My morning at the clinic, yesterday, was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated it would be. Ahhh. Relief, there. Unfortunately I didn't get everything taken care of that I needed to accomplish, so I'll be spending part of the morning there, again, today... They know me, there. Not so sure this is a good thing. Parking was no problem, yesterday. A first! I got to the orthopedic department and one of the women working the reception area [there are two women and four men working at the reception counter!] who has recognized me each time I've been there asked me how my knee was. Yeah. Thanks for asking. "It is much better today, unfortunately." Unfortunately, because I really wanted for the doctor to see it when it swollen and when I am in pain. I made my way to the sea of black - the women only waiting area - where I "blended" because I too, had my black garbage bag on - covering my bike shorts and a tank top - knowing that the doctor was going to want to examine my knee and this way I'd be prepared and not have to worry about disrobing. I'm so smart, sometimes! There were probably twelve to fifteen women there in our waiting section, and twice as many men in the mens waiting area. Busy department.
I took my book, thankfully, because my wait was long. Yes, as I waited, I could feel my blood-pressure rising due to the fact that my scheduled appointment time had long past, and I am easily frustrated - my impatient nature, I suppose - in such instances. I finally got called and went to the examining room where I waited some more... The point of putting someone in an examining room long before a doctor is going to make his or her appearance is???
Dr. M sauntered in and introduced himself. He is young enough to be my son. He is Saudi - he did his training in Canada. His English is impeccable. And, more importantly, there is something wrong with my knee. Dr. M said that he could see the problem from the very first x-ray I had done and that he didn't need my MRI to see it! Oh, really? Then why have I had a half dozen x-rays taken, and no doctor so far has seen that there is a problem?!? Dr. M asked me to describe my pain, which I did, and he said, "Yes. You are telling me exactly what is wrong - and we can see that right here, on this x-ray." I explained how I fell - hard - on my knee in 2000 or 2001 and how it has not been "right" since. Dr. M said that the fall did not cause my knee problem - the fall may have exacerbated the problem - but the fall is not the cause... That I would have a knee problem regardless. Oh, really? What then? "Age." [I hate Dr. M!] Doesn't he realize that I am only 29?!? I don't care what his computer record says about my birth date - the year that is in the computer is obviously wrong!
I have bursitis, arthritis and something - narrowing of the space for... And that IS why my knee is causing me so much distress. I am the "perfect candidate" for a total knee replacement, but not right now. My knee will have to get much worse before they will consider doing the replacement - although I can expect that this will have to happen within the next five years. Well, if that's not something to look forward to, I don't know what is! Dr. M had all my x-rays for me to view - along with the MRI and accompanying report - which says exactly what he said - and he did a very thorough examination of my knee. I explained where it hurt and "how" it hurt [I describe this as two cords being twisted as tight as they can be on the inside of my right knee]; I explained that I can no longer get down on my hands and knees [cleaning, changing The Kids bedding] and that I cannot walk up or down the stairs like a normal person with one foot in front of the other. Yep. "You won't be able to get down on your knees, nor will you run again, and stairs will be a problem until your knee is replaced." Well, gee, thanks. Dr. M started pressing on all the right spots that cause me pain and then tried to bend my knee and push it up - I screamed and at the same time involuntarily kicked him with my good leg! Oops. Sorry 'bout that, Dr. M! I'll make a deal with you - you don't hurt me, and I won't hurt you.
What is Dr. M going to do, right now, to make my knee better? Five weeks of physical therapy. Great. Just what I did NOT want. Then, five weekly treatments of a high-intensity electro-shock [TENS Unit] to the damaged, irreparable, area of my knee which will be done by either him or one of his colleagues and not a physical therapist or physician's assistant. If the pain cannot be controlled, he will consider giving me steroid shots, but he would prefer to not do so until the pain is "unbearable." Plus a knee brace that I need to wear if I am doing anything but sitting or sleeping. Nice. A prescription for anti-inflammatories and something else - and get some Glucosamine at GNC [which we have, here, in the Sandbox]. Even though, as Dr. M says, there are no scientific studies that prove that Glucosamine actually works, many of his patients have seen significant improvement when they take it and it can't hurt me if it doesn't work. Oh, and "no heels." What? You've got to be kidding me. [Not going to happen... I am much too vain. Pain or no pain, I am not ready for orthopedic shoes! I am NOT that old!!!]
Dr. M spent no less than forty-five minutes with me, going over everything, which is, no doubt, why the wait is so long... I left feeling quite confident in him. Yes. I am pleasantly surprised by this. Today I will go back to the clinic to make all of the appointments that I need, to get my prescriptions, and to get "fitted" for my knee brace. Plus, I need to obtain all of the records and x-rays and the MRI, because I still plan to see the orthopedist in the States when we go on vacation. A second opinion will make me feel better about this whole bad knee thing... Anticipating that I need for my knee to get worse doesn't make me feel real good, but somehow I just think that a total knee replacement is not going to be a particularly pleasant experience, either. I need to get on-line and do some "research" about all of this... Which I will do today, after "work."