diagnosis

I was really looking forward to this doctor’s appointment, seriously. Going on three months of hobbling around, feeling silly, and not running combined makes me ready for this to be over. I feel like every summer something stupid happens to me and I have to go see a million specialists and pursue some sort of therapy regardless of what I do.

I realize this is extremely fatalistic, but it has kind of become my life.

So I saw the doctor, had my knees x-rayed (nowhere NEAR as exciting as the MRI, let me tell you), sat in a cold examining room while he developed the films, and finally had a short chat with him.

normal knee x-ray (not mine)

normal knee x-ray (not mine) taken from trentmueller.com

He says I have Patellofemoral pain syndrome. It’s also called “runner’s knee”, and it is also called “something that ladies sometimes get especially if you are loose-jointed” (which I am). Basically, my kneecaps sit off to the side, which has ground a lot of the cartilage off of the top of my knees. And because of that I have osteoarthritis (again, both knees). He has prescribed some physical therapy, but that is about all there is to do, besides pain medications and just learning to deal with this for the rest of my life.

I realize that this isn’t a death sentence, it could absolutely have been a worse diagnosis, but still.

This is incredibly discouraging. I have to avoid high-impact workouts like running, crossfit, etc, and pick up on low-impact workouts. My knees are always going to hurt.

Now, I’m an extrovert, and the baby of the family. I’m used to and often enjoy being the center of attention. It’s a part of who I am, how I entertain and make friends, and also my job. Since I’ve started having joint issues in high school, I often get to this point in the cycle of pain and achy-ness where I get incredibly paranoid about the pain, and how people react to my pain. I essentially get to this place where I feel like a) nobody believes that I’m actually in pain and b) everyone thinks that I am talking about it/ going to the doctor for more attention.

This is pretty much where I say (more for myself than for anyone else):
I DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE MY LIFE.

seriously.

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3 thoughts on “diagnosis

  1. Can i make a recommendation? If you can find a really good Iyengar yoga teacher, preferably someone who is knowledgable about physical therapy-type issues, it could be really helpful. I don’t know if you’re already familiar with it, but it’s a style of yoga that is heavily focused on getting your body properly aligned (as opposed to jumping around and being pretzely). It can’t rebuild the cartilage, but if you find a good teacher and work with her individually as well as attending some classes, it can, over time and with a lot of work, help… It can teach you to use muscles that the joint looseness has weakened, which helps pull the joints into place and keep them from being so loose, and also takes pressure off of them… I have hypermobile shoulders, and I have been teaching them to move normally and it is helping my shoulders and neck and even my back stop hurting. I also have bow-legs and hyper-extended knees, and I stopped running because it made my knees really hurt. I have been teaching my legs to be straight, which has been helping my knees a lot. My teacher works with a lot of people with really serious injuries or therapy issues – spinal injuries and partial paralysis, serious arthritis, sports injuries, etc.. After they’ve done their physical therapy and the therapist is like, “ok, this is all we can do for you,” they come to her and she is like “that is bullshit, we will make things so much better.” And then she does. It has to be a really good teacher – I don’t remember precisely where you live, but any of these teachers could probably help:

    https://secure.iynaus.org/search?IYAUS_Data_users0first_name=&IYAUS_Data_users0last_name=&IYAUS_Data_addresses0city=&IYAUS_Data_addresses0state_id=46&IYAUS_Data_teachers0assessment_level_id=PTW9QQ6MzpcLTeFhnZu2rQ%7Ci%3A4%3B&IYAUS_Swat_Button1.x=34&IYAUS_Swat_Button1.y=12&_swat_form_process=form&_swat_form_serialized__swat_form_process=ecoNRJftCjBpoNCWIr1pVA%7Cs%3A4%3A%22form%22%3B&_swat_form_hidden_fields=fDk71VXcXJddn45*bdDhwg%7Ca%3A1%3A%7Bi%3A0%3Bs%3A18%3A%22_swat_form_process%22%3B%7D

    Sorry to be longwinded, but I am totally sold on this stuff and think it could help.

    • Thank you, Sarah! I just got your comment. Sometimes I forget to check the comments queue on this blog. Thank you for your long reply and I really appreciate it. I am going to do the prescribed physical therapy and also look into yoga. I will research lyengar yoga in my area & hopefully can find some resources in a place I can get to. I know it’s not the end of the world but sometimes it’s hard not to be discouraged. The more I talk to people about it, the more I realize that I’m not alone in this at all, which is kind of nice.

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