A Faint Light at the End of the Tunnel

I have been teetering on the edge of depression and hopelessness for weeks, if not months. My pain level continually increasing, my mobility continually decreasing. I went from using a cane to get around to needing a walker at various times, to needing the walker even more! By the end of July, I had to buy a wheelchair because I was having some seriously rough days where I could barely walk at all. I wasn’t seeing an end to this blasted pain and depression coming anytime soon.

Today was the day I was to see my orthopedic doctor regarding future knee replacement surgery and possibly other treatments. I was nervous and anxious. I was already having a seriously shitty day. I had such severe pain in my left knee, that I cried when I walked. Sit down, you say? I had things to do that don’t get done unless I do them. I had my routine pet chores to do: feeding and watering, cleaning litter boxes. I had to do them before my appointment and I couldn’t just sit down and wait for the pain to pass. (At least I hoped it would pass!) It did pass, hours later while at the doctor’s office.

For the last 10 years, I had been struggling to find the help I need. I hit roadblocks and doctors with a God Complex continually. My new primary care doctor hooked me up with this orthopedic doctor and I have been slowly gaining hope. I’ve been optimistic but cautious. I don’t want to get my hopes up like I had so many times before. I’ve seen this doc a couple of times before. She gave me information and guidance, which I never got before in the 10 years dealing with Cox doctors. I was still worried that she would tell me the same things she had told me before.

She did, but she didn’t. My primary doc had ordered an MRI when she found out I had been using a walker. She said, “You’re too young to be using a walker!” The ortho doc looked at the written report on the MRI. She told me that while it’s very bad, it’s just not a good idea to do knee replacement surgery in my present condition. This time, it wasn’t so imperative that I lose more weight. I was encouraged to do so, however. “Even if it’s just 20 more pounds,” she said. (I have actually gained 6 lbs. since I last saw her. Oops.) The problem is more that my leg muscles are too weak. And since my insurance won’t pay for physical therapy, I would be in for a long, hard fight to recover from surgery. I understand that completely. I don’t want to have a long, hard recovery either, but I told her that I’m not too worried about that because I’m the kind of person who will fight with all I’ve got IF I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I told her, “Right now, all I see is darkness.”

We discussed another round of injections, this time with the second choice since the first choice didn’t help in April. I can get the injections in October. I hope they will help. Maybe by then I will have lost more weight and gained more strength in my legs. Her in-office PT guy gave me more exercises to try since the last batch caused me so much pain.

I’m going to try. That’s all I can do. I just hope I can lose more weight and strengthen my leg muscles before I am permanently dependent on the wheelchair. (I’m pretty stubborn though, so if I can walk even just a little, I WILL.) 

So there IS a faint light at the end of the tunnel! Small steps. Ok, tiny steps. But I’ll get there. I’m hoping that by mid-2018 I will have that surgery scheduled!light_at_the_end_of_the_tunnel_by_oehr-d66j9gy


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