At 83, Janice Pike is well on her way to becoming a bionic woman. The Flint resident has had three joint replacements and figures a fourth is in her future.
But that doesn’t stop her from being almost as active as she has been her whole life.
Pike had both knees and a shoulder replaced at Hurley Medical Center between 2010 and 2012.
“I had bone on bone,” she said. “I had a lot of pain and ached all the time. It was
affecting what I could do, my lifestyle.”
Her lifestyle has been an active one— she played tennis, skied, and skated and raised five children. She and her husband, Dr.Fred Pike, a retired dentist, loved to travel and visited all seven continents (Antarctica, the final, was checked off the list about eight years ago).
She still does her own gardening and housework and is helping raise an 8-year-old granddaughter. The two bike and swim and take long walks.
“I asked too much of my knees,” she admits. “I was shocked. Me? I hadn’t dreamed of it happening to me.”
After trying over-the-counter pain medications for a while, Pike’s pain escalated quickly and her quality of life dropped just as fast. Each operation was followed by rigorous physical therapy. Pike said she was determined to regain the strength and mobility she had lost. She credits Hurley’s surgeons, nurses and physical therapy team with helping her get back to normal. Her own drive also played a big part. “I pushed to do everything they told me to do. I wasn’t going to sit around and lose my ability to do what I want,” she said.
“I was willing to work to get there.” Her advice for others who find themselves in need of a
new joint is (with the doctor’s OK) to go for it. But you have to commit.
“If it hurts you have to do your therapy anyway. Otherwise it just keeps getting harder. A bad cycle,” she said. “I pushed through the pain in physical therapy, to do everything I
Pike is thrilled with her new joints. She’s back to gardening and almost everything she’s done before — with the exception of skiing.
“They said a broken leg with a new knee wouldn’t be so good,” she chuckled. “I’m so lucky, so blessed. Most of the time I don’t even remember I had joint replacements. I have no pain — ever. But my other shoulder is telling me I may need that one replaced, too. But I’ll do it without complaint. Without all this, my quality of life would be poor.”