I don't like to talk very much about my own life here on this blog, probably because medical problems make it hard for me to change very much about my physical condition. But I'm going to make an exception today and get a few things off my chest.
I have always said that I was born with "poor architecture". That's the term I've always used. When you build a structure and one part is "off" the whole structure becomes unstable and that, sadly, is my story: shallow hip sockets, knees that are far from straight, a spine that's been failing since I was in my twenties. I walk as much as I can and do a highly modified version of yoga but when the architecture's off, you just can't make much progress. For the past 25 years or so, I've just been staving off disaster. For me, success is getting up in the morning without being in terrible pain, just minor pain that lasts all day. Usually, I'm successful, but when things go off the rails--and they have on several memorable and horrible occasions--the experience is totally frightening.
Last week, I had an appointment with an "advanced practice physiotherapist" who basically screens patients before they are allowed to meet with the surgeon I want to consult about my knee. She was totally amazing. I spent about two hours at the hospital being questioned, put through my paces and x-rayed. Her conclusion: bad architecture. That was the term she used. Apparently, just as I thought, my kneecap is literally out in left field, rather than sitting straight as it should. This means that the more I do exercise involving my knee (bicycle or elliptical), the faster I will totally destroy what's left of my kneecap...Exercise is the worst thing I can do.
A few minutes into the examination, the physio said that she thought I was a "Dr. C. special". Apparently, there's a doctor here in my city who's devoted his life's work to studying wonky kneecaps like mine. It's a more common problem amongst women than men (lucky me), although I could have it much worse. At least my kneecap isn't disclocating, as often happens to certain women. She felt that I should see Dr. C., rather than the surgeon I had originally wanted to see (who'd come highly recommended by a health care professional I trust).
The physio also said up front that if I have the surgery done, the recovery is long and painful. I wouldn't be able to walk on the operated leg at all for two months although I would have to do a lot of non-weight bearing physiotherapy during that period, plus even more once I was given the OK to start walking again. I'm not afraid of the work involved in recovery, but I'm terrified of something going wrong during the surgery, as happened to me with my hip.
So as things stand right now, I have an appointment with the surgeon on Dec. 17. I'm thinking of getting my husband to go with me, as a second set of ears. We'll see what the surgeon has to say. He might not even think that I'm a good candidate for the surgery, but at least I'll find out.
I may have another medical issue cropping up too, but it's way too early to speculate. I'm waiting to hear from my GP on the results of a test. "Never a dull moment," as my husband says.
Gratitude statement: I'm grateful for good, universal health care in my country.
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