Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I'm not new to Orthopedics...I've certainly had my fair share of the lovely study of bones and their connecting ligaments, tendons, etc. But this was definitely my first rodeo when dealing with a knee issue so I was in uncharted territory and not really sure what to expect.
I knew ahead of time that there were a couple things I had very clear expectations of:
1. That the doctor would do a thorough range-of-motion exam and not just go off of the x-rays that were taken almost 4 weeks ago now.
2. That I would be referred for additional testing of either MRI or ultrasound as I know 100% that an x-ray only tells a small piece of the story. If there is tendon/ligament/cartilage damage, sometimes it will not show on an x-ray.
I also knew ahead of time that there was one thing I would absolutely NOT accept:
* The doctor blowing me off or telling me my knee only hurts because of age or weight.
I even went so far as to warn a few people that if I didn't come in to work it was probably because I was waiting to be bailed out of the pokey because I went bat-chit crazy on them if they said anything remotely close to that bullet point above. I kid, but only a little bit. hahaha
So I showed up right on time with my referral and x-ray report in hand. The x-ray report noted that I had a small bone spur near the quad and a moderate bone spur in the patellar region. I also had an 8mm calcification protruding over the patellar ligament that indicated chronic calcific tendinitis. On their own, not necessarily something that would cause the amounts of pain and swelling that I've had. After sitting around in the waiting room, I finally got called back and the medical assistant did a verbal history of my issues. Not long after the doctor came in and went through it again. Then - THANK YOU - he did a full range-of-motion exam! Gold Star #1 for the doctor!
So what did that consist of? He started by having me stand up with both feet planted firmly on the ground while holding onto a counter, then I pivoted in each direction noting if, and where, I felt any pain. I did feel some below the knee during that exercise, more when pivoting to the right then the left. Then I raised up on tippy toes which hurt a little bit, but then it was raising up on my heels - uh OUCH! I think we sat down then and he placed resistance on my leg while asking me to push in multiple directions - up, down, each side, etc.
End result was that he felt we needed to get an MRI (Gold Star #2 - my expectations were fully met!) to get the full picture, although he really didn't offer up what might be the problem. I did have to push a little bit to get his ideas of what it might be and then he mentioned meniscus tear. That's exactly what I had self diagnosed myself with! So I was rather pleased with my Google research skills...hahaha. So we are now waiting on the referral for the MRI and then getting in there STAT prior to my follow-up appointment on February 13.
So even though I didn't really leave with any answers or relief from the pain, I did get all my (good) expectations met. And even though he noted that our joints begin to deteriorate in our 30's I didn't feel like he was brushing off my issues because of age. In the meantime the doctor says I can continue to "use but not abuse" my leg and to keep taking the ibuprofen and using RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. So to that I say "ah darn, guess somebody else is going to have to do the dishes, mop the floors and do all the cooking/cleaning for Super Bowl this weekend". *Insert sad face here*...NOT!
And because I was such a good girl at the doctor's, I treated myself to a Juice It Up smoothie on my way home!
All in all, I think it was a successful visit and I'm still holding onto hope that whatever is wrong with my knee will be fixable in the near future and that I'll be back up and running in no time! I'll keep ya updated...
On a totally separate note, I have to confess that I am completely and utterly embarrassed by the amount of calories I ended up consuming yesterday. But I tracked it all - the good, the bad and the ugly so I could see exactly what the damage was, and I don't think I've honestly done that in a long time. And I know exactly WHY it all happened. I had to go to the grocery store last night since I hadn't done it over the weekend, and it was sheer torture. I was already fatigued from a long day of work and walking through Walmart (even though I firmly stayed on the grocery side and even skipped some stuff I needed because it would have meant walking more!) was more than my body could take. I am not kidding when I say I wanted to cry towards the end. So yeah - the Oreo Double Stuffed cookies? Well...there's really no excuse but I looked for comfort in food. I know better, but I did it anyways. "nuff said.
On a good point - I received an offer to be treated to Starbucks yesterday afternoon and I passed it up! That's two days in a row I've passed on afternoon coffee and I'm super proud of myself for that. Baby steps, I tell ya, baby steps!