Mary at the LifeFitness triceps press, where she almost always begins her workout

Supported by her own tenacity and the assistance of physical therapy and the PWC FitScripts program, PWC member Mary is back to enjoying her active lifestyle enhanced by special time with her 4-year-old grandson.

In 2009, Mary had surgery for a left knee replacement. She experienced a challenging and pain-filled recovery that left her unable to fully extend her left leg. Compensating on her right side led to discomfort and alignment challenges in her right leg over the long term.

Mary joined PWC in 2012 and walked in the river to keep herself moving and to encourage joint mobility. But in 2013, Mary experienced an accident that injured her right knee. After suffering for a few years, she found a new doctor who encouraged her to pursue a knee replacement, a decision Mary was not keen on given her previous negative experience.

But nothing motivates like the words, “Grandma, get on the floor and play!” Mary had started caring for her young grandson one day a week when he was a baby, and as he grew it became hard to match his level of play and enjoy fun activities with him. So she made the decision to schedule another knee replacement in 2019.

“This time was different, from the beginning,” Mary recalls. She participated in Culpeper Medical Center’s Joint Camp, which she found to be really informative and beneficial in terms of preparing her for the surgery. She describes her recovery as “fantastic,” with a much shorter hospital stay than with her first surgery and virtually no post-surgery pain.

After surgery, Mary elected to do physical therapy with Culpeper Medical Center Physical Therapy and Rehab. During her PT appointments, she used the strength machines on the PWC fitness floor and now has good mobility and flexibility in her right leg. When her therapy was complete, the therapist mentioned PWC’s FitScripts program as an option. Mary jumped right in.

Her FitScripts experience with exercise specialist Bobby Zajkowski included 16 visits. “FitScripts was great,” commented Mary. “They worked around my schedule so that even if I had travel or an appointment planned, I was able to get in my FitScripts session. My physical therapy and FitScripts experiences took the intimidation factor out of the gym. I built confidence and learned how to use the machines. Each week I would have two FitScripts sessions and then I’d usually visit a third time on my own.”

After her FitScripts session ended, Mary rejoined PWC as a member. She now works out on the strength machines and is trying to build slowly on the weight she lifts. At home, she has an elliptical and recumbent bike, and the benefits of stairs and a long driveway.

“I’m just not willing to sit down yet,” says Mary. That’s for sure; she is up and down the stairs frequently to get to her home craft studio where she does decorative painting and sews. Mary has made over 500 masks since the pandemic started. Many have been giveaways to the hospital and its thrift store, and some have gone to friends and family. Recently, for her grandson’s fourth birthday, Mary sewed dinosaur print masks for the party goodie bags. Now, when he gets out his dinosaurs and other animal toys to play with, Mary is right there alongside him.