If someone had told me even six months ago that I would voluntarily let another doctor stick another needle in my knee (and my hip to boot) I’d have laughed them out of the room.
I’m not laughing now. Last week my orthopedic surgeon was able to fit me in so I could receive the injections in this calendar year, when my deductible is already met. This saves me a ton of loot. I won’t know exactly how much until the claim is processed but trust me – it’s a ton!
Hubs drove me even though he was practically at death’s door with the cold I had just before Christmas. He provided much needed moral support and I was going to need a ride to the office afterward since the train only makes commuter runs. I’d been figuratively biting my nails about this since they called to say they had a cancellation and could squeeze me in. Let’s get something straight – I’m no coward. I gave birth three times WITH NO DRUGS. I regularly donated blood until I became somewhat anemic awhile back. So I’m not a coward. I’m NOT! Except when someone’s pointing a needle at my knee!
A little background could be in order.
I don’t recall how old I was; the closest I can come to an age is that I know I was in elementary school and Brother No. 1 and I were living with our maternal grandparents. I developed what they called back then “water on the knee.” Sounds weird even now. The treatment? Stick a big old needle in the afflicted knee and draw out the excess fluid. Can we say OUCH? I remember lying on the table in the exam room, tears streaming down my face but not making a sound. Of course that was a looong time ago and my memory could be flawed. Maybe I screamed bloody murder, but I don’t remember it that way. The only other people who could shed light on that would be my Grandma and the doctor and I’m pretty sure they’re both gone now. Well, I know my Grandma’s gone and it’s a pretty safe bet the doc is too, the bastard. I never, ever complained to my Grandma about my knee hurting after that appointment. If it hurt, I lived with it.
Fast forward a few decades to several years ago; my knee was beginning to be very painful. This is the leg I broke on my motorcycle. This is the knee I landed on when I fell on the ferry. In other words, a lot of wear and tear. So what does the current doc recommend? Let’s stick a big old needle in there and load you up with cortisone. Hubs was there and tried to be supportive but he didn’t really “get” the needle phobia. Of course the doctor made all the right, soothing noises. We do this all the time. Sure, it can be uncomfortable, but you’ll feel much better afterward! So how could I be unreasonable? I wanted to feel better didn’t I? Sure doc, bring it!
Once more lying on an exam table, tears flowing and making almost no noise. This time I definitely remember. There were a few whimpers but certainly no screaming. This doctor who supposedly did these all the time hit the bone twice. And he had the gall to be surprised that I was so upset. To add insult to injury, the cortisone did not help. Not long after that I had meniscus surgery and the knee was better for awhile.
Now we’re up to speed. The same knee has deteriorated over the past few years. On top of that my hip has started giving me problems. I knew I had to do something or wind up in a wheel chair. That is so NOT happening if I have anything to say about it. We moved earlier this year and started with a new doctor, a naturopath. I brought up my concerns about my knee and hip and we began trying to figure out what was happening. This involved x-rays and MRIs and eventually a consult with the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. C. Turns out my hip is just bursitis, but Dr. C showed us the film of my knee and it’s nearly bone-to-bone y’all. No wonder it hurts like a bitch!
Dr. C tells me there’s not much that can be done short of a knee replacement, but there’s this new wonder drug (my words, not his) which can buy a patient time to hold off on surgery. As it happens, my mother-in-law has had injections in her knees and swears by them. It isn’t the same stuff Dr. C uses; her injections were a series of four or five (!!!) but it’s the same type of medicine. Dr. C’s magic elixir only needs one injection (did I mention Dr. C rocks?).
Last week Hubs accompanied me to Dr. C’s office and I managed to get an injection in my knee and another one in my hip without whimpering at all! Dr. C is the bomb! (Is that still a thing? A good thing? Sheesh, I’m so behind the times.) Now I’ve just got to wait and see whether it helps. Yep, I think I forgot to mention that not everyone has a good result. It could be anywhere from two to six weeks before I feel a difference. But if it works I can have it done repeatedly every six months or so and get myself in a little better shape for the knee replacement surgery down the road. Not to mention plan and carry out the bank robbery so I can afford it.