Tuesday, April 29

Bum Knee Update

Well the good news is that I am up and about. The bad news is that we wont know anything about my knee for another 2 weeks.

I have a torn ACL, a torn LCL, a posterior tear in the medial Meniscus, and a pulled hamstring. Whew! When I do something, I do it right. When I went back to the orthopedic surgeon all the muscles in my knee were still in spasm so he sent me to physical therapy for 4 weeks. I am in the second week and I go three times a week. The exercises arent hard or grueling…they just hurt. There are lots of stretching and strengthening, and mobility exercises that I do. PT usually takes about 2 hours a visit and then I come home and ice the knee for about an hour. I go back to the orthopedic surgeon in about 2 weeks to see if I need the surgery. If we can strengthen my muscles enough that they make up for the lack of tendon stability, then I wont need the surgery. If we get the muscles as strong as they can be and I still have a lot of instability, then I will need the surgery anyway. As of now, I am still convinced that I can do this and avoid the surgery. There is nothing that I haven’t been able to do once I really decide to do it. I REALLY REALLY don’t want surgery.

Tuesday, April 15

The Couch Chronicles

Today is my appt with the orthopedic surgeon again. Hopefully he will be able to tell me how this is going to be repaired. I am so sick of sitting on this couch. Since I am getting out today I will be able to see my weeping cherry tree in full bloom as well as all of my tulips. I am so bummed that I am not using this time to garden. Normally, by now, my beds would be pristine and well maintained. Sigh…

I have been able to explore the delights of daytime tv though. I regularly tape some shows and that is about all the tv I watch. I always get Jeopardy and some shows on adult swim but the rest of the tv broadcasts make my brain ache. I have been listening to books on CD and cross stitching but that can only entertain me for about 4 hours at a time so I have been mucking through the channels. I have been staying within the safe channels for the most part – Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Biography – but every once in a while I get brave and venture into the cloudier recesses of the channel pool. To my surprise I have added another show to the list that I already tape regularly: Good Eats. I ventured over to the Food Network one day and there it was. At first I thought it was a science show on the wrong channel but the more I watched it the more I was fascinated. It is a delightful blend of science, food, and pure camp. Being a goofball and a foodie I loved it. I love knowing tricks and the why’s of food. They also throw in history, techniques, culture, and folklore. I was enthralled.

Unfortunately not all my experiences were that pleasant. One afternoon, out of desperation, I ventured into the dark depths of daytime broadcasting. I was at first encouraged by Ellen. That wasn’t too bad. But then I was thrust, unprepared, into the Oprah show. Reeling from the shock, I blindly began changing channels. I sunk further into the muck – Jerry Springer. Blindly stabbing at the remote to relieve the pain to my eyes I found a channel with a commercial. I never thought I would be so happy for advertising. Of course it was for a trade school but that was okay…at least it gave me a chance to catch my breath. Whew! When I had become more rational I gingerly changed the channel back to my safe station – Discovery. By this time I was feeling brave…I had ventured into the slimy end of the pool and other than some retinal damage, I had survived. Well, the adrenaline rush was addictive so I headed right back – only this time I randomly chose a number and punched it into the remote. As luck would have it, I ended up on a shopping channel…a jewelry shopping channel to be exact. I was mesmerized by the nonstop babble of the sales person. There weren’t any quality pieces but you would never know it from listening to the huckster. I stayed there just to see what the next piece was going to be…and then the next one…and the next one. When I finally got tired of it I had watched for a good 30 minutes. Huh. I am the first to admit that anything shiny will attract my attention – after all, my favorite color is Sparkly – but from the format of the show, I am apparently not the only one. I think today I will try another random channel. After I get some pain pills in me…

Monday, April 14

Update From the Couch

I find this whole situation a bit amusing. I mean, the knee doesn’t hurt if I just sit here. I don’t even have to take Advil so it seems silly to just be sitting here all day doing nothing. But, as soon as I get up to get a drink or hit the ladies room my knee tells me to sit my ass right back down. So while I am sitting here I am all frustrated because I FEEL FINE. I sat in the hot tub last night for about an hour and I didn’t notice a difference in the knee but it was really nice out there. The hot tub was about 100 degrees and there was a cool breeze blowing. Aaahhhhh…heaven.

Since I have the films from the MRI I called my neighbor the Dr to see if he could make heads or tails of them. My neighbor is a Dr at Union Memorial Hospital. In fact his official title is Medical Director - Acute Rehab Unit. He is also the Department Chief and was in Baltimore Magazine as one of the top 10 doctors in Baltimore in his field. Hell, had I known all that, I would have injured myself a lot sooner. You would think that with all those accolades and all that prestige he would be an ass. The truth is, he is one of the most personable people I know…both him and his wife are just great people. We got soooo lucky when they moved in next door. The neighbor on the other side of us is a Physical Therapist. So I got the diagnosis and the recovery covered!

Well, the good Dr looked over the films and pointed out where the joint looked ‘junky’ and that was where the tear was. He also repeated what the orthopedic surgeon said in that when there is an injury of this type there is usually more damage than just one part. So he believes that not only did I tear my meniscus, but I may have torn a ligament or tendon as well and that is why mechanically my knee doesn’t work. Well, if you are going to do something, do it right!

Tomorrow I have my appt with my orthopedic surgeon so I should know something more after that. I am all excited that I am getting out of the house. My cherry tree is blooming along with all of my tulips and I AM MISSING IT! I hope to be repaired soon because I have planting to do. I bought lots of starters and was really looking forward to planting. Dahlias…Phlox…Columbines…sigh…

Saturday, April 12

Stuck on the Couch

Well shit. I broke my knee. Well, I don’t know for sure but here is the story:

I had been going to the gym for a week. I had been doing the treadmill and using all of the facilities and was just, in general, loving my gym. I got out of the house, it made me feel better, and I was doing something good for me. I had the best day ever at the gym just the day before my knee got injured. I went later in the evening, walked on the treadmill, forced myself to stop after 45 minutes (I was loving the endorphin rush) and then went and sat in the sauna for about 20 minutes. OMG! What a great way to finish a work out. After my shower, I hopped in the car and floated home. I walked in with this huge shit eating grin on my face and when Michael saw it he asked, “good work out?” only the best work out ever!

The next day I had an appt with the personal trainer. We were going to be doing upper body. I started on the bike for 15 minutes. Then we went to the weights to work out. We ended up at the free weights and I started doing some shoulder work. In between sets he had me do jumping jacks. I got through the first set just fine. The second set of jumping jacks however, is when it happened. I was supposed to do 15 of them and I got to number 10 and my knee popped and I just about hit the floor. I stopped and told him what happened and he said, “Huh, that’s odd. Does it hurt?” Well it didn’t so we just kept going…except that I refused to do any more jumping jacks. I finished the upper body workout and then we headed back up the stairs to do the ab part of the training. I noticed at this time that if I extended my leg all the way out, it wouldn’t support any weight…so I didn’t do that. I held my leg at an angle, made it up the stairs and finished the ab workout. From there I did another 15 minutes on the treadmill increasing the incline and speed every 5minutes. After that I went and stretched, again noticing how my knee would give out if I stood a certain way.

It wasn’t until I was getting in the car that I thought maybe I really hurt it. It is my left knee, which is the leg that supports the weight as I get into the car. Well, it gave out but I pulled myself into the car with the steering wheel and Jesus Handles. I got home and barely made it up the 3 steps to get into the house. I called the Dr on the way to Patient first and they told me that I couldn’t get an appt at the dr office that day but I could go in on Monday. Well this is on Tuesday and I wasn’t about to wait a week to have my leg looked at. I told the receptionist that I was going to be seen that day whether it was at the emergency room or at Patient first and they needed to decide which one to send me to. LOL. By the time they got back to me and told me that I was approved to go to Patient First, I was pulling into the parking lot.

They took x rays and could see no bone damage. By this time it was starting to ache a little and I was feeling like I had overstretched or pulled a tendon or ligament. Well soft tissue damage doesn’t show up on an x ray so I would need an MRI. After everything, I got a knee brace and crutches and was told to see the orthopedic surgeon. I made the appt to go to the orthopedic surgeon the next day and he poked and prodded me until I just about cried. He said that because my kneecap is locked in place and I have almost no movement with out pain, that I probably tore my meniscus. If that is the case, I would have to have surgery to fix the mangled mess. But they wouldn’t know until the MRI results came back. I got the films back from the MRI – I don’t know why he wanted films as opposed to a cd – and Michael and I have looked them over closely since my next appt isn’t until Tuesday.

Since we are not Drs we are obviously experts on the subject so we have concluded that there is no real damage. I just sprained my knee. The fact that it mechanically does not work is kind of beside the point. Lol. The fact that I can’t really move it at all or that it looks kinda deformed just supports the conclusion that it is just a sprain. It will heal on it’s own if I just keep using it and ignore the pain.

That being said, I have been sitting on my ass on this couch for the past 3 days. I have a pillow under my knee and have the recliner part of the couch up. I am surfing, texting, knitting, cross stitching, sleeping and bitching. Emphasis on the bitching, ha ha. The only good part now is that if I go insane, I cant get up to kill anyone!