Saturday, May 17, 2008

Knee Update

I haven't really wanted to post about this because, well, because I kept hoping it would improve or go away entirely, but it hasn't. Three weeks ago, my first day working at the florist and on my feet for five hours, I was in extreme pain when I left. Not my knee necessarily, both legs and feet hurt and my hips were bothering me as well. I thought I just overdid it that day and slowed down my exercises and walking because that's what the knee doc has told me to do in the past when the pain flared back up to that extent. I still had a few pain pills left and was able to take them in halves along with ibruprofen and ease the pain enough to at least sleep. I took the last pain pill last week and since then I haven't slept a night through. I toss and turn and writhe around trying to find a comfortable position - my legs, knees and hips ache horribly and ibuprofen doesn't touch it.

So I made another appointment at the Bone & Joint clinic. The surgeon wasn't available so I saw a PA that assisted with the surgery and that I had seen before. In the past, he was understanding and responsive, but yesterday was a different story. I explained to him what I had been experiencing, and my theory that my body has gotten way out of balance due to the surgery and isn't able to right itself. I have an old injury in my left hip from a car accident that's caused me a little arthiritis trouble in the past and I think with the knee surgery in the left leg also, it's just gotten everything inflamed. "No way, he said. Your knee surgery would not be causing this kind of pain. You need to go get checked for lupus or rhuematoid arthiritis." Does this seem as ludicrous to me as it does to you? He gave me a prescripton for Tramadol, acetameniphine with a non-narcotic pain killer. So far, it hasn't helped and they're unwilling to prescibe more Percocet which did at least help. Two things about this scenario really make me angry. One is that their attitude seems to be one of "we're done with you." Two is that they're unwilling to prescribe a medication that would help. I realize they have to be careful with folks on narcotic medication, but I had the last prescription of 30 for two months. Does that sound like I'm addicted?

I fully realize that pain medicaiton is not the answer, but until I find a better answer, it sure would be nice to get a little relief and some decent sleep. I start getting crazy when I'm sleep-deprived (as I'm sure everyone does) and it's starting to set in. I wonder how much the long hours on my feet may have to do with this - even though right now it's only once a week. Here's my current plan: I'm going to resume my massages and continue with the medication they gave me plus ibuprofen (this is fine, I asked). It really hurts to walk, but I think I must try and keep up some exercise so I'm going to try and walk at least 30 minutes a day. I may go ahead and make an appt. with my primary doc, but I'm conflicted about this due to my financial situation and the fact that I have a preconceived notion they'll want to do lots of unnecessary tests that won't make a damned bit of difference in the long run. I'm 99.9% sure I do not have lupus or rheumatoid arthiritis and I think it was pretty unethical of the guy to even mention such things when he really doesn't have a clue.

I'm mainly posting this here in case anyone out there may have some additional suggestions. Pain takes over everything when you're in it.


thailandchani said...

and my theory that my body has gotten way out of balance due to the surgery and isn't able to right itself.

This sounds right. Perhaps addressing it from that angle would be best. It seems the person you saw blew that off completely. Is there some practitioner you can see who would understand what you were saying?

Angela said...

Probably my naturopath. I still owe her some money, but she would probably be ok with letting me make payments as I can. She would, at least, listen.

Olivia said...

I think that they don't like to deal with thinks that are hard or that imply that maybe they could have done something better. I'd absolutely trust my instinct. The naturapath idea sounds very good, with payments.

I once had an oral surgeon who screwed up my surgery and left a bone fragmant sticking out. He tried to convince me I had trigeminal neuralgia. After weeks of suffering, I went to another sugeon and had to pay him to fix it by cutting off the bone fragment. I could have gone after the first guy but ate the $400 as I had suffered enough and figured that karma would take care of things. It still was hard and I was mad.

Our medical system today sucks in a bagillion ways!

Trust your body and don't give up,


jgp187 said...

Have you ever considered a chiropractor? I do agility with my dog and his body is under a lot of stress. I take him to see a chiropractor and have seen a tremendous difference and it speaks to exactly what you are talkign about - righting the body where it is out of whack. I realize, 1) people sometimes have a bias against chiropractors, and 2) I am probably weirding you out with my dog going to the chiropractor story! :D

Food for thought. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Diva Carla said...

I second the chiropractor notion. Can you get a referral to someone who works with the nervous system and energy? Chiro has changed a lot since they were known as bone crunchers and spine poppers. Lots of healers work in many modalities but under one kind of license. An osteopath may have what you need, or cranial sacral work is very subtle but balancing.
Still give the multiple traumas years apart, the chiropractor seems the best bet for pain relief.

I think the guys is a nut for suggesting you have a systemic autoimmune illness two months after surgery. Did they suggest any such thing when you showed up with a knee problem? Don't go to your doctors till you have seen a chiropractor.

Lydia said...

It might be fibromyalgia. I was hit hard with it 14 years ago, and it has lessened with time (I'm lucky). I still have flare-ups. Throughout I've been on the lowest dose of Nortriptiline before bed. It helps with sleep and sleep is key to battling the disease. This woman's blog has a special tab about fibromyalgia that you might want to check out:

So glad that you are keeping your massages.

Sherri said...

Grrrr, don't get me started on dumb non-listening doctors!!

To my non-medical-professional ears, it sounds like the pain might be from over-correcting for the knee pain. When my back goes out, the hobbling makes my hips and knees hurt like somebody's stabbing them.

Having said that, though, I have no idea what you would do about it except go to the chiro. I tell you what, just having a caring doc can make a big difference. Hope it gets better soon.

Angela said...

Everyone - thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. I have somewhat of a chiropractor phobia as I ended up with a herniated disc after seeing a chiro student in the early 90's. Six weeks on my back after that one. Also, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I think I do have it although a pretty mild case for the most part. Maybe this has just got it flared up. I've decided to see an acupuncturist/massage therapist here in Polson. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

one of the people on my blogroll (mole) is a trained masseur who also has a blog under his name (dale favier). dale has been very useful on issues related to joint pains. I can't tell you if he can advise you but he could certainly point you toward professionals who could be helpful.
good luck, Angela.

Sam Freedom said...

Angela, here's 2 sites for you to look into...

1) - Celadrin is a brand name, the specific ingredient you want to look up a little more is called, "Cetyl Mirostoleate" - it's effective and, as some might say, borderline miraculous for eliminating joint pain; and

2) - you can just find your way around the site as you wish, however, the gist is that Pete Egoscue recognized that a lot of the body's pain comes from musculo-skeletal imbalances which are, in fact, held in place by an incredibly intelligent pain that has become conditioned to protecting sensitive areas... even ones that have long healed... the pain remains in the brain.

This was further confirmed for me in a recent book titled, "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge. I believe it will startle you, actually.

As for drinking moderately, I would like to share a thing or two about that with you but I did not see anywhere on your site that you are open to advice, suggestion or anecdote from your readers so I'll save it for a "rainy day." ;-)

See you round,

Sam Freedom said...

correction: "incredibly intelligent pain" should read "incredibly intelligent brain"... freudian slip?

Angela said...


Thanks for the information. I'll check it out. And I'm always open to comments about drinking moderately, or not - there's just no special place for it as such. Or the comment section is that place. Feel free!

P. S. I would've never gotten that slip - I think pain is very intelligent. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Rick Hamrick said...

Angela--it has been weeks since I have been by, and I'm sorry to hear of both your pain, and of the uncaring response from the doc's office.

One bug to put in your ear: have you considered the possibility of exercising in water? Not that it needs to be a permanent solution, but my wife uses aquacize specifically because her joints are not able to handle the stress of working out without the support of water.

Not the same case as you, as she does have rheumatoid arthritis and has significant joint damage as a result.

Still, until you are able to function without pain, working out in the water will maintain range of motion and does help with aerobic conditioning.

And, as many have already noted, pay attention to your body and your intuition! None of us can advise you with nearly the knowledge you already have inside you--so listen!

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