Thanks to everyone emailing and Facebooking me with concern for my knee these past few months. Before my Quoobah trip, I was finally able to get insurance, MRI film and scheduling worked out and visited my first doctor.
As I suspected, my ACL is not torn. Lord knows I know what that feels like, so no surprise there.
He identified all my knee knots. The one on the left is fluid build-up. The one on the right is a hernia. The one in the middle is a bone spur and the one on my knee cap has a fancy name that pretty much translates into “debris.”
I have the knee of a 60-year-old. That is not good. When I lifted my skirt (sounds dirty, but I had shorts on) he cried out, “Geez! What year did you have that surgery?” He looked at my film and said it was a mess inside there. My ACL is like a loose rubber band. He thinks that it is being stretched out from the hernia and fluid.
I have two solutions:
1. He will go in and suck the fluid out. This is a series of three appointments. He sucks the fluid and replaces with some goo that is supposed to make me feel less pain. If this treatment works on me, I come in every six months to a year for the procedure. Probably for the most of my life he said.
2. Surgery to repair my bone spur, remove the hernia, tighten the ACL and generally clean out the crap that’s floating around in there. The bone spur removal will add a nice new scar down the front of my knee, so my dreams of being a leg model are out the door. There will be a six-week period of wearing a straight leg brace (you know how I love those) and no driving.
He told me to continue on the elliptical and swimming because “motion is lotion” and to not jump or run whatever I do.
After dancing salsa with a rather cute island boy two weeks ago, I was forced to explore the shot option because I was in a lot of pain. I called the doctor and he called in a prescription…for the shot. Was I supposed to give it to myself? No. I just pick it up and deliver it to the office. Even though I thought this was strange, I went ahead and took it to Walgreen’s. The lady asked me if I realized that the shot was not covered by insurance. I told her I didn’t know that and inquired how much said shot would be on the old pocketbook.
I don’t think so.
I decided that maybe it was time to get a second opinion. I visited another doctor. The whole time I was chanting, out loud, “Please don’t be torn. Please don’t be torn. Please don’t be torn.”
He told me it was not torn and I shouted “YES!” And then came the but. “But your ACL is not functioning. At all. That is why you have the sensation that you need to pull up your knee cap. It’s because there is nothing supporting your knee. It’s just jiggling around in there.”
Basically this means that I need surgery. Unfortunately, it’s not smart to have surgery when you knee is swollen. He put me on anti-inflammatory pills and I’m supposed to ice every night before bed for three weeks. Then I go back in and if the swelling is down, we schedule surgery.
That puts it around the end of September. I have a church commitment at that time and the first weekend of October is the Civil War re-enactment at Hallsville Western Days. Of course I will NOT be missing that crazy fun. So I think it will be mid-October.
I’m looking at (worst case scenario) six week in a straight leg brace or (best case) three weeks. My boss is pretty cool with the fact that I won’t be able to drive and he is willing to make my co-workers schlep me around. It pays to have seniority at the firm!
I’m in pain but it is manageable. I’m not supposed to do anything other than rest for the next three weeks. It’s probably not smart that I danced tonight at a wedding, but there were moments when people circled around me and the guy.
It was totally worth it.
I’m sure my stories post-surgery will be highly entertaining. The last time I had ACL reconstruction, they put me on Vicodin and I saw Care Bears.
This should be fun for everyone!