Walking Surfaces Matter After a TKR

Hi everyone! I’ve written other posts before about walking as an exercise for recuperating from a total knee replacement. Walking surfaces matter after a tkr as much as the walking itself, also. Thank you to my curious reader Elaine for providing feedback about my forgetting to mention any soft sand insight.  It is included now. 🙂

After 40 years of dealing with different types of walking surfaces and the effect on my leg length discrepancy, I would like to share some insight that can help others gain a better understanding about this sometimes “simple” topic. It’s amazing what we take for granted until it is gone or nearly impossible to accomplish. This is especially true after a tkr. Here’s the scoop…

Asphalt.  Asphalt offers the harshest surface as far as joint impact goes, I have found. Orthopaedic literature, fitness publications, and bone health news state the same. As softly as I try to walk, I still notice and feel the impact during my knee recuperation.

Gravel. Walking on gravel is no easy walk in the park, either. Gravel has a tendency to cause my ankles to sway sideways since it is so uneven. Even when wearing hiking boots, this can be discomforting. It’s especially discomforting due to my leg length discrepancy and need to wear a 1.75″ shoe lift.

Beach Sand. Two types:

Firmly packed. I found a perfect solution last weekend. While walking on the beach, I stayed on firmly-packed sand. No joint impact at all. It was a very comfortable and enjoyable walk.

Walking on packed sand allowed me to walk further and receive a nice workout. It was quite enjoyable. It was especially nice not to end my walk by having knee area pain. 🙂 The only drawback was ending up with sand-coated boots. But, who’s complaining? Not me. I’ll take firmly-packed beach sand any day and twice on Sunday. 🙂

Soft sand. Quite the workout. I needed a nap afterwards, actually. Besides my ankle getting a workout due to my shoe lift, my overall tkr leg was very tired. I needed to take breaks. Depending on how long after my tkr, the pain and discomfort ranged from intense to moderate. Of course, the sooner I went walking after my initial tkr recuperation, the more intense the pain and discomfort.

Thought I’d share my total knee replacement insight in case anyone else is going through the same thing.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Using Hills as a TKR Walking Exercise

Hi everyone. Here is some insight worth resharing. While recuperating from a total knee replacement, I found it advantageous to walk up and down small hills  It took about four and a half months to do this, however. The incline provides a good overall leg workout, along with circulatory benefits. The decline seems to mainly work on my quads and knee flexibility. Have you tried using hills as a tkr walking exercise?

And, I find it great to walk backwards up the hill.  This is great for the hamstrings. I have written about this on other posts throughout this site. Take a look around!

Of course, what works for me…may not work for you. I am simply sharing insight from personal experiences that prove beneficial for myself.

Even those without a total knee replacement can find using hills as walking exercise helpful. Just ask my neighbors. It has become a trend around here.  🙂

NOTE: Sturdy, nonslip soled shoes are essential for this exercise. This goes without saying, but needs to be mentioned for safety purposes. Well-fitting walking shoes are crucial for comfort and safety purposes.

Find this tkr blog post about using hills as a tkr walking exercise helpful? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or a variety of other health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

https://www.wegohealth.com

Happy Labor Day 2021!

Hi my favorite readers. Today is the first Monday in September. This means that it is set aside as Labor Day in the United States. Dating back to 1894, the year Congress passed an act that legally made this a holiday.

The holiday is intended to give workers a chance to relax. The day of celebration was originally developed by the labor movement. The day was set aside as a tribute to specifically show appreciation for the dedication, economic, and social accomplishments the American workforce has made toward the government’s overall success.

Accordingly to this year’s industry statistics, an estimated 45% of the population will be working. (Just thought I’d throw that in.) I know my neighbors sure are…lawn mowers, construction, landscaping, etc….yikes….

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day-1
Click on the above link for more historical information about Labor Day.

Enjoy and be safe!

Find this tkr blog post about having a Happy Labor Day interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or a variety of other health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Changing Leg Lengths After A TKR

Hi everyone. Due to popular requests, I am resharing this post about my changing leg lengths after a tkr. Something strange has been happening lately. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I am back to wearing a shoe lift on my tkr leg. This started three months ago, about a year after my tkr. Wearing the shoe lift is no big deal to me since I have been wearing one for 35 years.

However, and this is my dilemma now, my leg length changes. Some days I will notice I need more lift on my tkr leg, while on other days…I need less. It is totally bizarre to me. (Prior to my tkr, my leg length never changed on a daily basis).

The only thing that I attribute the discrepancy to is the fact some days my bionic knee is more swollen than on other days. Perhaps this swelling affects how straight my total knee replacement leg gets. I.e. less swelling means more leg length (more straightened) and vice versa. I don’t know.

Could be much worse. I’m not complaining just puzzled. I just wear an internal lift on days I notice I need more than what my external lift provides. No biggie…

Hopefully this can help someone else who is going through the same thing. Have you experienced this dilemma?

Do you find my tkr blog post about changing leg lengths after a tkr interesting? Kindly share to help others feel less alone….

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader. https://www.wegohealth.com

A Real-Life Story About Nerve Damage, a Shoe Lift, and TKR

Hi everyone! I’ve had a number of inquiries lately regarding nerve pain associated with a total knee replacement, so I wanted to share a real-life patient story about nerve damage, a shoe lift, and tkr I experienced in an attempt to help others out…Here is an excerpt from my upcoming ebook:

It was a beautiful sunny day. After just finishing a tasty fundraising breakfast, going home just didn’t sound like a good idea. I was wearing business casual clothing, including my walking shoes. (As I have discussed in other posts on this site, my left shoe has an external 1.75″ shoe lift attached).

I hopped into the car and decided to go for a nice drive. There’s a beautiful waterfront community nearby that I knew had benches that provided a wonderful view. There’s where I was headed.

As I was approaching the town, I noticed signs stating a festival was taking place. “Oh oh”, I thought. Parking is difficult enough as it is in that area, let alone during a festival. Anyways, I proceeded.

Someone (as usual) was watching over me that day, since ONE parking spot was available in an ideal location. My parallel parking skills came in handy. 🙂

After taking in the scenery while sitting on the waterfront bench for a bit, I decided to partake in the festivities. It was a medieval faire. WHAT A BLAST!!

However, to tie this in with my tkr and shoe lift story, the majority of festivities took place on open grounds containing uneven land. My ankle and shoe lift were getting an interesting workout!

More in upcoming ebook….

This book is currently available for purchase via Amazon to be read on your Kindle reader:

Find this tkr blog post about  a real life story about nerve damage, a shoe lift, and tkr interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

 Booktoots’ Healing is a  multiple award-winning tkr blogging site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Why It Is Important To Make Exercise A Priority..

Hi everyone! We probably all have days when we do not feel like exercising. It seems like a hassle, takes too much time, etc., etc., Here’s a piece of news that can make exercising seem less daunting….I believe it’s all based on aversive training. You’re welcome…

Envision yourself in the hospital due to inactivity. That doesn’t seem like fun, does it? Picture yourself hooked up to a breathing device where you cannot talk, even if you wanted to.

Imagine yourself having one medical test after another, being poked with needles so many times you dread even seeing the medical professional.

Imagine yourself lacking so much energy, it takes everything to simply blink your eyes (it does happen..).

Picture an IV in your arm. Whether it is for nourishment or medication, this IV is playing an essential role in restoring/assisting your health.

Imagine having to urinate through a catheter for any reason associated with poor health. This catheter needs to be changed, cleaned/sanitized, and reinserted. It’s an arduous, time-consuming process that takes a toll on anyone’s nerves and confidence.

Imagine yourself being put on a very restricted diet to bring your weight back in line. Weight gain is far too common when exercise does not play a key role in your lifestyle.

Or…picture yourself being given so many medications you cannot possibly start your day without popping pills.

How does all that sound? It’s very negative. That’s the purpose of this article. But, believe me. It does happen. Your body requires exercise to operate properly, and, it’s simply amazing to hear how many people believe exercise is too time consuming…or whatever the excuse. And, the longer you go without exercising to maintain your body in decent condition, the more situations negatively accumulate.

Of course, there will be a day or two when it is okay to just sit back and let your muscles recuperate from a previous workout. There is nothing harmful about taking small breaks.

Get out and exercise. Stop making excuses. Find an enjoyable way to do it. Choose from a number of activities to lower boredom levels.
* Do some isometrics while watching television. How easy is that??!! Just tighten your muscles. I have written about that in other posts on this site.

*Do gardening or another favorite passion that gets your moving..
* Take a gentle yoga class for mild, yet effective, stretching.
* Lift some milk gallons filled with water, as a dumb bell alternative.
* Find a friend to exercise with, join a class, go to your local pool, buy an exercise video or Wii Fit (I think that’s what it’s called…).

The list of possibilities goes on.  No matter what the method is..

...EXERCISE. It’s fun!! This is especially true after having a total knee replacement..or tkr.

Find this tkr blog post about why it is important to exercise interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Overdoing It: Are You Doing This?

Hello everyone. I was just thinking about writing a post about how to tell when you are overdoing it, when a rescue team was called to my fitness club’s hot tub. It turns out a lady overheated while sitting in the tub. She didn’t realize she was in the unsafe zone. I don’t know how it turned out, but hopefully she is home staying cool. Overdoing it: are you doing this?

So..how do you know when you are overdoing it? When first recuperating from a total knee replacement, knee swelling and warmness are common symptoms. So is pain. So is pain. (The double entry is purposeful.)

I remember asking my physical therapist for an answer. She mentioned that if there was pain for more than two hours after exercise, it signified overdoing it. OK. More than one source confirms this two-hour period for being a gauge. So, I’ll buy that.

Now…how about the times not affecting a tkr, or total knee replacement? Like when one is sitting in a hot tub, wet or dry sauna, swimming or exercising in the gym?

What about pregnant woman, those with diabetes, etc.? Hotter temperatures can easily lead to heat exhaustion or heat strokes without any physical exertion involved.

I had someone tell me to put a cold towel on my head while sitting in a sauna to withstand hot temperatures for longer periods of time. I can see how a cold head might help out. But, my question is…how can you tell when you’re overdoing it?

If your head is cold, does that mean the rest of your body isn’t getting overheated? How can it? What if the nerves in someone’s cervical area, which send signals from your neck to your body are severed, or damaged, so proper transmission is hindered?

Anybody have an answer?

Anyways…overdoing can result from too much exercise, too much heat, too much food, too much anything..to be truthful.

When doing research into overdoing it, I came up with a list of signals to look out for. This applies to the general population who do not have any predisposed conditions, like a fractured C-1.

Loss of appetite
Visual field impairment
Sleep disorders
Mood disorders like irritability..(yeah, I’ll blame it on that..:) )
Heart rate fluctuations like murmurs
Excessive fatigue
Incessant sweating or lack of any sweating
Shortness of breath, dizziness or breathing difficulties
Difficulties focusing and concentrating
Muscle cramps and spasms
Chest pains
Nausea and vomiting

It is imperative that you know your body so you can more easily notice when things aren’t feeling or going correctly.

Overdoing it is a foreign field to me, since I’ve had a fractured C-1. Personally, I don’t realize I’m overdoing it until I cannot function properly. That is why I keep track of my pulse, time spent engaged in activities and other external signals. Even those fail sometimes.

Whenever in doubt about any situation, I always place safety first. I would much rather be a “wimp” than someone in the emergency room.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find this tkr blogging post about overdoing it: are you doing it interesting? Kindly share…..Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger,  and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over  40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

How To Safely Maneuver Stairs, Steps and Ramps..especially after a TKR

Hi everyone.  As you all know, having knee issues presents a unique set of concerns regarding everyday life. One main issue is conquering elevated surfaces.  Here are some helpful suggestions on how to safely maneuver stairs, steps and ramps ..especially after a TKR or total knee replacement.

Back by popular demand..here is a previous post:

Test the Area
First and foremost, do a safety check. Not all stairs, steps, or ramps are created equally. Check the surface material. Is it wet, dry, asphalt, cement, rubber, etc.? The material will determine your caution level and the type of footwear needed.

Before starting any attempt, make certain you are comfortable using the surfaces. The step may be thicker (steeper) than the standard version we learned to use during tkr recuperation. It may be narrower, have rounded corners, or contain uneven surfaces. All of these factors matter.

For instance, the steeper the surface level, the more physical exertion needed. Rounded corners are easier to misjudge.

FOR UPSTAIRS MANEUVERING

Use Railings
I know this is common sense, but I have seen people too proud to use these helpful devices. Forget pride. Hold onto these with a firm grip whenever possible. They were developed for a reason. Always make certain they are securely attached to the wall before using to prevent injury. It is amazing how many times they are not secured.

Walk Sideways
Instead of taking the surface head-on, turn your body sideways. Place your “good” leg on the surface, then lift your body up until you are firmly on the surface. Don’t rush it. You will feel your quadriceps working.

“One Small Step”
Instead of alternating legs like you would when climbing stairs, place your “good” leg on the surface. Lift your body up until your knee is straight and supporting your body weight.

Gently lift your tkr (or hindered) leg and place it on the surface. Stand upright. Repeat this until you reach the top of the stairs, steps, and ramps.

To visualize this method…, you will be standing (full body) on a stair, step or ramp before moving to the next one.

Use a Cane or Crutch
This may take more time, but what’s the hurry? Remember that it is always better safe than sorry. Place the walking aide in your nonaffected-side hand. Hold firmly and apply pressure to lift your body weight up onto the stair, step, or ramp. When done correctly, your arm muscles will get a good workout.

FOR DOWNSTAIRS MANEUVERING

Walk Backwards
Turn your back to the stairs, steps, or ramp. You may feel strange, but forget what others think. Hold onto the railing, if available. Very slowly start walking backwards, one foot before the other.

When done correctly, you will feel your hamstrings (back of knee) muscles working while doing this maneuver to conquer stairs, steps, and ramps.

Walk Sideways
From personal experience…Avoid this method if you wear an external shoelift unless you have strong ankles. For all other interested parties, conquer the elevated surface by pretending you are a crab. Go slow and be successful.

Well, that’s all that comes to mind now about how to safely maneuver stairs, steps, and ramps. Do you have any suggestions on how you conquer these walking surfaces? We would love to hear from you !

Find my tkr blog post about How To Safely Maneuver Stairs, Steps and Ramps interesting? Kindly share….

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

How To Exercise Without Exercising

Hi everyone. There is sometimes a stigma associated with the word “exercise”. At least that seems to be a popular misconception regularly expressed by many. So, I thought it would be helpful to post some tips for how to exercise without exercising.

1) Hamstring stretch. Sit on a firm chair. Scoot your body near the front of the chair. Straighten your legs so your heels are only touching the floor. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your knees. Hold stretch for a few seconds.

2) Upper body stretch. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands above your head. Start picking imaginary apples from the top branch. Feel the stretch.

You can also do this stretching maneuver while sitting in any kind of chair.

3) Shoulder rolls. Shoulder rolls are wonderful ways to increase circulation and energy levels. Do them throughout the day, both forwards and backwards.

4) Spinal stretch. Stand up straight or sit in a firm chair. Extend your arms to the each side. Your body will resemble a “T”. Start gently rotating your body to the right, then to the left. If you are like me, you will instantly feel better.

This is enough for now on how to exercise without exercising. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none at all. If the word “exercise” brings up images of pain, doom, and frustration – think of it as “moving around” in everyday life. Not everyone has that priviledge, you know.

Find this tkr blog post about how to exercise without exercising interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

Insight Into Icing and a Total Knee Replacement

Here is  a reprint of one of my popular posts that I continually get requests for. It contains my insight into icing and a total knee replacement. Enjoy!

Hi my favorite readers! I just found out that some patients were not told about icing after having a total knee replacement done.  This is unbelievable to me.

Without icing, my knee would be so swollen and painful, it would be difficult to walk. Icing keeps the swelling in check. It also helps decrease the pain after exercising. In the hospital, I had ice  on all the time.

There are a number of resources online about how to ice after a total knee replacement. One important thing to remember is to elevate your feet above your heart level.  One of my favorites is by Peerwell at https://peerwell.co/blog/expert-icing-after-joint-replacement-surgery/. Take a look for more info.

Once getting home, I iced for about 2-3 hours per day – at least. I don’t believe those who say that it’s too much. I know it helped me out, so I don’t listen to naysayers.

Today, almost 5 months after my tkr, I still ice after exercising.  It’s usually for about 30 minutes now.  I know I need icing when I can feel my knee and it’s warm after exercising.  That means it got a workout (my PT lady told me that 🙂 )

Prior to my tkr, I used to think icing and ice packs were a waste of time.  My, how times have changed during my tkr recuperation.  🙂

NOTE: Just be sure not to ice for so long that your tkr knee skin freezes! It can happen. That is one crazy experience.

Icing rocks!

Find this tkr blog post about icing and a total knee replacement  interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This multiple award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Leader.

8 Ways To Speed Up Your Total Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi everyone. I have been receiving inquiries from many of you for ways to speed up a total knee replacement recuperation. Here is an updated article I wrote when going through the initial tkr rehab. The information still holds true today.

Having your tkr surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the total knee replacement recuperation that allows you to effectively utilize use your new bionic knee is another segment. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

Below are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my own total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you.

Drum roll, please….

1. Become mobile as quick as possible. Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of total knee replacement recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.

2. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily (or not that easily) do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.

3. Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. That’s common sense, but I was completely unprepared for the immense pain afterwards.

4. Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that 30-minutes beforehand works best for me. Taking the med takes the edge off of the discomfort you will feel during movements. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases.  The sooner the better, I say.

5. Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Increase in small increments. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt.  Your physical therapist can help with this.

6. Keep icing. After every total knee replacement recuperation exercise routine, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. You can buy them prepared or make your own. Simply put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag. Cover your knee with a towel before applying. I have also found that frozen peas & carrots work well.

7. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing process.

8. Exercise! Keep exercising, even when done doing physical therapy. In addition to doing your recuperation maneuvers, add walking and/or other physical activity to your daily routine. This is essential for your overall success.

Total knee replacement recuperation takes effort, determination, and perseverance. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be there.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Good luck and keep at it!

Find my tkr blog post about 7 ways to speed up your total knee replacement recuperation interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This award-winning tkr blogger site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

https://www.wegohealth.com/profile

Proudly Announcing Being Nominated For WEGO Health Award

Hello everyone. I am honored to announce my being nominated for the upcoming WEGO Health Patient Leader awards. For the Best in Community class.

Here is a link for more information. https://www.wegohealth.com/MarieBucknerakaBooktoots/awards

This humbling nomination could not have been done without your kind support. THANK YOU!!

As more information about voting becomes available, I will share the news with you. Enjoy…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other health concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 45+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.