Several months ago, my gyn. cautioned me that my blood sugar was a bit too high, and I needed to do something about it. Not one to take medicines, I opted to start exercising. The most viable option for me was walking. Basically, it was too cold to swim, and I’m too fat to do anything else. So, I diligently walked 2-3 times a week, building up to 1.5 miles in a 30-minute period. I usually walked on the track at the kids’ school because it was deserted and an even surface. My knees got stiff and sore. Some days I felt positively lame until I started stretching a bit and taking ibuprofen to calm the inflammation. But then, as in all things, I stopped for a while. I went back to it, but my knees ached so much. End of walking story.
I thought, “I would like to ride a bike,” so I bought myself a new 8-speed bike. Then, Wizard decided to ride said bike without having any idea how to use or change gears. Moose messed with the bike, and the chain fell off. I’ve had that bike for three months and have not ridden it one inch. End of bike story.
Fast forward to New Orleans this year. As always, I was wearing my sneakers to walk around Jazzfest. They’re New Balance running shoes; they lace up tightly to support the foot; they’re good shoes. We walked over to the Lagniappe Stage (cajun and zydeco music) and saw some open seats in the bleachers. Knowing that WineGuy would only sit in the first row, I chose to climb into to the second row for a seat. A kind, Southern gentleman in the front row offered me his hand. I reluctantly grabbed it and raised my right foot to climb up. As I pushed off the left leg, my knee popped. I crumbled in the second row and sat down hard. The knee hurt so bad, I had tears in my eyes. Wizard, who had been acting annoyingly adolescent, heard the pop and became suddenly solicitous. WineGuy sort of sat there.
I stayed for the rest of the set because I dreaded climbing down from the bleachers. When it was time to move on, I held on tight to WG and Wizard to help me down. Boy, did I feel like an old fart! I hobbled around the Fest for the rest of the day, even getting down on the ground to sit on our blanket. No position was comfortable for my knee, so I kept shifting. Finally, the music was over for the day and we could walk back to the car. Normally, the one-mile walk would have been easy but dragging my bum knee made it feel like the Bataan death march.
When I got to the car, I pulled out my iPhone and called Doc Bro at home. I explained the situation and asked for help. Doc Bro said to ice the knee as much as possible in the first 24 hours and to take lots of ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. He also recommended I buy a neoprene brace to support the knee until I got home. When we got back to the hotel, the boys filled two big plastic bags with ice for me. I sat for an hour with my knee wrapped in ice. I repeated the procedure the following morning. Since the weather report was calling for a lot of rain that weekend, we decided to visit the local WalMart and sporting goods store for foul weather gear. I found some cheap camp chairs at WalMart. The sporting goods store had one neoprene knee brace large (2XL) enough to fit my fat knee, so I put it on right away. I picked up some ponchos, and we were ready for the monsoon.That brace really saved me. It stabilized and supported the knee for the next several days. Yes, it got hot and pinchy in the swampy humidity, but it kept me upright and walking. It also allowed us to pre-board our Southwest flight back to Florida; we sat in the front row, which had tons of leg room.
I went to see the orthopedist the week I got home. He took x-rays, examined both knees, and ordered an MRI of the left knee. The x-rays showed no bone damage to or arthritis in the left knee, and two tiny bone spurs in the right knee. The MRI center had an opening that same day, so I had the scan done right away. The MRI center faxed the report to WineGuy, who in turn faxed it to Doc Bro. The MRI shows a small tear in the posterior medial meniscus of the left knee. As you can see from the image, the menisci are C-shaped cartileges inside the knee. They act as shock-absorbers. The medial meniscus is the one that faces the other knee. The posterior portion is at the back of the knee, and that’s where my tear is. The orthopedist gave me several treatment options ranging from regular doses of ibuprofen to a cortisone shot to physical therapy to arthroscopy. Since my knee was improving from the date of injury, I opted for ibuprofen until I can’t bear the pain. So far so good, although my knees get pretty stiff.
It took Doc Bro over a week to call me after receiving the fax. Apparently, his office didn’t give it to him right away. Thanks. His reading of the MRI report leads him to believe that I have some additional cartilege loss and/or bone fissuring at the bottom of the femur (thigh bone). He wants to see the MRI images himself. The MRI center printed them to disc two days ago, but I haven’t been able to get to the post office. I’ve been stuck at home with barfing boys.
Moose had a stomach virus over the weekend. Wizard caught it and has been puking for two days. Moose is feeling better and is back in school. Wizard has been home for the last two days and is looking pretty awful. However, my pity for him is lessened by his vomiting all over my white/multi Louis Vuitton purse and my Coach wallet Monday evening. I also had to miss Wild Thing’s class field trip to the Edison and Ford Estates today. Calvin promised to drive and not make me listen to right-wing satellite radio. Sometimes it stinks being a mom.