Rub Some Dirt On It!

WOW, LIFE is a whirlwind!

K, so I had knee surgery back on November 30.

I have a knee condition called Patellofemoral pain syndrome. It's known as "Runner's knee."  

I jogged lightly in high school and ran a little in college, and I started noticing this pain during my freshman year in college.  I didn't worry about the pain because it only hurt me when I biked. Which was everywhere. My bike was my transportation.

Oh, I love my little pink bike that my dad bought for me from Walmart my freshman year of college. It has served me so well. It has also caused me many headaches w/ the frequent flat tires.  
However, my cousin Keith and various other mechanically-minded friends would help me with regularly.
Well, my knees would KILL me when I was riding my bike. I played it off. I grew up in a house that rarely went to doctors.  I think I remember going once when I had to get a shot in my thigh to get healthy before my sister's birthday party in elementary school sometime and I think I went for a physical sometime during middle school for a sport's tryout & then besides that a few other times for strep throat. Other than that the doctor was foreign to me, and quite frankly freaked the A;SLKDFJEIVJH out of me.

I trained for the Nashville Country Music Marathon in April 2010.
I didn't run for a while after that.
Then after Weston & I got married at the end of the summer I started running again. Every time I jogged, I'd have to ice my knees. I also went to the gym & would do weight training exercises.

Well, in the spring my knees started hurting me so bad. This time it wasn't only when I ran or rode a bike, it hurt to sit. Seriously?

So, after a few weeks of knee pain, I was at the doctor for a recheck for other things & I just casually mentioned that my knees had been bothering me, he did a few tests & told me what I had & prescribed me to physical therapy.

I did physical therapy w/ little improvement.
The sitting pain left, but not much else happened.
I had reached my out of pocket limit from my surgery in April.
So, thankfully I was able to do all the physical therapy & my insurance covered every cent, other wise, I would not have been at physical therapy all summer.

I was still hurting in November & feeling VERY frustrated with my limited exercise abilities.
I tried a new physical therapist in November who told me it'd probably be a good idea to meet w/ an ortho, because as far as he could tell I needed surgery.

I scheduled an appointment the next day because I was running out of time before the new year (aka out of pocket limit to start over w/ a new insurance provider) I met w/ Dr. Carlson who had just been out of his fellowship and working for 1 month.  He knows his stuff & is a great doctor, too. I met w/ him just to discuss what I should do.  He said, because of all the physical therapy I'd done w/o improvement that surgery would be a huge benefit. They took Xrays of my knee & this is what they looked like.

This is what my left knee looked like. Only a little more severe and my right one is a little less severe.
The angled line going through the kneecap is the angle the kneecap is sitting at and the one running lengthwise of the xray is the angle it is supposed to be at.... did I explain that well enough?
Anyways, so the pain & the grinding & popping all those years was my knee cap grinding on my femur. Gross, huh? And apparently it would swell up & be super painful from the cartilage getting all destroyed.

So, they did the surgery.

With a scope they went in through three holes filled my knee area w/ saline & then cut the outside tendon that was pulling on the knee cap & shave down/carve out the cartilage that was destroyed between the knee & femur. Surgery was an hour and quick quick!
Weston was hyper vigilant about asking about how to avoid a blood clot because his family friend died in the summer from a pulmonary embolism after a knee scope this summer. The nurses kind of laughed when he asked what to do to avoid a blood clot. "Just get up and move around and you'll be fine." Warning signs of a blood clot are tightness or pain in the calf, etc, etc, etc.  I felt great that day. I hobbled around the apartment that day because Weston had to go to work. I even didn't use crutches sometimes. I felt great & knew it'd be a quick recovery for me. That night we went to Walmart because I felt  cabin fever. HA, I'd been on the couch for a whole day & we needed some meds or something.

The next morning after I woke up and got going a little, I passed out hahah oh man, and I mean for like for a few minutes, I woke up on the floor w/ Weston there...he was a little freaked out. I promised him I was fine though. He told me if ANYTHING else happens we are going to the ER.

My sister & her boy came over to hang out and go canoeing in our little baby pond that morning, too.  That night Wes helped me wash my hair in the kitchen sink. Afterwards I felt the tiniest little tinge in my muscle, I mentioned it to Wes & then went to brush my hair & get ready for bed.  

Weston comes to me with his keys in his hand & fully dressed. I had just taken out my contacts & brushed my teeth for bed.
"We're going to the ER"
"You're kidding..."

and off to the ER we went. I felt ridiculous being there & I was so tired. It was midnight at this point.

We waited for a while for an ultrasound tech to get there, because they were suspicious of a blood clot.
about 3 in the morning I got an ultrasound of my leg.
Sure enough, there was a clot in my calf. 
The U/S tech was shocked. The ER doctor wasn't.

So, then we waited at the ER for a couple hours waiting until they could contact the on-call orthopedic doctor to find out how he wanted to treat it. He prescribed me Xeralto. This is often a drug used to prevent blood clots, but just got FDA approved to treat blood clots.  We went to Walgreens at 5a.m. and they filled it for me, but it was $75. 
Eh, WHAT????
That was with my insurance.
Long story short, we went back to the ER several times that weekend to get the pills administered to me because my insurance was covering everything at 100% at this point and then Monday morning we called a special phone line to get approved for discounted prescription. Basically, you can't be on any government support to be eligible. 
Hallelujah, the prescription was then $10.
So, I took that blood thinner for 2 days until I met with my ortho doc & he did a follow up & got me fitted for a compression sock. OW. but YES!
By this time I was in so much pain from the clot.
Sunday I was flat on my back w/ my foot elevated.
Monday was the same story.

Basically this would happen every time I was up for 30 seconds:

 Basically all the blood would flow down to my foot but couldn't leave my foot bc of the major vein was plugged up w/ the blood clot!

After seeing my ortho doctor he switched me onto coumadin instead of Xeralto. Coumadin is also paired with a fun shot to to the stomach that you have to do 2x a day for a week. They'll tell you it doesn't hurt. 
It does.
 I was so happy when that stuff was over with, bc it made me sick, too.

This is my swollen knee. Look at it next to my right knee. The band-aids cover the scope holes. They're seriously so small, one of the completely disappeared & the other 2 are hardly noticeable! 

The second ER doctor recommended using a heating pad under my calf. Oh my goodness it helped with the calf pain. My calf hurt so bad.

This is our third Christmas tree since being married!
I met him on Christmas day in 2007!

This is Weston & I in front of our Christmas tree that we decorated at midnight the night before my surgery. I told him nothing big bc it's in the middle of our family room & I didn't want an obstacle course....we found the perfect tree! :)

Also, that thing on my knee is an awesome electronic ice pack!  It plugs into a hose that goes into a pump in a cooler & it constantly pumps cold water. AWESOME.

Anyways, so it's been 6 weeks post op & I'm still doing physical therapy 3x/week & it's expensive, but my doctor demanded that I do physical therapy to compensate for healing lost when I got the clot. It's been swollen longer than it should've been and the healing was slower because I was on crutches for longer than I should have been & I was on my back longer than I was supposed to be. He said I'd get 85% range of motion back w/o physical therapy & 100% w/ it, so I've been doing really well and pushing through physical therapy! Woo!

Also, to all you people who have been on crutches for an extended period of time, my hat goes off to you. They are a complete nuisance!

I'm doing so much better now, though!
Also, as unnecessary as I thought it was, it's a good thing I have such a great hubster who listened to his gut & took me to the ER that night.

Thanks for reading & I'm sorry for falling behind. I will work on updating the blog this week!

Take care!

1 comment:

  1. Rachel, you have documented this so well! I really can appreciate more what you have gone through and understand this a lot better! You poor thing, what you have been through!!! Weston, can't thank you enough for all you have done! Love you guys a lot! Grandmother xxxooo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...