Richard K. Rein’s June 25 account of his knee replacement surgery and its aftermath generated a raft of personal comments — including a kind invitation to join the masters’ swimming program at the Princeton Y — and a few for public consumption as well.
One of the public comments came from Leslie A. McCausland, who works at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. McCausland had both knees replaced on March 24 by Dr. Peter Sharkey at the Rothman Institute in Media, Pennsylvania.
“I began my athletic knee injury history in the late 1960s,” wrote McCausland, “with additional surgery in the ’70s and meniscus repairs of both knees from the wear and tear over time. I knew that total knee replacements were in my future but because I was so young, delayed seeking treatment until the technology improved beyond the 10 to 15-year life cycle of these devices.
“Finally, having reached the ripe old age of 61 and tired of the pain and limitations of my physical abilities, I decided to go for my consultation. When Dr. Sharkey advised me that he could provide me with devices that should last me about 30 years, I took the plunge.
“I thought I was prepared for the pain after suffering years of knee injuries and surgeries. All I can say is I am thankful for the drug therapy. I’m to a point now where I just take extra strength pain relievers over the counter and ice is my friend! I’m still doing physical therapy three days per week and have just recently added going to the gym to work my upper body strength to keep up with all the leg work I am doing.”
The U.S. 1 article, she wrote, “helped me realize that my progress is right on schedule. Once we get through this surgical pain, it will be a new day because the joint pain is gone.”
Another letter to the editor should give the 60-somethings — McCausland and Rein — something to look forward to. It came from another patient of Dr. Tom Gutowski of the Princeton Orthopedic Group, who performed the surgery on Rein.
“This coming August 14 marks two years of my third knee replacement at the able hands of this genius whom I dubbed ‘The Michelangelo of knee and hip replacements,’” wrote Felix Danon of Monroe. “My wife had two hip replacements, which turned her into a rejuvenated and vital human being. Suffice it to add I am one of many forever grateful ex-patients privileged to have met Dr. Gutowski and experienced great success with him and his staff.”
Danon described himself as “82 and still walking without pain.”
Summer Fiction Update: The submissions are in, the readers are reading, and soon the editors will be trying to sxqueeze as many of the deserving works as possible into the issue of July 23. Some of you will call to ask if yours has been selected. Please don’t. We simply will not know for sure until that paper goes to press on July 22.
And at that point we will be too tired to answer the phone.