I'm just the usual suspect. Not a super athlete. Just a wife and mother with a career. For years I tried to ignore constant knee pain. Maybe it was from growing up playing golf and all those dance recitals. I thought I was doing all the right things to try and reduce the pain; eliminate sugar in my diet, exercise, lose weight, etc. While on vacation, four years ago, one knee began to swell and I thought it was just overuse, running to catch trains in Italy. As I continued to try to go about doing every day tasks, the pain got worse and walking up and down stairs started to become unbearable.
My job consists of lots of international and domestic travel, walking through many airports, setting up displays at conferences, standing on my feet all day and lifting heavy products. As the Global Safety Advocate for a child car seat manufacturer, a lot of my responsibility is demonstrating proper car seat installation. Lifting these strong, heavy seats was becoming increasingly painful to my knees. In fact, even sitting on airplanes for long hauls was causing discomfort. Frankly, it was very annoying.
At only 47 years old, I thought, I am doomed if I am feeling this way at such a young age. I watched my grandmother suffer for so long with arthritis and other aches and pains, my main thought has always been, I don't want to live out my last forty years in pain. On top of the arthritis, I tend to suffer with fibromyalgia. Mostly, I keep those thoughts out of my mind because that is the best thing for me along with proper nutrition and exercise.
In the Spring of 2015, I had enough of the suffering. The pain was greatly affecting my work and my personal life. I had a visit with Dr. Dugas who suggested bone marrow aspiration therapy and a lateral release in both knees. On May 8th, I waited on Dr. Dugas in the pre-op room where I fully expected him to come in and say, "you know the MRIs were not that bad. You really don't need this surgery. The pain is all in your head." That was not my reality. He assured me, I had every right to be where I was and he reassured me, he would take great care of me. I have to admit, recovering from double knee surgery was not easy. Doing surgery on both knees at the same time makes you appreciate your legs. With the help of a great physical therapist, I worked my way through all the post op pain, building strength, so I can could get back to work and a "normal" life.
I was back in action within three weeks and on a plane for work. Mind you, I was not going full throttle. Within eighteen weeks, I felt no pain. I felt human, again. Everyday is not perfect. Sometimes, I over do it and the knee may need a ice pack every once in a while. However, I can sit on a plane for ten hours, walk up and down stairs, lift heavy items, set up display booths, stand on my feet for 6-8 hours, walk for miles, do modified squats and vacuum the floors. Well, I might have a little pain when I vacuum just to get out of that task. ;-)
For me, this surgery was a success. I know this may not be the case for everyone. To say it's been life changing sounds cliche, but it truly has been because it has allowed me to do the things I love doing and just function doing daily tasks. It's great to be a Comeback story!