So, I went to see my doc today about my knee, and as it SO FANTASTICALLY turns out, I'm almost 99% guaranteed to have to have surgery again at the beginning of the year.
Like I said, I'm done crying for now.
My knee has REALLY been bugging me. Like worse than in a long, long time. I figured it was weather, or healing, or something retarded, and I was just being a weenie, although I really haven't said much of anything to anyone, until really recently. People would catch me limping and be like, "Hey, what th..." "Yeah, it's just achy today. It's probably gonna rain." The thing is, when I start limping, it's usually KILLING me. It's been hurting pretty solidly for the past month or so. But I just figured I'd dismiss it until my follow-up.
I went in today about 730a and had them take my x-rays, because I knew I'd be super-busy in surgery and probably not able to make it over there right at 230p or whatever. I looked at the pictures, and my heart just fell. It didn't look ANY different than the pictures we took 2 months ago. But I thought, 'maybe he'll see something I'm not, and everything will be cool.'
Yeah - not quite, Pollyanna.
When I finally made it over there at 345p for my actual appointment, he came in my room, and said, "Jennifer, come look at this with me."
Uh oh. I know I'm a tech and all, but even his tone didn't sound encouraging.
So, we walk out to the monitor and he asks me if I'm having any pain - I said "immense." He then launches into the fact that it's not doing anything...at all. It looks EXACTLY the same as two months ago: the graft hasn't taken (and has virtually been absorbed back into my body or worn away), the bone hasn't fused, the space in between the two pieces are almost exactly the same width as before. He said that he wouldn't be as concerned if I wasn't having any pain, but the fact that it's killing me has him worried. I said, "Dr. Stannard, I swear I've done everything you've told me to do! I haven't taken NSAIDS, I haven't been active with it AT ALL, my life has pretty much come to a standstill." I didn't tell him this, but I've stopped taking any pain medication at all for it, because I'm terrified it was somehow psychosomatic - no dice.
He said he wasn't at all worried that I wasn't doing what I wasn't supposed to be. He said that since it's been three months, it should be looking like something, and I should be experiencing incredible relief, but it's pretty much had the opposite effect. He said the articular surface of my knee (the back part that actually touches my knee guts) looks smooth and clean - from that aspect, you can't even tell it's broken (ok, except for the giant screw).
So, I just laid my head in my hands and told him to start giving me my options.
First, he said we could go back in, just take out the broken piece and be done with it, but there's no guarantee that my pain would subside. Besides, he doesn't want to just chuck a giant piece of my knee in the garbage, and frankly, neither do I. He said that it's actually big enough that if removed, it could possibly cause problems for my lateral patellar ligament later on in life. Figures.
The second option was to go back in (why not?) and actually use the super-expensive rh BMP (recombinant human bone morphogenic protein) that insurance said I couldn't use the first time around, because it had to be on a failed attempt. Well, here's your failed attempt, assholes. This stuff is actually like supercharged bone that works really well at promoting bone growth and healing fractures. But, he said, instead of doing the RIA (reamer-irrigator-aspirator) on my hip, which I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle again, he said we could just use allograft in place of that. Allograft is basically cadaver bone.
A dead chick's bone as opposed to drilling into the core of my femur, leaving me with the world's biggest ass-bruise and the potential to predict oncoming storms like the frigging Channel 6 Weather-Tracker??? All I can say to that is bring it on.
I had almost sagged completely to the floor when he backpedaled a bit. He said, "Did we not use the bone stimulator on you?" I shook my head, with not much hope that this was going anywhere except under the knife. A bone stimulator is a little portable device that uses ultrasound waves to stimulate fractures to heal, but somehow sometimes works on non-healing fractures. He said that he wants to try me on a bone stimulator, for 25 minutes a day, for the next two months, to see if we can get this stupid thing to do something. I asked him how long does it normally take to be able to start seeing some action and he said that the two months should do it. That will put me into December, and if I come back, and still nothing has happened, then we'll have to go back in. So, I'll be able to make it to January and all my off-time will have renewed itself, so I can get it done right at the start of the year.
I can already see my New Year's resolutions:
- get out of bed
- take shower - standing up!
- call AA for morphine-withdrawal support
- brush teeth
- stop screaming for help from attic window - really starting to piss off neighbors
- change bed sheets (what IS that smell, anyway?)
- empty potty chair (oh...thaaat)
So, I talked to Wynne, Stannard's nurse, and she got me set up with the lady who's going to come fit me with the stimulator tomorrow. Then, I went and set up my follow-up appointment for December. Then, I got on the elevator and bawled my face off.
I'd just had such hopes for starting back at the gym and getting back on the treadmill, and now it's been postponed AGAIN, because of this stupid knee thing. I mean, who the hell knew a kneecap could HURT like this??!? &=( I'm incredibly upset. I'm not mad with Dr. Stannard - I know he knows what he's doing. I just don't think my knee was paying attention. This is ridiculous. Knees are ridiculous. Stairs are ridiculous. People who have to have a solitary bag for every one of their groceries are ridiculous.
Ahhh, I could go on, but I won't.
Oh, and as a sidenote, I had to watch Cinder for my surgeon-friend again, and he kept bugging the crap out of me about some kind of payment, and I told him just to leave me alone about it - I'm nearby, I wouldn't do it if I didn't want it. So, he came in to surgery this morning with a present for me! I opened it up, and it was a wooden duck! Actually, it's called a Dcuk, and it's a hand-carved in Indonesia out of renewable bamboo and recycled teak. I actually knew that from the first time I ever saw these things on the interblag. They also have individual names, and my baby dcuk's name is Ivan! &=D That was a nice gift to get for someone - I mean, I usually get crap like Chik-Fil-A coupons or fur-lined gloves or something. It's like, 'Hello? Do you know the first thing about me?'
I could go on about this subject (in more ways than one *wink*), but it's impractical.
Oh, and our DePuy rep, Sean, said his dog, Daisey, didn't come home last week, so I'd ask if he'd found her, and he said he did, but she had been hit by a car! &=( He was really sad about it and talked about what a sweet girl she was. That makes me sad. I said that I'd most definitely still be mourning and wearing black. I'm sorry, Sean and Daisey!!! &=(
Ok, I'm headed to bed. I'm exhausted, and I didn't make a point of getting in the bed on time tonight, because I was so upset. Tomorrow, hopefully...