Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Knee Injury, Be Damned

Photo from Quick Home Remedies
In an attempt to get back in shape, I started a walking program two years ago and worked my way up into intervals of a very slow jog.  I felt great!  Had no trouble breathing, stamina was good even with all the extra pounds, but then my legs started to hurt a bit.  So what?  I'm a retired Marine and you know how us jarheads are, so I pushed through it.  Pain is a sign of weakness leaving the body and all that.

Big mistake.

A combination of my uneven road full of potholes, plus the pounding my lower body was taking when I took up the slow jog, coupled with thinning bones from being an old-timer - all took a nasty toll on me.  I ended up in excruciating pain at the end of one session, tears-in-the-eyes kinda pain, and couldn't even get up out of the chair.  I won't bore you now with the details of how the VA 'took care of me', but suffice it to say that they didn't.  A couple of different diagnoses, one of them outright wrong, kept me sidelined and in pain for months.  The best I can put together from the original MRIs and radiologist report is stress fracture and torn meniscus.

Fast forward two years and I've still got pain in the right and now left knee as well (no doubt due to taking up the slack for the right knee for so long), but pain in the left is usually only evident when I move a certain way.  I last had an MRI a year or so ago and the diagnosis at that time was bursitis.  From everything I've read, it fits.  The third bursa, on the lower inside of the knee, can be problematic with those who are getting on in years and/or overweight, and that matches up to the area that's causing me trouble.

The swelling is still very evident in my right  knee (the site of the original injury) and I have to be extremely careful when not on an absolutely level surface because if I hit a dip or pothole, boom, I'm on my butt.  I need to find a competent orthopedist at the VA and see if they'll consider aspirating my right knee to draw the fluid out of there.  I think two years is enough time for them to see that it's not going to go away on it's own, don't you?

Now as long as I take care about where I put my foot down, I can manage to get around quite well without causing further injury.  I've started taking joint supplements and bought a Fitbit to keep me motivated, and I've been meeting my walking goal of a minimum of 10,000 steps every day, and some days do more.  I'm determined that this injury and lack of proper medical care is not going to keep me fat and sedentary for the remainder of my years.

I'm taking my life back.

~ Marie Anne

1 comment:

  1. Heard some discouraging stories about health care through the VA. I admire your stick-to-it attitude. Walk on!

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