Yes, it’s typical for changes in weather to impact the discomfort of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. My best guess is that the doctor who came to Hondo gave your mom a shot of cortisone. If there’s any way she can do it, she probably needs for him to refer her to an a orthopedic specialist who deals with knee replacement surgery. A friend of mine had a problem with her weight which made her arthritis problems and the deterioration of her knee joints that much worse.
She went on a weight loss program before she was able to safely have the surgery. Following the knee replacement, she underwent physical therapy which helped her strengthen her muscles around the knee joint. She’s now able to work again, though she gets around with a cane. The last four months were very hard, but losing the weight was really helpful and she’s determined to get some more off. She can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and is on her way back to improved health and a lot less pain.
Weight loss is really important. I’ve been trying to get weight off, myself, but it’s hard to do when pain is slowing you down. I think the key is getting exercise, even if all you’re doing is sitting in a chair.
If your mother is on Medicare, she should be covered for those benefits. In addition, if you call the local agency on aging, they should be able to provide information about transportation for disabled persons. The much-reviled Dept. of Health & Human Services has a very helpful web site where you can get a ton of information. For starters, here is the link to the Federal Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov/
If your mother does not have health insurance, hope like heck that the Tea Party folks and the health insurance industry don’t wreck the Affordable Health Care Act. Write your congressman/woman or call up the district office to let them know what your family is going through. Good luck!