It Never Fails

So, if you read last night’s post you know that I had an appointment for Gel-One injections in my knees. The last injections (Synvisc-One) didn’t help but for just a few short hours. I thought I’d try the Gel-One this time. I was hoping for the best but was keeping my hopeful thoughts stifled because I have learned in the past to not get my hopes up too high.

Well, I was right to not get my hopes up. After receiving not one, but two automated reminder calls for 2 days prior, which asked me to “press 1 to confirm your appointment” and being told to “please come 20 minutes early,” I hobbled into the Ortho building. I hoped I wouldn’t be waiting for over an hour like the last time before even seeing the doctor.

I was called pretty quickly. The male nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was pleasant and led me to the exam room. When I sat down, he proceeded to tell me that my insurance had approved the injections but then after some changes, they revoked that approval. Great. Just my luck. This is why I don’t get my hopes up for any kind of medical care. He said the shots were rather pricey, and I probably wouldn’t want to pay out-of-pocket. “Hell no!” I told him. “At $3,000 bucks a knee? Nope!” He said they could offer cortisone shots, which I had had before with no noticeable pain relief…..and that was way back in 2011. My knees weren’t half as bad back then! No way in hell is a cortisone shot going to help now!

The nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was very apologetic about the wasted trip. He said he wished he had caught the problem as late as even yesterday, so he could have let me know. Not his fault. I don’t blame him.

It never fails. Every time I get close to getting help, I get shot down. It’s been happening year after year after year, with one thing or another, since 2007.

AND….AND….AND….the new doctor I found in January, whom I like so much, has left and they won’t tell me where. I would like to continue seeing her but how can I if I don’t know where she is? She may have moved out of state, in which case I will have to search for a new doctor but I most likely will have to see another practitioner in that same office, at least for the time being.

So for now, I keep my head up high and carry on! I’ll do what I have to do to take care of me until the time comes when they decide it’s time to do knee replacement because that’s the only solution there really is for me to have quality of life. I’m pretty sure their injections aren’t going to help much, even if my insurance approves them again.

Hopeful…. But Not Too Hopeful

I’ve been sitting here at the computer tonight, not really into anything in particular. My mind is elsewhere. I’ve got an appointment tomorrow with my ortho doc.

6 months ago, I tried the Synvisc-One injection in my knees. I had such high hopes. When I left the office, I was walking faster than I had in years and I had less pain. The shots seemed to have helped! I went home, under orders to not overdo it, so I took a nap. When I woke up the effects of the injections was gone. Despair set in. I couldn’t try the other injection for 6 more months!

I’m not really anxious about my appointment. I didn’t experience any severe pain with the last round of shots so I’m not worried about pain. I guess I’m just trying to keep myself from becoming too hopeful. High hopes have always caused disappointment in the past. I still have to hope this round of injections will ease my pain, but I’m not counting on it. I never count on anything to actually pan out in terms of help for my pain issues….story of my life.

I’ll hit the sack tonight with hope for a good result tomorrow but I’m not going to let it keep me awake thinking about it. I guess that’s part of the reason I’m writing about it. Getting it off my chest before bed.

Fingers crossed. That’s the best I can do.



10 Years Coming….

It’s been months (and months and months) since I’ve updated my blog! The last time was just after being fat-shamed by a so-called specialist last year that my doctor finally sent me to. At that point I was pretty much done with doctors, especially the one I had been seeing since 2005. I had tried numerous times to find a new doctor….one was just as bad or worse than the one I was seeing so I just gave up. Tired of being knocked down time and time again.

Instead I focused on losing weight. I had tried for years to lose weight, never getting any help from my doctor, naturally. I tried every diet in existence, so it seemed….except for the diets you have to pay for. I couldn’t afford to to do that. I still can’t but I had to do something. I was at the heaviest I had ever been and it wasn’t getting any better. With doctors saying things like, “eat less calories,” and “you’re not getting enough exercise,” and “eat smaller portions,” and not even asking any questions about my diet or exercise, it became blatantly clear that I was not going to get anywhere with them! So, I signed up with Nutrisystem.

I started Nutrisystem on April 24, 2016. I lost 8 lbs. the first month. I am currently teetering between a 50 – 60 lb loss. I’m quite proud of myself! Nutrisystem does work but you have to stick to it. I followed the plan exactly as they instructed and by Thanksgiving I felt that I could relax a little. After the holidays I got back to it and I will continue to stay on it until I am at a weight that I’m happy with. I digress here, this post is not about my weight loss….but it WAS the start of a new, more confident me.

After the holidays were over, I realized that as much as I despise doctors, I still need one. I realized that it must be a new doctor because my current doctor was not acceptable. Tired of her constantly sweeping my concerns under the rug and giving me stupid answers. For 6 years I heard, “You’re too young for knee replacement surgery.” She never once sent me to a specialist to make that assessment. Last March, when she finally did send me to a specialist, the specialist said, “You’re not too young for knee replacement surgery. You’re just too fat.” So, if my doctor would have sent me to him 6 years and 60 lbs ago, then maybe I would have had some kind of treatment or the surgery and regained my life by now! Thanks a lot, Doc.

So, in Jan. 2017. I started researching doctors in neighboring counties/towns. Of course, I had done this before a few times and ended up not making any progress towards finding a new doctor. This time was different. It had to be different! I made an appointment with a local doctor. I was prepared to get knocked down yet again, because that’s what always happens. This time was different. This new doctor spent an entire hour with me! She sent me for xrays and she lined up an appointment with a specialist in March. She told me that she didn’t think my current weight would be an issue with knee replacement surgery. I was so relieved to have found this woman! She was kind and sympathetic, informative and thorough. This was the first time in 10 years I had felt hopeful. 10 freakin’ years I had been trying to get help. In the very beginning it wasn’t even pain, but I knew something was wrong. Year after year, no special blood tests, no imaging, no help, no information. Now I finally had some hope!

When I saw the specialist, she was also very nice, sympathetic, informative and thorough. Instead of telling me I was too young for knee replacement surgery, she explained to me WHY age was a factor. Instead of telling me I was too fat, she explained to me WHY weight/BMI is an important factor. She even offered a referral to a weight loss specialist. Instead of telling me to do squats to strengthen my leg muscles, she sent her in-office Physical Therapist in to talk to me and he gave me specific exercises to do at home. (My insurance won’t pay for pre-surgery PT.)

This doctor, asked me many questions about what I have tried and offered injections (other than the normal cortisone shots that didn’t help me at all) and told me it was entirely my decision as to which injections I wanted to try and she gave me informational pamphlets to help me decide. In April, I went back to her with a decision. I decided on Synvisc-One injections. This injection was suppose to create cushion in my knees where I was bone on bone. I was very nervous. I’m already in tremendous pain so I was apprehensive about the pain of a needle being jabbed into my knees! It really turned out to be ok. It wasn’t that bad. Afterward, I was walking with little pain and faster than I had in years! Of course, it didn’t last long. A few short hours later it was right back to the way it was before. My knees are just too far gone.

In an effort to help with pain management, my primary doctor prescribed a medication that helps nerve pain and nerve pain caused from inflammation. It can cause depression so I have to be careful. It has helped with some of the odd pains I was having…..and therefore helping me sleep at night. Not perfect sleep, but better sleep. I’ll take it.

So, it’s June now and I am still working on my weight and building the muscles in my legs to support my knees. I can’t get the injections again for 6 months, but they won’t help anyway. I just have to keep trying different things to manage my pain.

Slowly but surely, I am moving forward. I had been stuck for 10 years trying to get help with no success. I was sinking deeper and deeper into depression and hopelessness. I am finally getting help and guidance, information and treatment!