Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All Wrapped Up

I had another visit with Dr. Choi, the orthopedic doctor. As he was coming out of one room, I happened to by hobbling by. I didn't bring the cane with me because, once I get going, I can shuffle along. I liken myself to a semi truck. It takes a bit to get me going, but once I do, do not stop suddenly in front of me.

He noted I had gone downhill in mobility since the last visit in September. (Hallelujah! He did notice.) He had me bend my knees to the point they hurt. Right knee, not too bad. Left knee, ouch. He poked. I winced. He took a "standing" x-ray. I stood while they did an x-ray of my knees.

Yes, there is arthritis, but if you live long enough, it's going to get you. I just helped it along by falling. The right knee is a bit askew with the joint not aligning as it should. This is another sign of early arthritis. The left knee? Well, there's fluid in there that wasn't there back in June when the original x-rays were taken. Gradually, over the summer, this fluid has built up. That would account for why my left knee hurts so much more when I stand up than my right knee.

He drained the fluid. That is gross, just gross. He showed it to me, not that I wouldn't have believed him had he chose not to. It was a light mustard yellow and the syringe had about an inch in it. Then, I got cortisone shots in both knees. Finally, both knees were wrapped in giant ace bandages.

Am I better? You know, just removing the fluid made the knee feel better.I had been given these "lovely" and "stylish" shorts to wear. I should have taken a photo of those. They were pretty funny looking. After the procedure and the wrapping, Amy offered to help me get dressed, but I wanted to see if what I wasn't feeling was true. For the first time in months, I could bend my left knee to pull on my pants without sharp pain. Right now, it feels as if I'm wearing a pair of those pants that unzips at the knee because both knees are wrapped. But, I stood up about 15 minutes ago and didn't need the cane to get walking.

He's recommending I resume taking the glucosamine/chondroitin every day. He wants me to give it 3 months and see if that, combined with the cortisone shots help me turn the corner in healing. I really wish I had to funds to get into a water exercise class. He said that would be ideal for me, but I have to join a health club to get into something like that. Oddly enough, the next best thing is a stationary bike.

My knees are kind of achy right now, but I sort of expect that. He said they might hurt worse before they get better but that would only be for 24-36 hours. I don't have to ever go back unless or until I either don't show improvement or start going downhill again. I need to watch my use of stairs for the next month, too, kind of hard to do since there are stairs into and out of the house.

This is the most hopeful I have been in the last 4 months. My world went from wide open to very narrow simply because of my inability to get around. Okay, I have arthritis in my knees. I can handle this. There will always be pain and it may be harsh on rare occasions. I can handle this. Getting a handle on this now will help me make the lifestyle changes I need to make to recover my sense of a wide open world.

Beverage:  British Breakfast tea


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