Category Archives: Runners Knee

Starting rehab…

I swam today. It has been so long since I’ve been in the water so it was really hard work, but I did it. This, I hope, is the start of some serious rehab. Since starting Humira exactly a year ago I have felt ready to do something more than just pilates, it is the best biologic I’ve been on so far. Swimming has always been my thing. I swam for a club from the age of 7, & both my boys have just joined a swim club. That’s why I got in the water while they were training instead of sitting on the side for 3 hours. Apart from feeling like I was 94 not 44, I did a whopping 22 lengths. All was well until I got out…

My pool shoes have stretched & have been sitting in my bag for years. After showering I was drying off & chatting to a lady who was about to go into the pool. As I lifted my left leg up to dry my feet (because I can do that now all by myself!), I forgot how tired my right leg would be. It didn’t like having all my weight through it so I lost my balance a little & the pool shoes slid without taking my lower leg with them. I felt something sort of ‘snap’ in the area where my tendon had to be stripped & then repaired. I can’t begin to describe the intensity of the pain for that few seconds; it brought tears to my eyes.

A short while later, back on the side of the pool I could feel it stiffening already. I texted hubby because I knew he would want to know how my first session had gone. As he rightly pointed out I should be proud of myself for getting back in the water after such a short recovery time. I am obviously still healing & have scar tissue – which is what he thinks might a stretched not the tendon itself. When he looked at later at home there was some bruising, so I must have torn something. Bloody typical, it wasn’t even while I was swimming. Needless to say the pool shoes went straight in the trash.

Fingers crossed it will be a short lived set back that will require a little bit of rest, a lot of icing & tons of red wine to help it get better!

I’m back!

After a fun weekend in Birch Bay WA with friends. Good company, good food, too much alcohol, not enough sleep & fun memories. The kids are knackered after late nights & early mornings, hubby & elder child camped out in the new Stringray tent that is suspended between 3 trees – pretty cool actually but I’m not sure I’ll be ready for when we camp next weekend. Poor hubby lost his phone when the dads took the kids go karting & golfing – put a bit of a damper on the weekend but nobody died so it’s not going to spoil it too much!

Getting the boys ready for bike/swim camp this weekend & as I’m still unable to drive hubby is off again this week. I suspect a week of errands & admin (including buying a new phone) ahead of us…

Day 1 of my confinement…

I didn’t sleep that well, as you can imagine getting comfortable wasn’t easy. The industrial strength painkillers work well but I stiffen up quite easily so getting out of bed was challenging. They also make me a bit spaced out so doing anything constructive while resting was also difficult. Then there is the issue of not being able to shower because I need my wound to heal for at least 5 days. My BFF ‘acquired’ some thick plastic bags & tape that is used in the OR to cover equipment & keep it sterile so I’ll try one of those tomorrow morning. This morning it was hard enough getting dressed, I think a shower would have required a 2-hour nap afterwards.

While hubby ran around dropping off elder child at camp & attending an appointment we both should have been at, younger child & I snuggled up on the sofa & watched Matilda. We have read the book but had not seen the movie. Then, although I was feeling quite tired, we built his model C3PO. By lunchtime I was done & couldn’t keep my eyes open, so hubby took him out on his new rollerblades before picking elder child up. I crashed out for that 2-hour nap.

I must confess to having had a sneaky look at the wound incision. After learning the final extent of the surgery instinct was telling me that 3cms wasn’t quite big enough for her to do what she did. I was right, it looks to be more like 2, maybe even 3, inches down the outside of my right knee. It’s fine I really don’t care as I can already walk with my foot straight which I haven’t been able to do for about 9 months now. Although, that’s only when I do load up on pain relief, when it wears off I really do feel like someone has taken a hammer & chisel to my knee & walking is not fun – especially when you need the bathroom!

Hubby is showing very little sympathy when I omit doses, which is fair enough, when you are married to a doctor you really do have to be on life support to get any sort of loving care. I’m the same in return mind you, & if the truth be known I hate being fussed over. I have had lots of thoughtful messages, texts & phone calls wishing me well so I know that I can count on some good friends if I need them, even the dog is being more attentive than usual. Hopefully by tomorrow I will not feel so battered & tired, & I can at least sit on my sofa fort & do colouring.

Just what I needed…

We spent the afternoon at the beach (on the grassy area of course), barbequing with good friends & saying goodbye to the outgoing aneaesthetic fellow. She is flying back to the UK tonight with her two boys who are the same age as our two & have become quite friendly. They ended up in the sea & absolutely filthy afterwards, so good luck to her spending all night on a plane with them! Even the dog came along & stressed about the number in her pack. It has been good distraction for me otherwise I think I would have been dwelling on tomorrow. I also made sure I ate as much as possible & still came home & scoffed a large ice cream – I could potentially not eat at all tomorrow so I needed to stock up. Ideally I now need to chill out with a glass of wine & a movie but I’m supposed to be dry, which is the sensible thing to do. Instead we might still do the movie but first we must book the flights & car hire for next years family vacation – crazy I know but everything is getting booked up already.

I maybe a bit quiet for the next day or too, but watch this space to find out what the surgeon finally does to hopefully make my knee better…

A medical ordeal…

Today I had a pre-op assessment prior to surgery which is in less than 3 weeks. I wasn’t surprised they wanted to see me beforehand, I’m not as straightforward as most women my age, & as I already had an appointment to have blood work done that my rheumatologist had requested it made sense to get everything done on the same day, so I did that this morning.

So I rock up at the pre-admission clinic like I was told to do when they called to book the appointment. Of course it wasn’t that simple because I hadn’t been to registration first because I’m not a mind reader. So I then go there & take ticket number 32, the number on the electronic board was 23 – great! I’d been in the building for 10 minutes & already I could tell that 1 hour worth of parking wasn’t going to be enough. As it happens I only sat there for about 15-20 minutes before my number came up. The registration process was quick as they were expecting me & had all me paperwork there. I now had a little bit more confidence in the system…

Back at the clinic I am greeted by a nurse who takes the paperwork, & weighs me (without it, thank god, it was at least one tree), & I sit down for another nurse to take over (one nurse is obviously not capable of doing the full assessment). No sooner does the new nurse start speaking when the anaesthetist walks in, so the nurse stops & allows him to take over, but she listens in so she doesn’t ask the same questions. He apparently knows my husband from a few years back so makes some small talk in between medical questions. The main reason I am being questioned is because of the medications I take – especially my biologic (the injection). One of the other drugs I am on is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, but a slightly different drug to the Ibruprofen or Diclofenac that many of you might know. Normally it is advised to stop taking these drugs a few days before surgery, but I take Celebrex which is a little different & therefore I do not need to stop taking it. I am relieved about this because I will have already been without my biologic for over 5 weeks by the time surgery comes around & may be starting to feel the effects. All is well with him, he’ll see me on the day & the nurse takes over for a bit, then I think I’m done…

Not likely, the nurse then sends me off to see an internal medicine physician & I question why. Apparently it’s because of my medications that I have just discussed with the doctor that is actually going to put me to sleep, shouldn’t it be all sorted? Nope, apparently not, I must see this other guy. So off I go. I extended my parking while I wait, thinking half an hour should do it. I am called in & the guy is very polite & friendly, & very concerned I am on a biologic & I’m about to have surgery. I explain the plan I have with my rheumatologist & he is confused there is no record of this plan in my chart. No there won’t be, I see him regularly, & know him well. We discussed it very recently at my last consultation; it’s all taken care of – he’s kinda the guy in charge of me. This didn’t seem to sit well with him; a doctor I’ve never clapped eyes on in my life & probably never will again wanted to devise is own plan. I eventually manage to convince him that it was under control. Then we moved onto the Celebrex that he wanted me to stop about 6 days prior to surgery… errr no, the anaesthetist said I could still take it. For the love of all that’s medical people – make your bloody minds up!!

To cut a long consultation short, he was not happy about me taking it & was going to discuss it with his colleague – that would be the doctor who is actually going to be the one managing me on the day & frankly saw no reason to stop it, & therefore the one I’m going to listen to thank you very much. Not only that, no biologic & no Celebrex for almost a week will not give me a very good start to making a recovery. I eventually escape & return to the clinic thinking I must be done now…

NOPE! I now needed bloodwork & an ECG. They had to be kidding me; I had only just had bloodwork that morning, taken from the only place that anyone seems to be able to get any out of me. Apparently they needed more. So I have a right old rant to the nurse explaining that nobody told me any of this on the phone when I booked the appointment. I had my kids to pick up from camp, which is all the way back across town. Had I known that I was going to be 2 hours I would have requested an earlier appointment. She said I should have been told all of this when the appointment was made. Great! Thanks!

So, off I go to ECG, while adding MORE time onto my parking, & texting hubby to see if he can go for the boys. I get to ECG, wait in ANOTHER waiting area, eventually go in, & lay on the bed. The technician lays a sheet over me & asks if I can up my dress – I was wearing an all in one shorts & top romper style thing. I explain it needs to come down for him to gain access to my chest, which I was more than happy to do but he seemed embarrassed about. In the end I just got on with it – I mean really – & he got the job done not knowing where to look. Honestly you would think I was lying there completely naked (yes I had a bra on there was nothing indecent about me at all). Mind you, he was only about 16 so maybe that’s why! I then go back to the clinic AGAIN, swap the ECG for the bloodwork forms & head to the lab where the phlebotomist attacks the opposite arm from the earlier bloodwork (so both arms now very sore) & pokes around for a few minutes before finally getting what she needed… Hallelujah!! I was free to go… & face sitting in traffic for another 2 hours just to get home.

I hope the surgery is going to be a bit more organized!

The decision…

It wasn’t easy but it’s the only thing left. Last week after a discussion with my rheumatologist, my surgeon agreed to open up my knee. I was desperately hoping that it would happen sooner rather than later, but sadly not. I shouldn’t complain really, being married to a physician has its perks, well a perk actually, they all know someone who can help & we usually don’t have to wait as long as everyone else to be seen.

I was quite overwhelmed by the conversations we had had last week that I forgot to ask questions I would normally think of spontaneously. It wasn’t until I saw my rheumatologist the following day that it became apparent I wasn’t the kind of patient that can drop everything & have surgery. Yes, organizing the family is one thing, but my medication suppresses my immune system, therefore putting me at risk of infection, a surgical procedure means I must stop my injections before surgery. Then, once I am definitely on the mend I can start them again. As you can imagine the thought of stopping the one thing that keeps me physically active scares me, especially when it’s for a situation in which I will be temporarily less active than normal.

Today it was confirmed that hoping a cancellation would get me in sooner was not going to work really. I know a scheduled date gives me/us time to plan, but I really didn’t expect it to be August. It’s just typical that they can’t fit me in for the week my husband is on vacation. And of course it’s the same week we are supposed to be going on a big group camping trip for a friends significant birthday celebration. And the same week I am expected to do jury service, which I really wanted to do.

I know it’s great that something is finally being done, but it has screwed my life up enough, why does it have to continue to spoil my summer too?

It’s finally come to this…

I’m going to have surgery in a last attempt to fix my poor knee.

When? I’m not sure, hopefully a cancellation will make it sooner rather then later, but the problem is I have to stop my biologic injections in preparation for surgery & I hate being without them for too long.

Why? Well they suppress my immune system, & surgery puts me at high risk of infection & not healing well. It will take a month or so for the drug to stop doing it’s job, then I’ll get stiff & sore.

What is she going to do to my knee? Good question, I’m not sure she knows until she gets in there – ‘give it a bit of a tidy up’ was mentioned, whatever that involves. I guess I have to be prepared to agree to whatever she thinks is necessary & trust her judgment.

Will it fix it? That is the six million dollar question. Keep your fingers crossed for me & hope that it does!

That moment when you…

… finally realize that you might never be able to do something you really enjoy.

We took the boys to the climbing wall today with some good friends we have started climbing with last year. Hubby is nursing a back injury & I threatened divorce if he climbed – & as you know I’m the first person to practice what I preach (haha!). So we both just belayed the kids, which is pretty much what I’ve done for some time now but at least the option was still there for me to have a go if I was feeling good. Not now, I had a moment, about an hour after we’d arrived, when I was just standing in the open space of the more difficult/lead climbs. Elder child was grabbing a snack while hubby belayed younger child, & our friends were on the lead wall. I looked around at all the people working their way to the top, their determination, concentration & the thrill of what they were achieving. That’s when it hit me…

The physician’s are running out of solutions to fix my knee. When I see my surgeon again on Friday I think it will be a very frank discussion about whether or not she can help me. Or more to the point, if she is willing to do the only thing that hasn’t been tried yet – surgery of some description. If nothing more can be done to make it even slightly better I will be facing the reality that this is it. No more family skiing, bike rides, hiking, and definitely no more climbing.

Yes there are people much worse off than me, especially when the loss of such trivial activities to some are what’s making me sad, but family time is priceless & these are activities we enjoy together. Ok, so I can still belay & I can après ski, but this is not the same as enjoying those moments that only you share with the people you love. For example, the epic yard sale that one of you has suddenly when you looked like you were nailing every mogul; or the amazing view while sat having lunch at a glacial lake where the dog slipped off a log & fell in; or the cool breeze across your face because you’re enjoying one of those rare occasion in Stanley Park when you can cycle faster than the joggers.

I still want to do all those things because so many other things have taken away. Keep your fingers crossed I can have them back – & soon.

Today I chose to…

  • be sensible & rest my poor knee
  • do some stretching to help my aching SI joint
  • do all the laundry so that tomorrow is free
  • practice my bar chords over & over again because I’m going to bloody well nail then if it’s the last thing I do!
  • make some cards
  • Eat salad for dinner so I can then eat a Hagen Daz ice cream bar & not feel guilty (I am a size 0-2, this is not something I have any business feeling guilty about)
  • relax in a hot bath & finish by book!
  • Build my Lego

Today was a good day!!