When you talk about your kids and mention that things run in the family, you might think good grades, sports excellence or even good looks. For me and my daughter, Danielle, it seems that joint problems run in our family!
I suffered for years with a worn out knee. I finally decided to see a doctor about my options. I heard about Dr. Benton Emblom from a friend. That was the best advice I could have gotten.
Where were you during the summer of 1992? For me, I was in space serving as a payload specialist aboard the Columbia Space Shuttle. Following the space expedition, I spent time as the chief scientist at the International Space Station and later came to work as a professor at UAB. However, I’m not here to brag about myself. I’m here to brag on the doctors at Andrews Sports Medicine.
People that know me would laugh if I tried to pull myself off as an athlete. Actually, I did play volleyball and did some bowling in my youth that got me some trophies, and even a little rugby.
But in my 30's, my knees started hurting and an orthopedic specialist told me that I would have to have a knee replacement when I was in my 60's.
So here I am, post TKR, with a better knee than I was born with. I am an artist and three weeks after my surgery, I had an outdoor all-day art show! And haven't stopped since.
I worked at St. Vincent's Birmingham for 18 years and saw Andrews Sports Medicine being built. I was having trouble with my knee and received a strong recommendation to see Dr. David Moore, one of Andrews Sports Medicine's joint replacement specialists. Looking back, from the beginning of my experience to the end, I know I couldn’t have chosen a better surgeon.
I grew up in Meridian, Mississippi. It was a very good tennis town. So I started playing a little sand lot tennis when I was about 12. And I played high school tennis for 4 years. I played four years of college tennis.
For several years I had chronic knee pain where the cartilage in my knee joint was wearing out. A co-worker of mine, who had shoulder surgery at Andrews Sports Medicine, recommended I see Dr. Benton Emblom for my pain and promised I would thank him later. I had previously heard great things about Dr. Emblom and his work from my cousin, so I decided to follow through and make an appointment.
At age 35, I was married, active, enjoying a new career, and looking forward to life. In the summer of that year – 1989 – that life changed completely. I was diagnosed with an aggressive case of rheumatoid arthritis and I would spend a year-and-a-half bedridden until I fought to regain minor mobility. I was told that my walking days were over and that I would soon be in a wheelchair. Decades of issues with chronic pain and the challenges of being disabled and an invalid followed.
For a 65-year-old woman, I consider myself to be very active. I go to the gym regularly and am always setting new fitness goals for weight lifting (my personal best is a deadlift of 255 lbs.). I know a lot of women my age lack bone density and muscle mass, so I told myself I would do whatever it takes to never get to that point.