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The Jane Kaczmarek Interview (Page 1 of 2)

An Interview with Jane Kaczmarek

Gary Barg:  I so appreciate you spending time talking with us about osteoarthritis, this is such a big issue for family caregivers. And I have to say, as someone watching you for years on some of my favorite television shows, itís almost implausible to believe you were dealing with this while you were doing those shows.  How did you find out thatís what you had and what did you do about it?

Jane Kaczmarek:  First of all, my father had both of his hips replaced and so, when I started having pain, I suspected that I might be a chip off the old block.  Iíd limp, and I became very, very dependent on ibuprofen, which is a tremendous anti-inflammatory.  And for a while there, I know I was taking at least 20 a day.

Gary Barg:  Wow.

Jane Kaczmarek:  So I would make it through the day and since it was an over-the-counter painkiller, I just assumed it was fine to be taking that much. When I was pregnant with my third child and working full time on Malcolm in the Middle, I had to stop taking ibuprofen through the pregnancy. I realized then how bad my hip was because I wasnít numbing the pain anymore.  I was 46, almost 47-years-old, and gaining 70 pounds with this baby on a bad hip. My daughter Mary Louisa was born, I nursed her and I finished up that season of Malcolm in the Middle, and literally the day after we finished filming for that season, I l checked in the hospital and had that hip replaced.  That is part of the reason I was very glad the people from DePuy asked me to join this campaign to talk about this because I waited far too long.  I was in pain far too long.  I just wish I had done it years earlier.

Gary Barg:  Well, this is a really big issue for family caregivers; we lift our loved ones, we move heavy equipment, we struggle with wheelchairs, but the first thing we donít do is care for ourselves.

Jane Kaczmarek:  Gary, you know, you really hit it on the head.  I just thought, Iím too young, this canít be happening to me, I am too busy, I have got these children, this job; I will just take more ibuprofen. I would organize my days so I could do as little as possible.  One of the things I remember was driving to the mall and I couldnít even walk through the length of it. I would park and get what I needed, then Iíd go back to the car and drive to the other side of the mall to get what I needed there. Or when I was coming down the steps in the morning from my second floor bedroom, I would take down absolutely everything I needed for the dayóbooks, change of clothes, sunglasses, anything that I might need because the idea of going upstairs to get anything was such a horrible idea.  I didnít want to have that happen until it was nighttime and I had to go to bed.  I think when people are busy, they find a million excuses not to take care of themselves.


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