A fresh start, whether I like it or not

Monday, November 29, 2010

When I started SP a few months ago, I did so knowing I had a knee injury, but at the time, no one knew what that injury was. Since my injury in May, my doctor had prescribed me pills, x-rays, and physical therapy to a consistently impatient person to try and figure out the problem. In October, I was sent to an orthopedic specialist to get an MRI and some new advice, because it was feared I had a medial meniscus tear in my right knee. But the MRI came back with some other news, that my kneecap was actually tracking differently than it should-if that is as confusing to you as it was me-it means that my knee cap is not going up and down, but to the left off the normal track attempting to dislocate. emoticon

I was taken out of work as a caregiver for four weeks, and sent back to physical therapy three days a week for the same amount of time. I went diligently, and there was a lot of progress, and if it wouldn't have been for the sharp pain in the meniscus area, and having to wear a brace or tape my knee to try and stop the cracking, I would have almost thought I was back to normal.

Last Wednesday, I went back to the specialist, because my work order was up. He told me that I have degenerative issues, and that at 29 years old, those degenerative issues equal osteoathritis. I was kind of shocked. You don't expect to hear that you have the joints of a 75 year old when you haven't hit 30 yet. My first question was if this could be a genetic issue, as many people on my mom's maternal side have had replacement surgeries, some before forty. He told me that it was probably the case. He also told me to go back to physical therapy (the only good news of the day was that I didn't need surgery and the arthritis was in the very early stages), to find a desk job, and to stop doing a whole list of activities.

Now, I must be honest, this wasn't my first brush with an injury. I had had a herniated disk and spinal stenosis, and three years ago, underwent surgery-I had no idea until this past Wednesday, however, that stenosis was a form of OA. Now I know why I get stiff when I stand around and can feel the weather change----on with the story.

The problem is, my back could be fixed, at least some. There is nothing they can do for my knee.

I walked out of the office in shock, calculating the bills to be paid in my head, because I could no longer work my job and I knew in my area, without being able to move away, finding a desk job is going to take MONTHS. It also hit me that playing tennis, kickboxing, ballroom dancing and basketball were suddenly out of reach-all my favorite exercise activities I might add-and my shock turned to anger.

After a day of moping around and researching OA, I realized I needed to get over it and start being proactive. I am nothing if not a fighter, especially when cornered. I may not be able to do my favorite activities, but there is still a lot I can do to make my knee stronger and feel better. I may not be able to stop the arthritis from progressing, but maybe I can slow it down to a dull roar. One of my main goals now is to lose the extra weight I am carrying, to be active and stretch daily, and for me to continue physical therapy until my insurance company tells me to stop.

I've started all my goals on SP over. A fresh start. I've also added to the amount of weight I want to lose. I realize that this is going to be a rough road, especially because the most BORING activity for someone like me is walking. But it is all I can do. So, I thought I'd let you know that I am back, and I'll see you at the finish line, although it may take a little longer. Talk to you all later.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LACYJO04
    I just read over your page more after commenting on it...I didn't realize you are from MN! Do you still walk now that winter has hit us? I always have trouble with motivation once it gets cold. The wind is really the worst part this time of year.

    I had the same experience as you when I left the doctor the day they told me I had OA. I was angry, shocked, and depressed that I have to deal with something like arthritis at 24. Then after googling it, I was surprised at how many resources there are for us, completely free of charge, and how easy it can be to manage at home! So at least that was good news.

    Anyway...it does look like we have had a lot of the same experience with it--let me know if you find any exercises you really like for strengthening the knees! Mine are not big fans of high impact...scary as it sounds, I think I'm gonna try to find adult swimming lessons so I can go about it that way.

    Have an awesome day, and keep going!
    3028 days ago
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