An Interview with Marie Buckner from Booktoots’ Healing
To listen to the full interview click on the PLAY button above. Below are excerpts from the interview.
My Background (Marie Buckner)
My name is Marie Buckner. I’m originally from the Detroit, Michigan area.
In my early days my great grandfather was a diabetic. He eventually became a paraplegic. He was in a wheelchair. It was wonderful to be able to help him out during some difficult days. One of the ways that he returned the favor and helped us all out was by playing his harmonica. As a little kid I would sit on the floor and listen to him as he played. And that’s when my interest in music started. I saw how people’s faces would light up and they always had stories to share and it was nice to know that I could help elevate someone’s mood by playing music.
So my desire to help others started at a young age.
My Professional Education
I have an advanced degree in business administration specializing in accounting and minoring in psychology. And I worked in corporate America for about 40 years. I passed the CPA exam. And I used to own a natural foods business where I authored cookbooks, had a newsletter, and also did cooking classes. I develop recipes and I write articles on food because I believe 100% in holistic healing.
My Healthy Approach to Life
I don’t take any medications now; that’s kind of unique. Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m going to be 65 and I’m not on any medications. I’m very proud of that. And I exercise regularly. I’ve always placed an importance on exercise.
The Origination of ‘Booktoots’
In 1975 I was in a car accident where I fractured my femur. That led to arthritis in the knee. I was in a body cast for two years. I had a lot of people ask me to write a book about this experience. So I figured, well I’ll start writing a book about that. That’s the “book.” And then the “toots” actually comes from the fact that I’m a huge Three Stooges fan. In their shows when they’re around ‘high class women’, they always call “Hey Toots, how you doing?” Book meets Toots and voilá! Booktoots
It was a pretty bad accident. I had a closed head injury and there was subdermal hematoma, now called a brain bleed. Because my head hit the dash and went through the window, there was nerve palsy and a damaged nerve in my left eye which is double vision. I still have that.
And then I fractured my jaw and that requires surgery. I fractured my c1 vertebra, which is the cervical vertebra, which to this day I have shortness of breath every day, but I learned to live with it.
And there was more
And then there were three ribs on my right side, which punctured my kidney and caused internal bleeding. And then there was the fractured femur and that wasn’t healing properly. So what they had to do was to take a bone graft from my hip, put that on a steel rod and then implanted that to my femur. I was in a body cast after that was done. And when the femur wasn’t healing properly, that’s when they did surgery to put the steel rod in.
I was out and about after that whole fiasco and then I fell on some ice and broke my femur again. So the second fracture happened above where the steel rod was located. I had to go back into the hospital. They did the surgery, took out the steel rod, and then put me back into a body cast.
I found it very interesting that the doctors at that time, said, ‘you have arthritis in your right knee. It’s not going to bother you now, but give it 30 years down the road and you’re going to start having problems’. And it was almost 30 years to the month that I ended up having a knee replacement.
So they’re kind of smarter than we think they are sometimes.
My Knee Replacement
I had a knee replacement about eleven years ago, in 2008. I was talking to some friends about it. Unless you go through the experience, you just don’t understand it. I was feeling kind of alone and a little despondent. So I started writing about it. I’ve always had an enjoyment of writing; English composition was one of my strong points in school.
I started writing about it on my Booktoots blog. And to my surprise people started to visit the site, sharing their experiences. They realized that they were not alone, which in turn helped me feel less alone. And it was, wonderful. I’ve always believed that it’s important to help others, to let others feel that they’re not alone, and that someone’s there to listen. I found myself in the middle of a rich dialogue due to my knee replacement surgery.
A Strong Knee Replacement Community
Booktoots has developed into a strong community. It’s so satisfying to know that the site’s helping people and that my words mean something to others. And the community is quite large. There are 750,000 international readers. My contributors feel comfortable sharing their experiences and commenting on articles. I found out last week, it was rated one of the top 10 total knee replacement blogs in the world, by Feedspot.
The main focus of the site itself is based on total knee replacement. I have updates for so many, weeks, months, and years after the surgery. So people that are going through that phase, can just look at the blog posts and share their experiences or know they’re not alone. And then I also have a lot of exercise posts about what you need to do after surgery. Spoiler alert: You don’t really need to go to a gym.
I like sharing the fact that people don’t need a lot of money in order to recuperate. I write about other things besides the total knee replacement, such as: dealing with a broken jaw, double vision, having a fractured c1 vertebra. And then since I wear almost two inch shoe lifts, I have written about that also.
Searching the Site
And then, what’s very helpful for my readers is I have a search bar in there. So when they have a topic that they’re really interested in, they can just type it in the search and it’ll bring up different posts. There are over 950 posts that I have written. And one of the things that I’m very proud of is the fact that when someone sends a comment or they post a comment on my site, I personally respond.
I’ve authored a number of books. One of the most popular ones is “Preparing for a Total Knee Replacement”. It shares a patient’s perspective on preparing for a total knee replacement or TKR.
Written by a patient (me) for a patient, this ebook shares first-hand experience about preparing for a total knee replacement. You will learn how to avoid any unexpected situations in your home and life. It’s much more than taping down cords.
I wrote this ebook after realizing there was important information missing from standard pre-op classes. Like, what do you do when your surgeon cancels the surgery one hour before scheduled time due to illness? How much cash should you have on hand? How do you prepare your home?
Editor’s Note: To explore this book further click here or on the picture.
Insomnia and TKA
One of my most popular books is entitled “Dealing with Insomnia After Total Knee Replacement”. Insomnia is a very common condition after knee replacement. In the book there are over a hundred stories from people form all over the world. I find that people purchase that book when they want to know that they’re not alone.
Comments from one reader: ‘There is comfort in the fellowship, from reading blog entries of those folks who have it so much worse than you, from glimpses of hope from those who are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and from the encouragement to keep on doing the work and rehabilitation necessary to make this surgery a success.’
Editor’s Note: To explore this book further click here or on the picture.
During my recuperation, for 10 months solid, I did not sleep more than two hours per night, mostly because I was not on pain meds. So I was just frustrated that insomnia seemed to be just part of the deal. I got on Booktoots and started writing about it. And this turned into my book.
Look for more from Booktoots’ Healing in the coming months. I have a number of new initiatives that I will be introducing soon, all with the idea of helping the next round of knee patients.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog.” We step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health as with this article on ‘Marie Buckner, Booktoots; Healing’.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. All our work is related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. This is for you if you have a surgery upcoming, or in the rear-view mirror. Or maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing
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