… Cortisone injections, a common steroidal treatment for inflammation. “Those only provided short term relief,” she says. She stopped receiving the injections because the relief was short lived.
So in trying to find the right cocktail of pain medications, a subsequent pain medicine resulted in an emergency trip to the hospital to have her knee flushed out. “I had a terrible reaction. My knee swelled up and the pain was more intense than before the treatment,” she recalls. “I couldn’t keep living like that,” she says.
Her doctor suggested a knee replacement, but Gloria says she was too young for such a dramatic procedure. She was resigned to living with pain and watching life pass her by. “My pain had me on the sidelines. I couldn’t dance or participate in activities with family and friends,” she says. Stairs quickly became her nemesis. “I couldn’t exercise and even walking became terribly painful.”
After enduring constant pain that ranged from aching to excruciating, Gloria reconsidered her doctor’s suggestion in 2009. “It was time to have my left knee replaced,” she says.
Her complete knee replacement didn’t provide the expected results. “The therapy and rehab was grueling. Trying to rebuild the muscles that atrophied was extremely painful because they didn’t want to work.”
After nearly a year, Gloria regained nearly all of her mobility. “Now I can exercise, dance and do just about everything,” she says. Although medicine is currently controlling the pain in her right knee, her doctor says someday she may need that one replaced, too.
Standing firm, Gloria exclaims, “I survived arthritis, it won’t stop me.”