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Jane Fonda is not my mother.....

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But my mother and Jane Fonda have something in common: recent knee replacement surgery.

Okay, probably a lot of people have that in common with Jane Fonda. But those other people’s names (and photos) do not keep popping up whenever I do Google searches for information about knee replacement surgery. That photo above is of Jane Fonda’s left knee pre-surgery: she carefully indicated, on her limb, exactly where the surgeon was to work.

I’m just back from Alberta where I visited my family, particularly my mother who turned 84 this week and is recovering from knee replacement surgery two weeks ago. She is in some pain, not in the knee but in all of the surrounding muscles. Most of all, however, she is seriously enraged. And let me tell you, hell hath no fury like an PO’ed 84-year-old lady who talked herself into believing this procedure would be quite simple.

When medical staff told Mom that she would be required to get up and begin walking on her new knee within a day or two of the surgery, she took that to mean that she would immediately be walking as if nothing had happened.

So she is in some pain, she is disillusioned and she is seriously mad. And this is before she has begun physiotherapy!!! I think, though, that Mom will be okay in the long run. Even she admits that there is no pain at all in the knee area, and that is a huge relief. By summer, I think she will be feeling much better and in the long run, will be glad that she did this.

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Meanwhile, according to Jane Fonda (shown above in a wheelchair, impersonating my mother in her wheelchair) her knee problems did not stem from her years of high-impact cardio in bad running shoes. Rather, Fonda says on her blog, it’s due to bad genes.

"It is a result of osteoarthritis which my father, Henry Fonda, also suffered from, as does my brother, Peter, who may need hip replacement soon,” Jane Fonda, who is in her early 70s, wrote in a post last June on her blog.

“You never saw them doing the Jane Fonda Workouts. My family’s osteoarthritis (the gradual disappearance of joint cartilage) is a matter of genes, not working out. I am sure that my 25 years of eating disorders didn’t help the condition, and perhaps my decade of running made it worse. But sooner or later I would have needed joint replacement even if I had been totally sedentary.”

Great. With my mother’s genes, and her history of osteoarthritis (and weight gain due to her favourite recipe for chocolate cake which I baked last weekend for her birthday) I’m doomed. Actually, my entire family is doomed.

I had better warn my siblings.


Comments (12)

Brad'll Do It:

Doomed? Doomed? That seems a bit drastic. I'm pretty sure that everyone who has osteoarthritis does not require a knee replacement. Now, me, with both interior cartilages gone and the PROMISE of athritis from both doctors, I STILL think I won't need a knee replacement. But talk to me in 10 years, and this tune may have changed. Take good care of yourself, Sandra.

Another great post title, Sandra! She's not my mother either. :)

I hope you're right and that ultimately your mom will be glad she went through this. And I'm glad that you were able to go spend some time with her while she's down. Best wishes for a full recovery to her (and welcome home to you!).

So here is the thing, if I live to be 84, I wouldn't mind a knee replacement:)

sandrac:

Hi Brad, as you know, I can never resist being over-dramatic!!! I hope you're right -- if I take good care of my knees, perhaps they'll last. I hope that your doctor's warnings of arthritis prove false!

Thanks Annie, I think Mom will do well. She's frustrated with herself for not being better prepared, mentally, for what's involved in knee surgery. But she's already really pleased that the new knee is giving no pain at all, and pleased at the prospect of not needing to worry about any future knee pain (at least on this side!) She was in so much knee pain before that just to be free of that is a blessing.

Candi, well-said!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I like your mom. I'm so glad to hear that she is starting to feel better and in the long run will benefit from her knee replacement. And that's so cool that you baked her favorite chocolate cake.

Wishing your mom a very speedy recovery.

Kathryn:

I wish the best for your mom. My mom is practically bionic - hips, knees, eyes. She has been participating in Tai Chi and can now bend enough to "tee up" her own golf ball. My brothers and sisters and I are all in denial that we are on that path.

sandrac:

Kathy, thanks very much!

Hi Kathryn, it's good to hear that your Mom is doing so well. I didn't get to Edmonton at all this trip, but next time we have to get together!

Anne:

Sandra, hope your mom returns to good spirits soon, can be hard feeling disillusioned about how fast we will recover from medical problems. What a funny post though, so well written. And hey, Jane Fonda is not MY mother either, so we have something else in common! lol

My mom had knee replacement surgery in her 70's and it did marvels to her quality of life. Before the surgery she was in constant pain and falling down way too often.

You mom's reaction to the surgery is very similar to the way my mom fell post-surgery. The worst part for my mom was the physiotherapy. As you said, in the long run she'll be glad she had this surgery.

I live with osteoarthritis. I have severe arthritis in my right hand and have been told that I'll need joint replacement surgery on the joint at the base of my thumb in about a year. Not a fun thing to look for but I can't wait to be pain free.

Sending my best wishes for your mom's full and speedy recovery.

sandrac:

Thanks, Anne!

Hi Maria, I'm sorry to hear that you've been dealing with osteoarthritis, I can only imagine how painful that would be. Best of luck with your surgery, I hope it brings you much relief!

I hope your mom is doing better now. Shocking that her doctors did not explain that she would not be up and around right away... or then again, maybe they did and she chose not to hear what they were saying.

I thought that was your mom at first in the wheelchair until I looked closer!

I hope we are all not doomed. Both my dad and my uncle (both sides of my family) are dealing with knee and/or hip problems due to osteoarthritis.

sandrac:

Girasoli, I have to say that Mom's doctors did give her lots of warnings (as we all did!) She just decided not to listen!!!

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