walker of course, the next day and doing great! I was amazed. She was back to work in 2-1/2 weeks! Today, she can do all the mall walking, all the summer fairs we go to, with NO pain….She seemed to have “grown 2 inches” because it totally straightened her up….ICE was her best friend, along with lots of pillows to keep it elevated…..Let me know if I can be of any help to you while you’re recuperating…………..Take care of yourself, take the pain pills, take the anti-nausea pills, and God Be With You!! I know your Tony will not leave your side!!!

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2012 by in Before Surgery.

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