Life has been a little busy again and I have not had the energy to even think, much less write a blog. I have had a series of doctor and dentist visits the past couple of weeks and that wore me out.
My knees have finally become bad enough that I am ready for knee replacement, I think. They are just making life too difficult and painful, even the limited amount that I was still able to do, so it is time I do something. I have a busy summer ahead and am not sure I want to be recovering from knee surgery during those activities, a granddaughter's wedding for one.
So, I had decided to ask my doctor about cortisone shots to tide me over the busy summer when I went to see her for my 6 month med checkup. She doesn't give those shots so referred me to an orthopedic surgeon that does a specialty clinic in our local hospital. I had an appointment with him this past Wednesday.
I didn't get to see the surgeon, but visited with his PA instead. Since this was an initial visit I also needed to get x-rays taken. That was the hardest part of the whole thing! Why do they make you become a contortionist to get the pictures they want??? Here I am, barely able to stand any length of time - just normal standing - and now I am expected to strike all those poses while standing and bending very painful knees, and not only posing but holding that pose for an eternity! I was so thrilled when they finally said they had all they needed. I am very thankful they got good one on the first try and didn't have to retake any. I think there were about 8 in total.
Then it was back to the exam room. I was able to see the x-rays and saw how really bad my knees are. The PA was more than happy to do cortisone shots and said I can have as many as I want - forever - as long as they keep working. He is not sure that the surgeon will take me as a surgical patient because of my excess weight. I will find that out when I finally get to visit with him in 6 weeks.
But for now I am happy. I am able to rise from chairs much easier and without much pain, able to walk with minimal pain, and what is really nice is that I can lay flat on my back in bed and not feel like my knees are caving in, and without any pain. Now I am able to sleep much better, so am hoping I will have a little more energy and a clearer brain again.
I must still be very careful walking since my knees are still very unstable because of no cartilage at all and being bone on bone. That means my joint is very loose and the bones can slide around. But things are a whole lot better than they were!
I had heard that there is a limit of how many cortisone shots you can get, and you probably have too. So I asked him about that, and he said that is true IF you still have some cartilage left. It seems the cortisone softens the cartilage over time and ends up causing more damage and loss of more cartilage. So now you know in case you end up with bad knees some day.
I had also been told by others that those shots are very painful. So when the PA was ready to do them I asked if I needed a bullet to bite on. He just laughed and said it shouldn't be that bad, and besides, they were out of bullets. haha. I found the only painful part was when he started to inject the numbing med first. That stings for a second or two until the numbing starts. I didn't feel the cortisone going in at all. And then I was done, and happy.