December 23, 2012

A wonderful conversation with New York Times bestselling author Ellyn Spragins who has written an online booklet as part of the DePuy Orthopaedics campaign to educate people about joint health and Osteoarthritis!

It’s always a pleasure to talk with New York Times Best Selling Author, Ellyn Spragins.

Ellyn’s ability to inspire others to “go back in time and write letters to their younger selves” during difficult periods in their current lives, assists them to go inward and glean answers from what they know now that helps them to become aware of different choices and approaches that they may have overlooked in earlier years. In turn, they begin to move forward in the “present”, and get on the right track to persevere in a more positive direction which is simply amazing!

ELLYN SPRAGINS: Author of What I Know Now:Letters To My Younger Self

DePuy Orthopaedics,Inc., (Quote) “teamed up with Ellyn to write a new booklet on “joint health” in 2012 , together with medical contributions from Dr. Steven Barnett , a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with a practice specializing in Joint Replacement and Adult Reconstructive Surgery for arthritic conditions. The new booklet is a collection of letters from men and women who have struggled with osteoarthritis, and shares the wisdom of people who wish they had known then what they know now about joint replacement surgery.”

This is a free online booklet entitled, Had I Known Then…Letters of Self Reflection From Those whose lives Were Changed by Joint replacement !

Do you or someone you know suffer from osteoarthritis? Here is the link to Ellyn’s booklet where you can read the personal “letters” of the participants with osteoarthritis who had joint replacement! There is also a lot of helpful information for you to peruse in this free online booklet!
Go to :

Are you aware that:
(Quote) “Osteoarthritis” is the most common form of arthritis and is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage, which causes the bones to rub against each other, leading to stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement.”
•(Quote) “It’s estimated that one out of every five people in the U.S. has some form of arthritis!”

This is really an “eye opening” fact! (Quote) “Two-thirds of the people who have been diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65.”

Along with my conversation with Ellyn, I was so fortunate to be able to speak with one of the participants, Diane Hughes, whose letter appears in the booklet. Diane Hughes is a Manhattan based Nurse.

I’ll paraphrase our casual conversations as I spoke with Ellyn and Diane as they were being driven to a location for more interviews. I was curious about Ellyn’s new internet booklet with DePuy , and the letters that were written by patients with osteoarthritis who had gone through their joint replacement procedures.

Ellen was very positive with the results of the letters that had been written, and mentioned that it’s a process that works very well with men and women! When writing these letters, people are not only expressing past buried emotions, but finding out that there are often so many physical issues that they may experience in their “outer self” that are not acknowledged, but surface as they write. They then realize they are not alone, and things are not “as much” of a kept secret. Connecting with others via the letters is a great source of “sharing” and can be very cathartic. We closed as Ellen mentioned that sometimes it takes a story with a “touching point” that a person can relate to that opens them up!

Diane Hughes-Nurse
Diane’s Letter to herself- “You’ll walk without pain. Without Swelling. Without burning.”

Diane Hughes is a nursing supervisor for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Palliative Care in New York City, and such a congenial and sharing person to talk with. You can tell her patients must really adore her as you feel right “at home” with Diane the minute you hear her voice.

Diane, in hindsight, relayed that she was a “handicapped” person since she was thirteen. She really enjoyed athletics, but had an injury on an amusement park ride at an early age, and then tore ligaments playing basketball in high school. After that, it seemed that knee issues started restricting Diane’s life. As a surgical intensive care nurse, Diane, on her feet 10 hours a day, endured such swelling and pain that she had to resort to crutches and find a different job. When living in Colorado she was unable to ski, and when residing in California she had to give up hiking. There was no doubt that Diane needed a knee replacement. She wanted a DePuy knee for the flexibility, and in 2005 she had her complete knee replacement. Her whole life changed and in two weeks Diane oriented for her current Visiting Nurse position in Manhattan. Diane’s Doctor would tell her to walk “one more block each day”, and she did!

Diane’s advice about “writing the letter to herself”? (Quote) “DON’T WAIT! Rehab isn’t easy but don’t put it off! There is NO need to suffer!”

On going success Diane!

I said goodbye to Ellyn and Diane and really looked forward to sharing this message. The online booklet, “Had I Known Then…Letters of Self Reflection From Those whose lives Were Changed by Joint replacement” reaches out with a lot of good advice regarding osteoarthritis, and information from those who have gone through the process that has brought positive changes into their lives.

May it be helpful to you or someone in your life who is needlessly suffering from joint pain.

(Quotes and paraphrased from provided PR fact sheets with information regarding DePuy Orthopaedics,Inc., Osteoarthritis, Joint Pain, and sources including:Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. Accessed August, 2011. Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Prevalence: A Nation in Pain. Accessed August, 2011. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Total Knee Replacement – Your Orthopaedic
Connection. Accessed August, 2011.)


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