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|Mon, 09-23-2013 - 3:27pm|
So it's been awhile since I last posted. Mostly because there's been a lot going on in my pain arena. I received an MRI on my right knee. While both cause me pain, my right was causing more concern. I received the MRI through the VA and the results were a whole host of issues. The VA didn't seem to want to provide me prompt treatment so I decided to go outside the VA and met with a surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic. He told me at that first appointment I needed surgery. My knee surgery was 8/5/13...7 weeks ago. When he got inside arthroscopically, he found many areas of exposed bone, a ton of cartilage damage, and damage to my meniscus. He cleaned up the cartilage as best he could but was unable to do anything for the areas of exposed bone. He's since told me my knee is in very bad shape and will likely need "several more procedures." I was told I could never run on this knee again. He has presented me with needing a microfracture next. All this is because I have severe osteoarthritis. I am 33 years old so I do not know where this came from. Whether it is genetics or from my time in the military.
I have been in such a great deal of pain lately. Here in Ohio, the weather can't make up its mind. One day it is cold (like today) and the next it is 80 degrees. I am unfortunately one of those arthritis sufferers who can predict rain and cold with my knee. My doctor has had me on hydrocodone since the surgery but Friday I was in so much pain my boyfriend took me to the ER. They gave me a shot which seemed to calm things down and a stronger pain medicine. I'm tired of all these pain medications and figure my doctor isn't going to keep me on them forever so I've been trying some alternative methods to control my pain. With little success. I'm still doing my physical therapy exercises, have been using anti-inflammatories (naproxen), topical creams for pain relief, epsom salt baths, icing, and even have someone doing Reiki on me. None of it has met with much success. I see my doctor tomorrow for my 2 month post-op and I really hope I can get a plan of action because I am completely miserable. There are days I just do not know how I am going to live like this forever. I cannot fathom this being a "forever" thing. It's depressing that I can no longer do the things I used to. I am only 33 years old for crying out loud! This shouldn't be the case! I have a busy life with my kids, working, and all that...I am not afforded the opportunity to just rest...even though that may be what I may need. Right now, I know I am still healing from the surgery (he did a lot in there he said to the cartilage) and the added arthritis pain is unbearable. :(
Does anyone do anything that helps with their chronic arthritis pain? I use the I.C.E. principle near daily...ice, compress (brace), and elevate along with the things I mentioned above. Nothing works for longer than a short period of time...maybe an hour or 2 if I'm lucky. I feel hopeless at times...I'm not sure what my future is with this and can only hope my surgeon is committed to helping me. I've had so many doctors let me down in the past. Probably because I am young and they wouldn't expect this bad of arthritis in a 33 year old. But, I am always skeptical. I knew something was wrong and kept advocating for my treatment and finally found a doctor who was willing to listen and now believes me because of what he found with his own 2 eyes! This is good, I know but I worry, still, the other shoe will drop and I'll be let down again. I'm afraid of telling him how bad the pain is or that this current medication works because I'm afraid he'll think I'm just trying to get medication. This isn't true but, like my best friend who works for a physician, said...sometimes that's what it is and doctors are afraid. I get that but it makes it difficult for those of us truly suffering. I need to make sure I am clear, open, and honest about my pain and just hope it works out.
In the mean time, I thought I'd provide an update and find out what other sufferers do to relieve pain that doesn't require medications. Maybe there is something I haven't tried that will work successfully for me....I need to believe there is!
Thank you for listening!