About four years ago, I reached a point where my knees were so bad that I thought I might have to give up on real estate. Between a left knee that threw itself out of joint on a whim (ouch!) and a right knee that had been damaged by decades of walking in a way that usually kept the left knee dubiously stable, I was in trouble.
First, I had a very hard time with stairs, and most of the homes in my market are on three or four levels. Many of the condos I sell are conversions of old Victorian townhouses, and they almost never have elevators.
Second, during the winter months, any snow on the ground made walking outdoors very challenging. On the ice, my knee would collapse, and I wound up falling and often unable to stand for fifteen or twenty minutes. Buyers just loved these scenes!
At the time, my health plan was with Kaiser-Permanente, and none of their orthopedic guys had a clue about what to do with my knees.
Then, at a settlement, I met Mark Zawadsky. His agent looked at me and looked at Mark (the buyer) and said, "Um, you two need to get to know one another. Pat, you have really crappy knees. Mark fixes really crappy knees!"
And a few months later, he did! He is an amazing orthopedic surgeon who does knees, all knees, and only knees. He teaches knees at Georgetown University Medical School, and in four hours, he replaced both of my knees and fixed the trick knee with a new, simple technology.
And within a month, I was showing houses. Now I can climb stairs and walk on icy sidewalks.
But there is a downside. My short skirt days are officially over. And my footwear choices do not include anything with tall, thin heels - or even tall heels - like taller than about an inch! And at airports, I must fit the new terrorist profile - I attract a lot of attention at the metal detector!
Most of us take our mobility for granted throughout most of our lives. The last few years has made me realize it's something to be thankful for.