Marlene Henry: Knee Surgery Allowed Me to Get Back to Gardening

Marlene Henry admits she can be hard on her body. She can also be hard on her doctors.
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“I know they want what is best for me, but most of the time, what is best for me is to not be stuck in a bed,” Marlene says with a chuckle. “I am an active woman. I like to be up and moving. I don’t like to have to ask for too much help.”

When Marlene’s left knee began bothering her last year, she ignored it for several months. “The pain kept getting worse and after awhile I wasn’t able to go up and down the steps without pain. It was really limiting what I could do,” Marlene recalls.

Marlene previously had a partial knee replacement in 2010 with Dr. Edmund Carroll, DO, at Beebe Healthcare.

“I remember really getting along with him, so when it was time to take action, I called him up,” she said.

Dr. Carroll examined her knee and told Marlene she should have surgery – this time a full knee replacement. “When he said that to me, I knew he was right, and I knew it was time,” said Marlene.

Marlene, who lives by herself in the Cool Spring area, said she was nervous about the surgery, but that she was hopeful it would get her back to living her life. When her husband passed away in 2008, she took on all of the housework and yard work for her 1-acre property.

“I love to garden and be outdoors. It’s just me, so I need to make sure I can enjoy my yard and my pets – two dogs, two cats, three aquariums, and a fish pond,” she said. “I was hoping the surgery would help eliminate the pain I had been having for so long.”

Marlene had her total knee replacement in January of 2017. When she thinks about that day, she remembers how great the orthopaedics team was during her stay.

“The afternoon right after surgery, they got me up and helped me walk. I walked 57-feet the first day,” she said proudly. “Dr. Carroll was amazing before and after the surgery. He has a great personality and we were able to joke around a bit. I think he was surprised by how determined I was and how far I could walk that first day.”

Because of her spirit and ability to walk throughout the first and second days, Dr. Carroll agreed to discharge Marlene the second afternoon.

“All of the nurses and the team members on the Orthopaedics floor were just amazing. They really know what they are doing, having tremendous skills, and are very pleasant to work with,” Marlene said. “I could not have been happier with my stay there. It felt like visiting with old friends rather than being a patient in a hospital.”

The great care did not stop in the hospital. Following her discharge, Marlene had team members from Beebe Home Care Services who helped her at home for about two weeks.

“I didn’t like the idea of surgery because I thought it meant I would be stuck in chair or in bed for a long time, but that’s not the case at all,” Marlene said. “It was an experience – there was pain for sure – but overall it was so worth it. And, I am feeling so much better now.”

Marlene notices that she moves more carefully than she did in the past and she continues to do exercises that the home care team showed her, however she is happy to be able to clean out her gardens, feed the birds, and take her dogs outside.

When she is in her garden, the smile on her face is infectious; her love for nature and the outdoors apparent.

“The best part of the whole experience was that I was able to walk out of the hospital,” Marlene said. “I will forever be grateful to everyone with the Orthopaedic Services team. They made me ‘me’ again.”

Marlene’s plans for the future – doing more dancing!

For more information on Beebe Orthopaedic Services, go to https://www.beebehealthcare.org/patient-care-services/orthopaedic-services-beebe or call the Orthopaedics Nurse Navigator, Carrie Snyder, at (844) 316-3332.