The Bee's Knees

The Bee's Knees

Challenging Knee Replacement & Recovery (Merlin’s Story)

June 17, 2020

Challenging Knee Replacement (Merlin's Story Part I of V)

My name is Merlin and I am a Management Consultant to the small business sector. I live in a small town in Western Maryland and have managed arthritis in the right knee for about 25 years and the left knee for about 15. I finally had a right knee replacement after several months of debilitating pain that severely curtailed my daily activities. I am a mother of 5 children and grandmother of 7, the youngest of which was born last Summer here in Maryland.

With a bachelor’s degree in communications, I have enjoyed a long career in the media as a television producer, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and university adjunct. A second career in International Trade and Marketing took me to many countries in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. This morphed seamlessly into becoming a consultant to small and medium enterprises seeking to penetrate international markets, to a full time career as a small business consultant concentrating on planning and strategy. Along that route, I picked up an MBA in Strategic Planning. You may find some valuable information to increase efficiencies in your small business on my blog called In the Maze.

My passion however, remains writing – literary fiction, poetry, blogging. I am currently concentrating on 4 categories of poetry – Songs of my Childhood; This skin, this gilding; Dances of a lost Butterfly (a woman’s perspective); and Love Songs. But I also get my jollies from gourmet cooking and experimenting with international foods. Perhaps if we become good friends I might share some recipes and poetry…

I Expected a Challenging Knee Replacement
I approached knee replacement the same way I approach all tasks – with research. I wanted excellent outcomes so I pursued excellent inputs. The surgeon who actually did the surgery was the third doctor I consulted beyond my PCP – 2 orthopedic surgeons and one vein specialist. It was the vein specialist whom I saw for leg pain from knee to ankle who highly recommended Dr. Ralph Salvagno. Because I respected his professionalism and the quality of care I received from him, I immediately made an appointment to see Dr. Salvagno but began asking friends and professional colleagues what they knew about this doctor. The reports were so overwhelmingly positive that putting myself in his care seemed to be a no-brainer. I certainly have no regrets about that decision.

As you take this journey with me, there are some things about me that I must share – I am a deeply analytical person who believes in consistent self-analysis in order to navigate life’s challenges. I am also extremely proactive about my health and question everything as a way of gathering as much information as I can so I’m able to make sound decisions. I have often found that to be somewhat annoying to many medical professionals. One of the first things I noticed about Dr. Salvagno was that he welcomed my questions so I had realistic expectations and understood that I had a vital role to play in my healing.
Once I had made the appointment, I began to research options and alternatives. I could easily discern that I was basically at the end of the road and surgery was the best option. Dr. Salvagno confirmed this walking me through my X-rays and the report from the vein specialist. But he stressed the pivotal nature of the rehab process and how much success depended on me.