As ya'll know, about a year, year and a half ago, I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know a great deal of the problems could be corrected with substantial weight loss (and maybe a trip or five to a therapist..) so I got myself to a nutritionist. She put me on an eating modification and I took up riding a stationary bike. Boy I was doing so well too. I'd lost 50 pounds and was feeling great. That's when my "good" knee decided that the grinding in the "bad" knee obviously wasn't enough to aggravate me and decided to give me a great deal of pain, heat and swelling. A couple days rest and things were fine, so I carried on. I did, however, make an appointment with the dr and then went to an orthopedic regarding my knees.
The dr had x-rays done on both knees and the ortho and I sat down to review them. I was diagnosed with severe arthritis, bone spurs and knocked knees. Great. I was also told the latter problem I'd more than likely had all my life and was I prone to falling? Yeah, I was and had. The damage had been done and there isn't much they can do but suggest OTC painkillers or shots (I chose the former). It was recommended I find a good cane and take some of the weight off that bad knee. This was October of last year.
By November, my right knee had taken a rather alarming turn for the worse and developed a bad wiggle. It didn't just give out slightly, oh no. It gave out enough that my whole right side fell downwards and as a result gave me a lurching walk and placed extra stress on my knee, hip and back when I walked. By December, I was walking with a cane and by Christmas the knee went one step farther and started a back and forth wiggle on every step. I could no longer walk at a normal speed. A normal speed gave me the double wiggle, a slower pace gave me the lurch and the only way I could get around cane-free was to take little half steps.
By January, I was begging for the shots. I kept putting it off because I knew they were going to hurt alot. By February, my knee was popping several times a day and my hip would join in 2-3 times a week. It grew extremely painful to get around and any thoughts of getting on my bike had gone out the window. Actually, thoughts of the bike were shot by December by the knees being so very uncooperative.
In April, I caved in and went in for a shot in the worst of the two knees. I also broke down and bought a wheelchair suitable for my weight (it's not, that's another story though) so I could still go to DC (pictures are slowly getting loaded to the Flickr account) when my friend (NYBro) came down from NY.
I was told in my appointment that my knee "crumpled due to severe pain", but this shot would "make my knee feel as good as new", that it would "hurt for a few days after" and that "it took a couple weeks to feel the effects". What's this tell you? Told me that I shouldn't have much of an issue getting around, just a bit of a wiggle once in a while. They were kind enough to sign some papers for me to get a temporary handicap placard for the truck because I simply couldn't make the walk from the back of the parking lots anymore. After the shot, I was totally LAME for the entire night and had a helluva time getting around my home. The next day? I felt great. I was able to get around the store during our weekly shopping trip with minimal to no pain. Awesome. The next day, however, I only got a half day pain free.
Since then, it's been all down hill. The Icy Hot I'd been using on both knees does nothing, the OTCs don't work and the shot most definitely has done nothing. The pain's actually increased in both knees. The left knee, which had to start taking all the weight 80% of the time as opposed to only half the time, has increased in pain and has started giving out a couple times a day. This was the way the right knee started so many months ago. It's very painful going up and down stairs now. The right hip, which had cleared up there for bit, is back to popping 2-3 times a week. The right leg tends to drag when I'm super tired. The cane's not doing much good anymore. Oh and I seem to also have developed another pain in my left leg. If it doesn't feel like a bug climbing up or water dripping down my leg, then it constantly feels like it's wrapped in an ACE bandage and it always feels like it's on the brink of falling asleep on me. This pain developed a couple weeks ago. I guess it's time to bite the bullet, get over the fact that I gained ALL of that 50 pound loss, and just go to the doctor again.
Today and yesterday have been a real joy as getting in and out of chairs and any amount of walking is almost enough to bring tears to my eyes. Lying down hurts, sitting hurts , walking hurts.....
Oh... and my shoulders have decided they want in on the action. The right one I'm fairly sure got jacked up with my purse. In December, after a week of pain and the acquisition of the third leg, I decided that it was in my best interest to wear the purse cross my body. Go figure it's "in style" now. All I can say is thank God for adjustable straps. The left shoulder has just recently started acting up (as well as my hand and forearm) but there's not much that can be done. It's doing that because it's being worked constantly with that cane.
I'm suspecting the temporary red handicap tag is going to get made into a permanent blue tag by September....
Any bets that I end up in that damned chair for good and we'll need to move simply because this townhouse isn't built to handle a handicapped person?