Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Knee Surgery is the Next Step

Knee update. Had my doctor appt yesterday. Long story short, I've exhausted the options and next step is surgery. The left knee is "fine", meaning there is intermittent pain and sensitivity but that's normal for my condition, and cannot be fixed. The right knee has degraded considerably. 

He wants to go in and do:
Knee arthroscopy with chondral debridement patellofemoral joint and lateral retinacular release.
In english, lol, he's going to scope it, scoop it, smooth it, and snip it. There's a band on the right side of the kneecap that is way too tight and has pulled the cap over, up, and off. Snipping it will loosen it so that it "let's go" of the death-grip it has on my kneecap, allowing it to return to center and properly track. It will clean out the crap floating around, and reduce further shearing, hopefully reducing pain and inflammation. It will not stop or reverse the damage done by the arthritis, but it will slow down further damage.  It'll take me 3-5 days to get back "on my feet", then recovery. He said it could take up a full year to regain the activity level I'm currently at. Yeah, that didn't over well. But... without intervention, this will only get worse. Much worse, and quickly.  With this surgery, he can potentially buy me 5-10 years before knee replacement is necessary.

While I still have to complete my due-diligence, I'm looking at doing this over the Christmas break, so I don't miss any further work. [Have I mentioned that I have the world's greatest boss? He's been super understanding and flexible with my schedule, allowing my physical therapy and doctor appts. I deeply appreciate it.]

So. That's the news. And yes, I'm freaking out. Wigging, actually. Half of me is so very afraid... will I truly recover? Will I ever regain my activity level? What if I can't ever "work" my legs again? The other half of me has both feet planted firmly in the Land of Denial. C'mon, really, it's not that bad, right? I can live with the pain.  I can push through the pain. I don't really need surgery.

Yes, there are times I put the "i" in idiot.

Know what my trusty best friend said? "I know it sucks. But this too will be dealt with and you will once again emerge from the ashes as a Phoenix of fitness."  I had to actually write that down so I could keep it close, to remember that someone believes in me, and in my ability, my power, to overcome, to achieve, to evolve and become.  Seriously, how lucky am I?  While I'm wallowing in self-pity, she's ready to do the head-smack and get me focused again. But she also lets me wallow for a bit first :-)  She also said: "it's the scare that makes the challenge worth overcoming."  She always knows just the right buttons to push with me :-)

Not saying I'm done wallowing, because hey, I'm pretty freaking scared, but I am also determined. I needed to be reminded of that. I will overcome. I will plan, and I will stick to the plan. I will not allow this injury to derail me. My nutrition is 100% in my control, and I will exercise that control. My fitness is spotty, still there are things I can and will continue to do. But... I will listen more closely to my body, rather than "push through the pain". I will respect my body and heed its warnings. And I will come out the other side of this. Intact. Whole. Me. This injury does not change who I am. But the process can make me better.

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